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Islander.

Discussions, identification and analysis of the different types of Bone and Antler
Peternz
Posts: 112
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 9:52 pm
Location: Mahia, New Zealand

Postby Peternz » Mon May 26, 2014 9:12 pm

Bought this little chap recently, he was described as an oni, he certainly is not.
Made of what appears to be deer antler, stands 4 cms high, and weighs in at 29 gms. I think he is a Pacific Islander, he wears a skirt made of large leaves, similar to banana, he is not holding coral, but what I think could represent a pearl, the pearl is quite round and freely moves in its shell?.There is a blind hole close to his left hand side neck. He is not signed. He looks mean and ugly. Quite crude. Image Image Image Image

Any thoughts.

Peter
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Peter Dunn

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chonchon
Posts: 6783
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 9:16 am
Location: Japan

Postby chonchon » Tue May 27, 2014 12:10 am

Yes, stag antler, Peter. He seems to have lost the top plug by his neck, but the bottom plug is still there.

I saw a similar figure yesterday in a book, and it struck me that the object he is holding looked like a coconut shell, with the coconut 'meat' dried into a ball inside. The description says 'tree nut with stone rolling around inside'. It could however be a pearl, as you say, but who really knows?
Piers

Size is something.

Peternz
Posts: 112
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 9:52 pm
Location: Mahia, New Zealand

Postby Peternz » Tue May 27, 2014 12:24 am

Thanks Piers.

Had not realised that a plug was missing, thought it was just a mistakenly placed hole, so have learned something today. Are plugs common?
I realise he is not a good one, but have the feeling he is Meiji?
You could well be correct about the Coconut, has not considered it.
Thanks
Peter Dunn

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chonchon
Posts: 6783
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 9:16 am
Location: Japan

Postby chonchon » Tue May 27, 2014 1:28 am

Peter, the age of stag antler is something we all need to be aware of but it is a bit of a minefield. Antonio, a highly-respected former collector and moderator here who sadly passed away last year, held strong views on how to tell. As it ages, stag antler absorbs oils from the skin and turns partly translucent. It gets rounded off through handling. From years of observation he reckoned he could tell how old it was, a process that we all aspire to do to some degree. If you run a search you may be able to find threads here with his comments. I suspect there are people out there today making old-style Netsuke in stag antler, aware that this material looks old already before you do anything to it. With the subliminal dangers associated with ivory, there has been a corresponding rise in the popularity of the rougher stag antler, although they cannot really compare in intricate beauty. As the two markets lie on different rungs, despite some overlap, antler has never really threatened ivory so far. (These are just my opinions and I stand to be corrected.)

In my collection of odds and ends, I have various slices of stag antler, some brand new and some very old, to hold in the hand and remind me of the differences.

Oh, and yes, plugs are common.

Inhabitant of the south seas. Beginning of 19th c. Unsigned. 7.8cm. (Karl M Schwarz, Netsuke Subjects, Japanese version)
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Piers

Size is something.

Peternz
Posts: 112
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 9:52 pm
Location: Mahia, New Zealand

Postby Peternz » Tue May 27, 2014 9:19 pm

Piers.
Thanks again. My chap is much smaller than yours. Mine is to my eyes translucent, at least not similar to other Deer netsuke I have, it seems to have been used and handled. Again to my eyes they have common similarities, I said (my eyes).

Peter
Peter Dunn


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