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"Aged" ivory

Discussions and analysis of Elephant Ivory
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Vlad
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Postby Vlad » Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:48 pm

I have just come across this item and decided to use it instead of a particular netsuke possibly already in someones possession to illustrate what I believe to be a temperature-tempered ivory carving for our future references.

The light and even somewhat grayish color along with multiple web-like cracks on the cross-section of the tusk and with use of surface paint are some of the typical signs of an attempt to fake the age of an ivory product.

We have already briefly addressed it somewhere in other threads. Will somebody have additional signs or examples to add?

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1374335_Ivory_aged_1.jpg
1374336_Ivory_aged_2.jpg
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1374338_Ivory_aged_4.jpg
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AFNetsuke
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Postby AFNetsuke » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:09 pm

Vlad, nice example, but how many of the "spider web" looking cracks are caused by heat? It looks like many cracks may be engraved. Is it possible to show examples in higher magnification. Perhaps Clive can give us some closeup views of heated ivory and some technical information as to temperatures used and other details that may be clues.
Alan

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Vlad
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Postby Vlad » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:33 pm

Remember us discussing this example?

Here are more detailed pictures of it for additional demonstration.
Attachments
1374382_Ivory_aged_-_Shoki_and_Oni_Comparison.jpg
1374383_19_(11).jpg
1374384_19_(3).jpg
1374385_19_(2).jpg
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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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NetsukeManiac
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Postby NetsukeManiac » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:36 pm

Brings new meaning to the title 'Fractured Fairytales' once used in the Rocky and Bullwinkle show. :D I think it is time for someone with a scrap piece of ivory to run an experiment!

SC

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DSW90049
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Postby DSW90049 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:42 am

I have found magazine articles from the late 19thC (on Google Books) that complained about all the ways to fool collectors by making ivory look aged, including bathing it in tea and using smoke. This trickery is anything but new!

& SC, the mere mention of the old Rocky & Bullwinkle Show truly warms the cockles of my heart.Image
"There is no shortcut to netsuke collecting; it takes time, study and patience. The market is flooded with utterly worthless rubbish. . . . "
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fkc
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Postby fkc » Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:21 am

Frankly, if the 'crazing' on that piece were genuine, it would have fallen apart by now, apparent 'repairs' notwithstanding.

"...including bathing it in tea and using smoke..."

David, sometimes those techniques are genuinely used by Japanese carvers to stain and colour the piece, not to age them. Sometimes all isn't what it seems. More of the uncertainty principle abounding, eh?
Freda http://fiedesigns.blogspot.com/

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LUBlub
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Postby LUBlub » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:08 am

In this example, there can be two possibilities, difficult
understand which one:: that the artist has used a piece of old ivory ... that the lines have been created on purpose .... I exclude that the pc.has "heated" because obviously the upper part is more cracked than the lower part, and therefore impossible to differentiate which part to heat and what not ...
At he time was also very poor carvers with no money to buy (like K.M.) the best Tokata raw material, so the only solution was to buy remains of ivory, IMO...

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Attachments
1374802_The_LUB_Collection_095.jpg
1374801_The_LUB_Collection_096.jpg
1374803_The_LUB_Collection_097.jpg
1374804_The_LUB_Collection_098.jpg
Excellence in netsuke art don't need signature or pedigree, or age, only quality, aesthetics, beauty.

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Vlad
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Postby Vlad » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:50 pm

Luigi, I can't quite see how does the signature read on yours.
And I am also not sure how proper the himotoshi are positioned on it.
Mine of a similar subject and supposedly of the same age by Gesho has quite a different himotoshi arrangements and neither staining, nor cracks...

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1374835_Nio_Gesho_61.JPG
1374836_Nio_Gesho_31.JPG
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

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LUBlub
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Postby LUBlub » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:40 pm

Vlad...here the signature...as concern himotoshis in your and my pc. they are positioned in the way that when the netsuke is hanging in the
obi the figure is well placed and upper face in view....IMO

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Attachments
1374849_The_LUB_Collection.jpg
Excellence in netsuke art don't need signature or pedigree, or age, only quality, aesthetics, beauty.

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LUBlub
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Postby LUBlub » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:49 pm

Vlad...some additional observation: in my pc. there is evident staining but basically the patina and ivory colour is old. In your pc. maybe for the photo
lighting the ivory colour is so white, you confirm? normally such absolute white
is result of some cleaning process, but the patina is old as well and warm...
I'm confuse.
Excellence in netsuke art don't need signature or pedigree, or age, only quality, aesthetics, beauty.


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