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Any thoughts on this tanto I'm planning to buy?

tanto ebay wanted saya fake

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#1 Amy

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 07:22 AM

Hi,

I'm a beginner at collecting and I'm planning to purchase my first nihonto. I found a tanto in shirosaya that I really like from a trusted seller, but since I don't have much experience, it would be useful to know what everyone thinks about it before I buy it. Specifically, do you see any fatal damages or anything unusual? Are there any signs that it could be gimei? Anything notable that might raise or lower its value? And what price range should I be paying for it? The seller listed $1500 but is open to negotiation, so what would you suggest as the lowest reasonable price?

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Amy


#2 Ken-Hawaii

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 07:37 AM

Hi, Amy, & welcome to NMB.

 

Almost all of us were anxious to buy our very-first blade, but the few who did some studying first (NOT including me!) have found that they get a lot more for their hard-earned dollars. Have you bought some basic references books to study, so that you know what you are looking to buy? There are numerous starter book recommendations that a quick NMB search will show you.

 

As far as the tanto, it's out of polish, probably Muromachi, & looks like it might have two ware on the omote. There's no way to tell if the mei is real, without sending it to Shinsa, & the mei should be the very-last thing you look at when considering a purchase. I wouldn't spend $1500 on this blade, but that's only my personal opinion. Why do you consider the seller as "trusted?"


Ken Goldstein

 

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but it takes a special kind of human to rise to life's challenges for a lifetime.


#3 Ganko

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 08:19 AM

I agree with Ken's assessment. In my opinion $1500 is way too much for this item unless it had some fantastic mountings to go with it.

I would encourage you to gain more knowledge before you part with your money. Don't be in a hurry there are many quality items out there, some can even be found on this message board.


Tom C

#4 Amy

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 08:21 AM

Hi, Amy, & welcome to NMB.

 

Almost all of us were anxious to buy our very-first blade, but the few who did some studying first (NOT including me!) have found that they get a lot more for their hard-earned dollars. Have you bought some basic references books to study, so that you know what you are looking to buy? There are numerous starter book recommendations that a quick NMB search will show you.

 

As far as the tanto, it's out of polish, probably Muromachi, & looks like it might have two ware on the omote. There's no way to tell if the mei is real, without sending it to Shinsa, & the mei should be the very-last thing you look at when considering a purchase. I wouldn't spend $1500 on this blade, but that's only my personal opinion. Why do you consider the seller as "trusted?"

I agree with Ken's assessment. In my opinion $1500 is way too much for this item unless it had some fantastic mountings to go with it.

I would encourage you to gain more knowledge before you part with your money. Don't be in a hurry there are many quality items out there, some can even be found on this message board.

Hi Ken and Tom, thanks for the advice! I haven't read the reference books yet, but have done some studying online from resources like aoijapan.net. I understand I would be more prepared if I read more, but I guess I'm impatient to get started :D, so I'm just looking for something genuine that won't cost a huge fortune.

I've been reading around NMB and the seller (pcay) seems to have a good reputation, so I guess I could trust that the blade isn't made in china. I agree that $1500 is overpriced for a tanto in shirosaya since there are katanas and NBTHK certified blades that sell for that price, but I'm not sure how low I could ask for without sounding unreasonable since I've seen some sell for $300.


Amy


#5 paulb

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 09:30 AM

Amy,

I understand your impatience in wanting to buy your first blade. But the advice you have recieved is right and your last mail confirms that you need to do some more background study before going ahead and buying something.

I don't know where you are based but strongly suggest you attempt to make contact with the nearest study group and if possible seek the help from an experienced collector who can help guide you to where you want to be. This can be a very positive experience and feels a lot more proactive than burying yourself in books trying to absorb information from the page (Still important though)

Good luck and Best regards

Paul



#6 Amy

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 10:21 AM

Amy,

I understand your impatience in wanting to buy your first blade. But the advice you have recieved is right and your last mail confirms that you need to do some more background study before going ahead and buying something.

I don't know where you are based but strongly suggest you attempt to make contact with the nearest study group and if possible seek the help from an experienced collector who can help guide you to where you want to be. This can be a very positive experience and feels a lot more proactive than burying yourself in books trying to absorb information from the page (Still important though)

Good luck and Best regards

Paul

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm actually still not sure how far I want to go with collecting, instead of just buying one and treasuring it. I was hoping the experienced collectors on this forum could guide me on this purchase, but I see I should do more studying first. I'll think about it more. Thanks for all the advice :)


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Amy


#7 Jean

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 12:00 PM

http://www.militaria...rules-of-thumb/
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Jean L.
Soshin Gimei

#8 Ed

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 12:17 PM

Amy, Where are you located?  Perhaps there is a group, member or someone known within the Nihonto community nearby you could speak with or even pay a visit to.


Ed M.
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#9 ROKUJURO

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 12:57 PM

Amy,

I can understand that you would like to own an authentic blade right now, and this HIROMITSU TANTO looks like one. Unfortunately, we cannot be sure about the quality and the authenticity from looking at photos alone. In my opinion there is an issue near the MUNEMACHI, but that may just be the condition of the polish. 

Under these conditions, the price seems a bit high with only a SHIRA-SAYA (not shiro-saya). Like mentioned before, I am sure you could do better for that amount of money with some basic information - and patience! 


Regards,

Jean C.

#10 hxv

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 12:18 AM

I agree with all said previously. For comparison, here is another tanto on ebay that I think is a much better offer, with lots of activities to look at, in koshirae, papered (albeit unsigned), and quite a bit less expensive. I am not the seller, not acquainted with him in any way, and have no financial interest in this item.
https://rover.ebay.c...tm/193135592196

Hoanh
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#11 Bazza

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 12:51 AM

A very excellent summary for anybody contemplating a Life With Nihonto.  I write here to point people to Post #15 written by the late, lamented Arnold Frenzel.  I felt a wave of emotion wash over me as I read his words.  Vale Arnold.

 

BaZZa.


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#12 Rivkin

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 01:20 AM

I will be a bit of a contrarian here... From very little seen on the blade it can be a quite active Soshu piece (not that many Muromachi smiths did such large nie patches in ji so that they are visible even out of polish), which sort of matches the signature Hiromitsu.

So in deep theory the transaction can be worthwhile if you are near a good polisher, so you'll end up with a signed Soshu tanto from about 1510 AD for 2700 polished... That sounds a little cheap. And Soshu works are generally hard to find. Even during Muromachi mainlines like Tsunahiro were not churning up blades en masse. 

 

But it works if you actually see the item in hands and 100% convinced it will polished well (surprisingly these large nie patches can sometimes even survive saiha, so no warranty and the way dark shadow rises from nakago is a little bit worriesome) and nothing opens up (and with Soshu it can open up wide and quickly. These blades have as much stress as they can bear). And you don't mind spending time/money on it. In other words - you have significant experience, convinced you are right, and know you want to gamble on Soshu.

 

5 years ago I would have looked at the blade in hand, huggled for 1000-1300$ and likely take it up for a project. Soshu is great. This one looks like hitatsura.

Today, not that interested. Rather pay much more even for unsigned Tsunahiro (you are not supposed to buy those, but I am a fool, so can do whatever I want) but get exactly what I see rather than gambling on something that even in the best case can come up only 90% right.

 

Kirill R.


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#13 Vermithrax16

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 02:28 AM

Not much to add to the good advice here. I would say that right now is a very good time to be a buyer, and $1500 will find a nice tanto with papers and in good polish to really appreciate and enjoy.


Jeremiah

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#14 Ken-Hawaii

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 04:40 AM

When we talk about "papers," or origami, we're referring to authentication papers from NBTHK or NTHK that certify a blade as "worthy of preservation" as well often authenticating the mei (or not).Many a blade has been authenticated as a totally different swordsmith than what is signed on the mei.

 

Buying Polished/Papered/Perfect blades is always the way to go!


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Ken Goldstein

 

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but it takes a special kind of human to rise to life's challenges for a lifetime.


#15 Amy

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 04:50 AM

Amy, Where are you located?  Perhaps there is a group, member or someone known within the Nihonto community nearby you could speak with or even pay a visit to.

There is actually a Japanese sword club close to where I live. Maybe I'll visit them


Amy


#16 Amy

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 05:10 AM

Thanks everyone the great advice! The rules of thumb thread was quite useful, learned a bit of history from it. I think I'll do more research so I could make a better informed purchase. Glad to find such a friendly and knowledgeable community here :)


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Amy


#17 Peter Bleed

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 08:34 PM

There is actually a Japanese sword club close to where I live. Maybe I'll visit them

Amy,

If it is at all possible to visit other people, look at swords that they think are worth looking at, and observing the reality of current sword collecting, I URGE you to do that. Sword collectors are a fair cross section of humanity. I won't guarentee them as company, BUT they are a way of looking at swords. Oh, and sometimes "collectors sell stuff cheaper than "dealers" do.

Best of luck.

Peter


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