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Netsuke or Okimono?

Not sure what you have? Here you can post your piece and discover its period, context and authenticity.
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souldeep
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Re: Netsuke or Okimono?

Postby souldeep » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:12 pm

AFNetsuke wrote:Martyn, I couldn't commit to a date for this piece. What features are you seeing that might push it into the 20th century?

Hi Alan,

The hue and colours of the paint. I've not seen this before late 19thc. Saishiki doesn't hold up well to 300 years either. IMO most Shuzan originals probably wouldn't display much Gesso any more. Right there is a very good reason why painting "functional" netsuke never really took off.

Around the end of the 19thC, early 20thC, there was a strong revival pieces created in the style of Shuzan (saishiki). The best of these saishiki 20thc artists is probably considered as Tessai (I understand his formulae for his aged looking Gesso was not shared and remains unknown). However - although Tessai created saishiki pieces to look old - his carving style was original. On this basis I suspect his aged technique was related to the sabi aesthetic rather than to try and suggest a Shuzan piece.

The best of the carvers during this period that replicated Shuzan's models was Mondo. He carved some very powerful bold revival netsuke easily mistaken for the carving style of Shuzan. Note - he couldn't nail aged gesso like Tessai could.

An interesting article on Lacquer revival (triggered by Zeshin influences) by Jan Dees. Enjoy :)
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.

dougsanders
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Re: Netsuke or Okimono?

Postby dougsanders » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:02 pm

I've been following this thread with interest and appreciate Martyn's perspective and latest post. One thing I wanted to ask you Martyn- you included that very informative .pdf of lacquer revival as an aside, rather than pointing to it as describing the methods of the painting on the pieces being discussed, right?
Forgive me if gessoed (jp: gofun ) and painted techniques are described in the text...

I too think the paint looks a little too fresh on the originally posted item, and in areas where the gofun has chipped away, we still see quite a new, fresh, white cross section which leads me to believe it's been fairly recently abraded.
Last edited by dougsanders on Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Netsuke or Okimono?

Postby AFNetsuke » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:00 pm

Thanks, Martyn...I think :lol: . I've just read the new UK ivory ban regs on my phone and browsed the 175+ page article you attached. Will make an appointment with my eye doctor or therapist next.
Alan

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souldeep
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Re: Netsuke or Okimono?

Postby souldeep » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:15 pm

dougsanders wrote:One thing I wanted to ask you Martyn- you included that very informative .pdf of lacquer revival as an aside, rather than pointing to it as describing the methods of the painting on the pieces being discussed, right?

Correct - the article is an informative and interesting wider view on lacquer revival early 20thC. There is only a minor mention of the gesso technique being used in revival work.

Not for everyone I know - I thought it was on topic, and was guessing some lacquer fans might find it interesting, so I shared :)
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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jbjtennyo
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Re: Netsuke or Okimono?

Postby jbjtennyo » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:44 pm

Hi and welcome.
Years ago, I came across one of these old wood carvings, and was very excited to find it. I didn't purchase it, scared off by collectors who had doubts about its authenticity. I don't know a lot about these or what it would take to find out truly how old it is. There are a couple of things I would want to do if I were you. First of all, I would try to find someone who could read what is legible on the haku, as it certainly looks old and authentic. If the inscription on the box relates to the carving, that would be one helpful step- to link them a good as is possible after all these years. If it is an old carving, I am wondering if it is possible that someone tried to refresh the painting on it. Clive would know about that, and possibly have some ideas for you. Personally I think the strong colors ( without evidence of wear in some areas), is one cause for doubt as to its authenticity,- but has it possibly has been repainted? I don't know... These are only some suggestions to help in feeling more certain of its origin than you are at this point. I am certainly not an expert on the subject, but am somewhat of a sleuth in trying to figure out these things. So those are just some thoughts on what I would do if it were mine. Good luck!
Judy


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