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Metal Netsukes

Discussions, identification and analysis of the different types of Metals used in Netsuke, predominately Kagamibuta composition.
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AFNetsuke
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Postby AFNetsuke » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:10 am


Lub, I'm not familiar with the term "angel skin coral". What does that mean?
Alan

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LUBlub
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Postby LUBlub » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:51 am

AFNetsuke wrote:
Lub, I'm not familiar with the term "angel skin coral". What does that mean?


AF..."angel skin" coral is used to call the light pink colour coral, is one if not the most expensive one, rare because is finded just in few seas of the world, one in Japan...I'm sure Clive is going to give us a lesson on this matter.
Meantime just as exemple see this snuff bottle in pink coral.

The LUB Collection
Snuff Bottle
Material: pink coral
Size: cm 10.3 H - 5.7 W - 3.5 Thickness - 172 grams
Signed : Kozan
Attachments
1267132_LUB_Coll_Snuff_Bottle_Pink_Coral_Kozan_001.jpg
1267133_LUB_Coll_Snuff_Bottle_Pink_Coral_Kozan_003.jpg
1267134_LUB_Coll_Snuff_Bottle_Pink_Coral_Kozan_002.jpg
Excellence in netsuke art don't need signature or pedigree, or age, only quality, aesthetics, beauty.

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AFNetsuke
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Postby AFNetsuke » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:16 pm


Thanks, Lub. Yes, I've seen items carved in this pink coral but I always thought it a little orangy looking to call "pink". And I'm sure Clive can educate us on it.
Alan

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LUBlub
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Postby LUBlub » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:41 pm

AFNetsuke wrote:
Thanks, Lub. Yes, I've seen items carved in this pink coral but I always thought it a little orangy looking to call "pink". And I'm sure Clive can educate us on it.


In fact, is more orangy-pinky I explain you:
This kind of coral name is Corallium Elatius, in this case a sub group named Magay (pink salmon colour) more properly because the Angel skin, or Boké , is rose petal colour..In this snuff bottle piece you observe in the bottom (signature) some white spots, it means that the material is
dead or deprived of its natural richness.


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: Metal Netsukes

Postby Tsunuki » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:44 am

I'm working on photographing my metal netsuke this week, so I'm going to start posting some here if that's ok.
First is a metal manju netsuke with a Japanese phoenix, or Ho-o Bird (derived from the Chinese Fèng Huáng), on the front, and a samurai smoking a pipe on the reverse. Measures 1.79" in diameter. The manju is connected to a fabric purse. Probably Meiji period, since it seems like an item made for export.
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Ryan Snooks

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Tsunuki
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Re: Metal Netsukes

Postby Tsunuki » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:02 am

One more, a metal ashtray netsuke of a rain dragon. The netsuke himotoshi is formed by the dragon's body. Measures 1.9" in diameter.
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Attachments
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Ryan Snooks

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Metal Netsukes

Postby AFNetsuke » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:23 pm

Ryan, i really like the Ho-o bird netsuke and pouch set. Nice clasp on the pouch as well. You mention it seems made for export but my impression was these were mainly for domestic use. In the US I've rearely come across them outside of collections. It may be quite different for Europe? What facts can others offer on this topic?
Alan

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chonchon
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Re: Metal Netsukes

Postby chonchon » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:59 am

When swords were prohibited in the Haitorei of early Meiji, artisans turned their skills to making objects like these. They are so large and fancy, however, that it is hard to imagine any ordinary person wearing or using one. As an example however, it is often said that Sumo wrestlers, who continue(d) to dress in old-style kimono, might have owned one of these. They were traditionally given expensive presents made by famous artisan/artists. This could have been an opportunity for skilled but otherwise potentially out-of-work art artisans to continue their work. There is another breath of a rumour that some may have found their way into the hands of the ever-present Yakuza. If so, why? To pay off debts? Ultimately some of them must have found their way over into the western market.

The metal all seems to be Shinchu, a kind of brass. The 'Mon' clasp looks to be a 'Cho' butterfly poised above a 'Botan' peony, a sort of marriage of two houses.

BTW Does the dragon ashtray hang straight when suspended upside down from string? Old Kappa who started this thread used to talk about their secondary fun use as a Fu-rin, a little tinkling wind chime/bell. One day we met in a pub in London for lunch and compared the tones of our Shinchu ashtrays... 'tinggggg'
Piers

Size is something.

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Tsunuki
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Re: Metal Netsukes

Postby Tsunuki » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:39 am

Thanks for the explanation! I'm not sure where I got the idea that it was made for export, other than that the pouch and netsuke seemed a little 'excessive' in decoration for Japanese tastes. It would certainly be interesting if it once belonged to a sumo wrestler or Yakuza. The diamond shaped butterfly clasp does bear a faint resemblance to the mon of the Yamaguchi-gumi yakuza family.
Image

And no, the dragon ashtray doesn't hang straight. It's pretty rough as metal netsuke are concerned. But you mentioned ringing them, and I found I have one that has an great ring (better than any bell I have; see the attached video, if it works). It's a brass ashtray netsuke, with an arabesque 'karakusa' pattern of dots on its surface. 1.72" in diameter.

[ Play Quicktime file ] 20180201_231838.mp4 [ 11.13 MiB | Viewed 291 times ]


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IMG_4662.JPG

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And here's a nicer dragon ashtray that I recently received. It has a loose ring himotoshi. And it has a decent 'ring'. 1.9" in diameter.
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Ryan Snooks

dougsanders
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Re: Metal Netsukes

Postby dougsanders » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:53 pm

Tsunuki wrote:Thanks for the explanation! I'm not sure where I got the idea that it was made for export, other than that the pouch and netsuke seemed a little 'excessive' in decoration for Japanese tastes. It would certainly be interesting if it once belonged to a sumo wrestler or Yakuza. The diamond shaped butterfly clasp does bear a faint resemblance to the mon of the Yamaguchi-gumi yakuza family.


There are many Japanese tastes, not just tea taste. ;)
Imported textiles and leathers and Japanese interpretations of these styles are common for tobacco dogu.


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