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Opinions on Ryusa subject

What subject or legend is depicted in your netsuke or sagemono?
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AFNetsuke
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Opinions on Ryusa subject

Postby AFNetsuke » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:21 pm

I have not decided exactly what this piece portrays. It's a walrus ryusa manju with metal inlay on the obverse. The ivory body of the piece has pines and clouds and a wooden structure with low fence (possibly a stage?). The metal inlay on it combined with the motif of the supporting body of walrus ivory is reminiscent of the work of KO but is signed Mitsu-toshi. As with Ko I also suspect the metal work to have originally been a menuki produced by an out of work sword furniture craftsman. I depicts a man with right arm raised holding what I interpret as a sort of standard as might be seen in a procession or on the battlefield. It has a gold bird attached which may have some significance. To the right of the man is something else with gold applied and I cannot tell what that represents. Gold is also applied to the leggings of the man. Just below the man are some implements (?for carving masks). There are clearly masks lying about, one of which is a Hyotokko.
Any thoughts on further defining this subject beyond a possible mask carver or participant in a play are most welcome.
20170227_172314.jpg

20170227_172219.jpg
Alan

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chonchon
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Re: Opinions on Ryusa subject

Postby chonchon » Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:48 am

Hi Alan, yes it does look like a Noh stage with Kyogen(?) masks, kiseru, etc. below. I think the large red pine matsu as a background is typical, and the clouds indicate the close presence of the gods. The central metal fitting though, is a puzzle. Is the Mae-kanagu clasp off a pouch? Could it have been added later, a slice and splice? There is a tapered square area above it which is slightly different color, possibly showing the edges of an insert. (?)

Just guessing, though, but hoping this might jog something.
Piers

Size is something.

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Vlad
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Re: Opinions on Ryusa subject

Postby Vlad » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:38 am

chonchon wrote: Could it have been added later, a slice and splice? There is a tapered square area above it which is slightly different color, possibly showing the edges of an insert. (?)

Just guessing, though, but hoping this might jog something.


I had the very same feeling...
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

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Tama
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Re: Opinions on Ryusa subject

Postby Tama » Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:16 pm

Alan, this ryusa does look as though it had been altered. Another mystery of how they come to be what they are now from what they once were. Why would a pouch clasp be inserted into an existing ryusa? Was there damage that was being addressed ? I have the same questions about my Tobosaku netsuke of how it came to be what it is now.

I thought this was Momotaro until I showed it to Tom Blady who said Momotaro was depicted as a child in netsuke and this was most likely Tobosaku. I was just left with trying to figure out why the peach was painted and leaf and stem inlays were added.

4 Tobosaku.jpg

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Opinions on Ryusa subject

Postby AFNetsuke » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:44 pm

I'll attempt to get enough light thru the reverse himotoshi to inspect the inside. The discolored area just appears discolored under magnification.
Alan

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Tama
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Re: Opinions on Ryusa subject

Postby Tama » Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:47 pm

To me it looks like glue or an epoxy to hold the clasp in place. The bottom right corner has the clasp slightly overlapping the boarder of the ryusa. I like your ryusa very much Alan. It has tons of character!
20170227_172314[1].jpg

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Clive
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Re: Opinions on Ryusa subject

Postby Clive » Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:37 pm

This piece of ivory has also been inlayed when metal piece was added...

20170227_172314.jpg

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Opinions on Ryusa subject

Postby AFNetsuke » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:36 am

Thanks, Clive. Its not apparent to me. Please describe what you see that confirms the replacement. And why do you suppose it needed to be replaced? Perhaps the original metal work was fairly large and covered that area?
Alan

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Clive
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Re: Opinions on Ryusa subject

Postby Clive » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:47 am

Well... its a different piece of ivory and one that is coloured slightly differently and the cross hatching is very badly executed but mostly its the clearly visible cement that's been used to fix the new section in..

See here..
20170227_172314.jpg


Who can know what sort of mishap befell the original ryusa netsuke but it seems to me most likely that there was a substantial area of damage that needed to be filled and the metal addition would only cover part of it.. requiring an ivory patch on the rest. FWIW though.. I suspect that the "restoration" wasn't permanent and the metal piece need refixing (with what looks like a modern epoxy putty).


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