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Minimal wear in wood pieces of Edo period ?

Discussions, identification and analysis of the vast range of woods used in Netsuke
Tengu
Posts: 608
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:23 am

Minimal wear in wood pieces of Edo period ?

Postby Tengu » Sun Dec 06, 2015 3:21 pm

- MOD EDIT - Recently an interesting question came up, more than once : why do some Edo wood pieces show minimal wear and are in mint condition ?
To develop this discussion further, we have copied and merged a couple of posts with examples of Mermaids, Snails and Sleeping Shojo. - END MOD EDIT

(...)
an interesting question, or why so many sleeping drunken Shojos from the Edo period exist in so perfect condition.
Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 12.32.21.png

A really experienced (all his life in Japan living) Netsuke expert told me: Netsukes have not only the function of a button, they are also on the dining table placed as decoration at home and outside as a guest.What lends itself to be better than a Shojo.They enjoy and warn against too much Sake consumption. They were therefore preferably wrapped in silk and stored in boxes.For the price: You pay for an old Edo Period Netsuke in perfect execution in perfect condition. Which Netsuke offer this even more?I think lot 766 of the Kolodotschko auction is a beautiful table decoration and an animation for Sake drinking.Maybe I drink with this Shojo a bottle of wine this evening. Image
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KPR
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Minimal wear in wood pieces of Edo period ?

Postby KPR » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:26 am

Signed Tadatoshi, around 1800.
What me alway surprises at Tadatoshi´s carvings, almost all of his Mermaids and Shojos are in mint condition and this in spite the very finely carved and sensitive surface.
Another mystery, his Mermaids are always in the same position. In contrast, his Shojos vary in all lying and sitting positions.

1375-004.jpg
Klaus

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lmallier
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Re : Minimal wear in wood pieces of Edo period ?

Postby lmallier » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:23 pm

Superb Mermaid Klaus, Tadatoshi was really a master carver.
With regards to the condition of Tadatoshi's netsuke in general, it may be because of the quality of the wood used which seems to be very hard and compact. My Tadatoshi snail is however very light. Is your mermaid very light in hand?

Louis
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"Qui n'a pas les moyens de ses ambitions a tous les soucis" 
Talleyrand

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AFNetsuke
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Re : Minimal wear in wood pieces of Edo period ?

Postby AFNetsuke » Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:24 am

I have yet to see an explanation as to why Tadatoshi mermaids usually show minimal wear. Or why they are positioned the way they are. There is a puzzle piece missing here that may only be found back around 1800? No theories have been advanced here...have they? Vlad, any thoughts? Or Gopi?
Alan

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KPR
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Re : Minimal wear in wood pieces of Edo period ?

Postby KPR » Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:58 am

AFNetsuke wrote:I have yet to see an explanation as to why Tadatoshi mermaids usually show minimal wear. Or why they are positioned the way they are. There is a puzzle piece missing here that may only be found back around 1800? No theories have been advanced here...have they? Vlad, any thoughts? Or Gopi?

Thanks for the reminder of my questions.
Klaus

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lmallier
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Re : Minimal wear in wood pieces of Edo period ?

Postby lmallier » Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:01 am

The Tadatoshi snails I have seen or handled are also with minimal wear.
Here is mine.
114242_6fa1e08ab0f009ee22aabb5fd0862bf5_normale.jpg

DSC08074.JPG

Louis
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"Qui n'a pas les moyens de ses ambitions a tous les soucis" 
Talleyrand

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KPR
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Re : Minimal wear in wood pieces of Edo period ?

Postby KPR » Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:09 am

Yes that is true. This statement applies to nearly all snails from the famous carvers.
Strangely, almost all famous woodcarvers have tried to carve a great snail. Perhaps a personal challenge.
Louis, congratulations for your beautiful snail.
Klaus

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NetsukeManiac
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Re: Minimal wear in wood pieces of Edo period ?

Postby NetsukeManiac » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:32 am

xxx
Last edited by NetsukeManiac on Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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jbjtennyo
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Re: Minimal wear in wood pieces of Edo period ?

Postby jbjtennyo » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:59 am

Congrats Dave on a superb Shojo.. All of these are as you say in mint condition and so precisely carved. Perhaps they were protected from damage by not using them as a netsuke, but keeping them safe at home.
Regarding the positioning of the mermaid, that would be a difficult shape to put in a pleasing position, a human head coming off a tail, I have seen a couple really bad ones -the shapes of those two body parts is a difficult blend! I suppose he could have changed the mermaids direction in the curled fish pose-but the mermaid curled into itself was perhaps more artistically pleasing to the carver than creating her in other less flattering positions. Some artists of paintings are more comfortable approaching their composition from one particular point- perhaps to the left or right, or lower corner. It may be the same with some carvers who are more comfortable working with one position. I read somewhere recently that some carvers cut out the same basic shape for an animal and then just changed the details to make it an ox or horse or dog. Don't know if that applies here. But I do know that artists have a format that they are most comfortable working. With a human like the Shojo body, it can be posed in many pleasing ways, and doing many different things--but a fish? maybe not so much?
Might not be the answer but hopefully a starting point for the discussion. Really enjoying all of these!
Louis, I love you snail too!
Judy

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DSW90049
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Re: Minimal wear in wood pieces of Edo period ?

Postby DSW90049 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 5:15 pm

This thread poses an interesting question which has intrigued me.

Alain Ducros' theory of netsuke being used as Talismans, a variation here, makes sense.
So many netsuke had so much meaning, often on varying levels, and so many associations.
Perfect condition very old ones must have been carefully stored and handled on occasions, to show and admire
- if not, then, how could they possibly come to us after centuries of earthquakes, fires, floods and much worse,
preserved so perfectly?

Why not have a drink or two with your favorite Shojo tonight?!?
Splendid idea, Klaus - maybe some pics while the camera can still be held steady?
ENJOY.
"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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