netsuke and sagemono lounge : Disclaimer - Please click anywhere on this bar to expand/contract the content.

Christie's London, 8.12.2016

A forum for discussions on INS-sponsor auctions from future and past.
User avatar
Vlad
Posts: 5079
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Christie's London, 8.12.2016

Postby Vlad » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:42 am

If somebody thinks netsuke overall did well today (2 more auctions in Cologne), look at how the 5-8 cm long metal insects at the end of this auction did and think again! ;)

http://www.christies.com/SaleLanding/in ... saletitle=
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

borat
Posts: 923
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:51 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Christie's London, 8.12.2016

Postby borat » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:58 am

Great prices achieved for this small collection of classical netsuke ...

Tomotada Tigress & cubs GBP 42,500
Recumbent Stag GBP 20,000, presumably an unsigned Okatomo piece

Continuing good demand for fine pieces following a similar trend of the recent Katchen sale :)

User avatar
Vlad
Posts: 5079
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Christie's London, 8.12.2016

Postby Vlad » Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:04 pm

Totally agree, Gopi! Most classic pieces and names ended up way (30-50%) above the highest estimates, and even the unsigned ones did well. I was quite surprised with the ivory rabbit and the stag, to be honest with you, and very happy for the Masatada shishi! 8-)
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

User avatar
Vlad
Posts: 5079
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Christie's London, 8.12.2016

Postby Vlad » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:36 pm

P.S. 18th century Kyoto Masatada signed carvings are extremely rare. He is mentioned in Joly, Davey, Meinertzhagen and 2-volume Lazarnick, but not in Reikichi and 1st Lazarnick, as they have most probably never come across any of his works. Fuld’s index has three Masatada - Ise, Nagoya and Kyoto (school of Tomotada). There are only four entries for the latter, all grazing horses in ivory (possible duplicates). This to my knowledge is the only documented to date shishi netsuke signed by this name.

I even think there is a possibility this being the same group of carvers signing as Tomotada, Harutada, Masatada from time to time (pictures from the net).

I will be very interested in what Neil thinks about it.
Attachments
Screenshot (1).png
ShiShi Tomotada Boshard.jpg
ShiShi Tomotada Kurstin col.jpg
ShiShi Tomotada Kurstin Kakihan.JPG
Shishi Tomotada Zake 87.jpg
unsigned LACMA.jpg
DSC03928.JPG
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

User avatar
Vlad
Posts: 5079
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Tada-m!

Postby Vlad » Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:31 pm

While waiting for Neil to respond, I have done some extra digging, and here is what I have been able to find. Luigi Bandini has written when describing the Masatada signed grazing horse from the Roosevelt collection after the sale:
002.jpg
003.jpg
001.jpg


Well, though much later, I am happy to report on another not previously recorded Masatada carving.
Screenshot (1).jpg


When it comes to Harutada, there is not much written on him either. Donald Mendelson, at the London's second Convention said the following when addressing a rare and wonderful dog in his collection :
005.jpg
Harutada dog.jpg


Also, When reporting on a large (400 pieces) collection sale in Zurich in 1981, Max Ritter provided the sale prices for the "most interesting pieces snapped up immediately after the sale opened" (pictures were not provided even in the catalogue):
004.jpg

The Harutada ivory shishi group sold just second to the Tomotada bull and above the Masanao's tiger and Ox!

I wish that shishi group surfaced somewhere to be seen, as there are only 6 Harutada netsuke listed in the Fuld's Index, including the Mendelson's Dog, the offered by P.Moss back in 1997 kaibutsu (shishi with the Baku's tusks) and four shishi, none of which was described as a group.
002 (2).jpg


There were two more shishi either signed, or attributed to Harudata I was able to find published images of, which were not quite up to par with the one in mine collection and possibly also somewhat earlier works. One offered by Michael Bernstein a few years back, which I had a chance to handle personally, and another one recently offered but not sold at an iGavel auction, and described as being "...similar to shishi signed Harutada, catalogue no. 146 in Eskenazi's Japanese Netsuke from the Carré Collection, London, June 1993"
Shishi Harutada, Bersnstein, $40,000....jpg
Shishi, attr Harutada, Scholten,  similar to shishi signed Harutada, catalogue no. 146 in Eskenazi's Japanese Netsuke from the Carré Collection, London, June 1993.jpg


Does anybody have the mentioned catalogue and able to post the picture here? Many thanks!

My main question leading to the discussion in the previous post is - why are there so few pieces known by such prominent carvers, who should've worked a long life to develop such undeniable skill, unless they carved and were sold under other different names? Could it be the same person all in all?

Also somebody please let me know if posting something like this makes sense at all, and if it should rather be posted in the members area separately somewhere? There seems to be rather little interest to mumbles of this sort built on theoretical analysis of the historical material rather then just solely on one's personal collection. Two of those are mine, if it makes any difference... ;)
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

User avatar
Vlad
Posts: 5079
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Christie's London, 8.12.2016

Postby Vlad » Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:18 pm

P.S. There was another singed and with kao horse by Masatada, again somewhat different in style from the one above, published in the INSJ by Yukari and Joe, but they did not mention who's collection it came from and it's current whereabouts were unknown to me.
Attachments
Msatada horse.jpg
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Online
User avatar
Operafan
Posts: 272
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:14 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Christie's London, 8.12.2016

Postby Operafan » Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:15 pm

Found in the Sotheby's catalogue of the Chicago - July 7, 1999 (The Floyd Segel Collection) a photo of a grazing horse netsuke - unsigned, amazingly similar to the Masatada one (somewhat smaller - 7 cm high, as opposed to 8.9). Strangely, even some of the age cracks are similar. Could it have been carved by Masatada, and not worthwhile to sign ? ;)

Horse Segel 1.jpg

Horse Segel 2.jpg
Alex

User avatar
Vlad
Posts: 5079
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Christie's London, 8.12.2016

Postby Vlad » Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:34 pm

Yes Alex, there are a few more of looking very similar unsigned horses. You may notice, that several of the posted earlier shishi are also unsigned. They at the same time resemble some, but not all, Tomotada-signed examples. The question at stake is exactly that - who could've carved them and why still such a few of them?
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

neilholton
Posts: 704
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 7:58 pm
Location: Saffron Walden
Contact:

Re: Christie's London, 8.12.2016

Postby neilholton » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:49 pm

Sorry Vlad,

During this period of Kyoto production I am sure there was a whole area that had studios of workers making netsuke. Like we say Oka-studio, or Yoshi-studio, we should perhaps have Haru-studio to this. This would refer to the Mitsuharu studio and the Harutada...

Like Muneharu from the Mitsuharu studio, I believe he was an employee in the Mitsuharu studio, his work is extremely rare like Masatada. Why is this? Many reasons exist of course, but I feel simply it was so very difficult to gain a following for your style as a netsukeshi back then. Think of the styles they competed with. Simply, it was easier to make things in Mitsuharu's style, sign it with Mitsuahru's name and survive. I have visions of poor old Muneharu going his own way one day, struggling to eke out a living and begging the head of the Mitsuharu studio at the time to have him back.

Masatada I suspect is the same story as the above. The only thing I would say, Harutada signatures are rare too, however they either left things unsigned, or signed Tomotada.

The shishi at Christies is a good powerful netsuke, Masatada was seriously good at using all available material. The triangular shape of the material utilised to its fullest. I suspect he learned this skill out of necessity.

User avatar
Vlad
Posts: 5079
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Christie's London, 8.12.2016

Postby Vlad » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:31 pm

Thanks Neil, that is certainly a feasible possibility. It will imply though that someone like them, if indeed all different carvers, would've been so good that not only would've been able to create pieces in their own style, but also would've been carving in one or two even stronger styles convincingly enough to be later not easily recognised, but nevertheless being not properly recognised as master-carvers by their contemporaries and therefore in need to do so for the rest of their career?
It is much eisier for me to imagine that the already known masters, similarly to those carving later and about whom we know much more, including from their own words ( like Kaigyokusai Masatsugu, or Masatoshi), signed with different signatures depending on stage in their career and circumstances. For as long as the carving style and techniques are comparable, of course. Simply speaking, if I carve not any worse and am sold similarly, or better, why would I use somebody's else name not once, not twice, but to the extent of very few pieces with my real mei are in existence? One has to be so insecure to continue doing it for the rest of their life even when seeing the results of their own work, or just blind not to be able to evaluate it objectively ... :?

Did I also understand you correctly that you put Harutada in the Mitsuharu and not in the Tomotada studio, like KM did even after handling my two shishi?
Attachments
My ShiShi Mitsuharu-1.jpg
DSC03843.JPG
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)


Return to “Auctions - INS recommended”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest