signing hamada boxes

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signing hamada boxes

Post by big ed on July 22nd 2014, 6:24 pm

What are your opinions of a potter signing boxes ,thus declaring this a provenance of Hamada Shoji Pots in order for someone to re-sell on ebay ? I think this a very dodgy practice to start ( no matter how much expertise is had on hamada) , where does it end ? we already know hamada didn't make all the pots or maybe just decorated or whatever , it's a slippery slope when so called experts start declaring that what they say is gospel , I remember another collector writing books and having to re write again because of misinformation , I'd never buy a pot by hamada in this fashion , I would want 100% provenance .
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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by NaomiM on July 22nd 2014, 6:33 pm

I'm in two minds about it.
On the one hand I agree with you - I don't quite see why he's doing it and not Hamada's son (or is it grandson?), who has a much greater knowledge of his father's work and can distinguish between Hamada's own hand and those of his helpers and villagers.
On the other hand, there are so many miss-attributions on ebay, it is some comfort to buyers that this is a work by Hamada/his co-operative. If these pieces are from Roger's own collection, and he knows for sure that Hamada made them, then I think it's ok - it's like a letter of provenience from a previous owner that may accompany any old piece that's going to auction.
If, however, he's taking pieces in and selling them on in his own boxes, then I think it's an absolute no-no.

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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by denbydump on July 22nd 2014, 6:38 pm

Why would potters not mark their work in the first place?
it only takes a second, compared to the work in making the pot.
Arrogance "my work is so fantastic I don't need to mark it"?
Selling to selected clients who knew what they were getting?
It just wasn't worth any real money way back then? so just not
so important in the backstamp obsessed world we now live in.
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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by big ed on July 22nd 2014, 6:40 pm

But if they are from Rogers own collection where is his provenance? Hamada didn't give them to him that's for sure , a letter only states that a piece came from a collection , again not 100% provenance , unless a  potter has such a unique style and made thousands upon thousands of pots you are relying on only a little information , the seller in this case bought these pots from mr rogers ,who by that token could be construed to have a vested interest imo.
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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by big ed on July 22nd 2014, 6:59 pm

My point isn't about should a potter sign is work or not , that's up to themselves I doubt very much it would be arrogance if they don't , they may choose not sign ,or forget to sign , or use a label that got torn off , or sign a box , the point is should someone else delclare by signing a box that they know the origin of the piece in question .
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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by NaomiM on July 22nd 2014, 7:34 pm

I thought Rogers was supposed to have worked with Hanada. He seems to be the expert on Hamadas pots in the UK.

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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by big ed on July 22nd 2014, 8:15 pm

iv'e no doubt he does know a great deal about hamada pots , really don't think he worked with him  though Nuh-huh but does that still make the box signing correct ?
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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by studio-pots on July 22nd 2014, 8:59 pm

Although Phil Rogers is a potter, he never worked with Shoji Hamada and as far as I am aware he never met him.

The "Hamadas" that he has been selling are not from his collection but ones that he has obtained from various contacts in Japan that he has met on his visits there. Therefore Phil is a dealer in Hamadas in exactly the same way as I am a dealer in studio pottery from both the UK and Japan.

There was a very long unsolicited email that I received from someone in the States that he allowed me to post on this Forum, which explains the situation clearly I believe. This can be seen at: 

https://www.20thcenturyforum.com/t8951p30-shoji-hamada-bottle-some-thoughts-on-attribution?highlight=Hamada

I don't know Phil's reasoning in providing boxes, which he has signed, but if it is to pass off items as being made by Shoji Hamada that have no other provenance then I believe that it wrong. I think that the item that Ed is referring to is a small jug that is currently on Ebay with a box signed by Phil Rogers. I don't know where Phil obtained it but if it was from someone in Japan then it is safe to say that it is Japanese. You could also suggest that from the style that it was made in Mashiko and even think that it might have been made at Shoji Hamada's pottery. Even if the latter was correct what you most certainly cannot say is that it was made by Shoji Hamada. What you could say is that it is equivalent to a Leach Pottery Standware jug i.e. made at the pottery by an unknown potter to a design thought up by Shoji Hamada. However, a box signed by Phil Rogers or me, if I did such a thing, without something showing that it was bought from Hamada's pottery, does not even prove that it was made there.

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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by NaomiM on July 22nd 2014, 9:12 pm

So is he saying on the boxes that they are definitely by Shoji Hamada? That's very naughty.

I thought he'd come on the forum at some point and said he'd been at the kiln openings for some of Hamada's pots.

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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by studio-pots on July 22nd 2014, 9:15 pm

Just to set the record straight the Atsuya Hamada teapot also listed by the Ebay seller we are talking about came from me.

I have no reason to doubt what the seller has stated, as the teapot did come from the potter, Derek Emms. Derek had taught for most of his life and so had a very good pension, was able to make "pocket money" by selling his own pots and had no need to pass something off as being by someone when it wasn't. However, someone seeing that listing appears to have to trust what the seller states.

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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by Potty on July 22nd 2014, 9:19 pm

I think it's wrong too, I think it's a marketing gimmick at best.... a letter from Mr Rogers with a photograph and description stating where he got it and why he believes it is in fact a Hamada would have been much more suitable in my opinion.

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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by studio-pots on July 22nd 2014, 9:19 pm

NaomiM wrote:

I thought he'd come on the forum at some point and said he'd been at the kiln openings for some of Hamada's pots.
I don't think he said that but he did say, "You have a Hamada bottle....without blowing trumpets there isn't anyone in the Uk who knows his work better ( that sounds conceited!) but its true".

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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by studio-pots on July 22nd 2014, 9:23 pm

Potty wrote:I think it's wrong too, I think it's a marketing gimmick at best.... a letter from Mr Rogers with a photograph and description stating where he got it and why he believes it is in fact a Hamada would have been much more suitable in my opinion.

That's what the Ebay seller got from me when he bought the Atsuya Hamada teapot.

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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by NaomiM on July 22nd 2014, 9:28 pm

studio-pots wrote:
NaomiM wrote:

I thought he'd come on the forum at some point and said he'd been at the kiln openings for some of Hamada's pots.
I don't think he said that but he did say, "You have a Hamada bottle....without blowing trumpets there isn't anyone in the Uk who knows his work better ( that sounds conceited!) but its true".

Ah, thanks. although unless you've worked with Hamada, I'm not sure how anyone could claim that. However, several times I've asked potters for an Id and they'e said "Might be by Hamada. The person you need to ask is Phil Rogers. He'll know"

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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by studio-pots on July 22nd 2014, 10:10 pm

Sometimes if you say something often enough people begin to believe you and it appears you can even believe it yourself.

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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by studio-pots on December 14th 2014, 4:06 pm

While looking at the Bernard Leach brown pot today (see other thread) I noticed that the same seller had sold their Japanese jug in the signed Phil Rogers box, although for an offer and not their asking price.

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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by sunnyices2 on December 23rd 2014, 10:26 am

to be frank with you i still think hamada shoji product and signed box's can be fake... what isn't faked nowadays? is a no go area for me except is going for tenna, then i suppose you can't really lost much.

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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by philpot on December 31st 2014, 8:36 am

Personally,I would leave any pot with 'Hamada' in the title well alone. Given the way his name has been bandied about for years and years on hugely differing quality of wares,the very name has been somewhat tarnished. There would always be that nagging doubt in the back of one's mind. Just not worth the angst.
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Re: signing hamada boxes

Post by big ed on December 31st 2014, 1:40 pm

I agree, i'd leave them alone anyway regardless.
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