Friday, March 18, 2016


Apocryphal (  ə-ˈpä-krə-fəl); in simple terms something that is well known but not true, a fuller definition would be, of doubtful authenticity, spurious, dubious, mythical.
I saw a chawan recently that was being represented as a Momoyama period treasure and it was unused, what are the odds? Now I am certainly not saying that just because the bowl appears unused and nearly pristine on the interior (even though there are other characteristics that don't seem right for the period) that it is questionable in its age "guesstimation" but seriously, what are the odds that a bowl made over 400 years ago was not ever used as to leave some traces of the use in the crackle of the feldspar glaze inside? Not to come across as a cynic, which I am by the way but I would think my chances of winning the next $1.5 Billion lottery are far better than this really being plausible. When dealing with the authentication process experts are in agreement, it is far easier to discount an object as fake than prove its (veracity or validity) to 100% certainty. Though I am no expert on Momoyama ceramics I have been very fortunate to handle some rather famous Momoyama pots (thanks to MC and MA and a private Japanese collector) and there is a rather similar quality to these pots beyond the robust and simple qualities of these pots, none possess that over worked, contrived and self-conscious appearance that the later copies all seem to exhibit even if ever so minutely. I guess it is just easy to say a pot is Momoyama or by Hamada Shoji, back it up with a ambiguous return policy and see what happens, after all you pay your money and you take your chances. Personally I'll side with the time proven adage; CAVEAT EMPTOR.