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paulb last won the day on January 28

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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. I am a bit out of date so it may have changed but normally in the past customs pass the item to the carrier with the charges and the carrier asked for payment before scheduling delivery.
  2. from past experience Parcelforce don't update status until the parcel has left the customs hall and on site in their hub (usually Coventry)
  3. I think I am in the same camp as Guido and saiha a possibility and that might also explain the very "glassy" finish in the ji-hada. However that could also be the result of a poor polish. The lack of activity in either hada or hamon doesn't suggest it is early, at least to me. If it isn't re-tempered then I would go for an utushi no earlier than Momoyama, but that is a guess based mainly on the shape of the hamon
  4. Fantastic piece of work Jussi I really admire your patience!! I have already been scanning it for swords I might have seen
  5. if it wasn't thought to legitimate the paper would have been issued.
  6. paulb


    The key to attempting to value your tanto is in the title "gimei" meaning false signature is saying that the blade was made by someone else and at another time and a false signature applied. If this were an authentic work by Rai Kunitoshi it would be an extremely valuable piece. However the size is wrong (its too big) , The nakago looks far too young and the mei doesn't look right (but that's from memory so worth double checking against authenticated examples). If as I believe this is a gimei blade and probably made in the 18th or 19th century then the $850 offering would probably be about right, maybe even a little generous. The only way to be sure is firstly compare the mei against known work, there will be lots of examples online. If still unsure you should submit the blade for shinsa either in Japan or in the USA when they start again at various sword shows. Needless to say this will incur additional cost and take some time.
  7. It would be classed as gimei if the mei was removed it would then paper as a mumei blade by the original Smith. Seen a juyo example a blade signed kuniyasu (awataguchi) when mei was removed it papered to Awataguchi
  8. some work he did for me a while ago
  9. I am not sure why this should have gained a negative reaction on FB (but then again so much does without real justification) But I am of much the same opinion as Brian. You have an authentic, traditionally made blade, dating I would guess from between 1450 and 1550. While not a national treasure it is competently made and appears to be in good condition without obvious flaws. I am no expert in Showa mounts but these appear to be good quality and condition. While I don't think you got a bargain I don't think you paid way over the odds for the sword. It looks to be an honest work and to be honest far better than 90%+ of the first purchases most of us have made in the past
  10. Mark, They are best regarded as a piece of art. What distinguishes good fittings from the ordinary is a combination of materials, composition and level of skill. Some of the finest metal workers to exist, not only in Japan but world wide were making the fittings for swords. Take a look at some of the examples here and on websites such as Darcy's and you can see the incredible skill employed in their manufacture. It is much like visiting a gallery of fine paintings.
  11. I think if you look at some of the top end dealers in Japan you would be surprised at how reasonable Darcy's stuff is in comparison. Certainly with regard to swords, which I am much more comfortable assessing, I have seen Tokyo dealers typically running at 30-40% more than the equivalent on Yuhindo.
  12. Adam, This is a guide only there are always exceptions. I have seen Rai blades from the 14th century which were nearly 8mm thick. But as always in this type of assessment I tend to be guided by the "norm" the more exceptions to that you see the less likely it is to be what you might hope. For me the nakago, the way the shinogi distorts in it and the colour, combined with the thickness suggest the later date but as always this is only opinion not a statement of fact.
  13. I would tend to shin-shinto. Look at the way the shinogi runs in to the nakago it wobbles and if this were an O-suriage Koto piece I think I would expect it to run as a smooth continuation of what's happening in the blade. The patination on the nakago also looks a little superficial and possibly created rather than the result of natural aging. Always difficult from images. One key dimension you need to look at is the thickness. If it is koto I would expect it to be fairly thin (6mm or so) Shin-Shinto more like 7-8mm
  14. Forgive me I haven't read all the posts in detail but the basic premise at the start was the view that quality of workmanship decreased as one progressed through a school, i.e. 4th generation wasn't as good as 1st or whatever. In many cases this is true but it is by no means always the case. At the start I believe the original post mentioned nidai Hizen Masahiro, well in most of the texts I have read and the blades I have seen he was regarded as a better smith than his father. Shodai Masahiro was a great teacher but his son the better smith. Likewise second generation Kanesada more highly regarded than others, Sandai Tadayoshi, probably the best and so on. Its true that as manufacture progressed through the Muromachi demand meant quality suffered and therefore later smiths produced fewer great swords than their forefathers but this was due in part to available material and in part to time pressure. It doesn't necessarily mean the smiths were less skilled. Some extremely fine blades were produced by later generation smiths in many schools as always you need to judge the sword in front of you.
  15. I think I need glasses for the early morning. The title had me trying to guess why anyone would want to remove a larger herbivore with a Teppo and from where (eyesight or senility not sure which)
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