The dispersal of a collection, especially when of such an extensive nature as the present one, is always attended by regrets at the breaking up of the ensemble brought together piece by piece and lovingly cared for during many years of collecting. Yet it has a redeeming feature in the opportunity afforded to others, equally keen in their love of the beautiful, to study, compare, and acquire specimens for their own cabinets, to be equally cared for and preserved, to pass on, in the course of years, into the hands of other devotees, or perchance to find an ultimate resting place in some museum. To the mind of true collector, the latter fate appears the least desirable, and doubtless the artist, the craftsman, would, if their voices could be heard from the grave, prefer the fruit of their labours to be cared for by amateurs, handled and discussed by students, wor shipped by connaisseurs ready to expatiate on the beauties of the design or the perfection of the work, rather than it be shown one side at a time, often in a bad light, in the cold glass cases of a museum, to be either stared -at or ignored by thousands And more truly can this be said of sword furniture than of all other articles de vertu, more truly of the Far Eastern Arts than of European antiquities or curios from savage lands. Often enough have I heard a chasm compared to a shaving brush by a would-be wag, but too often has the (ignorance of passers-by been displayed when I have been asked whether Sword guards were escutcheons for door locks, and kuske'm tops of snuff boxes! Indeed, the Japanese themselves have sinned deeply in this respect, a tsuba and a few fuchi soldered together for sale to the foreigner masquerade sometimes as candlesticks; fuche' kashim have been lined with silver and made into elegant little boxes too small to hold anything, of which there is one example in this collection; as to key-hole escutcheons, Artists in Europe, I am afraid, led the way.
The collection catalogued in the following pages was begun in the early Eighties, and grew until some six or seven years ago; it was never intended to represent in a dogmatic manner the chronological development of sword furniture, nor to embody the classifications and ideas propounded from time to time by various earnest writers and sometimes by self-styled experts. Its owner selected whatever pleased him whether from the standpoint of workmanship, or of design, or because the nature of the metal, its colour and, generally speaking, the caractere of a piece attracted him.
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Publisher - Forgotten Books
Language - English
Author(s) - Henri L. Joly
Published Date - August 24 2019
ISBN - 9780266818854
Dimesions - 22.9 x 15.2 x 3.1 cm
Page Count - 522
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