Jump to content

Netsuke fakes on e-bay courtesy of Miguel Radio


Recommended Posts

Now. A lot of naive people might not know it, particularly those looking for cheap copies of originals but I couldn't help to notice that the aforementioned ruffian is offering one of my favourite pieces which lives at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Not content with that he's offering a piece which is blatantly a horrible copy of the work of one of our members (Natasha Popova)... So I think we should dedicate some space to drawing attention to thugs like these so that serious collectors are aware and warned not to get anywhere near the goods (or bads instead?) they offer.


Miguel Radio's faketsuke




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank You, Hyllyn!

This morning, one of my collectors has written to me about this event! I was in shock! I've already written to the e-Bay police, I hope anything will be done! This ugly copy of my Haru-ko has upset my mood very much! Is there any department where I can defend my author rights in USA?

Link to comment
Share on other sites



I submitted a couple of pieces to be officially copyrighted earlier this year. Your country has copyright laws that should be recognized in the US, from what I remember. I believe that we do not need to submit such documentation, but if there is need of true defense, I believe that documentation with the government agency will add weight to legal proceedings if any should be taken.


The above link has information to learn about. It is a lot of information to look through, but this is where to find it. I do not know if there are arts advocate lawyers who handle international relations for free, but it would be helpful to be able to speak with someone who could help you sort out your, our, rights.


Basically we artists hold the copyright to anything we create. We do not need to submit for documentation, but if a need is anticipated for future legal establishment, it is possible to register any or all of what we do. There is a fee, and photos are needed. Sometime this process may become available to be done via the internet. I do not know if international people can register in the US. Sorry. See if Moldova has such a means for registering your copyright.



Hyllyn, that netsuke looks like a Komada Ryushi piece! Nick Lamb has also had fakes made of his work.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Natasha,


Sorry to hear of this situation. For what it's worth, I'll offer my opinion. Quite a few years ago I was at a knife show in New York and someone pointed out a miserable copy of a tanto koshirae (short Japanese sword mounting) that I had done a year or so before. In that moment I was quite annoyed and thinking about action to take, etc. Jim Schmidt(sadly now departed) a respected knife maker suggested I relax and take it as a complement and forget about "taking action" as it would ultimately be very distracting. I'm thankful that I took his advice.


A lot of energy can be spent, as has already been done, looking into options and pursuing legal this and that. In this country if you create a piece of work it is copyrighted as Janel says, just from the fact of you making it. The next level of protection is to document the creation's date by photography. The next level would be sending a photograph to yourself which you can prove the date of creation by sending it to yourself by certified mail and not opening it.


Beyond this you can, as Janel says, go through government registration. Don't know how this works much, either in this country or anywhere else.


What seems extreme to one will seem reasonable to another. Personally, I would monitor the situation, informing eBay and other parties of what's going on, but avoid any legal action, which could be costly and very distracting from your work. I think keeping people informed would be as far as I personally would go. Beyond that, it is a much larger commitment taking a lot of resources.


Best wishes,




In this age of widespread internet access, it should be easy to keep whoever is interested informed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello dear Jim!

Thank You very much for your wise advice! I've done some steps and will see what they will bring. I'm not going to have any discussion with that seller, he has too many faked pieces for sale. In the future I'll be clever with images of my works. I'm not going to spend my time and energy on this stupid situation because I have so many interesting orders, so many techniques for studying and too many ideas, but only two hands!! ;)

Thank You for your warm and very wise advice!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally the person who flagged this to me was my fiancee, so that is when I decided to open a topic here as well as asking her to write to him about it as I thought that perhaps it would make it easier for Natasha.


I am going to post this person's reply to my fiancee and will not state any opinion, I think we all can judge characters and have done it before.


"this has really thrown me for a loop. i inherited this piece from my grandfather 6 years ago, i have a receipt of purchase for it dated 1949. i have no idea of when Natashas piece was made. So what is considered fake? I see many different pieces from different artists that look very similar. If this is a fake of Natashas work wouldn't it hold a copy of her signature or look more like the one she made (they both have many differences)? I have seen many rat catchers that look very similar to the one I have offered, so this is a fake too? I have been selling netsuke on ebay for 5 years now and this is the first such complaint.."flagged" me..."warned people"..oh what nice people you are! I am only selling netsuke from my collection and those that I have purchased from private party/or at auction...why don't you go bother the Hong Kong netsuke sellers, talk about fake! I hope that none of my other pieces will cause such a stir or bring such harsh words and untruths. Christ I am just trying to downsize my collection before we move. oh and i suppose it is just not possible that Ms Popova saw a piece like mine sometime ago and decided to do her rendition of it? Even though it has been done time and time again...

Regardless after reading that forum link, I don't want to offend anyone...i will remove it


PS you can tell your cronies that the photo on my profile is indeed a piece done by Komada Ryushi. He is my favorite artist, and this is why I proudly display a photo of one of his works! (the only photo i could find on the net). Is there something wrong with that? "unscrupulous rascal" for honoring the greatest netsuke artist ever? I don't claim it to be in my collection, for sale, or anything of the sort ( i don' think i could afford it). If I have broken some kind of rule or it is considered bad taste do do as such, I will gladly take it down. For me it is just like some ebayers display their favorite sports hero or musician...I display my favorite artist. Forgive me but, you people seem a bit paranoid...unless of course displaying this pic is some kind of weird no no in the netsuke world...I am not a artist myself, so please forgive me for not fully understanding all this fuss.

I truly an not trying to offend or wrong anyone"


However a fellow from Deviantart who visits Ford's forum forwarded me this (this apparently he wrote in reply to whatever Ford wrote to him)


"I just looked at Ms Popovas piece on her website. Yes they are similar and also different. You say "simply does not occur in antique netsuke"...I certainly do NOT agree. Many contemporary netsuke are copies of older pieces. They are still considered original because they are different enough etc. I have many such examples in my collection and you will see the same in books. Even some antique netsuke are copies of other ANTIQUE netsuke. I have a ruysa that i am selling that looks very similar to a piece on Ms Popovas website as well..so i guess you'll be complaining about that one as too. I listed this under antiques because my grandfather has a record of purchase for this piece in Tokyo Japan dated 1949. You are not in the US so you can not purchase my pieces anyway...therefore I will not be answering anymore of your emails as they are irrelevant to any transaction. I hope I answered your questions...

Best Wishes-Michael "


and a little later...


"If this is indeed a COPY of a MODERN piece then I am ashamed and want NOTHING to do with this netsuke! If this is less than 4 years old, then perhaps I mixed up the receipt of this item and confused it with ones that my great uncle gave me 2 years ago this fall. I thought for certain that it was one of my Grandpa Thoms netsuke, but I inherited those almost seven years ago. This makes me wonder about the rest of these pieces i have from my uncle....

Your not the only one having a problem with this netsuke...take a look:

. http://www.thecarvingpath.net/forum/ind ... topic=1527


These people are scaring me! I am being crucified over this one piece!!! They are even mad that I have a Komada Ryushi netsuke photo on my profile. What is wrong with that?!?! He is my favorite artist! I am not claiming to have any of his work (i can not afford it) nor am I claiming that I am selling this piece...I just love hi work for crying out loud!!!


Now I am being laughed at for pulling the item in question, because I thought it was the right thing to do....good lord!! Ms Natasha is now calling all my pieces fakes!

What the hell is a fake netsuke anyway?!?!?! I thought it was one of two things: 1. a deliberate copy of another work to try to fool a potential buyer into thinking it is the original or a Hong Kong modern nersuke sold as Japanese....my are neither.


I appreciate you bringing this to my attention...I really do. But I think I am going to be sick for quite awhile from the comments on that forum....I am so damn confused and embarrassed.


Best Wishes-Michael"




@ Jim. I agree with your last comment. I think any sort of action is in the end more hassle than it is worth however there is absolutely nothing wrong with flagging issues like these and keeping audiences informed, particularly when evidence is so irrefutably there.


How people see the copying of work is always delicate and I suppose it depends on how people go about it... not every copy is a hommage and not every hommage is ever needed or wanted by the original author so I suppose that so long as respect and consideration is thrown into the equation things can be workable in most situations, however that does not seem to be the case a lot of the times (the addition of respect and consideration into that equation).


How do I board the contentious issue myself? ... I might copy other people's work to study and try and improve as it has been the norm in training for most thing but one thing is for sure, I would never sell any of those studies.


Regards to all

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like to apologize to Michael for making the unscrupulous rascal statement. I do not understand the breadth of Ebay and what people do there. The link to it from this forum I thought was a link to another work of a copier being presented for sale. I did not understand that page with the Komada Ryushi picture on it. I do apologize for making that statement, and I have removed it from my earlier post.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a question for us to consider.


Should we refrain from providing the details of our work in its entirety? Meaning, showing only one face of the piece we created, rather than yielding to our desire for everyone to enjoy the whole piece as we have created it?


I do not know if my work has been copied, though I do now wonder if we should be posting all sides of each piece on our web sites. This to me, opens up to the work to being vulnerable for complete studies for copied renditions.


Any thoughts?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Hyllyn!

About letter, what can I say? It is frankly outrageous lie!!!!!!! ;)


First of all, my Haru-ko is a creation of the idea of my collector, who has ordered a Japanese girl, and my fantasy! Haru-ko is not a subject of the Japanese legends, Haru-ko has been finished on the 18th of April of this year!

In addition, a bigger part of my works were custom-made, the discussion with my collectors usually takes about two weeks, every draft for carving has 2-5 versions! During discussion process my collectors do different changes,

I add something for better composition, when my collectors agree with the final draft I begin to carve! What chance is there, after such process of changes, to create a piece absolutely the same as the piece of this Miguel?????????

Miguel steals our ideas and ideas of my collectors, he knows it very well and try to look white and fur! He is a cheap pilferer!

My complain was not the first! This person has a lot of complains from other persons, it is well-known fact!


To a fellow from Deviantart who visits Ford's forum:

Every detail and line has been copied, but very ugly! Please, don't say about a Ryusa which look very similar to mine! Every of my Ryusa netsuke has been discussed, with a lot of collectors' changes! There cannot be a similar Ryusa! All of my

collectors know how every Ryusa has been created, every of my collectors knows the discuss process very well! What means "my great uncle gave me 2 years ago this fall" - China uncles? Has your collection been published anywhere since 1949??? I have! :( Do You have any pre-convention type CITES certificates for your elephant netsuke? Or are the all illegal? All of my netsuke, sculptures and medallions were registered in the Ministry of Culture of Moldova, have CITES certificates! And what about yours? Probably You have any documents from a famous netsuke expert! Or not? :(


In conclusion, I'm more than sure, that this seller of faked netsuke knows what he sells! I want only to say, dirty business will be always dirty and cannot be washed! I can only advice to buy drafts from carvers in the future, or you'll get such upset reputation every time! Miguel, you are in my "favorite sellers" on e-Bay, I'll be watching your faked business! :(


My dear Janel, nothing will help us to protect our author rights! I think we all have to be together in such situation and fight against such persons! I thank all my Friends, carvers and collectors, for moral support, it is so important not to be alone! Thank You very much and my low bow to You all!

Sincerely yours!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Natasha.


I think I might not have been clear enough. It was a friend from Deviantart who forwarded me what Miguel Radio (whatever his name be for sure) wrote to Ford. Nothing more nothing less.


You pose a very interesting question Janel. I feel it is perfectly natural for anyone to feel jealous of what they make however in a way or another we all have at some point being inspired/influenced/etc by what we see in both a conscious or unconscious way. I think that as I said before perhaps it the onus has to be the person's who is making the most recent rendition/study/copy of any work, what I mean by that is just being tactful enough to know whether it should even reach the public domain (I mean the quality of it might be crap and the "original author" might feel deeply offended), or if the piece should be distinctly different from the original so as to delimit appropriate boundaries in interpretation.


At the end of the day the whole thing requires responsibility from the person executing a piece at the most recent time.


I do wonder though if other will give some thought to your question Janel. It would be interesting to know Natasha's opinion.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry Hyllyn! When I read that words again that my netsuke was a copy of Miguel's I forgot about other words! Sorry I didn't want to offend your friend! I'm really sorry! :(

I try to explain better what was the true reason of my dissatisfaction, in the description was written that the netsuke was carved from elephant and was carved long time ago and was pre-convention type, that's why it cannot be sent from USA. From this description follows that my netsuke was carved afte that faked netsuke, I stupidly copied it! ;) But Haru-ko is not a copy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Some collectors sent this link on e-Bay to me! Tell me how it looked? Why this seller didn't write that it was a copy? The problem is in elephant tusk which has to look as pre-convention type? I don't like lie! I don't want that somebody thinks that I copy antic netsuke and try to say that they are mine! Why this seller didn't write to me before auction? Why he sold some more netsuke copied from mine and called them as antics? If his carvers have problem with fantasy, he should buy drafts from others, but not to steal!


Yes, many artist copy another works for studying, I understand, but the author's rights must be observed! It is not right to ignore the author and what is more try to convince others that I'm wrong! Grrrrrr! :(


About protection of our works, my thoughts are so, there is a soft which glued images into the background and they cannot be saved on another PC. There is also a possibility to do the pages of our sites not for saving too! These can help,I don't think that those carvers will be sitting in front of computers and copy our works! One more idea to have two sites, the first would be for all with small pictures, where nobody can see every tiny detals and the second site for our collectors with passwords! I've just started to do these sites. Sadly, all of my works were saved on many PC now, but the next works won't be available for everyone in the world! :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I used to work as a conservator, I was frequently asked to examine artifacts (particularly 18th century flintlock firearms) that had been offered for sale to the museum that I worked for, as well as for other museums. Unfortunately, pieces that had been promoted as untouched were often heavily restored to increase the value, or were outright fakes created from old parts, or new parts made to look old.


The reaction of the E-Bay seller reminds me of the the reaction of every single seller who was confronted with the reality that their piece was a fake. Without exception they were completely astonished, then they denied the possibility that what I was saying could be true because it was known to have been in a family for years, passing through several generations as a treasured family heirloom, then this was usually followed by a statement something like "you are entitled to your opinion".


Eventually the person always got what was coming to them. Collectors who have been duped tend to hold grudges, and in the field of American antique arms collectors, they can be very nasty ond often painful.


If it's any consolation, Natasha, I'm sure this won't work out in this person's favor.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank You, Phil!

Yes, such sellers are too great head-ache for so many different people as collectors, carvers, dealers and experts! I hope very much, that this seller won't sell copies from contemporary carvers and won't represent them as antic! Seller by seller and we'll win our fight with fakes! ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi all

Would just like to add to what Jim Kelso said


“The next level of protection is to document the creation's date by photography. The next level would be sending a photograph to yourself which you can prove the date of creation by sending it to yourself by certified mail and not opening it.”


A certified letter can be opened and closed to fake the date of the photo, so it is not considered proof of date in some courts. If you were thinking of going this way I would get the photo notarized. Having the photo stamped and dated thought the photo. This way some one else has dated your photo and the post office has also dated the seal document.


Remember to write on the outside what is inside so you can find the right letter when you need it.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that all the new ideas will be copied, will be evolve, will be create a rip-off.


Natasha, you are a Great Artist. Your work and ideas will be cause for admiration and envy, cause various speculations, based on them will be create new, very similar. They will not bring any material benefit to you personally. That is the fate of Great Artist. Sorry, but one of my works used plot, in which your idea.


I am confident that do monetary profit can only mass production, in the technique of carving is very difficult and expensive, very small market.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...