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  #1  
Old 02-10-2009, 04:04 PM
OysterWatcher OysterWatcher is offline
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
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Bronze mark identification

Hi folks. I would appreciate some assistance. This mark is on the bottom of a 19" bronze tiger. If anyone can help me identify the maker, I would be thrilled! Thanks in advance! Please click on the URL - it will work for the picture.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...g?t=1234303306
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2009, 07:20 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Bronze mark identification

I can only pick out a few characters and can offer no suggestions. If you can post one or more pictures of the sculpture, that probably would help with identification.
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2009, 07:42 PM
OysterWatcher OysterWatcher is offline
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Re: Bronze mark identification

Hi Fritchie! Thanks for looking. Here are three more pics - two of the piece and one more of the mark. I've been told it is of the Meiji period, but I don't know anything more than that (if I even know that much). Thanks!!

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...g?t=1234316281
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...g?t=1234316310
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...g?t=1234316398
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  #4  
Old 02-11-2009, 08:40 AM
wolff wolff is offline
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Re: Bronze mark identification

I read Japanese at maybe a fourth or fifth grade level, and I think there are two characters, but it`s very hard to read these due to shadow. I`m sort of inclined to think you should rotate the photos clockwise, and the characters would read vertically. My best guess, is that it reads, "房車" (Can you see those characters? If so, is it close?) If so, the first character "bou" or "fusa" and the second "sha" or "kuruma"(vehicle, car). I googled these in Japanese and came back with a lot of hits in industry.

The stroke order and writing style for many characters changes constantly which makes it harder to read.

If it is Japanese, and if you can copy the mark very carefully in black marker or something on a piece of paper and post an image of that, it would help.

I did a little googling, and got a lot of hits in automotive and manufacturing (maybe just because of the "sha"); without being sure what the kanji actually are, it`s guesswork. Here are several ways to write tiger in Japanese, btw "虎", "寅”, "トラ","とら".



Fritchie, if it looks to you like I`m totally wrong please say so!

Bill
www.billwolff.net

Last edited by wolff : 02-11-2009 at 09:20 AM. Reason: alternative characters for tiger
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2009, 01:03 AM
OysterWatcher OysterWatcher is offline
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Clearer photographs of marking

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...g?t=1234508508
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...g?t=1234508527
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...g?t=1234508547

Thanks for your help! I think these are a sharper pictures!
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  #6  
Old 02-14-2009, 05:04 AM
wolff wolff is offline
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Re: Bronze mark identification

That is a much clearer photo.

The second character is 華, right? It can be read as "hana" (meaning flower), "ka", "ke" or "ge" depending on the word or name. It`s fairly common actually.

The first character is not modern Japanese, or more accurately, it`s not a modern font. It`s probably similar to the current way that the character is written, but the stroke order is different, making it basically impossible for me to look up. But I`d bet any native Japanese would be able to read it (or at least look it up) immediately. I`ll show it to someone and see if I can get a definitive answer tomorrow...now I`m curious.

Bill
www.billwolff.net
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  #7  
Old 02-16-2009, 10:40 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Bronze mark identification

Without you, we'd be lost in this area, Bill! I hope you can find a native reader who can solve this puzzle.

On a very different note, I love the expressive style representing fur and stripes. I see why you liked the figure. Whatever its origin, congratulations, OW!
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2009, 09:05 AM
wolff wolff is offline
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Re: Bronze mark identification

Well, good news and bad.

I asked four people today, all Japanese sculptors/grad students or recent grads in metal, wood and restoration.

The consensus is that the second character is 章 (pronounced "shou", meaning chapter).

The first character left them scratching their heads. Their best guess was that it was either 羅 (pronounced "ra") or 罷 (pronounced "he" or "heguma", meaning brown bear).

There was a consensus that it was a name...but they didn`t know it. There was a consensus that it was old, and Meiji-era sounded reasonable. But there was a creeping suspicion that it was the Chinese writing of the character. (Japanese characters are based on Chinese, but have evolved in a slightly different way. As if you tried to read German in cursive (though the grammar is completely unrelated).

Sorry...

Bill
www.billwolff.net
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2009, 10:45 AM
OysterWatcher OysterWatcher is offline
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Re: Bronze mark identification

Thanks Bill. At least we have an age for the bronze. It is a good start. Thank you very much for your efforts. They are very much appreciated!
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