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Mystery material.. Quiz (2)

Discussions, identification and analysis of the different types of vegetable and fruit used in Netsuke
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LUBlub
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Re: Mystery material.. Quiz (2)

Postby LUBlub » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:41 pm

KPR wrote:Oh my God, what I have instigated everything. I just wanted to show an unusual netsuke..


Klaus...sometimes netsuke open the door at additional cultural subjects and new knowledge ...
And I'm glad.
Excellence in netsuke art don't need signature or pedigree, or age, only quality, aesthetics, beauty.

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Tsunuki
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Re: Mystery material.. Quiz (2)

Postby Tsunuki » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:27 am

I'm late to the materials party. Here are a couple of my dried citron skin manju netsuke. One has the skin dried around two 4 mon brass coins from 1769-1860. It looks like there's a wood spacer between the coins. On the second one the pores in the skin identify it a little more clearly as a citron.
IMG_9202.JPG
IMG_9205.JPG

Also, I recently sold a plain dried citron. I noticed little tiny fibers or hairs would sometimes come out of the holes in it.
Ryan

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souldeep
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Re: Mystery material.. Quiz (2)

Postby souldeep » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:10 am

Bravo Ryan - I really like those. The coins a nice touch. They look to have significant age. That being said I will admit working out the age of Citrus skin is new for me.

It would seem that these dried citrus manju had a popular following. It's amazing that examples survived for this long.

I wonder, what made these popular commercially? Could it be that they looked aged straight out the workshop, which in turn appealed to the customers?
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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chonchon
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Re: Mystery material.. Quiz (2)

Postby chonchon » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:40 am

Yes, Ryan, fantastic. Your two interesting examples add a great illustration to this subject. Many thanks.

Kan-ei-tsu-ho 寛永通宝 one Mon copper/brass cash coins were in circulation from early Edo, but they later produced this larger four-Mon version with wave patterns on the back; also a 10-Mon coin briefly around 1705 in Kyoto, and a 100-Mon oval coin in Tempo. What a clever idea to incorporate these, creating a central string hole at the same time!
Piers

Size is something.

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Mystery material.. Quiz (2)

Postby AFNetsuke » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:50 pm

Piers, any idea how long the 4 mon coin hung around in circulation after discontinuation of production 157 years ago? Its fun to speculate on the age of this manju but maybe a coin collector had it incorporated into the citron many years after they were not coomonly seen in circulation.
Ryan has the first citron been lacquered?
Alan

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souldeep
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Re: Mystery material.. Quiz (2)

Postby souldeep » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:41 pm

AFNetsuke wrote:Piers, any idea how long the 4 mon coin hung around in circulation after discontinuation of production 157 years ago? Its fun to speculate on the age of this manju but maybe a coin collector had it incorporated into the citron many years after they were not coomonly seen in circulation.
Ryan has the first citron been lacquered?

Whilst Piers |( - an interesting fact: During the middle of 18thC the price of copper outweighed the coins value. It was then that these were stopped. Interestingly Chinese coins were more commonly circulated until the Meiji period.

I defer back to Piers r.e. brass coins!
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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chonchon
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Re: Mystery material.. Quiz (2)

Postby chonchon » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:46 pm

Chatting over the phone with a Japanese friend last night about this Netsuke and even without seeing it he says it is common knowledge that these were made of leather. That is the second strong assertion of leather here. I will keep digging.

At the beginning of Meiji there was a switch to Yen/Sen/Rin modern coinage, but how long the old coinage was legal tender is a good question. All those gold and silver rectangular coins became collectors' pieces too. I know that when the Japanese decide to do something they are pretty quick about it, however painful. I expect Wiki could be our friend once more!

The edge of the coin should tell us the answer. If there is overlap of material then it was inset while still soft. The space for the coin will have vertical sides if it was set later, I guess.
Piers

Size is something.

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souldeep
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Re: Mystery material.. Quiz (2)

Postby souldeep » Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:01 am

Thanks Piers. Not sure how willing Ryan is to pull it apart for our investigations though :lol:

Interesting your point on leather. I thought animal skin was considered commonly repulsive during the EDO period due to the predominant Buddhist sensibilities. I do remember you telling us about a hidden meat restaurant in EDO though. I think EDO was a city that nothing was considered taboo!
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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Tsunuki
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Re: Mystery material.. Quiz (2)

Postby Tsunuki » Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:45 am

AFNetsuke wrote:Ryan has the first citron been lacquered?

Yes, I believe so, there looks to be a clear glossy coating over the skin. It's worn in some spots, and there is a little residue on the face of the coin.
Also, looking closely at my second citron, it looks to have once had a thick dark-brown lacquer coat, with a layer of gold paint on top of that, but it's now mostly missing. I had assumed the glossy bits were just part of the material, but I hadn't noticed the gold paint before.

chonchon wrote:The edge of the coin should tell us the answer. If there is overlap of material then it was inset while still soft. The space for the coin will have vertical sides if it was set later, I guess.

I've attached some attempts at a close up of the overlap of material onto the coin, showing that the coins were inset while the material was still soft.
IMG_9264.JPG
IMG_9265.JPG
IMG_9266.JPG


Netsuke #16 in Bushell's "Netsuke, Familiar and Unfamiliar" is referred to as dried skin of a bitter orange, or Daidai. It looks different than any other dried citron netsuke I've seen, but it's a possible material match. Meanwhile "The Netsuke Collection of the Peabody Museum of Salem" has a coin netsuke similar to my own, but it says it's made of leather. And somewhere I have another book that calls it a dried citron. :?
Ryan

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chonchon
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Re: Mystery material.. Quiz (2)

Postby chonchon » Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:02 am

:D haha, Ryan, your research really does throw a spanner/wrench into the works. The truth is out there somewhere... in the twilight zone, narna, narna, narna.
Piers

Size is something.


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