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Authentic Plastic Netsuke?

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AFNetsuke
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Postby AFNetsuke » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:32 am


Thanks to all who have advanced our knowlege of synthetic netsuke here. Lou, I agree that you should preserve the others you may have as examples (who would have thought Bakelite jewelry would ever have a following of collectors?). Sometimes to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs.
Alan

Tito
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Postby Tito » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:23 am

Freda, I didn't want to conclude this session without first answering your questions. the dust that I scraped from the piece does have a slight stickiness to it when rubbed through the fingers, and its inner appearance is similar to the one that I broke a couple of years ago. This tells me, based on your description, that the netsuke that I have shown here, and others like them that I have, are made of resin. One of them was so particularly interesting for a resin netsuke that I thought I should share it with you; a rather peculiar version of a kirin, which I intend to keep.

Thanks to all who helped me in solving the mystery of my 'plastic' netsuke, and for sharing your knowledge of these materials.

----------
Lou
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fkc
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Postby fkc » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:51 am

The base on the kirin indicates that it's probably moulded. I think it's more of an okimono than a netsuke, even if it's netsuke-sized. It also doesn't feel or look to be as finely finished as the horse with the ring; it's the hand finishing on that one that I find intriguing. Still, many thanks for showing these three and helping the discussion along.
Freda http://fiedesigns.blogspot.com/

GiantSquid
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Postby GiantSquid » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:17 pm

Just spent ages trying to refind this post, anyway got it now. I was in 2 minds about posting this as a new thread under authenticity, but I think it sits better here, that's if I am correct in my surmising. Without further ado, what do you think of this netsuke of a lacquered professional sneezer (first 6 attached photos)? The first 6 photos, including the 6th one of the signature, are of my piece.

I have attached the others (photos) for comparison, and they are of other netsuke on various websites including that of Christie's and Miller's Antiques. Look similar. That is what is leading me to wonder how genuine mine is. Note the signature of the 'horn' sneezer which the website stated as being of carved horn - this is the same as on my piece. The others are lacquered and look very similar, though not identical.

In wondering what mine is made of I think it might be synthetic 'pressed horn' (as previously described by Norman Sandfield and others). What leads me to believe this is: the seam visible in places along the lateral plane of the piece; also look at the photo taken from above which clearly shows the front and back halves of the sneezer's head misaligned; there is also a lack of undercarving and when looking in the himotoshi I can see holes and fissures in the material. This indicates, to me, that it has been moulded - though when I don't know. The himotoshi and coloured lacquer may have been added at a later date maybe. It also has a rubber/ latex smell to it, though could this just be the lacquer?

Interestingly enough it sits well on the obi - I tried it out.

No idea what my surmising (if I am correct) means in the context of the other pieces shown here?

Anyone care to offer some comments?

Richard
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1263493_Prof_Sneezer_Artfact_LACQUER.jpg
1263494_Prof_Sneezer_Christies.jpg
"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones." John Maynard Keynes, 1883 - 1946

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NetsukeManiac
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Postby NetsukeManiac » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:48 pm


Here is a web site that displays a number of pressed horn netsuke with some of them being laquered: http://www.lagalliavola.com/uploads/netsuke0209.pdf



SC

GiantSquid
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Postby GiantSquid » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:09 pm

Thanks SC - very interesting. Almost certain then that my lacquered professional sneezer is of 'pressed horn' and probably 'manufactured' late 19th century to early 20th. The lacquer and himotoshi could have been applied/ added in the factory, or later by a subsequent owner.
So the 'factory' would have got hold of an original netsuke carved in wood or some other material by the netsuke-shi whose signature it is (anyone recognise the signature?) and a mould made from it to produce copies. Now just need to brush up on my Italian to read the article!
"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones." John Maynard Keynes, 1883 - 1946

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DSW90049
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Postby DSW90049 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:36 pm

Or, use Google Translate!Image
"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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Shugenja
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Postby Shugenja » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:34 pm

Richard, both of the Sneezer figures you used for illustration in the above post are probably "artificial horn" of the casein type. Those netsuke would have been created by pouring the fluid casein into a mold. Then, after removal from the mold a certain amount of finish work would be required, such as drilling the channel for the cord. When small bubbles of air were trapped in the mold, defects were created on the surface of the figure. Those defects were usually able to be hidden when the figures were painted or lacquered.

The "signature" reads Uwasa. The artifical horn Sneezer is the only one I've seen that is signed, and all the same. It is unclear to me if this is the name of an actual craftsperson. It would be interesting to know of other pieces that contain a different signature.

According to Norman S, the casein material was introduced into Japan circa 1885.

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NetsukeManiac
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Postby NetsukeManiac » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:07 am

Shugenja wrote:Richard, both of the Sneezer figures you used for illustration in the above post are probably "artificial horn" of the casein type. Those netsuke would have been created by pouring the fluid casein into a mold. Then, after removal from the mold a certain amount of finish work would be required, such as drilling the channel for the cord. When small bubbles of air were trapped in the mold, defects were created on the surface of the figure. Those defects were usually able to be hidden when the figures were painted or lacquered.

The "signature" reads Uwasa. The artifical horn Sneezer is the only one I've seen that is signed, and all the same. It is unclear to me if this is the name of an actual craftsperson. It would be interesting to know of other pieces that contain a different signature.

According to Norman S, the casein material was introduced into Japan circa 1885.



Shugenjia, since the time I acquired the piece pictured below, I was wondering why there are so many surface voids in the material. Now you may have given me the answer - casein. Even in modern times, voids created in resin molded objects continues to be an injection mold process engineers main enemy. In the early days of molding objects out of some sort of resin, it was probably una-void-able. However, it is interesting to note that in modern times, the Japanese manufacturers have no equal when it comes to molding precision plastic parts.



SC
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GiantSquid
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Postby GiantSquid » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:56 am


I've read the article now (thanks David for the tip). Thanks for everyones' contributions, which has helped me understand how my netsuke was made; and I feel better for that knowledge.
"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones." John Maynard Keynes, 1883 - 1946

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