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Author Topic: A 19th Japanese Inro with stones  (Read 204 times)

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Clive

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A 19th Japanese Inro with stones
« on: March 27, 2019, 07:59:07 AM »

Greetings,

The following are some close-ups of a particularly fine 19th century Japanese Inro depicting a pomegranate created using Japanese lacquer and inlayed stones..
Inro1.jpg
*Inro1.jpg (192.97 kB . 1000x750 - viewed 73 times)
Inro2.jpg
*Inro2.jpg (225.07 kB . 1000x750 - viewed 74 times)

I would greatly appreciate any assistance in identifying what these stones are, if they are natural crystals or have they been worked to produce their faceted appearance. If it is possible to identify the stones, I will also be hoping to find somebody who I might  commission to produce some similar stones that I might incorporate into a matching Netsuke that I've been asked to make for this piece. Thank you for looking and any replies in advance.

Kindest regards,
Clive

 
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lithicbeads

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Re: A 19th Japanese Inro with stones
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2019, 09:17:33 AM »

The stones are amethyst and they are worked.They could be cut and tumbled finished to do it efficiently but since you have the piece you would have to draw the stone shapes and find the rough.Small garnets would also have that richness of color albeit in red-burgundy and with less translucency. What type of metal? On pieces that small you are looking at least 50 % loss in shaping and even greater loss , much greater if color matching is important.
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Clive

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Re: A 19th Japanese Inro with stones
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2019, 10:01:35 AM »

Many thanks for the reply Lithicbeads. The stones in the images have been inlayed into a shape that was first formed by lacquer mixed to a putty-like consistency.. and sanded once cured hard. The gold colouring is real gold powder that has then been sprinkled onto wet lacquer so that each grain fixes securely into the material once it's cured. The technique used is called Makie... here is a brief introduction to the craft..   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmMCjeNWtCE

For my project.. I'll be attempting to making a 3 dimensional representation (dimensions roughly 42-5mm in height) of the following..
pom1.jpg
*pom1.jpg (61.19 kB . 600x517 - viewed 68 times)

So.. the finished faceted stones I use would each need to be about 2mm wide and about 4mm in length.. the latter though not as important as the former measurement as they will be inlayed. I imagine I'd need at least 50 stones to create a realistic representation of a pomegranate. Do you think there might be somebody in this forum community that might take on the job of producing such stones for me ?   
 

rocks2dust

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Re: A 19th Japanese Inro with stones
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2019, 11:52:10 AM »

I would think tumbled garnets would work as well, or better (our word "garnet" derives from the red of pomegranate). The Ant Hill pyropes from Arizona come in a mix of ruby red and red-purple that should fit. Rhodolite garnet might also work. There are people who sell tumbled batches of garnet in bulk, if you'd care to sort through piles to select individual stones to fit into your design. You would want to get a good idea of the color mix beforehand, however, as some garnet is much too dark to resemble pomegranate arils.
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lithicbeads

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Re: A 19th Japanese Inro with stones
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2019, 12:51:42 PM »

I think the cost would be substantial.Altering small stones that are poorly finished is one way to go that would be much cheaper.
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Clive

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Re: A 19th Japanese Inro with stones
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2019, 01:29:30 PM »

Really very interesting.. I previously had no idea about the etymology of the word garnet but that now seems to me a very strong reason to go with that stone. I would be prepared to spend a "not insignificant" amount to have appropriate stones properly prepared and would naturally also give full credit to any collaboration when the eventual piece is exhibited. Where might be the best place to ask on this forum if anybody would be interested in working with me on such a project ? 

Stonemon

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Re: A 19th Japanese Inro with stones
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2019, 04:28:06 PM »

Here are a couple links to some bulk tumbled garnet that is in the size range you are looking for.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/A-GARNET-Mei-red-2-5mm-Tumbled-1-2-lb-Bulk-xxmini-Stones-Bright-Transluscent/162063664843?hash=item25bbbf46cb&enc=AQADAAADAFjVrDbVsZ8oH%2F8PNHtt9VX4%2Fw7FZcmMuqsX8uaFEduVSz2QEDJets%2F84AApnXkT0yKQNElbdIAN7%2B4smQr0E3MRpxGmpOASl55lFo%2FZNenZr0A%2FVe3rx%2F%2B7%2FRdbY1kYd3LsYQl%2BeUbTkvXPnGR4QgUAB8QjxTJugcDBjnvojJjbXOCey4f1LXflrm8W3GnKAA72Pbh3eLnMcQWwAC6pR3Opwn73JY9QY9ry0pXVAiEUtHIrEnyfxZX3XyfmQMoi2nrGNdWgbQRFQLW81pFcYOIWqrECktxdvEvesHKkAgoPZnxFZzIaAeExVgM74tTTTJ%2Bq35A4o%2FxqgWafJ6prUjYyiW%2BtHenAZ9UUE83YJUyQJ70A4xybFNv9rIdMdXlIQqhgbHhpROeosAFpf1JztaR4sdcWBkv3PL%2FhiFhMo%2By2Jj4Ldgg4nJ%2FeN%2Fn91Mt6ovuKtS3%2FhZBnn%2BbyNvaMUZ7KVADesQDK4SGxjJ8RhpCUcP9drO4DJdXvFbsR6TTeQjcfwu0PMS2Eoj8RzZT6W5UkXsScDNzMyxC5qctOT86PBaqHHzas2pJAGXY3EPBBw0wIuyR03Rke4kEbW7oZLU8MoFAEq2b%2Bxw9UFI%2FxlirGWzTjB1sRnB2wp2CE02VOGMoFQ1V4nVNlVOpzrwIQ6I3yIlIK8VL0W3dGD%2FXz2WnqOKC%2Fu7fIsNsfbiO61d2wcVAnm0xrglltnLNrtZ%2B4B0TkbAYRzGKDKcTm0QEEN5yz812PEflp%2B8fwSnPN%2BLoyKFNf7R8fapwXkqEPpBeiollT8IrS41K6gmr3q2aww0nws8ueFKieNF2xUr%2BvSVUQXUkywU00oky5QHbLeTN02RbddUDeS3CSPVioTfEnHYKCrKTYTM5AHuws3PNMbZXQzhfxS6QHS5C6tv0eqyQnGAL1ObSutWavc4Y89kMQo75d41ReJfHJtSUB61TsiQx2gbUI1f3KQkyvI6Mx75LqgrPNJP3YcgSkzIlvb9DTtT39twTCOtC2oSjq0z7OxBDhJw%3D%3D&checksum=162063664843fca3330e713846edbb2ec22973fc3a83

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-2lb-Natural-Tumbled-Wine-Red-Garnet-Crystal-Bulk-Stones-Chips-Reiki-Healing/222793479073?hash=item33df86b3a1:g:rBgAAOSwJc9aWPhh

I think your cost would depend on the degree of similarity you were trying to achieve. Working stones that small is tedious for those of us with large hands and bad eyes.  :smiley:
The old piece shows a fair amount of cutting on each stone to give the angles and shape consistency.
Looks like a fun project.
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Bill

Clive

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Re: A 19th Japanese Inro with stones
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2019, 07:01:32 PM »

Thanks for the links Bill.. I think those stones would be suitable.

Just out of interest.. how hard would garnet like that be to cut?
I don't have a lapidary machine but do use a NSK and plenty of diamond cutters in my normal work. Could I shape and polish these stones by hand? ..or maybe I could invest in a lap machine. Is that what I'd need?

Really appreciate all the advice offered so far.. its very generous of you all.
 

55fossil

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Re: A 19th Japanese Inro with stones
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2019, 07:11:12 PM »

    It appears to me the stones in your Inro may have been finished in a tumbler. I see no sharp edges on them. Since natural Pomegranates do not have sharp edges on the seeds this is perfect. This would make it easy to shape the stones on a lap or most polishers and then finish them in a tumbler to get the desired shape.
    ???   If this is a valuable piece you are making you may want to look for the same type of stone to use, especially if they are to be displayed together. You can find bulk Amethyst fairly cheap. You may even consider reshaping faceted Amethyst that are about the correct size for your project. Many of the cheaper Amethyst stones are from Lab Grown material and cut overseas. This is not a bad thing if they match properly.   good luck

I just looked at the price of bulk crystals and faceted Amethyst.  4 x 6 mm were about $1 each (Etsy).  Natural crystals were1/2 pound for $25 with a lot of options.
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