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one of the first purchased

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Okimono
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:58 pm

one of the first purchased

Postby Okimono » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:56 pm

Dear,

this is one of the first netsuke that I dared to buy : it is a very little wood one that is painted.
The description is that it is a woman with long hair, with the hand touching the head.
Also that it is from the first part of 20th century. Its measures 4 cm long x 2,8 cm high.

But some question remain, after reading this forum.
* is it authentic and how old can it be ?
* I can not read the Japanese signs, any suggestions ?
* who is this woman, why is she portrayed like this ?

many thanks.
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Vlad
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Re: one of the first purchased

Postby Vlad » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:17 pm

First of all welcome and congratulations! It looks like you have got yourself an authentic netsuke. Based on the wrong description, the seller did not really know much about netsuke, or Japanese art at all. The piece looks older than 20th century to me and carved and signed in the manner of Nagamachi Shuzan (painted wood figures). Now, saying that, since according to scares sources this above mentioned carver called himself a student of Yoshimura Shuzan, who was the 18th century carver, his works should've looked even older and larger...

I am not an expert in this Osaka carver work, though, to comment on the authenticity of this piece to him. Whoever carved and painted this Shojo, still did a pretty good job, and you should be proud for spotting it.

Look for Shojo description on the net and search this forum using the provided above key words to broaden your knowledge and... happy journey! :)
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

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AFNetsuke
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Re: one of the first purchased

Postby AFNetsuke » Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:23 am

Agree with Vlad that this is 19th century. Interesting that the himotoshi interior is painted red. Anyony have pieces by N. Shuzan in which this was done?
Alan

Okimono
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Re: one of the first purchased

Postby Okimono » Sat Dec 24, 2016 5:24 pm

I am impressed by the good advice and attribution given by Vlad and AFNetsuke. Thank you !
In the Internet I have looked at Shuzan and also the drunk Shojo and having this information gives more meaning to my netsuke.
The condition is maybe not very good, as some of the painted region are worn of ?

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Vlad
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Re: one of the first purchased

Postby Vlad » Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:12 pm

Okimono wrote:The condition is maybe not very good, as some of the painted region are worn of ?


We call it patina, and some of us value it quite a bit... ;)
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"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

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souldeep
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Re: one of the first purchased

Postby souldeep » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:19 pm

Okimono wrote:In the Internet I have looked at Shuzan and also the drunk Shojo and having this information gives more meaning to my netsuke.
The condition is maybe not very good, as some of the painted region are worn of ?

Nice one and welcome to the forum :)

This type of condition is not uncommon in this "style" of Netsuke. In fact if you don't see it, run a mile! It is generally known as Shuzan style, or Saishiki (the name of the paint technique used). As Vlad points out - a good patina has also developed in the areas of the wood the paint has worn away.

These types of of pieces were made well into the 20thC and perhaps the best of these more recent Shuzan style carvers is a guy called Mondo. He was very good at creating this wear effect in the paint and wood making pieces look like Old Shuzan Hogan originals.

In the case of this piece I don't think its by Mondo's hand. Neither is it by Shuzan Hogan (the first of the carving line in this style).

If I was pushed to guess - I'd go for Shuzan Nagamachi (the latter being the area in Osaka he was from). One of the more unique identifiers of this carver is how he used to fill his signature, or himotoshi, with red paint, as we see in your example. He was also recorded carving smaller Netsuke, also noted in your example. Finally - the patina in the exposed areas of wood suggest the time frames for Nagamachi match.

A good honest find that fits well into the Shuzan line. I find Shuzan an acquired, studied, taste.
Piglet: "Pooh?" Pooh: "Yes, Piglet?" Piglet: "I've been thinking..." Pooh: "That's a very good habit to get into to, Piglet." - A.A. Milne.

carlomagno
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Re: one of the first purchased

Postby carlomagno » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:31 pm

I like your shojo Okimono, the wearing of painting just add the patina some of us love. Here another N Shuzan, probably a Tennin, a Buddhist angel
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Bakurae
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Re: one of the first purchased

Postby Bakurae » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:53 pm

I was admiring that tennin for a good while, Juan Carlos. I'm glad it's found a home with you (if it has).

Alison

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AFNetsuke
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Re: one of the first purchased

Postby AFNetsuke » Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:17 am

souldeep wrote:These types of of pieces were made well into the 20thC and perhaps the best of these more recent Shuzan style carvers is a guy called Mondo. He was very good at creating this wear effect in the paint and wood making pieces look like Old Shuzan Hogan originals.

In the case of this piece I don't think its by Mondo's hand. Neither is it by Shuzan Hogan (the first of the carving line in this style).


This Ryujin of mine has been attributed to Mondo by some people. Mondo died in 1915.
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Alan

neilholton
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Re: one of the first purchased

Postby neilholton » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:58 am

Alan, I don't see Mondo.

Bear in mind, Saishiki and Negoro are two very distinct types of colouring. Your Ryujin is Negoro, not Saishiki. You'll also note that your figure is "rubbed" not flaked. Traditional Saishiki adheres to a layer of gesso which the early artists applied in a way that with the passage of time rubs, its this rubbing that is often very attractive to my eye. When I say early I mean at the pinnacle Shuzan Yoshimura, however half a dozen other artists are listed in the Soken Kisho that paint their netsuke, so I believe worked in a Shuzan manner.

The latter guys like Mondo never quite got this rub vs. flake.


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