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Idenification of material

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david37
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Idenification of material

Postby david37 » Sun May 13, 2018 11:29 am

Hi, i have found these netsuke masks in an old box from my grandma. Is there anyone with a sharp eye who can figure out if they are authentic and if so, from which period could they be? thank you. David
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chonchon
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Re: Idenification of material

Postby chonchon » Wed May 30, 2018 2:23 am

You seem to be asking two questions, David. The material is unfortunately likely to be ivory, but that has nothing to do with authenticity. Without closer shots it is hard to be certain, expecially under heavy and heavier staining.

The Hannya she-devil mask is a very popular theme, repeated endlessly, perhaps more so in later years. The darker staining looks somehow fresher to me, one reason for wanting to suggest it is not too old and therefore not highly valuable, although there will be some sort of market out there for it; it is in a sense 'authentic' to a tradition.

The smiling face is wearing the hat of Enma Daio, King of Hell, but he could be a composite god. The smile suggests a 'buy me!" appeal to passing tourists. For this reason it is authentic to something.

They are both within the remit for mask Netsuke with bars at the back for passing a string through, so fun objects for various uses, but not on a serious collector's must-have list.
Piers

Size is something.

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Idenification of material

Postby AFNetsuke » Wed May 30, 2018 3:12 pm

It is possible the smiling mask was meant to represent Daikoku, a god of wealth, which is a very common figure.
Alan

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Idenification of material

Postby AFNetsuke » Wed May 30, 2018 3:38 pm

David, here is an older example of Hannya in ivory.
Anyone care to take a guess at the very effaced signature?
20180530_082447.jpg

20180530_082428.jpg
Alan

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chonchon
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Re: Idenification of material

Postby chonchon » Thu May 31, 2018 1:49 am

Gold eyes, a mark of the gods. Alan, the old character for -yama/-zan can be seen at the bottom 山. The light reflection is not quite good enough to see the top character.
Last edited by chonchon on Thu May 31, 2018 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Piers

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Idenification of material

Postby AFNetsuke » Thu May 31, 2018 3:37 am

That's what I wondered about the bottom character but have never been able to adequately see the top one at various angles.
Alan

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souldeep
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Re: Idenification of material

Postby souldeep » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:07 am

Alan - that is a powerful example. The features very well defined.

Are the eyes inlaid gold - or rather lacquered gold? The left eye looks more like lacquer. But then again photo's can be tricky.

Would need more photos at different angles for the top signature. Bokuzan would be closest to the signature I can deduce from the photo. However the style dosn't fit. Can only find a Beizan that signed the second character (zan) that way. The stylised san/zan/yama is the clue to keep following though.
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.

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Idenification of material

Postby AFNetsuke » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:54 pm

Martyn I've tried for years to see the first character. Thanks for looking. The eye pupils may be brass and one replaced (but which one?).
Alan

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chonchon
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Re: Idenification of material

Postby chonchon » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:59 am

Looking at this again, it seems to be a repeating pattern. If you take that as one character you can read it as 出 (DE) in a circle. A good case could be made for Deme 出目 family. There is an ivory Deme Hannya mask in the MCI, though we cannot see the signature. Does anyone know of any other Netsuke signed DE among the Deme carvers?
Piers

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Idenification of material

Postby AFNetsuke » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:04 pm

Excellent thought, Piers. I'm also now seeing the right side of the upper character. Thanks!
Alan


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