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paulb last won the day on June 15

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About paulb

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  • Birthday 01/25/1955

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    Koto swords, especially pre nambokucho.
    Weapons from the American civil war

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    paul bowman

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  1. Funnily enough Geraint I had just that experience a couple of days ago. A friend from over the border was able to visit for the first time in more than a year and we had a great afternoon looking at blades and discussing what we saw. Sad to say he forgot one when he left so I now have the opportunity to study a beautiful ko-wakizashi for an extra couple of weeks. It was great to have that opportunity. I find I am increasingly caught between the devil and deep blue sea. I understand Kirill's comment (I think) On various platforms focus on papers is largely used as a substitute and shortcut to study. However the counter that are those with their own agenda damning the attribution systems. We send a very confusing message to anyone starting out in this field. Sorry I don't want to divert the thread I was just motivated by Geraint's comments about meetings. Sitting with friends studying swords in hand is definitely the best way to go
  2. I have some more images. posted below:
  3. jean please see the answer to Barry regarding the same subject
  4. Hi Barry, Because of the nature of the previous sale and this one I had already cleared with Brian that I would not be able to give any price information. Normally I would be happy to do so (as I have always done in the past)
  5. Dear All, I have been contacted by a collector wishing to move on some of his collection (a different one to the one previously mentioned). Amongst his swords there is a really beautiful Shinsaku-to but 25th generation Kanefusa. This is an area where I have absolutely no experience and don't know anyone who collects modern blades. However this does look to be a beautiful piece of work by a very competent smith. If anyone is interested please send me some contact details via pm and I will put you in contact with the owner. Details listed below Katana Signature: Nijyu-go dai Fujiwara Kanefusa saku. Heisei 3 nen 11 gatsu kichijitsu. Polished, in a shirasaya. Era: Gendai, the Heisei period. November, 1991. Length 72.5cm. 28.54 inches. Width 3.37cm. 1.33 inches. Curvature 1.6cm. 0.63 inches Shape: Broad mihaba, thick kasane and longish kissaki make a good shape. Horimono: Bo-hi is carved on the both sides of the blade. Jitetsu: Jinie and chike appear on the itame-hada.
  6. Actually Michael this is nothing new. Parcelforce have always excluded antiques from the insurance they offer. (at least they have for s long as I have shipped swords anywhere) That is why up until they banned carrying swords I always preferred to use Fedex.
  7. George there are many different forms of utsuri. It can and does appear in most koto schools in one form or another. Most typically it is associated with Bizen work. This is generally, but not always either midare utsuri or bo-utsuri. You also have nie utsuri which is most commonly seen in Yamashiro work and some Soshu pieces. Jifu associated with Ko-Aoe, Shirrake with Mino and later Yamato. So as you can tell it is a complex and variable subject. There is a lot written about it and a search both here and more generally on the web may offer more insight.
  8. Dale not in any way disagreeing with you but as a non fittings person I was intrigued by your statement about it not being cast. As I often struggle to determine whether something is or isn't cast (there are some very good castings about) I was wondering what particular characteristic's made you so sure? thanks Paul
  9. Glad to be of help Bruce but in truth it was purely accidental. My kanji reading is rubbish at best and when it gets to later script as on that sword I rapidly throw in the towel. Hope the info is of use.
  10. Many thanks Koichi-San as always Paul
  11. Having been looking at this withsome friends and cant work it out. I would very much appreciate some help please
  12. paulb


    Dear All, with no further suggestions since Monday I believe this has run it's course. answer and explanation listed below: The blade has been attributed to the Shikkake School of the late Kamakura/early Nambokucho period. It was awarded a Juyo attribution in the 46th session. Congratulations to those who took part and got the correct answer. I think it is reasonable to say that Naginata Naoshi are not normally found with Juyo certification. In line with the NBTHK definitions the blade has to be of high quality workmanship and in line with the characteristics of the school. So why was this mumei, much altered, blade awarded this level of certificate? I hope the following may offer some explanation Shape: Allowing that the shape of the blade has been changed the naginata retains the elegant, almost gentle sugata associated with blades produced in the Kamakura period. As the Nambokucho progressed swords generally became more robust and larger. In the case of Naginata they became longer, broader and the curve at the kissaki deepened. They just got a lot bigger! So the shape points towards the Kamakura period. Hada and Hamon: As said above the workmanship is clearly visible and of very high quality. When compared to the descriptions of what one should expect of the Shikkake School this sword exhibits every listed feature and they are all clearly visible in hada, hamon and boshi. Having established it to be the work of the Shikkake School, further examination pin-points it more precisely. Established references confirm that the quality of later Shikkake work falls off. This manifests itself as a reduction in activity in the hamon, much less Ji-nie and more open hada. Taking these points into account this sword can only be the work of the earlier Shikkake School, thus supporting the opinion already expressed based on the shape of the sword. The Yamato tradition offers a lot of challenges in kantei, not least that so few of their blades were signed. I think they also have a reputation for being utilitarian and lacking the artistry of other schools. I think this is unfair especially when looking at the early works of the Tiama school, Tegai Kanenaga and Shikkake Norinaga. The problem I think is that as with so many schools quality reduced as time progressed and most blades we see, which tend to be late Tegai work, do not reflect the quality of earlier pieces. Also the differences in the schools can be very subtle. We have all seen examples of blades being papered to one school and then on resubmission to another. One needs to look at the fine detail and try and come to a judgement which is what I believe the Shinsa panel did with this work. It had all the features they expected to see in a Shikkake blade and the level of quality to place it at the earlier period of the school’s production.
  13. paulb


    Mark have as many guesses as you want.
  14. paulb


    so Christian was your answer right?
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