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 Post subject: Bowls: Which wood is it?
Post #1 Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:43 am 
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I’ve recently acquired some used equipment from Japan, but can’t reliably figure out which woods were used. If somebody could help me confirm the sellers’ info or have some pointers for what to look or where to find more info I’d be grateful. I’ve compared these bowls with images from kuroki, but that only helped in regards to the first bowl which I’m pretty sure was indeed made from Karin.

1st: full album at https://imgur.com/a/0n41VQG
sold as Karin / Chinese Quince
Image

2nd: full album at https://imgur.com/a/e93HTuW
sold as Cherry, branded, but what does it mean?
Image
Image

3rd: full album at https://imgur.com/a/jXdBaJ4
unspecified, shimmers golden when moved in sunlight
Image

Thanks a lot for any help or pointers :)

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Post #2 Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:32 pm 
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2nd bowl inscription: the first (top) character is 懷.
The second character has a 心 component at the bottom;
perhaps 忘. Could be the craftsperson's actual name, their company/brand name, or a pen name?


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 Post subject: Re: Bowls: Which wood is it?
Post #3 Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:21 pm 
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Maybe this page can be of help: http://llanoestacado.org/cybercomputing/go/go-bowls/index.htm
Anyway, all three look very nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Bowls: Which wood is it?
Post #4 Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:50 am 
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sybob wrote:
Maybe this page can be of help: http://llanoestacado.org/cybercomputing/go/go-bowls/index.htm
Anyway, all three look very nice.


Freakin' awesome visual resource, sybob, thank you for the post. I have bowls of ash, camphor, chestnut, and what could be quince/karin or sakura/cherry. Still can't tell and the unknown bowls are old enough (at least 30 years) to represent a species or a high quality wood section no that is longer commonly available.

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 Post subject: Re: Bowls: Which wood is it?
Post #5 Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:18 am 
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foobar19 wrote:
I’ve recently acquired some used equipment from Japan, but can’t reliably figure out which woods were used. If somebody could help me confirm the sellers’ info or have some pointers for what to look or where to find more info I’d be grateful. I’ve compared these bowls with images from kuroki, but that only helped in regards to the first bowl which I’m pretty sure was indeed made from Karin.

sold as Karin / Chinese Quince
sold as Cherry, branded, but what does it mean?
unspecified, shimmers golden when moved in sunlight
Thanks a lot for any help or pointers :)


Definitely quince, the light pores give it away. Lovely. Cherry, surely. Really hard to tell on the last bowl but, if you compare the quality of the lathe work (precision of the thickness, elegance of the shape, evidence of knife marks, the wax finish, and the difficult bits such as the lid coming from the same wood blank, the lid fit, and the parting cuts on the base that separated the bowl from the wood blank), you can sort of decide if they are in the upper or lower quality range. Lower-end bowls, like chestnut and Shin Kaya, tend to display artifacts of the craftsman, suggesting an apprentice worked on them or they were made without the same level of attention as the upper tier woods. Narrows the possibilities by about 70%.

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 Post subject: Re: Bowls: Which wood is it?
Post #6 Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:19 pm 
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Thanks for your help, really appreciated. Ultimately though the wood doesn’t even matter as they are all quite beautiful :) Considering I got them at auction. I guess I was just lucky, as not all auctions had perfect pictures and descriptions.
bogiesan wrote:
Really hard to tell on the last bowl but, if you compare the quality of the lathe work (precision of the thickness, elegance of the shape, evidence of knife marks, the wax finish, and the difficult bits such as the lid coming from the same wood blank, the lid fit, and the parting cuts on the base that separated the bowl from the wood blank), you can sort of decide if they are in the upper or lower quality range.
These bowls were more or less an afterthought as the main act of the auction were size 30 (many 31 when measured with calipers) yuki stones in great condition. Both bowls and lids have the same dimensions with a difference of < 1 mm, they are smooth to the touch. Especially the lids have an impeccable finish. They seem to be crafted by an artisan. Initially I thought of Kusu, the golden shimmer reminded me of your bowls, but then the annual rings of my bowls aren’t as pronounced and they aren’t as dark and more reddish as well. So maybe Keyaki, described on kiseido.com as having "golden brown color". That would be an adequate description, even more so would be "they glisten and change color as they are tilted in the light". That’s how Shimakuwa (island mulberry) bowls are portrayed on kiseido. But again annual rings on all Shimakuwa bowls I’ve seen are way more pronounced, all their lids had a lip/rim and I think they wouldn’t be a good match for the stones mentioned earlier given their price.

I guess I have to dig a little bit deeper and look for a Japanese Go forum :)

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