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Den Dewa Gassan Katana Blade, Need Advice


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#1 EdWolf

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 12:30 AM

Hello to all,

Until now I only have bought swords which are in the price range of 350 - 650 Euro. I have met an old collector who stopped collecting and he wants to sell his last sword. This sword is a Den Dewa Gassan katana blade of the Koto era. The blade has NTHK papers. The asking price of this blade 1800 Euro. I have searched for Gassan swords from the Koto era but there are not many blades for sale. BTW the tsuba is an old one but the saya is made a year of 30 ago. I can see this blade in person when back from my holiday. Is the asking price a fair price? I know I have little information so far but hope you can give advice what to do. Thanks for all your input on this.

Regards,

Ed


Ed

#2 Ken-Hawaii

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 12:39 AM

How high is up, Ed? Asking us to make a value judgement with no photos, & NTHK papers that show only a den doesn't give us enough info to advise you. How does the seller know it's a Koto blade? What kind of condition is it in? You said it has a tsuba, but does it come with full koshirae in decent shape? Shirasaya?

 

I strongly suggest that you collect a lot more information before buying this, or any other, blade. Try to get some photos, & maybe we can help.

 

Ken

 


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#3 EdWolf

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 01:09 AM

Hi Ken,
The blade is in a very nice polished state. Isn't it required to get the NTHK papers? I thought that Dewa Gassan are always Koto blades. I will ask for pictures.
Regards, Ed
Ed

#4 Ken-Hawaii

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 01:19 AM

Yes, it looks like it should be Koto, Ed, (http://www.sho-shin.com/tosan7.htm), but buying a blade should be done based on more than the subjective degree of its polish. There was a very nice blade up for sale on eBay today, but it had a hagire under the habaki. Now, a shinsa team should have found that, but what if they hadn't?

 

That's why seeing a blade inch-by-inch is vitally important to making a buying decision, at least in my wallet. Telling you that 1800 Euro is a good price for an unseen blade, papered or not, just isn't doing due diligence.

 

Ken

 



#5 EdWolf

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 01:27 AM

Hi Ken, I don't buy this blade without seeing it. But the problem is if a Shinsa team doesn't detect a problem with the blade how can I detect them as a novice collector. I ask for pictures and hope that the quality is good enough for the needed advice.
Regards, Ed
Ed

#6 Ken-Hawaii

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 01:34 AM

Ed, you're missing my point. You are asking those of US on NMB to advise you on whether a blade is worth X, but we haven't seen it!! There are many people on this board who have sharp eyes, & even sharper brains, with tons of experience (I hope to get there some year!), but none of us are willing to advise without seeing something! If you want to go ahead & buy the blade without any advice, that's fine - go for it! You may be making the deal of the century...or not. But if you're asking for advice from the board, please don't ask us to do so based on what you see.

 

Ken

 


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#7 EdWolf

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 02:05 AM

Hi Ken,
Sorry but I don't expect from Nmb members to say yes or no without pictures. I only want to know if I should proceed. The fact that I can't find unsigned Dewa Gassan blades for sales does not give me a good starting point for reference. I have sent an email to the seller for good pictures and his permission to post them.
Regards, Ed
Ed

#8 Ken-Hawaii

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 02:14 AM

 

I only want to know if I should proceed.

Ed, I don't think we're communicating, so I'm going to bow out of this conversation. Telling you to proceed, or not, IS GIVING YOU ADVICE!!

 

Ken

 

 



#9 Vermithrax16

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 02:27 AM

Hi Ken,
Sorry but I don't expect from Nmb members to say yes or no without pictures. I only want to know if I should proceed. The fact that I can't find unsigned Dewa Gassan blades for sales does not give me a good starting point for reference. I have sent an email to the seller for good pictures and his permission to post them.
Regards, Ed

Ed,

 

I think if you read what Ken has posted in no uncertain terms a few time, you will see the advice. 

 

As a newer nihonto lover myself I can only counsel slowing down and really knowing who you are dealing with, and what you are trying to buy. I should have done both. Know better now.


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"I wonder if we're being drawn into an ambush. Ultimately, it doesn't matter. We have to do this. We've already bought tickets for the last dance. And it's going to be a real gala event."  - Robopocalypse 

#10 EdWolf

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 03:37 AM

Hi Ken,
I apologize for the fact that I didn't understand you correctly. English is not my native language and writing and reading can sometimes be hard. Sorry for misunderstanding you. I hope to receive the pictures soon and maybe you still want to help me further.
Best regards, Ed
Ed

#11 Brian

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 08:27 AM

Guys, don't be too harsh.
If I get what Ed is asking, he is asking if anything he does know about it, excludes it immediately at that price. In other words, is the school bad, or is the price already out of the question for what he does know about it.
My answer is that no....nothing there excludes a good deal so far. If the sword is nice, and if the polish is good, then the price is really not bad for a papered katana.
So now you know that it has a chance..and you can proceed to the next step of examining and analysing the sword.
In fact, the Gassan school turned out some really nice swords and if it is papered to that school, then there is a chance of a very nice deal.
Study up on the school so you know what to look for.
http://www.sho-shin.com/tosan7.htm

 

Brian
 


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#12 EdWolf

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 10:03 AM

Hi Brian,
That's exactly what I wanted to know. I have tried to find as much as possible about this school but there is not much for sale. I'll wait for the pictures. Thanks for your reply.
Ed

#13 EdWolf

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 12:30 PM

I just received the pictures. Not the best quality but the seller is using his tablet. Hope this helps

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Ed

#14 EdWolf

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 12:35 PM

And one more.
Regards, Ed

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Ed

#15 PNSSHOGUN

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 02:05 PM

Difficult to really give you much advice from those pictures, it does have koto hallmarks, papers and the polish seems ok. That is a good price for a papered koto blade in polish and recent mountings.

 

 

That is my gut feeling, I'd get more opinions from more knowledgeable members before proceeding. 


John


#16 Bazza

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 02:28 PM

I'd get around and look at a lot more swords before proceeding...  Truly, the world is your oyster - patience.

 

BaZZa.


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#17 Geraint

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 03:05 PM

Dear Ed.

 

While the advice given is sound here is a thought.  At that price for a koto papered blade in reasonable condition I would be very tempted to buy it and use it as a basis for studying that school.  I have been fortunate enough to have handled a couple of Koto Gassan blades and if I were in your shoes I'd do it.  Certainly you could get a blade in really good polish from another school but Koto Gassan are not that common.  Speaking personally I have always found that having a sword in hand focuses my study a great deal.  If after a time you tire of it then you would have a great chance of recouping your money.  Learning in this hobby does not come cheap and I don't just mean the books.

 

Well there is a counter view, now it's up you to decide.

 

Whatever you do remember this is a hobby, it's supposed to be enjoyable.

 

All the best.


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#18 PNSSHOGUN

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 03:46 PM

I absolutely agree with Geraint, a Gassan koto blade that you can study for a relatively nominal price is a good opportunity to move past the low end aspect of collecting and start focusing on building your tastes and objectives.

 

There are many blades I regret getting at that price point early on in my collecting, you can do much worse for far more money.


John


#19 Okiiimo

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 05:50 PM

Perhaps someone with more knowledge can speak to this but I see no indication on the photographs or the NTHK certification that this is a Dewa Gassan example. It doesn't have the characteristic ayasugi hada (NTHK certification says itame hada) nor does it have any reference (that I could see) to a Gassan attribution. If this is indeed Dewa Gassan, I would think there are better examples out there that at least show more of the classic characteristics of a koto Gassan besides loose hada. The NTHK cert does provide a note of an approximate era is Eiwa (1375-1378) which is interesting on how the shinsa team could define the blade to such a narrow age attribution.

 

Anyway... these my limited thoughts. The advise to hold off this acquisition seems sound to me!


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#20 EdWolf

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 05:52 PM

Thanks to all. I wait for more opinions.
Regards, Ed
Ed

#21 singlechange

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 05:54 PM

Ed,

     When you decide to buy this sword please make sure you ask for and receive 3-Day Inspection and Approval contingent  with the purchase from the seller.

  

Robert


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#22 raaay

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 07:24 PM

Hi Ed,

 

 From the pictures supplied I would pass on this one , lots more for your $ out there,  it looks to be a very tired looking  blade from the pictures supplied.

 

 

also the tsuka / ito  ! does look kind of new ! but the  poorly focused  picture does not give a clear shot of tsuka to be a 100% sure, IMHO

 

 

but what do I know ,


Ray :)


#23 Okiiimo

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 07:40 PM

Is this really a Dewa Gassan blade we're talking about? If so, could someone kindly point out the kantei points from the photographs or provide a translation of the NTHK kanteisho that says "gassan"? I don't see evidence that this blade is a Dewa Gassan and I'd appreciate if someone could point out where I've overlooked something.

 

Thanks!


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#24 EdWolf

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 08:28 PM

Ray,
As stated in the earlier posts, the Tsuka and de Saya are not old.
I don't think the blade is tired. Just poor pictures.

Allan,
I am also confused. Hope someone can clear it up. If the blade isn't Gassan I pass.

Regards, Ed
Ed

#25 Okiiimo

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 08:52 PM

Confusion is a constant state of existence for me. When it comes to nihonto, confusion is a signal that learning may take place. When it comes to world events/politics, I try to live in acceptance rather than falling into insanity.


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#26 Marius

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 10:48 PM

First of all, can you show us the other page of the NTHK paper? That's where the attribution is. The sword seems to be in very poor polish, BTW, unless it just the low quality of the pictures. 


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Marius
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#27 EdWolf

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 11:09 PM

Hi Marius, I don't have a picture of the other side. I will ask the seller.
Regards, Ed
Ed

#28 Okiiimo

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 11:13 PM

NTHK cert on post #13, last photograph.


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#29 Marius

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 11:18 PM

NTHK cert on post #13, last photograph.

 

 

Well, that's not the side with the attribution, sorry :)


Best regards

Marius
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#30 Okiiimo

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 11:49 PM

Sorry Marius, I misunderstood the request for the opposite site of the origami.

 

for comparative purposes - here's another dewa gassan origami (mumei, o-suriage) with an attribution on the "data" side of the origami. Note that in this case, NTHK attribution is readily apparent on either side of the certificate.

 

Regards,

 

Allan

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