It’s often mentioned that there are many forgeries of famous Japanese potters’ work, in fact, I’ve heard some claim that there are more fake than real. The truth is, I think, that these claims are sometimes exaggerated. While I often see forgeries, I see far less than some would lead you to believe, and most often, they are glaringly obvious.
The main culprits of this diabolical BS are auctions service sites like Jauce and Buyee. These sites used to provide access to a great site, but ever since their inception, the site has become over run with garbage, rip offs, broken merchandise, and fakes. DO NOT BUY there without checking with a reputable dealer or appraiser on what you’re buying.
I saw a couple today and thought they were worth a share.
Now, on to the fake pots!
This piece here is supposed to be a Miyazaki Isseki. The style is all wrong, though the pot shape is one seen occasionally from Isseki.
The base. Signature looks good. Clay not far off. A prime example of why signatures are the LEAST important factor in nailing down a forgery.
A supposed Tsukinowa Yusen. Painting isn’t as crisp and skillful and Yusen’s normal work, though it’s not terribly off from some dragon pots of Yusens.
And the base. Once again. The signature looks good.
Now….take a look at the two bases together:
Pretty obvious, don’t you think? I think it likely that these pots are Chinese in origin, and were unsigned. There is no overlap of clay in the nail carved signatures, which look to be a consistent and uniform depth: machine router. Super easy to load an image of the signature into a machine router and cut into an already existing pot that resembles the artists in style(and may even have a significant patina!).
Another from the same seller, this one an Ino Shukuho. Clay is all wrong, glaze looks wrong, and oval Shukuho are rare. Another fake. Unlike the first two, I don’t think this could have been made with a machine router. Those look to be pre fire stamps.
Quite a little factory this seller has going!
So, in short, Buyer Beware! While forgeries exist and are out there, they’re not as common as all that, and an educated buyer can almost always spot them easily. Know your potters! It’s especially important to know the style and clay types used by the potter you’re looking to buy, and NOT rely on the signature or stamp: that’s the easiest part to fake!!!
Thanks for reading, be careful out there.
Amazing to see that even such a small hobby such as bonsai is targeted by forgeries! I guess where there is a will there is a way.
How did these pots come into your collection? Are they cheap, or offered for the prices of the real things?
Obviously the person/persons making these has some skills, its a wonder they don’t simply do it under their own name and create their own market. I guess its easier to rest on the hard work of others.
No way these are in my collection. I’d never be so foolish!!! They’re just pots I saw for sale at the usual haunts we frequent 😉 and thought I’d bust out a heads up. I’ve seen this seller sell 15-20 similar pots in the last 6 months.
Its kind of sad actually. While you don’t see fairly poor fakes like this one come close to retail, they do get sold.