Japanese studio mark help needed.

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
niceguy1
Posts: 566
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:50 pm

Japanese studio mark help needed.

Postby niceguy1 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:18 pm

HI ALL


I have this vintage Japanese silver dish, iv'e shown it to 2 Asian dealers the first said the letters are written in too archaic characters for him to understand, the second one said that the left character says "studio" or something similar but she too couldn't read the right character.

can anybody figure it out?


It seems to be from around the 1920's & measures 9 inches in width.

THANKS

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davidross
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Re: Japanese studio mark help needed.

Postby davidross » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:43 pm

I believe the characters are 谷美 ‚ (they will appear jumbled if you do not have software for Asian characters installed on your computer). I have found no definite phoneticization. As with all Japanese proper names, there are several possibilities for reading these characters.

In Japan, I have seen this archaic style of maker's mark on pewter more frequently than on silver. Your dish seems to bear no mark indicating the material, silver or otherwise. It would be unusual for a substantial piece of 20th century Japanese silver to bear no jungin or other silver mark, but the lack of such a mark is itself inconclusive.

Regards
DR

niceguy1
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Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:50 pm

Re: Japanese studio mark help needed.

Postby niceguy1 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:48 pm

Thanks david for your great help.

The dish appears to be silver but I will have it tested just to be sure.

davidross
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Re: Japanese studio mark help needed.

Postby davidross » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:36 pm

You are very welcome.

Please post the results of the silver test.

If I eventually find more information about this maker, I will post it here.

Best,

David

niceguy1
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Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:50 pm

Re: Japanese studio mark help needed.

Postby niceguy1 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:39 pm

I am happy to report that the dish tested as sterling silver.

Ag999
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: Japanese studio mark help needed.

Postby Ag999 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:41 pm

I just picked up a hand-wrought piece from the same maker. But who is the maker? I can't read archaic kanji (let alone regular kanji).

On my plate the jungin is included. So, yes, it is silver, not pewter. 9.5" diam. - 301 grams.

Any updates on the maker would be great.

Thanks


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davidross
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Re: Japanese studio mark help needed.

Postby davidross » Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:45 am

To my eye, the mark quite definitely appears to be 純錫 not 純銀. Such a tiny difference---the difference between pure tin and pure silver.

if so, then you would be quite correct in stating that you don't read kanji, archaic or otherwise.

How extraordinarily lucky that niceguy1's dish tested as sterling silver. Perhaps it was the wishes-were-fishes test.

Regarding the phoneticization of the maker's mark, I have nothing new to add.

Ag999
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: Japanese studio mark help needed.

Postby Ag999 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:17 pm

Hey, not so quick there with the bad news. You’re right, it does look different than , but it definitely is not . Check out my 3 new pics.

Also, pure tin is very soft (same as lead, 1.5 on the Mohs hardness scale), while silver is harder (2.5 – 3). Sterling silver, or other similar alloys of silver, make it harder yet. As for density, tin is 7.31 and silver is 10.5 on the periodic table. To me, this plate looks, feels, sounds, and is tarnished like silver.

I just tested it, and it appears to maybe be a high grade silver, but my silver testing juice is old and not reliable. Tomorrow morning I’ll be taking this to my jeweler for the final word. Stay tuned.

PS - I've noticed that the left-hand side of “pure”, , seems to appear in a few variations, with the top part sometimes resembling two diamonds, or two boxes tilted on their corners. So, perhaps there are some stylistic differences allowed?


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Ag999
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Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: Japanese studio mark help needed.

Postby Ag999 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:54 pm

Winner, winner, chicken dinner. It’s “pure silver, at least 99 percent.” So says my Chinese/Vietnamese jewel, who tested it, and who knows his stuff. As for the not-quite-right kanji character for silver, he says he does occasionally see little variations like that, so no big deal. (But I do still wonder about it.)

He says: “You got good deal.”

oel
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: Japanese studio mark help needed.

Postby oel » Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:45 pm

Hi, David replied to me by private mail received 22nd of June;
Clearly, there is no point in engaging in a public shouting match with AG999, even though s/he admits to having no ability to read Japanese or Chinese.
The clearer photos only reconfirmed that the mark reads "pure tin." Anyone familiar with Japanese hand-hammered tin would recognize it immediately. Indeed, everything about the piece in question speaks to it being tin: the ideograms, the rather Archaic style of writing the ideograms, the shape of the dish and its function, and the taste for such unpretentious hand-hammered mingei tin items in the Japanese tea ceremony throughout much of the twentieth century. 
The assertion that a Chinese-Vietnamese jeweler has tested the piece and found it to be "pure silver, at least 99%" would be laughable if it were not accompanied by an attributed stereotypical comment ("you got good deal") lacking an article, as if this fortune-cookie English lends credibility. 

Once again, a user claims to have had a piece tested in order to settle a score, asserting this "test" as the final word on the matter, but the marks are the marks and the ideograms are the ideograms. To be sure, there are many variations in the manner of writing ideograms, but reading them correctly depends entirely on understanding the proper way of drawing ideograms, as the stroke order is set in stone regardless of the style. To wit, there is really very little room to interpret marks like these if you are familiar with them. 

I am reporting this to you so that at least someone on the Forum is aware of this piece of blatant misinformation, which will do a continual disservice to everyone who sees it. I leave it to you or other moderators to decide what action, if any, to take. 


Herewith,

Best,

Peter

Ag999
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: Japanese studio mark help needed.

Postby Ag999 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:42 pm

Hi Peter,
Thanks for passing that message along.

First of all, I have no interest whatsoever in spreading “blatant” or any sort of misinformation, nor do I believe that I have done so. Also, being a quiet guy, I do not wish to engage anyone in a shouting match. But I do have an interest in sincere investigation, and I don’t mind a bit of give and take in order to arrive at the truth of any matter.

Let me reiterate: I tested the piece myself (admittedly using old silver testing acid) and got a positive silver reaction. The following day I took the piece to my jeweler, who tested it and told me exactly what I have written previously.

I have nothing I’m trying to prove or disprove here. After reading the previous remarks on this thread which caused me to doubt what I had just purchased, my main interest was simply to make sure that it was indeed made of silver. If it was not, I could have returned it to the seller with no penalty. Needless to say, I did not return the plate.

If someone wants to doubt my word regarding the testing that I personally did, and that which I had done by a pro, go ahead and doubt; I had it tested for my peace of mind, not someone else’s. At this point, the kanji can say “pure butterscotch” for all I care. The plate is made of silver.

True, I don’t read Japanese or Chinese, but it does not take a genius to see that the mark on my piece is unlike BOTH the typical kanji marks for “pure silver” and for “pure tin.” I do not have an explanation for that.

And, “settling a score” - for what? I’m only interested in learning.

Moderators, please do as you see fit.

That's about it.

Sincerely,
Paul


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niceguy1
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Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:50 pm

Re: Japanese studio mark help needed.

Postby niceguy1 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:30 pm

HI DAVE

You are not suggesting that the electronic testing equipment used by the multi million pound silver buyers in Hatton Gardens are wishes-were-fishes, are you?


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