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Tosho Tsuba - How Thin Is Too Thin?


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#1 Peter Bleed

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 09:01 PM

Friends,

I am looking at what looks like a nice old tosho guard - sorry no pictures. It is, however, quite thin - like 2mm on the seppa-dai. Is that too thin - and a possible red flag?

Peter


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#2 Curran

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 09:45 PM

No, not really.

Some of the iron ones get darn thin. The one I was just looking at [not mine, yet?] is about 2.5mm - 2.6mm and I've held thinner.

 

Circumference and placement of the ko-sukashi?


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#3 Peter Bleed

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 11:57 PM

Thanks Curran. This may develop slowly, but details will - potentially - follow.

P


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#4 Grey Doffin

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 12:06 AM

Hi Peter,

Keep in mind that many modern tsuba have been leaving Japan disguised as older pieces lately.

Grey


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#5 Peter Bleed

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 11:18 PM

Grey,

Fakes? Modern products leaving Japan? I'm shocked, shocked!.

Obviously that is sort of what I was wondering about. Care - even suspicion - is always in order/ Your comment does, however, allow me to recall a story  that suggests that we must not blame only Japanese for fakes.

The  famous 1972 Dallas Token-kai featured an NBTHK shinsa. I was honored to work on the line. Owners all took off the tsuka and I had to get them lined up for evaluation. It was a hell of a pile of swords which reduced because - I learned - that GIMEI were easily be sorted out. I did not to the sorting and was mildly shocked that it was so easy...

But the Tosho tsuba story involved Tom Buttweiler who submitted a couple of very impressive guards. They were text book example and they really looked good - so they got Green Papers. As soon as Tom got the judgement sheets and picked up his tsuba he presented them to the Shinsa Team and told them that HE HAD MADE ALL OF THEM! Tom was a charmer.


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Peter Bleed

#6 b.hennick

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 02:29 AM

Great story Peter. I'm surprised that I never heard it before.
Regards,
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#7 Steve Waszak

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 02:52 AM

And, uh... What ever happened to the Buttweiler School pieces?  Still floating around out there...with their papers?  Wonder what else he made...


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#8 vajo

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 06:55 AM

What a story Peter. Thats a deep look in the work of a shinsa team.

Chris S. 

 

 


#9 Bazza

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 03:35 PM

Another good story is Tom Buttweiler's article on Ko Bizen swords (many decades ago now)...

 

BaZZa.


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#10 Peter Bleed

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 05:28 PM

Ahh, stories of the complex past of sword collecting.

Tom was an early explorer of tsuba - ahhh - "refimishing and repair". I recall visiting him  while he had a bunch of seriously burned tsuba from California.(I'm blocking on the dude's name - he was a wheel in the Olympics as i recall). Tom was effectively cleaning some of those guards, but he also made really interesting observations of the loss of IRON insets that had been used to add relief to Kaneie guards. I think these piece were beyond repair, but the technique - iron in iron - is essentially invisible - until the insets had popped out. Looking at the destroyed guards you could see that insets could not  have added a great deal of thickness, but in the scrapped condition you see how they subtly added to the appearance of the landscape image. I wish Tom had published those observations.

Another story that I recycled in my sword story - National Treasure - involved a small but sturdy wooden box full of rusty iron guards that a fellow had at a Chicago Show, The story was that a this box of fittings had been in storage since well before WWI. They were utility grade stuff but it was interesting to see "experts" pick out tsuba that could be easily enhanced with a bit of easy sukashi or a couple of ude-nuki. As the stories developed and sorting progressed, several pieces were purchased. You have to wonder whatever happened to them.

Peter


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#11 Pete Klein

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 07:26 PM

Peter -- I believe it was Avery Brundage.  His California  home burned down.


β€œIt's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”
β€” Mark Twain


#12 Peter Bleed

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 08:22 PM

Yes, Pete, that's it. And I think the fellow who had discovered the box 'o tsubas was John Niles, I think, who was also a dentist,

Peter


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#13 BulletSprinkler

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 06:27 AM

box 'o tsubas 

 

I like this. 


Jay


#14 Stephen

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 02:06 PM

Box o tsubas and Bundle swords Peter as seen it all,  ah to go back to the gun shows of the ol Armory days!!! every third table a Gunto or Nihonto. 

 

Then Peters table WOW! a full rack of swords, I a self made expert because i had John Yumotos book and watched Samurai soap operas in Okinawa, to see the light, i knew nothing, what a long strange journey its been!


Stephen C.
USMC DEC 63 APR 73




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