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wasps' nest effect???

Discussions and analysis of Elephant Ivory
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chonchon
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Postby chonchon » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:30 am

Acquired this large antique ivory manju Netsuke recently with unusual patterning into the body of it. It is done so well that it actually looks as though it might be the work of some kind of insect. Do you think this is done by chance or by human design? Have you ever seen anything like this? :)
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Piers

Size is something.

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Clive
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Postby Clive » Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:13 pm

Definetely done by human hand.. a series of holes drilled with smaller holes drilled inside those, the inside then coloured with a chemical dye.. probably silver nitrate to turn it black.

Interesting effect and pattern.

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chonchon
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Postby chonchon » Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:30 pm

Many thanks for the considered feedback. (There is actually a small dead fly head-down inside one of the holes, which helped feed my confusion!)

PS Did they have silver nitrate in Japan back then?
Piers

Size is something.

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Clive
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Postby Clive » Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:44 pm

Did it have a tiny drill next to it? ;)



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Clive
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Postby Clive » Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:12 pm


Silver nitrate would certainly have been available to most crafts in old Japan.. it is made simply by dissolving silver in nitric acid, which is itself not difficult to produce from salt-peter.. what used to be called Aqua Fortis. I think its worth remembering that although not scientifically understood as we would today.. old Japan had a deep appreciation of chemistry, to be seen clearly in its extraordinarily sophisticated metalworking tradition for instance.

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chonchon
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Postby chonchon » Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:23 pm

Very true. That explanation makes sense. I know they absorbed a huge amount from abroad, not only from Westerners during the late Muromachi Period, before Japan clamped down on external contact, but also through the limited subsequent trade with China and the Dutch.
Piers

Size is something.

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Vlad
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Postby Vlad » Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:12 pm


Chonchon, another very interesting example from you. I've found this technique being quite frequently used with antler, and particularly by Kokusai (not sure if he was the one to introduce it back then, though). I have a couple of antler pieces acquired recently with a similar pattern being applied by I shall assume a similar technique...
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1064903_antler_kagamibuta.jpg
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

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Vlad
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Postby Vlad » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:27 pm


They were there somewhere...[img:2t8pz1s6]http://forums.netsuke.org/images/boards/smilies/confused.gif[/img:2t8pz1s6] It's the same system glitch! I've addressed it with Aisha, but the fix doesn't seem to be easy.
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

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DSW90049
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Postby DSW90049 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:40 pm

I was going to suggest that it may be antler. . .
"There is no shortcut to netsuke collecting; it takes time, study and patience. The market is flooded with utterly worthless rubbish. . . . "
Netsukes: Their Makers, Use and Meaning, H. Seymour Trower(1898)~~~~David

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chonchon
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Postby chonchon » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:44 am

Oh, good. The pics have appeared. Vlad, the picture on the right is antler and the black grooves are natural. Now I can see why on the left for example the artist might have wanted to continue, extend or reflect the pattern, adding artificial black into the indentations. Many thanks.
Piers

Size is something.


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