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I wonder if anyone can tell me how on earth I am going to get this apprised as a true object made by Shoji Hamada. Here in Sweden, items were sold in 1950 s and 60 s. But the woman in the store threw away the wooden boxes with signature and as they aren't signed, What do I do? There was another one sold on Bukowskis auctions in Stockholm back in 2012 almost the same paint job and all. But in order to get provenance in this case is difficult as I bought it at a flea market.


Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Best regards

Leon Rhodin in Stockholm Sweden.


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Guest JBaymore

Hi. And welcome to the forums.


I have a bit of "history" in Mashiko (Hamada Shoji's hometown) and Hamada Shoji-sensei's work has been a huge influence on me since the 60's. 


What you are asking for is difficult.  Especially "from afar".  The more detailed photos you can give the better for any ROUGH opinions to be shared that are anywhere near accurate.  On this piece I'd need to see more views and closer up, in in fine surface focus.  I REALLY need to see the foot of the piece.


I can't tell from the photo, but the exposed clay at the foot area where that might be finger marks looks quite white-ish.  That does not match the Mashiko clay used.


Hamada made work in various parts of the world as he and Leach and Yanagi traveled and gave workshops... using materials local to those places.  So sometimes a piece MIGHT be his work, but be "atypical" in the glazes and claybody from the "normal" Mashiko materials.  The press-molded forms (like this bottle) are less common from places other than Mashiko, because it required him taking the heavy, bulky molds with him to the places he demoed. 


There are a LOT of fakes out there for Hamada Shoji's work..... of course because of the fame and valuation.  Including fake boxes with fake signature stamps.  So...... beware.


I am a bit of a friend with his grandson, Hamada Tomoo-san and know Shinsaku-san (Shoji-sensei's son) ....and could get you connected with them via snail mail to possibly authenticate the piece, should you desire.  However be aware that the Japanese families charge to do this kind of work.  It is expensive to do this, authenticated as genuine or not.  The value of a Japanese work is about 50% residing in the signed box.  If a piece is worth say $10,000 with the box, it is worth only about $5,000 without that box, and also assuming that the visuals of the piece are CLERLY from the artist it is supposed to be by.  If a 'pedigree box" needs to be made (signed as "verified" by either Shinsaku-san or Tomoo-san), you can expect a bill for many thousands of dollars for a piece like this.


Another resource for you might be to talk to Robert Yellin at eyakimono.net and who on occasion sells Hamada's work at his gallery in Kyoto.   Or potter Phil Rodgers in the UK who handles Hamada's work as a dealer also.  And there is the Facebook group "Collecting Japanese Ceramics" to try.  Auction houses such as Southby's also provide such professional services.


Hope this is helpful.





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These where common back in the 50'-60's as you noted. My mentor owned one.

This place specializes in works like these and can appraise and sell it for you.They contacted me  this week about some of my pieces from Otto Heino . I'm not ready to sell myself

This place represents high end deceased potters wares with two gallery locations-I'm not affiliated with them.

Send them a photo and tell them what you know.



you can view this gallery here




I also see that John has posted above me while I was typing-he is very knowledgeable in this field.I would follow thru with his thoughts as well.

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