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Yamato Den Shizu: Why No Bids?

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#1 Prewar70


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Posted 09 November 2018 - 06:32 PM

Seems like a desirable school looking at other swords that have sold.  This doesn't have a specific smith attribution like Kaneuji, so maybe a detraction there.  It's mumei, but seems like most are from that period as well as shortened.  Length is good, it's not short.  So as I'm trying to learn tell me what I'm missing.  I thought the price was reasonable.



James Friedrichs

#2 mywei


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Posted 09 November 2018 - 07:06 PM

Looks like good blade I agree. But some normal light photos would help to look at few areas of hada. It'll probably go pretty quick after the auction ends I think.

Could prob take a punt at Juyo too imo


#3 Shugyosha


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Posted 09 November 2018 - 07:10 PM

Hi James,


Beyond a few areas of o hada which I don't feel are out of keeping with the age of the blade, I can't really see any significant detractors. I remember asking the same question about a Rai school blade that didn't go and the answer that came back was "price".


I guess ultimately if the price is appealing, stuff sells and if not it sticks - again it doesn't seem to be excessive to me so maybe it's just an anomaly.




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Please excuse my spelling mistakes, brevity and ignorance.

#4 Katsujinken


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Posted 09 November 2018 - 08:19 PM

Given the relative quality of the school one has to wonder why this blade, in Japan, is only Hozon after almost a decade.

For me personally the “fixed” gakumei is unfortunate.

And the “den” is another downgrade, of sorts.
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#5 Rayhan


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Posted 09 November 2018 - 08:31 PM

I don't think den has a mannerism of negativity. Den constitutes the sword has the features related to this school or smith so even if we look at the sword with that in mind you'd lean to Naoe Shizu (i personally feel it is) or the other way is a smith related to Shizu from the Masamune school or the Yamato school.

Other possibility is a consignment sword and it was never submitted for THozon

#6 paulb


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Posted 09 November 2018 - 10:32 PM

There is a very interesting write up about the use of Den by Bob Benson which I was sent some years ago. It points out that many collectors in the west view the appearance of "Den" as being negative which is absolutley not the case. It may be used when a sword by a certain smith exhibts features the panel would not typically expect to see or lacked some the might expect. Or its better than they would expect from the named smith.

Basically it means it's a bit different from the norm , not necessarily worse and often better.

Attached File  Den.pdf   114.47KB   22 downloads

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#7 Katsujinken


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Posted 09 November 2018 - 10:55 PM

Indeed, right you are. Den is only “bad” if you’re after a stronger / narrower attribution. That’s all I meant. And if I’m buying a sword by a well regarded Koto school, my personal preference is for a narrow attribution, especially for anything above $10,000 USD. At the Juyo level, den is definitely not something I want, unless we’re talking about the very top tier of makers (which is not the price range where I operate these days). For me, Yamato Shizu (the school) is not quite special enough for den to be acceptable. Same goes for Naoe Shizu. I’d need to go one level higher at least to be comfortable with den.

Just a personal preference... which might change as I learn more over the years.


#8 DRDave


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Posted 09 November 2018 - 10:58 PM

I wonder what the starting price would be if it weren't for the former gakumei. 

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#9 Vermithrax16


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Posted 10 November 2018 - 12:49 AM

Still some time until auction ends. I think the sword is very good and the price is pretty fair. Some shy away from the auction listing as it's a "you bought it, you keep it" deal where you cannot return the sword if something untoward is found when you inspect in hand. Unless a consignment blade, Aoi allows returns (for proper reasons) so many times a sword will not sell at auction close, then be sold 2-4 hours after that.


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#10 Pete Klein

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Posted 10 November 2018 - 01:32 PM

One happy bidder.

“It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”
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#11 Ted Tenold

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Posted 10 November 2018 - 04:48 PM

At a glance, the blade is quite nice.  Considering it had a gakumei that has been struck, likely scenario is that it was submitted for the maker of note on it, bounced as gimei, gakumei erased, re-submitted for attribution and then left at hozon.  As has been discussed many times in the past, many owners/collectors in Japan (and some outside also) don't concern themselves with anything higher than Hozon as chasing tiers is not their objective.  


The attribution of "Den" (伝), also as referenced in this thread, is not necessarily a diminishing statement and can be in some cases a note of enthusiasm for a piece. Indeed for some makers, such as Go Yoshihiro where there are no known signed examples in the extant body of works, it can be a matter of policy to include den in the attribution and/or elevation.  "Den" can be a large colorful signpost sometimes, partcularly in the Tokuju tier works where a remarkably good Shizu ascribed as "den", might have been attributed to Masamune back in the olden days.  They can be that good, or [humble opinion switched on] better.  All Tokuju arrive from lower tiers also, so looking at the quality and not the teir should be the focus.  

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Isn't "here" just "there" without a "t"??

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