Certification: NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon (set
on the right)
the chief apprentice of Ichinomiya Nagatsune, founder
of the famous Ichinomiya School in Kyoto. The Kinko Meikan
lists Tsunenao as being josaku
or ryoko, a "good" artisan, while
Sadanaka, (Wakayama lists Sadanaka as
the same man as Tsunenao), is listed as being a jojosaku, or joko
artist, an "excellent" artisan (rated as AA in the "Kinko Meikan" translation).
The translation of the "Kinko Meikan" states that Tsunenao acted as a
Nagatsune", while other sources say Tsunenao wasn't above signing
using a master artisan's signature, including Nagatsune's, his teacher
(several works signed Jōi 乘意
are attributed to Tsunenao). These
two statements are likely slightly differing translations of the same original
Japanese text, but with quite different implications! Whatever the truth, these two sets of
Tsunenao w/kao, speak for themselves, and to the skill of this artist.
Magnification only enhances ones appreciation of these two sets.
When listed as Sadanaka
his family name is given as
Iwamoto 岩本, and Banryūken 蟠龍軒 as his
name. When listed as Tsunenao there is no family name given, and his art name
is given as Kyūbei 久兵衛. The Sadanaka and Tsunenao signatures
use different kao.
The Ichinomiya School of Kyoto (western
kinko capital) was the counterpart to the Yokoya School of Edo (eastern
capital). Ichinomiya Nagatsune and Yokoya Somin were two of the most famous carvers
of their time. Both schools were instrumental in shifting popularity from
the formal, some say stayed, Gotō family's iebori (house carver) style, to the less
formal, freer, machibori (town carver) style. Both schools greatly influenced the many
artists working in, and around, their respective areas.
Though collected separately, these two sets could easily be mounted
as a dai-sho. Both sets have a shakudo ground with very fine and even
Both kashira have a dark shibuichi shishi done in very high relief, with a peony
under their feet, details are in gold, silver,
copper, and shakudo. The left fuchi has a tiger with a peony in its mouth,
bamboo, done in shibuichi, gold, silver, and shakudo. The fuchi on the right has a
shishi on the front and peony on the back,
done in copper, gold, silver, and shakudo.
Photos by Jack Edick