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Oxherd on ox - attribution

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Operafan
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Oxherd on ox - attribution

Postby Operafan » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:41 pm

I would like to have some brainstorming about the attribution of a netsuke which I have.

Here are a few photos of a boy flautist (oxherd) on ox from my collection. The signature is, as far as I can identify it, of Hojitsu.

Boy on ox - front 2.JPG

Boy on ox - back.JPG

Boy on ox signature - Hojitsu.JPG


The netsuke depicts most probably Stage 6 in Ox-Herding: Stages of Zen Practice. Here is the link, which Sachi from Midori Gallery kindly sent me:

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/weai/exeas/r ... rding.html

I have found in the Hull Grundy collection book a netsuke which is almost identical to mine, attributed to Nanyo:

Hull Grundy description.JPG

Boy on ox - Hull Grundy colour.JPG


In the LAZ book, there is a fairly comprehensive analysis of the work of Nanyo, who was active (most probably) at the beginning of the 19th century, i.e. before Hojitsu:

LAZ - Nanyo.JPG


I have no doubt that my young flautist, the one of the Hull Grundy collection, and the additional one depicted in LAZ originate from the same studio, or at least were inspired by each other.

Nanyo and Hojitsu were not from the same studio, not even worked during the same period. I would find it strange, though not impossible, that Hojitsu was inspired by Nanyo, especially bearing in mind that he himself was such a prestigious carver, even during his lifetime.

The use of various materials (two types of wood, pewter, ivory plaque) is no stranger to Hojitsu's work.

In my opinion, the options are:

- despite what I think, Hojitsu was inspired by Nanyo's work
- Hojitsu being more prestigious and 'sellable' than Nanyo, his signature was 'added' later, to an item which was originally carved in the Nanyo studio.

I hope to hear more opinions about the attribution of these (very nice) netsukes.
Alex

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Oxherd on ox - attribution

Postby AFNetsuke » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:56 pm

Nice netsuke and great post, Alex. I'm leaning toward the signature plaque being added later.
Alan

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Shugenja
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Re: Oxherd on ox - attribution

Postby Shugenja » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:09 pm

I have to agree with Alan. My guess... a lost name plaque was replaced with a desirable name. The ox simply does not look like the work of Hojitsu.

Chris

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souldeep
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Re: Oxherd on ox - attribution

Postby souldeep » Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:24 pm

Hi Alex,

As you already inferred, and Alan/Chris agreed, the plaque is most likely a later addition. Also quite likely the addition is a commercial decision.

I think you've found a reasonable attribution in the Nanyo studio examples.

Great post - nice piece. Your collection is building :)
Piglet: "Pooh?" Pooh: "Yes, Piglet?" Piglet: "I've been thinking..." Pooh: "That's a very good habit to get into to, Piglet." - A.A. Milne.

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Tama
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Re: Oxherd on ox - attribution

Postby Tama » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:46 am

Alex, if I may give a suggestion? I have been working on photographing my netsuke for 3 years and I feel I may have my trial and error experience to share. I found when photographing a dark netsuke, a light background and flash reflects too much light darkening an already dark wood. I played with darker background and two small LED spotlights on either side.

I use a sheet of frosted plastic, a cutting board for fabric found in the sewing section of a craft store (originally suggested to me by Alan) and I use varying shades of grey to black card stock (a thicker paper). I tape the card stock to the back of the plastic and then tape the plastic to a granola bar box for a curve. Then I snap away turning slightly with each picture.
Last edited by Tama on Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bakurae
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Re: Oxherd on ox - attribution

Postby Bakurae » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:22 am

Thanks, Jill, that is helpful; I'm going to give it a try for some of my darker things.
Alison

Alison

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Tama
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Re: Oxherd on ox - attribution

Postby Tama » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:26 am

Thanks Alison, I purchased the spot lights on Amazon for $20. The last pic I have the netsuke directly on the black card stock.

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Operafan
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Re: Oxherd on ox - attribution

Postby Operafan » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:46 pm

Thank you Jill, very helpful !
Alex

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Oxherd on ox - attribution

Postby AFNetsuke » Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:21 pm

Adding a third light will help show those little areas that are still in the shadows.
Alan

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Tama
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Re: Oxherd on ox - attribution

Postby Tama » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:28 pm

You are right Alan, however I have only learned to juggle two balls, I will have to practice and learn to use three!

You're welcome Alex!


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