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Early Japanese bronze with a bullet hole
So today in my hunt I bought this bronze samurai figure for $29 bucks. I can tell by the patina he is old. But the fascination is with the bullet hole and how it got there. What do you guys think about this bronze?
Brian are you sure it is not a vent hole from casting? If a bullet hole, then it's anyone's guess.
@sharonp it has a entrance and exit hole the exit looks pushed out. But yes could be. He is an imperial figure.
Are you sure it's bronze? It is hard to tell from the photos, but is several areas where it is worn, it seems to have a grey finish, and looks like it might be white metal (e.g., pewter). The abrasions on the surface are also consistent with it being very soft...
@kirby13 pretty sure it’s early bronze not soft at all. I did read that white copper was used a lot. Haku-do 白銅 (= white copper):
Haku-dô designates a family of alloy made of copper (dô 銅) and a white (haku 白) metal like zinc, tin
and/or nickel. Bronze (ブロンズ ) falls in the family of haku- dô (白銅), and, in ancient times, was typically made of 70-
85% copper and 15%-30% tin.
@lotusblack I think your piece is spelter… circa 1900.
I checked if the MET museum had anything similar…they don’t. Early Japanese figures consist of Buddha’s, mystological, and guardians (which are rendered looking rather mythological in facial appearance).
Your figure has a more simplified realism appearance, so I think your figure is an okimono (statue). Okimono only began to be made at the start of the Meiji, and those were as small as netsuke. But, by the end of the 19th c., okimonomgrew in size and complexity (the golden era). But, at the turn of the century, studios were looking for ways to produce them more quickly and cheaper….enter spelter casting.
Not sure what the holes are…. I’ll think on it.
Thanks Tim I believe the sculpture is Oda Nobunaga one of the three unifiers of Japan. But not sure why he has the Imperial crest.
@greeno107 speaking of okimono, I got this the other day. I think it probably is one, but it would be my first, so I'm not sure. Cute little guy though.
@lotusblack I agree with your bullet hole theory. Looks like something folks might have did during WWII when anti-Japanese sentiment was at a high... a little target practice.
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A free Asian art discussion board and Asian art message board for dealers and collectors of art and antiques from China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and the rest of Asia. Linked to all of the BidAmount Asian art reference areas, with videos from plcombs Asian Art and Bidamount on YouTube. Sign up also for the weekly BidAmount newsletter and catalogs of active eBay listing of Chinese porcelain, bronze, jades, robes, and paintings.
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