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When It's Time To Sell Pieces You Have


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#1 Vermithrax16

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 02:02 AM

As much as we all would love to keep every piece of nihonto we ever encounter, the time does come for some things to move out, to make room for new things. First time really coming to grips with this, it's a bit harder than I thought it was going to be.

 

Would appreciate any thoughts/advice/counseling ( :) ) about this from the members. The urge to keep everything is profound.


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#2 Katsujinken

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 02:49 AM

Remember that if we do our jobs right we are but caretakers. Hopefully you are making room for something more important and substantial that needs your attention, having earned the privilege by caring for what you are now passing on, hopefully to a worthy successor.

And if you are just making room, that’s okay too. The most important thing is that these artifacts survive. That is the best we can do, because we can’t take anything with us.

Onward!
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Michael

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#3 Vermithrax16

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 02:59 AM

Well said Michael.


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#4 Rayhan

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 06:38 AM

Michael is correct in his advice. I also struggle to let go of swords that have come into my care, especially because I believe the sword chooses it's caretaker.

My most important criteria is the sword is sold through an experienced nihonto dealer that will place it in a good home and in the hands of an experienced collector so I have the assurance it will continue to be well cared for. It's the same for a direct sale.

Keep in mind that even though we have cared for this great sword the fact remains that there is and always will be a better sword (even from the same maker) out there and you will probably see those examples and have a chance to aquire better as you wait patiently. No sword is a pinnacle really because smiths worked to improve their art and skill so on most cases produced better and better swords. Have faith you'll find better.

Remember that every time you sell a sword (kept in good condition) you're doing your bit to further educate a collector and maintain enthusiasm for this art. If seasoned or journeyman collectors did not pass on good swords the others would not learn, so rest assured that is a big contribution to our society of collectors.

Every time you let go of a sword you spark new vigour to save and buy yourself a new one :)

You learn the art of collecting through patience.

If you sell a sword in shirasaya and the next buyer mounts it in koshirae you have helped maintain the skills of an entire industry that is vital to our society. Same for polishing.

...just a few thoughts on why you should sleep well if your sale was to a worthy successor.
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#5 IJASWORDS

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 08:36 AM

I have been facing the same problem lately. Every sword I acquired meant some thing to me, and in no way am I tired of them. BUT space and to some extent finances dictates that to acquire any more, I must address both these issues. SO, I set myself a rule, adding to my collection requires me to create a space by at least removing one (or more), and preferably selling or trading part of the collection to enable the purchase to be self funding. 

The best motivator for this is to find some thing new that you really want, and stick to the rules that free up space and cash.   


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Neil

#6 paulb

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 10:30 AM

Jeremiah

I have a lot of sympathy with your predicament. The problem is usually the emotional attachment one places on objects. This relates not only to the item but also the events and actions that led up to it's acquisition and the pleasure you get from studying it. The problem comes when you accumulate rather than collect. I have said often before that I sold of the majority of my original collection to consolidate in to a few better pieces. Taking the decision to lose 20+ swords and as many fittings which had been collected over a lot of years was tough but the only way I could improve the quality of what I was studying.

The reality was that I was regularly looking at maybe 5-10% of what was there, the rest was in maintenance mode being checked a couple of times a year. A number of well respected collectors I know work on the basis of buying the best example they can find and keeping it until a better example turns up (which it always does). This seems a little cold hearted but it means the collection continues to evolve and the opportunity to study continues.

I also hope that when I move things on they go to someone who will enjoy and cherish them as much as I have. SO far I think I have been lucky and that has been the case but of course its something you cant be sure of.

For what it is worth having taken the decision to let something go I have never (well rarely) regretted it. 


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#7 PNSSHOGUN

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 10:47 AM

I think you have to move items on so you can buy superior pieces at the end of the day. Also worth thinking about how hard it would be to replace that item if you wanted another down the road. Unless it's a big upgrade or something I've been after for a long time I hold off, save up a bit and see if the motivation to sell is still burning.


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John


#8 IanB

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 11:14 AM

Jeremiah,  As someone who started collecting when all wakizashi and tanto were 'arrakiri' knives and all katana were used for executions, many swords and other items have passed through my hands over the last 60 years or so. Looking back, there are perhaps only two or three pieces I parted with which I now deeply regret. Perhaps the most outstanding was a beautiful katana with a blade by Ippo and another was a yari with a blade around 1m long. Circumstances dictated the disposal of the first - essentially the need to eat, and the second was the prospect of owning something that appeared better at the time but in retrospect wasn't. In many ways I agree with Paul, many collections are simply accumulations in which a part is hardly ever looked at. Perhaps you should think of those who will have the thrill and pleasure you had when you acquired the items you planning to dispose of. However, think long and hard over each item before making a decision - some pieces might be better than you think. I recently dragged out an armour I have had for about 30 years. It had sat on its box covered with a cloth in the corner of my armour room relatively ignored until I needed to photograph it for a talk. I am now looking at it with fresh eyes and delighting in what I am now seeing. I have learned so much more than when it first arrived with me and it has now taken on a totally new meaning and significance. 

Ian Bottomley


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#9 paulb

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 11:29 AM

Ian

I agree about looking at things you have had for a long time with new eyes. It is amazing how different they look after you have had the chance to learn more over the intervening years. You should always think very hard about letting something go and that the reasons justify the loss. Sometimes we get it wrong. I bought back one of the 20 I sold as soon as I could and there is one other I would dearly love to see again but overall I think trying to improve the quality of a collection and to the ability to learn more is the right thing to do (at least for me)


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#10 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 12:42 PM

My wife is like the waves on the shore. She never gives up urging me to sell, but the intensity comes and goes. The only way I can buy anything now is to assure her that it will sell when the day comes.

As Ian and others have said above, I have let go of many things in the past and later regretted it. On occasion I have sold, bought back and then sold again to the same person, and in one case bought back a second time. Some things are keepers and may go to my offspring when they settle down.

Sometimes I get a feeling where a particular blade might go. I have a circle of friends and acquaintances and dealers, and often a bit of quiet consulting helps me to make a decision and points me in the right direction. By the same token there are some things that I really like but give me no idea or inspiration yet as to how I would go about selling them.
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#11 Vermithrax16

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 01:20 PM

Excellent input all. Thanks for the discussion.
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Jeremiah

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"I think that there must be."


#12 kissakai

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 01:38 PM

When Ford but an in depth study of fuchi/kashira it made me look at mine with 'new' eyes

Before deciding have a very close look at what you have and like Ian you may be pleasantly surprised


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Grev UK


#13 Surfson

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 01:51 AM

Call me Jeremiah.  This is a long conversation!  Bob


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Robert S.

#14 Vermithrax16

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 02:04 AM

Call me Jeremiah.  This is a long conversation!  Bob

Ha! Will do sometime Robert, if you can tolerate me :)


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"I think that there must be."


#15 Kmad

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 10:40 AM

Hi 

My hobby is two fold

I buy to sell and I buy to collect (I make a profit of a 3-4 thousand euro on my hobby on a yearly basis plus my collection continually is growing) 

I predominately collect Irish flintlock pistols and Indian bladed weapons and of these I never sell unless I purchase an upgrade of one i already have in my collection and I move on the lesser item.

I never sell from my collection unless i have the upgrade already in my hand.

 

I have 2 Japanese swords at the moment and they will be sold eventually but only when i am ready as I like them.  Some items I have sold within a day but all my selling goes into a separate bank account so when something better comes along I have the cash at the ready.

 

When selling my wife actually asks am i sure as she has seen me annoyed in the past over sales I have made, but unusually when there are lack of funds in my collection account she has no worries about me buying items out of the main house account as she knows i will pay back with the profit on the next sales. (I value this support a lot)

 

In the past I have sold somethings I liked ( a good deal came along and i sold the item) then i got the cash and for example paid the car insurance with the money.  This I regret as I have nothing tangible from the item left and there is cash in the bank.

 

I don't think you fully know whether you should have sold until you walk away without the item and just have money in your pocket.

 

Just my taughts

 

Regards

 

Ken 


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#16 Vermithrax16

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 06:13 AM

Just wanted to add, at least for me, when you ship out a piece you have been a caretaker for, studied, and come to love, it's really hard.

 

My 2 cents.


Jeremiah

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"I think that there must be."


#17 Alex A

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 10:52 AM

Hi Jeremiah, just a few thoughts.

 

Selling paves the way for new buying experiences.

 

In ten years ive only picked up three items that I think of as "keepers".

 

I have sold stuff that I miss, but have no regrets, it was necessary at that time.

 

The fun part of this hobby for me is in the searching and learning about items, rather than the ownership.

 

I guess most of us are limited to what we can spend on this hobby and cant go on indefinitely without something having to go. Its not just buying more Nihonto, you don't know whats around the corner with one thing and another, so good to know it pays back should it need to.


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