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Subject:Translation of mark on Japanese Bronze of Lao Tzu
Posted By: Mike Malone Thu, Dec 08, 2011 IP: 109.156.18.233

Hi,
I believe this bronze is Japanese.I would be very grateful if anyone can translate the signature and any other information would be much appreciated.
Mike





Subject:Re: Translation of mark on Japanese Bronze of Lao Tzu
Posted By: Jim Lewis Fri, Dec 09, 2011

Signature is hard (impossible) to read. Please rephotograph with lighting that goes across the engraved characters.

Subject:Re: Translation of mark on Japanese Bronze of Lao Tzu
Posted By: Mike Malone Sun, Dec 11, 2011

Thanks Jim.

I have uploaded 2 more photos which I hope show the signature more clearly.
Mike





Subject:Re: Translation of mark on Japanese Bronze of Lao Tzu
Posted By: Guy Sat, Dec 10, 2011

The first character reads 'Haru', the last 'saku' (made by) but I think that we need a close up image for that second kanji in order to read the artist's name properly.

Guy

Subject:Re: Translation of mark on Japanese Bronze of Lao Tzu
Posted By: Guy Sat, Dec 10, 2011

I had another close look at the signature. The artist is most probably Haruaki (春秋).

A similar, almost identical lot signed 'Hideaki saku' was sold at Bonhams NY this year for a good amount of money (please don't faint...).

The Bonhams catalogue refers also to a similar okimono signed 'Haruaki' in The Nasser D. Khalili Collection (the TOP private collection on Islamic and Japanese art). See footnote.

Guy.

URL Title :Bonhams NY 20 Mar 2011


Subject:Re: Translation of mark on Japanese Bronze of Lao Tzu
Posted By: Mike Malone Mon, Dec 12, 2011

Guy,
Thanks +++.Amazing to see such a similar one in Bonham's link.I bought it because I like it a lot, it seemed fine quality and the subject is interesting.Paid a quarter of that amount so happy with anything over break even.
Second Kanji does not really resemble what you have drawn,apologies for poor photos but signature is very small.I will upload a close up.
Thanks again.
Mike



Subject:Re: Translation of mark on Japanese Bronze of Lao Tzu
Posted By: mikeoz Mon, Dec 12, 2011

I think you will find that the mark reads TaiShi saku - @ (Code: Big 5)

Subject:Re: Translation of mark on Japanese Bronze of Lao Tzu
Posted By: Bill H Tue, Dec 13, 2011

Actually there appears to be another possibility: Taiji Saku (׎), also Big 5 (I Hope).

Best regards,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Translation of mark on Japanese Bronze of Lao Tzu
Posted By: Bill H Wed, Dec 14, 2011

Actually 'Taiji' () is the same kanji as Mike's Taishi. (another attempt to post it here in Big 5 encoding).
Cheers,
Bill H.

Subject:Re: Translation of mark on Japanese Bronze of Lao Tzu
Posted By: Guy Tue, Dec 13, 2011

Thanks for reading that 2nd character Mike. I stick to the 1st kanji as 'Haru'.

So the signature reads 'Harutsugu saku' (春次作 - made by Harutsugu).

In my opinion, it is plausible be that three almost identical high quality Meiji okimono with Lao Tzu on an ox were made, signed by different craftsmen employed by one Tokyo workshop.

Guy.

Subject:Re: Translation of mark on Japanese Bronze of Lao Tzu
Posted By: mikeoz Wed, Dec 14, 2011

Dear Guy,

Please have another look at that first character. The three heng horizontal strokes and the pie and na strokes that make up the top section are not in dispute.

But it is quite clear that the lower element is the water radical, a clean and dominant central descender, with a smaller flick on the left and the two strokes on the right - a classic running script rendition of the water character.

I'm afraid I cannot see how it could be the character for Spring.

Best wishes

Mikeoz

Subject:Re: Translation of mark on Japanese Bronze of Lao Tzu
Posted By: Michael Wed, Dec 14, 2011

Hi Guy,
Mikeoz and Bill H are right. I am a Chinese rather than a Japanese reader and the first character reads as "tai" rather than "chun".

Subject:Re: Translation of mark on Japanese Bronze of Lao Tzu
Posted By: Guy Wed, Dec 14, 2011

Dear Mike,

Thanks for letting me know your reservation about the reading of the signature as "Harutsugu saku".

I had another eye on that 1st character and I must admit that is indeed problematic. I do no think that it reads 'Taiji saku' (or 'Yasutsugu saku') either - the end of middle stroke in the water character turns to the left, not to the right as in the signature.

The signature was rather crudely carved into the metal; this can of course explain our confusion.
On the other hand, the character for 'spring' ('haru' or 'shun') is one of the most common characters used in Japanese art names (g) and 'Harutsugu' written in the way I indicated, is listed as an art name for a metalworker.
There is also the fact that Bonhams refers to a nearly identical piece, signed 'Haruaki' (the one in The Nasser D. Khalili Collection).

Anyway, I'm confused but I think that this quality object deserves further research. I suggest that Mike M. should contact the Bonhams Japanese Art Department ([email protected]) refering to the sold lot at Bonhams and our discussion about the reading of the signature. I'm sure they will give an conclusive answer.

Guy.

Subject:Re: Translation of mark on Japanese Bronze of Lao Tzu
Posted By: Mike Malone Thu, Dec 15, 2011

Thanks again to everyone.

I will ask Bonhams and be sure to post their reply here.Mine is not as good quality as the one they sold in March but I would be very interested to identify the maker.
Mike M

Subject:Re: Translation of mark on Japanese Bronze of Lao Tzu
Posted By: Guy Fri, Dec 16, 2011

I hope you could get a conclusive response. Indeed, your item seems to lack some quality, compared to the Bonhams lot.

Succes,
Guy

Subject:Re: Translation of mark on Japanese Bronze of Lao Tzu
Posted By: Bill H Fri, Dec 16, 2011

I suspect that if the bronze was cast by the usual lost wax method, the mark would have been scribed into the soft wax model instead of being carved into the metal figure after it was cast. If it looks crude, it's probably because the modeler just had bad handwriting.

Best regards,

Bill H

Subject:Re: Translation of mark on Japanese Bronze of Lao Tzu
Posted By: Eric Sia Wed, Apr 17, 2019

Hi,
I would like to ask for your help regarding this find I found in a Japanese fleamarket. I would like to know if it is of any value and if its made of bronze. It is made out of very heavy metal about 5kgs and it its a 2 piece artwork. Ox can be detached from Lao Tzu. Can't seem to find any markings.
Thanks for the help.




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