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Everything posted by paulb

  1. Very sad news. I enjoyed several enjoyable discussions with him at the DTI about our shared mutual interest in Yamashiro work. He will be greatly missed RIP
  2. unfortunately it is not original. It looks to be a low cost Chinese copy
  3. Geoff, I am sorry to throw a negative in but to try and assess school period or anything else from a sword in this state of polish is not realistic. Also the chance of identifying utsuri on this blade is nil. It is hard enough to identify it on some blades in excellent polish. The only thing you can determine is the sugata and that might give you an idea of age but to try and identify anything else is guesswork and wishful thinking.
  4. Thank you Malcolm, I have sent the link to my friend who can spend a few fruitful hours running through the examples!!! take care Paul
  5. Many thanks for your thoughts to date Gentlemen. without knowing the meaning of the text I would personally question this was a saidan mei. It is after all a tanto and whilst I am sure it is very efficient logically using it in this manner would be impractical if not impossible. I cant remember seeing a cutting test on a tanto before. As said I really appreciate your help and thoughts it has certainly foxed me and the person who sent me the images
  6. Dear All A friend asked for help translating the characters on the nakago shown below. The mei itself is fairly straightforward Nobukuni saku but the remainder are rather unusual. Any assistance would be much appreciated as I am struggling.
  7. paulb

    Kantei of Tanto

    Hi John, If you also look closely at the hamon Dan's is much more contrived gunome which I think points to a later Mino influence.
  8. paulb

    Kantei of Tanto

    Dan, I think you are going to struggle to obtain as precise attribution as you are looking for. The shape suggests it is koto personally I would place it mid to late Muromachi but without greet conviction. The hamon is what I think is leading people to Mino which is certainly a possibility. As John suggests the hada is rather a-typical for Mino but not out of the question. However during this period and later Mino smiths travelled throughout the country teaching their techniques. As a result numerous rural schools starting making Mino lookalike blades (some extremely good ones others less so) I think this is likely to be one such blade.
  9. Hi Steve, I don't think your sword is a cut down naginata from the Kamakura period. in the later Muromachi and well in to the shinto period smiths made swords in this form to resemble naginata or nagamaki naoshi blades. Things that suggest this is the case here (to me) is the presence of a yokote which I would not expect to see on a modified naginata and the lack of a naginata-hi. As Geraint says it is an interesting sword and some very good blades were produced in this form. It deserves further investigation.
  10. Depends whether you are looking at an ubu blade or one that is suriage. I don't think this is uncommon in ubu blades or those that may be slightly machi-okuri. The other possibility is that it originally exhibited yakiotoshi and the hamachi has been moved up slightly making it appear as in your illustration. If shortening and original yakiotoshi is is a possibility then according to Nagayama it could be indicative of an older blade, or one from Kyushu or it could be evidence of saiha. Hope this may help point you at where to look
  11. Hi Ben I can see what you mean. My concern (and BTW I am a major pessimist) is that by the time you polished down to remove the pitting core would be exposed. Unfortunately there is no way of knowing without doing it.
  12. In fairness Ben I can't see any evidence of very much in the ji regarding the condition of hada, whether showing core steel or not. I am not sure I share your optimism about the ware not being deep enough to hit core steel, but again it is something very difficult to judge from the images.
  13. Brian wrote: " If you ever think it's worthless...I'll gladly take it off your hands at cost" +1 And I'm not even a Mishina School fan!!
  14. Yep, I think you are right my mistake. In fact the second one looks rather like the images Darcy took of my Enju blade before I bought it back! If not the same then very similar
  15. I would like it to be late Kamakura and from your new images would still aim at Enju circa 1330. But it would need a lot more study to tie it down
  16. Dear Maxime, I am not sure thee is too much that can be said about your sword from the images and in the current polish. However I think it is an interesting piece and has potential. The shape suggests (at least to me ) that it may be an early work. the original sugata would look to have been koshi-zori and the kissaki looks quite small. The other dimensions also suggest an early work. My first guess step would be to look at Enju or other Rai related schools and see if you can pick out details within hamon and hada that conform to those groups.
  17. I wasn't reacting to your post john and there is nothing to apologise for. Juan I would like to be clear if possible about what you are seeing. The features you see in Aoe blades which Guido clearly describes "it’s sumigane: 墨鉄 “ink steel”, also called namazu-hada 鯰肌, lit. “catfish skin”" form part of the surface steel. They are inclusions within the jigane. I think this is also true of Rai hada and Enju hada although this is more open to debate. Shingane or core steel is seen when the jigane is polished down so much that the soft inner core starts to show through . It is grainless and often looks coarse. When you see the two conditions side by side the differences become very apparent. What you are seeing in the Aoe blade is not core steel, high quality or otherwise it is dark patches of jigane.
  18. Dear All, I must apologise. Guido made a very important point and my subsequent comment diverted or even trivialised the message. Sorry Guido There is no substitute for looking at swords in hand. I would also add it is important to take the opportunity to look at the very best examples you can as many of the features such as those discussed here become obvious and understandable. With improvements in technology there is a huge amount of very good data about but it cannot replace practical hand on study.
  19. Guido, Unfortunately for many of us in the current situation getting out of our armchairs and looking at swords is not an option!
  20. Adam and Juan I think the important thing to try and establish in your mind is the difference between Shingane (core steel) and Sumetetsu (plain steel). In some older schools you will see patches within the jigane of plain darker steel. This occurs in Aoe, Rai and Enju work. This is described as sumetetsu and is part of the jigane or surface steel . Shingane appears when the jigane is almost totally removed through polishing. It is also darker and lacks grain structure but generally looks coarser and more open than the jigane. One looks part of the surface structure the other looks as though it is showing through the surface. It isn't always easy to tell them apart, or whether what you are seeing is a fault or a feature. In some Hizen blades core steel showing is regarded as a feature of their work (not necessarily a positive one) because they used thin jigane. More generally core steel showing through tends to be ugly Sumetetsu looks more an intrinsic part of the surface. As said it isn't easy. But in later swords if you see dark grainless or coarse steel on the surface it is more likely to be shingane. Regarding market value if shingane is present it suggest the blade is worn down or not as well made as it should be and it will effect the overall value. It can also reduce the aesthetic appeal considerably thus lower the market value. As always what is acceptable to one may not be to another you have to decide whether you cn live with it (To be honest I cant but that is just me) hope this helps a little
  21. Adam, Condition is a key factor in any collecting and what is or isn't acceptable is a very personal choice and will vary from person to person. For some anything less than perfect is unacceptable and if they have a sword with a fault it soon becomes the only thing they see. For others different aspects of a blades structure, history or rarity make them more forgiving. Only this month The Kantei blade in the NBTHK magazine shows an important work that has lost virtually all of the boshi which in most circumstances would make it totally unacceptable but in this case the blade is highly regarded. As a general view collectors tend to be more forgiving of tiredness or shintetsu appearing on older blades. They have been around longer, had greater exposure to potential damage and likely had more polishes therefore it is understandable that some core steel may start to appear. The amount and whether it is acceptable is up to the individual buying it. In newer blades there is far less reason that this should happen and if there it suggests poorer workmanship or mistreatment. Its a bit like us, a few crags and wrinkles as we age becomes a little more acceptable and may be regarded as "character" whereas in one of the many bright young things that adorn our tv screens a wrinkle or grey hair may be seen as a fatal flaw
  22. Actually John that isn't absolutely true. There are examples of work being published as an example of a maker only to have the attribution overturned following later research. It is not particularly frequent, and seen more often in fittings than swords but it certainly does happen. Having said that I see absolutely no reason to doubt Piers blade and think it is the genuine article.
  23. Hi Geoff, I am afraid everyone here is trying to assess the blade from images whereas you have it in hand so it is not surprising they cant see what you can. I don't know how old your sword is. Based on what I can see and first impressions I do not believe it is a Kamakura period blade. If i had to guess I would place it as late Nambokucho or Momoyama. But that is based more on gut feel than anything else. In the images there is no evidence of strong utsuri but as said you are looking at the blade in hand. In its current condition I think seeing any utsuri is a major challenge and you need to treat what you are seeing with care. Likewise assessing the colour of steel is incredibly difficult when a sword is in good polish and in reality meaningless in its current condition. It may well be you have an early sword but the only way to really make a more accurate assessment is to have the blade polished and then see what you have. In the meantime you (and we) are scratching in the dark and guessing.
  24. Adam, The simple answer is its wrong! The term Kanbun shinto initially refers to a period and more specifically a shape that became popular during that period. There were some of the best shinto smiths working in that period and making that sugata. Smiths such as Inoue Shinkai and other Osaka smiths as well as many equally good artisans in Edo and the provinces. As always these generalisations appear and can greatly mislead. Its true there were a lot of very ordinary blades made in this period (as in any other) but there were also very good works as well. As often said you need to judge each sword on its' own merits
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