Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Ron STL last won the day on March 16 2020

Ron STL had the most liked content!


155 Excellent


About Ron STL

  • Birthday 12/05/1936

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location:
    St. Louis, Missouri USA
  • Interests
    Early fittings and early koto swords.

Profile Fields

  • Name

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. I am also impressed and both I and the owner thank you so very much. My guess is that this was a special tsuba, possibly by request, to carry these proverbs. Whatever, this information will become part of this tsuba's file. I'll search through my book of Nobuiye oshigata to see if by chance these proverbs might be found. The Hidesai (alternate readings) used by Naotada have not been found elsewhere, to date. Seldom see much on these lesser smiths. Not sure if it means anything but notice Naotada used the final vertical stroke in Nao which is later dropped. Again, thanks for your fine explanation of this motif. Ron STL
  2. I have been studying a tsuba belonging to a friend that was made by NAOTADA, associated with shinshinto Naokatsu. As some may recall, I have been studying Naokatsu and students, both swords and tsuba. My first question is to find a translation of the complete mei. I have been unable to understand what the complete mei is. Second part of this post. The tsuba is typical of the group that copied the style of Nobuiye. Here it looks like the plate might have a series of kanji carved on it in hiragana (?). If so, does this translate into something? It is an interesting tsuba to enjoy, wish it was mine. But it is always available to study, being local. RonSTL
  3. Thanks Geraint, at least that satisfies my curiosity. Curran, I'll try and get more crisp photos of the details not seen on the Iphone shots. I will say my first thoughts were, "if these were sent for shinsa" they would come back as late Edo, Kyo-kinko or something like that. What this is about, I'm considering using these for the 2022 KTK Catalog (if accepted), but lack a reliable description at this point. As you said, more crisp photography would be needed. Meanwhile, your thoughts and impressions are appreciated. RonSTL
  4. This is a two-part posting so let's see what it turns up. I have a very beautiful f/k depicting "cranes" and am trying to place age/school for it. It was once owned by RB Caldwell and sold after his death. Of all the books in my library, I never did buy his book showing items from his collection. First question, if somebody out there has a copy of this book I'd appreciate looking to see if by chance, this set is pictured. If so, what is it described as. Second, I'm open to any opinion can be offered on the set. My apologies for the not so clear photo, but in reality, the detail is terrific. The wing feathers are individually detailed down to the hairs of each feather, for example. The nanako is well made and slightly large (not like Goto nanako). I'm just trying to get some direction on the set. I have some opinion, but will wait to the fresh thoughts first. It is frustrating that this seems to be the best quality my I-Phone 7 can do. The phone is do to be replaced sometime, meanwhile I need to reacquaint myself with my camera I suppose. Thanks for any help you can give me on identifying the set. RonSTL
  5. I have had several kogatana polished over the years and they can be quite enjoyable to see. As Brian pointed on, only the one side is polished, not the signature side.. While many kogatana mei can be ignore, you do find those that were forged and tempered. If the signature appears well made is well cut (as on your kogatana) I would feel pretty good that it was hand forged. The sugata of your kogatana also seems well made. Truly as signed? Hmmm...here you need to go at least the kogatana book (I forget the official title) to see how close the mei comes to the book example. Lucky for me, I have a local friend who does an excellent job on kogatana, so it does not cost much to bring out their beauty. A miniature shirasaya would be nice too, but I haven't ventured into those. John Yumoto used to say if you wanted a big name kogatana your went into a shop and picked out what you wanted. Nothing was hand made in those shops, but the lack of craftsmanship can be easily spotted. A well made kogatana should show its quality craftsmanship (just like a sword would do). Ron STL
  6. Thanks for the excellent examples. They are definitely convincing. Appreciate the direction as where to go on this. Interesting that the cranes are almost identical except more of these cranes have their bills open whereas your example they are closed, more relaxed. This on must be by Mitsumasa or being unsigned, from his stable, I would say. I found the blossom tsuba in Murtha's book but he did not identify a school. Would say again a Bushu group associated with Mitsumasa. Again, my thanks for this excellent help. Now I must read more about this group. Ron STL
  7. I've just acquired this interesting iron tsuba which is covered in flying cranes, etc., that are carried over the rim onto the back of the tsuba. I'm puzzled where to place this tsuba (group), so your thoughts are appreciated. The tsuba is slightly oval, measuring 72 mm x 6.7 mm x 5mm. Notice some of the carving carry over onto the seppa dai. Looking forward to your thoughts on this. Ron STL
  8. So nice to see a nicely preserved (not abused, chipped and rusted) turn up like this. As to what steps to take with the sword, is this something you would preserve and appreciate (being inherited) or is of only passing interest. Often, a non-collector would rather turn a sword into $$$ and hopefully put it into the hands of an appreciative collector. There are many sincere and honest collectors around. Taking it to San Francisco to the NTHK shinsa would authenticate the signature (or not pass it as "as signed"). If your only interest in selling the sword, shop around the show and get a feel for what it is worth and sell it. If nothing else, it would be a great learning experience for you. If you have any family history on the sword, it's always nice to pass that on to the next owner. Ron STL
  9. That is so very interesting. I suppose it telling up that SADAYOSH is an old established family, and obviously a patron of Naokatsu in his early days. Thank you very much Moriyama san for identifying this for me. Ron STL
  10. I have been studying a shinshinto wakizashi with includes the "special ordered by" inscription. The 2nd kanji (right below the ana) needs explaining to accurately understand the inscription. I've asked a knowledgeable friend, but how this is read (before the patron's name) remained not clearly understood. Perhaps a NMB member who is fluent in Japanese can help? Let's see what happens. Appreciate clearing this reading up, if only for my records. Ron STL
  11. Decision on this sword is to submit to shinsa at the San Francisco show and if it passes, the polisher with complete restoration. If failed, it will be returned to me. Probably a safe move to take. Ron
  12. The close-up shows nicely formed what is probably ko-nie and the line of sunagashi seems to indicate a masame forging along the cutting edge, which is a promising thing to look for in an koto sword. Always important to see if the nie (or ko-nie) is made clear and consistant, not blotchy and oversized here and there. Ron
  13. I've been studying a sword I've judged as shodai Tadatsuna, convinced by the mei and what I could see of the hamon. It's now with the polisher, but he commented that the hamon was difference than what he had seen for Tadatsuna. I found it interesting that only the Shinto Taikan and Nihonto Zuikan Shintohen show any examples of the father, shodai. I've found a few papered examples through Google. So I'll ask, if anybody can post authenticated examples of shodai Tadatsuna where the hamon is shown, please direct me to them for study. I may be wise to await NBTHK shinsa whenever that is possible, before spending on polish. I usually trust myself, but... Attached, a composite showing (roughly) what is on my sword. Ron STL 310 Hamon as-is.docx
  14. Interesting to see to see this sword and its jigane, hamon. About two months ago I posted a mumei sword with a very similar forging and hamon. Initially, it was called a fake, Chinese, etc., but soon settled down once realizing it was a real sword. Discussion ended with it being called koto or shinshinto. I have considered sending it to Japan for shinsa once virus restrictions settle down. Now I wonder if it might be this same Yoshihiro??? or at least his group. Wonder if this sword was sold; seemed very fair priced if one liked the sword. Ron STL
  15. That's a possibility Barry. Makes me recall such a wakizashi years ago that was "dressed" as an islander sword, but the blade was an interesting wakizashi, no doubt picked up in the field and redressed to taste. You may recall the blade, too, pictured in Fujishiiro Shintohen p. 309 if memory is correct. Nakajima polished the sword later but a large opening in the kissaki caused me to part with it. Back to the topic sword, I think the koshirae is too well made to have been redressed by some islander. Ron STL
  • Create New...