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Possible tobacco sagemono?

A place to discuss and share other forms of sagemono such as Inro, Pipe Cases etc
BAMBAML19
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:58 am

Possible tobacco sagemono?

Postby BAMBAML19 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:11 am

I'm very new to the world of Netsukes, sagemono, and items of the like but i have a great teacher that educates me wherever we are out hunting and i try to read up as much as i can on the subjects but with a 3 year old and a 6 year old there isn't much free time for reading and research. So i hunt around here for information with what little time i have.
So today i purchased a piece that has me a bit confused and i thirst to learn more about it so i figured this might as well be my first post. It is a real turtle shell, the bottom is closed off somehow, though I'm not sure of the material with which was executed, the lid appears to be made of tortoise shell and there are figures carved inside the lid which, from my research, appear to be the numbers 236? The cord/string appears to be quite new as well as the wooden bead on the very top and I'm not sure what material the smaller white bead is in the middle which tightens the lid down. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance for your time, it is greatly appreciated!

Josh
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chonchon
Posts: 6916
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 9:16 am
Location: Japan

Re: Possible tobacco sagemono?

Postby chonchon » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:09 am

326 = 三二六

Hi Josh. If the string is new, there is no guarantee that these three objects were ever together before.
The pictures have not been edited and fixed inside your camera, which is why they have turned sideways like this.
The hyotan (gourd) object is performing the function of Netsuke but it is a possibly genuine but utilitarian object of no great artistic merit, I guess. The white hyotan-shaped slide is performing the function of Ojime bead, but on my smart phone I cannot get enough info from your photo to help much there. It crashed trying to get the larger photo. Bone, or antler perhaps?
The lower case performs as an Inro container. This does not at first glance show any evidence of age to me.
To summarize, a Netsuke and Inro Sagemono set of indiscriminate age. Fun, but will not be worth a fortune?
Just one person's opinion! 8-)
Piers

Size is something.

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LUBlub
Posts: 3897
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:27 pm
Location: Europe

Re: Possible tobacco sagemono?

Postby LUBlub » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:15 pm

Agree with you Piers!....
Excellence in netsuke art don't need signature or pedigree, or age, only quality, aesthetics, beauty.

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

Re: Possible tobacco sagemono?

Postby AFNetsuke » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:16 pm

I don't see segmentation so maybe it is a tonkotsu?
Alan

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chonchon
Posts: 6916
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 9:16 am
Location: Japan

Re: Possible tobacco sagemono?

Postby chonchon » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:28 pm

Tonkotsu, yes, I would be happy with that description! :)
Piers

Size is something.

BAMBAML19
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:58 am

Re: Possible tobacco sagemono?

Postby BAMBAML19 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:40 pm

Thank you so much for your replies gentlemen. I assume that a tonkotsu is a vessel for tobacco, no? Any idea on why the engraved number and what it might represent? It strikes me as odd that someone would take the time to carve down the edge of the lid to fit precisely on the turtle shell. It's an awful lot of work for a tourist piece. I'm not saying it has any great age but it does have notations of care and attentiveness in its making.
I apologize for the photos being side ways but the website orientated them that way, the were upright on my phone. Thanks again,i can't wait to learn more.

Josh

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chonchon
Posts: 6916
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 9:16 am
Location: Japan

Re: Possible tobacco sagemono?

Postby chonchon » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:16 am

The reason for the tilt I wrote above, Josh.

Here is a gunpowder flask ensemble made with a turtle shell covered in lacquer. Not the accessory of a Daimyo.
Numbers like that often indicate one of a run made to order.
Image
Piers

Size is something.

BAMBAML19
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:58 am

Re: Possible tobacco sagemono?

Postby BAMBAML19 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:56 pm

Very cool! So what are your thoughts on the expected age of this piece? How about its purpose? I'm assuming that it was made for the tourist Market. And the number engraved inside the lid, does that mean that there were a certain amount made or a limited amount made? Why the need for the number? was it a catalogue number?

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chonchon
Posts: 6916
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 9:16 am
Location: Japan

Re: Possible tobacco sagemono?

Postby chonchon » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:31 am

Are there any smaller numbers, on the lid somewhere for example? Japanese matchlocks often have very similar numbers on them, indicating parts which will go together in final assembly.

How do you judge the age of a cast-off a vacated turtleshell? It will slowly shrink and crack, gradually losing its bright color and turning dark and nutty, with luck, or dry and dessicated if left outside, I am guessing. Lacquering it would seal it and seriously slow down the ageing process, if you as the artist might wish to give the object a long and practical life. Your shell has short-term beauty, unless it has been varnished and sealed (?). One other consideration is that not everyone in pre-modern Japan would have liked an object that has some association with death, seriously limiting its appeal. (To a hunter, no problem though.) Stag antler and even ivory tusks were harvested for example without necessarily involving or even suggesting the death of an animal. :)
Piers

Size is something.

BAMBAML19
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:58 am

Re: Possible tobacco sagemono?

Postby BAMBAML19 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:38 am

Superb points, thanks for bringing them about, i will search for more markings or information.


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