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Full facial armor-- authentic, Edo?

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  • Full facial armor-- authentic, Edo?

    Hi, I love these full iron masks, but they seem to be faked and reproduced a lot. How can you tell if they are authentic and edo/earlier?

    1) https://www.jauce.com/auction/w275090150
    2) https://www.jauce.com/auction/n308629640

    Thanks
    Julian... from Los Angeles

  • #2
    The boring answer is that you need to study and possibly handle a few of these in order to seperate the fakes from the genuine, and even after that, it can be damn hard sometimes.
    Fakes often got a numbers of tells that can help you spot them like traces of welding, different sections that doesn’t match up in a harmonious way. The surface both on the inside as well as the outside is also s great place to look. Does the patination look real, can you spot any traces of a hammer blows?
    Another thing about full masks is that some of the best was made by Ichiro, a gendai smith that if he lived during the Edo period would have been considered a master.
    During my latest trip to Japan I was fortunate to be able to handle two full masks. One was said to be modern and one genuine Edo period. The one I thought was modern, was said to be Edo. This after I handle it for several minuts. I think that tells you how hard it is. But between you and me, I still think I was right...

    Jan
    Jan - Sweden

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    • David M
      David M commented
      Editing a comment
      Jan, how is that a boring answer?

  • #3
    One small give-away is that often the modern fakes are not properly lacquered inside. It takes a lot of hard work to smooth out all the inside so that it doesn't rub the face and fakers do not seem to go to the trouble.
    Ian B.
    Ian Bottomley - UK

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    • #4
      We cannot see these two sideways, so even harder to say, but do not be fooled by the tare which can be added on at any time.
      Piers D - Japan / UK

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      • #5
        Piers is correct about the tare. In a lot of the cases with fake masks, the tare is indeed old in order to fool the buyer, so beware!

        Jan
        Jan - Sweden

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        • #6
          Thanks for the insights! Seems like a roll of the dice for me. Uploading a few more pics for those interested...
          Julian... from Los Angeles

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          • #7
            Are you wanting to buy one of these?
            Piers D - Japan / UK

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            • #8
              Judging menpō and especially somen is quite difficult. In particular so-men were often counterfeit. Personally, I would stay away from both. Call it gut feeling...
              Ah, and the mei. “Muneie”, chiseled yesterday?
              Uwe Sacklowski / Germany

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              • #9
                Thank you all for the feedback! Definitely want a Somen, but think I will give this one a pass. They're either crazily expense or suspicious.
                Julian... from Los Angeles

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