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Mitsutomo style but different signature

Discussions of carvers, workshops and attributions. A forum to also find help on, or discuss, signatures.
GRHR
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:48 pm

Mitsutomo style but different signature

Postby GRHR » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:11 pm

Hi,
I bought this stunning gama sennin and have been trying to research the signature and style. Attached is a main photo of the gama sennin and one showing the signature and below is one of a (in my mind) similar styled gama sennin by Mitsutomo. Any and all thoughts on the signature and stle much appreciated! Many thanks in advance for your help, G.
Attachments
unknown senin main.JPG
Main
unknown senin sig.JPG
Sig
Gama Sennin by Mitsutomo.jpg
Gama Sennin by Mitsutomo

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Shugenja
Posts: 407
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:38 pm

Re: Mitsutomo style but different signature

Postby Shugenja » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:35 pm

GRHR,
Where have you tried to research this signature ? This is not one that's difficult to read, so please let us help you learn by suggesting some references you do not have access to.

Chris

GRHR
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:48 pm

Re: Mitsutomo style but different signature

Postby GRHR » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:56 pm

thanks Chris - if you could point me in the right direction that'd be great. I've tried looking through lists of Kanji but this has just been online so a good reference source would be greatly appreciated. Also, I was interested in how you can find out more about styles or netsuke artists - I feel this piece is in the style of Mitsutomo but could find little information on Mitsutomo online. Any pointers on how I could research this too would be a great help.
Thanks again,
G.

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Shugenja
Posts: 407
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:38 pm

Re: Mitsutomo style but different signature

Postby Shugenja » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:39 pm

GRHR,
First, if it's signatures that interest you... the Lazarnick 2 volume set is the ideal way to go, however pricey. The book "Japanese Art Signatures" by Self & Hirose is a less expensive starting point for the beginner. It contains a Stroke Count Index, plus lists of carvers and artists, etc.

For netsuke in general, the book(s) by Welch & Chappel, or Julia Hutt, or Joe Earl, or Raymond Bushell are good places to start. There are many others that are excellent, of course. Buy or use the library.

I'm not sure why you're suggesting that your... as you say... "stunning Gama Sennin" is in the style of the similar carving with the signature Mitsutomo. Cleary, the piece you bought is superior... or are you not yet able to see the difference ? Ignore the "Mitsutomo" piece, as it's likely a poor copy... possibly of yours.

Chris

GRHR
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:48 pm

Re: Mitsutomo style but different signature

Postby GRHR » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:14 pm

Many thanks Chris - I've seen Amazon have a re-issue of Japanese Art Signatures for £38 so i'll start there on the signature front and I just checked the local library and they have "The netsuke of Japan: illustrating legends, history, folklore & customs
By Ryerson, Egerton, 1958" but that's it - do you think this is worth a look?
I guess what I'm interested in, and what I was trying to research is the carver of my piece - I think it is an incredible work of art and simply want to know more about the area of Japan the carver was from, other works etc. if I can decipher the name of the carver, is there any established route or reference works that are used to glean more information about an individual carver? I fully appreciate that this may be very rare as there are thousands of excellent paintings of which little is known of the artist but thought I'd ask in case there is a way. Is it worth deciphering the signature and putting it out to the forum if I can't find information elsewhere?
Thanks again for your pointers,
G.

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Shugenja
Posts: 407
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:38 pm

Re: Mitsutomo style but different signature

Postby Shugenja » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:52 pm

GRHR,
Re the Ryerson book on netsuke... I would not go out of the way for this publication; however, in the event that you have the opportunity, of course, take a look.

Another book that proves to be invaluable is by Neil K Davey: "NETSUKE, A comprehensive study based on the MT Hindson collection". This book is a "must have" for any serious netsuke collector... and fortunately can be acquired at a reasonable price. The list of netsuke carvers is extensive at almost 3,500 entries... to include the particular carver of interest to you at the moment.

Additionally, The British Museum offers an excellent (and inexpensive) publication titled "Netsuke", by Noriko Tsuchiya that illustrates and describes 100 superb netsuke.

As you may be aware, there are a large number of quality books available. Perhaps other members of this Forum will provide you with titles from their libraries of one or two that they favor. Naturally, if you're not already a member of the INS, an important step forward is to join the Society.

Chris

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AFNetsuke
Posts: 6274
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:14 am
Location: Central California coast, USA

Re: Mitsutomo style but different signature

Postby AFNetsuke » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:26 am

GRHR, there are many recommended books so if you do a search of the site you will see various opinions on which are most useful. Chris has given you a good start. And you could go to Netsuke.org where on our home page you will find an index column on the left side that has recommended publications with some descriptions. But there are many others.
Last edited by AFNetsuke on Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
Alan

GRHR
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:48 pm

Re: Mitsutomo style but different signature

Postby GRHR » Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:20 pm

Hi Chris and Alan,
Thank you for comments and advice. My Japanese Art Signatures book arrived on Monday and, I hope I have read it correctly, the signature for my sennin reads Gyokusen? I have looked for copies of NETSUKE, A comprehensive study based on the MT Hindson collection but the cheapest I can find is £100 so I'll start saving the pennies...!
Thanks again,
Giles

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jbjtennyo
Posts: 3729
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:38 pm
Location: USA

Re: Mitsutomo style but different signature

Postby jbjtennyo » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:35 pm

Congratulation GRHR! You are correct... It does read Gyokusen.
But your research doesn't or shouldn't end there. You need to check books, journals, and auction catalogs, looking for other netsuke by the same carver so that you have some idea of the style and size, and material used by the carver. If it matches others you're in good shape as to it possibly being by the same hand--where is he from? There is no additional information on this carver in Laz, so you check other books and try to find a link between him and another carver, and then possibly that way find a school or area he was from.
The signature might have been added in some cases. What is the material? Lots of questions you need to ask yourself. Others are always willing to help, but you are on the right track, wanting to find some of these things for yourself.
Good luck
Last edited by jbjtennyo on Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Judy


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