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JapanX

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  1. And at last, but not least – riverts. “The basic rule can be summarised as the closer the rivets, the older the piece” I again disagree (and again sorry about that Paul). Rivets are very unreliable feature for dating “older” and “later” pieces. They practically identically centered in Meiji and Showa period pieces. Only type 5 and type 6 have rivets carried on corners and (from my point of view) they are definitely not from Showa. They from Taisho or Meiji. I hope that a quick look at photos of type 1а and 1 (both signs from Meiji), and type 7 (Showa) confirm my point of view. Probably that rule “the closer the rivets, the older the piece” has appeared because of type 1а and types 5 and 6. In these types this rule works perfectly (i.e. on comparison of early Meiji and any Taisho), but behind their limits – its not. Just think about what the beginner can think at a meeting with type 7? After all this rule is given for collector “who has not had the opportunity”! For this reason I dare to say rivets are very unreliable feature for differentiating between Meiji and Showa kites. Certainly, with this rule we have “more pigeon-like” kite characteristics. But this does not rescue us from errors because all depends on what this person understand under “more pigeon-like” or “the fallen wings” (you could hear that phrase very often). For you the “more pigeon-like” can be one form, and for me another. Therefore I have created this theme with pictures (they are not the first-rate quality and for that I apologies). And, at last, I do not agree that this screw rule works for kites in 3 class. It completely fails in 3 class. Of course, rivets carried on corners on types 5 and 6 cannot be recognized as sufficient guarantee that these signs are made strictly during an epoch of Taisho and handed over only and only during an epoch of Taisho. As well as centering of reverts at types 2, 3 and 4 is not a reliable guarantee of their finding in Meiji epoch.
  2. "Yellow shafts of the halberds are thicker on the later pieces and sword scabbard is paler than on the later pieces" Yes its true in case of this two pieces. But what about type 5 and type 7? I should say that from my experience this are very unstable characteristics. I mean color of the enamel.
  3. On “rule of screws” and its efficiency I know I know. What about the rivets??? Don’t you think that this is the main sign of the epoch? My answer is no. It is not a very clear and stable sign. Why? Allow me to explain my point of view on the problem of rivets problem. Here is quotation from post by Paul Murphy Sep 12 2006, 20:57 devoted to the dating of golden kites in 3, 4 and 5 classes “… On the early pieces the kite looks more pigeon-like, the yellow shafts of the halberds are thicker and the green of the sword scabbard is paler than on the later pieces. These, however, are all differences of degree which are difficult to identify unless you have pieces with which to compare, or experience in looking at different examples. For the collector who has not had the opportunity of examining a large number of orders the easiest way to date a 3rd, 4th or 5th class Golden Kite is with reference to the rivets on the reverse. The basic rule can be summarised as the closer the rivets, the older the piece”. I agree with “more pigeon-like” for type 1, 1a, 2, but not for type 3,4,5 and 6. I can`t completely agree (sorry about that Paul) with “yellow shafts of the halberds are thicker on the later pieces” and “sword scabbard is paler than on the later pieces”. Let’s take a close look at type 1 (left) and type 7 (right).
  4. The main problem The most numerous types in circulation are 1 and 7 as type 1 “served” Russian-Japanese war, and type 7 "served" the most part of incidents 30 and great East Asian war. The same two types (1 and 7) also are most unified. Type 7 has almost perfect unification. It’s all made by one technology and badges almost do not differ from each other. The insignificant differences can be found on shades of enamels on boards, a harness etc. Type 1 has more differences, but it is still homogeneous enough. This type 1 badge and relative frequency of a meeting with him (it sounds, of course, unusual, but in comparing with the frequency of meetings with types 2-6 it is very true) allow me to speak about existence of border of transition of an epoch of Meiji in Taisho. If I would have any bases to confirm that this type "has completely served" Russian-Japanese war the sign type border between epochs would be clear – everything that does not keep within anthropometry of type 1, belong to Taisho. But I don’t have such confidence. Despite considerable quantitative domination of this type over the “neighbour types” one workshop (or workshops?) may not be able to satisfy demand of Russian-Japanese War (after all it is 109 600 awards if we will trust our Japanese source!!!) Such explosion in volume of production! In comparison with the Japanese-Chinese war (2000 thousand awards) growth almost in 55 times! The probability that new contractors have been involved is very great. Here we also have first versions. But which? The definite answer is not present. Types 2, 3 and 4 could be easily created during Russian-Japanese war. However, there are no guarantees of that, as versions 5 and 6 did not participate in deficit covering. Types 2-4 are no more rare than types 5-6. In general types 2-6 are an exotic of kites. Their relative rarity (relative to type 1 and type 7) allows us to assume that this types (2-6) could be used for satisfaction of demand in 1905, 1914 and 1920. With only 3000 awards for German bases and unknown quantity for the Siberian campaign (some kites for sure – there are documents on them) Taisho pieces remain most unidentified and mysterious among all golden kites. Type 5 and type 6 marked by me as Taisho signs only on the basis of the form of the kite wings (which are closer to Showa wings – especially wings and kite of type 6) and their relative scarcity. And maybe on the basis of faleristic tradition – many people believe that kites with rivets carried on corners definitely from Taisho. Orgy of golden kites forms is quite natural for the period 1895-1929. It is the period when orders was manufactured by private firms and not by the Osaka Mint (thanks to Richard Catalano, we are now pretty sure about that). Different types appear and disappear with a regularity of occurrence and disappearance of the workshops. Only with the beginning of the new war conflict in 1931 production of golden kites were completely unified and concentrated under the roof of Osaka Mint. Here both all my classification and its explanation. It leans against two pillars: type 1 and type 7. I have no doubt about accuracy of dating these two types (peremptory tone ). Types 2-6 represent the main problem. Their creation has put very small time interval which borders are between 10 and 20 years. Without the accurate information in this interval my classification of these types is as good, as yours. But this is my classification. And I am quite interested in how much it will coincide with your opinion dear colleagues.
  5. Another trouble with such approach – its super-subjectivity. It turns out that my classification is a consequence of the information on passes of signs which came to me from the different sources (mainly from dealers and Internet auctions). Naturally the classification is more than subjective. But I really hope that the general direction of my classification will coincide with opinion of the majority of colleagues. A question only in what parts of this classification they will disagree with me. From my point of view, the weakest spot is the sequence of types 2-6. Let me try to explain why I have put them in this sequence.
  6. See this thin yellow strip? Get acquainted – Taisho. The idea of my classification is simple – the more often given type of a sign in the market, the higher the probability that it belong to an epoch of Meiji or Showa, and they (in turn) easily enough can be distinguished by the form of kites (for this reason I named the first type of a kite classical Meiji, and the seventh type – classical Showa). And on the contrary, the less often given type of a sign in the market, the higher the probability that it belong to an epoch of Taisho or to transitive types of Meiji–Taisho or Taisho–Showa. The main problem with this rule – frequency of a meeting with signs type 2-6 is very difficult to estimate. We should have “clear” statistics of passes of signs on each type for many years (for cleanliness of experiment). But even in this case all estimates will remain the extremely unreliable and with very uncertain time borders. Here you can look at this approach in graphical form.
  7. Classification principles Why I have dared to attribute this or that order to this or that time period? Maybe I have some manufacturer documentation? No. Really old Japanese collector passed me some of his secrets? The answer is the same. No. I have only two things. First – the number of golden kites conferred in all classes from Peterson + numbers of awards conferred in each war from mysterious “Japanese source”. The second – relative frequency of appearance in the market of this or that type of a kite. On these two things classification is constructed. What? Yes, this is not a relativity theory and I am no Einstein! Peterson in his book states, that total number of kites in all degrees is 1 067 492. Numbers of awards conferred in each war (sorry, but I don’t know the author who get this numbers, but I suspect that he used award documents to get them). They are The Japanese-Chinese War 2000 Russian-Japanese War 109600 WW I 3000 Incident 1931-1934 9000 WW II 810000 We summarise and then received 933 600 awardings. But where the result declared by Peterson – 1 067 492 awardings? Well, let's subtract from figure 1 067 492 figure 41 (1st class awards) and figure 201 (2nd class awards). Just in case. We receive 133 650. Not bad. This figure more than cumulative quantity of rewards for all Russian-Japanese war! Such difference in figures! Why? Probably Peterson's figure reflects total number awarded, the part from which was received by the awards in the end of World War II. But more alarming – 3000 awardings for all Taisho in all degrees! Is it really possible? I think that if it was possible, it would be practical impossible to meet “pure Taisho” 4 or 5 class. But let's take a look at the following ring diagram.
  8. Type 7 Showa classical Most numerous type among all types. Very unified.
  9. In this foto you can see same piece (type 5b), but how differ is perception!
  10. Type 5b Taisho early Slightly different form of kite compare to type 5a.
  11. Type 5a Taisho early Variation of basic type 5. Anothers kite "fabric". No fotos of reverse – sorry.
  12. Type 4 Meiji late-Taisho early This type is close relative of type 3. Slightly different form of kite.
  13. Type 3 Meiji late-Taisho early Another form of kite.
  14. Type 1 Meiji classical Most numerous type among old pieces. Quite unified one too.
  15. Type 1a Meiji classical Sub variation of type 1. Very old piece. Sorry for the quality of fotos – they are taken from the web). Take a close look at the form of the Kite. Nice old specimen. As old as you can get.
  16. I will avoid discussion of color of enamel, a harness etc. not that they are not present, but because of impossibility of their adequate transfer by the camera. Even shooting on one camera of all signs in the same conditions easily can deform the validity. No use to speak about different conditions and different chambers! After all it is Japanese awards and their "daylight enamels"! As an example I will present two shootings of the extremely interesting type 5. I hope these photos will serve me better than thousand words. I suggest to use for unambiguous definition of a kite type, first of all, its form, and rivets (is a sign quite good certainly, but ambiguous if not to use obverse), enamels, harnesses, tops of halberds, enamel packing on halberds etc. as additional, secondary signs (which from my point of view not always increase accuracy of timing the piece). As I already spoke earlier I do not insist on the complete list of types, but I hope that I managed to reveal the major types. I hope that my classification will help colleagues to look at an old problem of typology of golden kites in a new fashion.
  17. Types 1 to 4 inclusive and type 7 have centered rivets on reverse. Type 5 and type 6 have rivets carried on corners. Rivets heads of types 1-4 less large, than heads of rivets of type 7. The biggest heads (in diameter) can be found on type 5 and type 6. All the rest you will find in following photos.
  18. Classification The classification of golden kites offered hereinafter concerns only with awards in 5 and 4 classes. Classification of awards of 3 class demands a separate theme because of features inherent in these signs. Three columns. Left – a photo of a Kite. Central – my attribution of the piece to specific time period (Meiji –Taisho–Showa). Right – number under which the given type of a kite will be mentioned in the further discussion.
  19. Dear colleagues, allow me to bring to your attention my classification of the Golden Kite order for 4th and 5th class. This classification doesn’t pretend to cover all types, but only the basic ones. Despite this, I hope this classification will cover no less than 80% of all types (a little bit overoptimistic? ). Comments (especially critical) are more than welcomed. So here it comes.
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