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Everything posted by paulb

  1. BTW coincidently the next Token of GB zoom meeting on Jan 22nd includes a presentation entitled "the phases of collecting." This attempts to outline various stages of a collecting career and how the emphasis and motivation changes with time. I have an article written to support the presentation which will be posted here after the meeting. It may help a little when trying to determine what to do next.
  2. "3) Imagine likening the various formulations of "collections" to identifiable psychological processes. Insecure attachment being linked to hoarding for example. " I knew it ! someone has caught on to the reasoning behind my lifelong obsession ! I am an insecure hoarder, explains a lot
  3. something which has been mentioned but worth emphasising is that a collectors motivation is likely to change over time. What I would like to collect now is very different to what I wanted 40 years ago. But as Michael suggests knowledge is key to progress. It is fine buying what you like but the more you study the more you will understand why you like what you do.
  4. Mark is right you don't need to belong to a society or club to import a sword at present. However proof of membership of a society or martial arts club can be used as proof of a legitimate interest and reason to want to want one
  5. Mark I have been a member of the Token Society of GB for more than 30 years and it has contributed a huge amount to my learning and generated numerous long time friendships. I have bought swords from Japan USA and Europe the key isn't where it is but who you are buying from, are they decent people with a good reputation. I am sure you would be welcomed if you decided to join us
  6. Dear JP I cannot add much to what has already been so eloquently expressed. You have been greatly missed and I think this is a very positive first step in recovering from what has been a very difficult period for you. All your friends here are ,I am sure, wishing you well and would be keen to help in any way they can even if that is just offering an ear to listen
  7. Jonathan, I think you might be disappointed in what you can see. I have seen several which have not revealed very much. Most telling of all was a section of a Show-To which appears to be a single piece construction. There are some images ( I think in the Kapp/Yoshindo book) that clearly show the core steel but not in great detail.
  8. AT the risk of boring readers (I have posted these images before) attached 2 pictures of Nashiji hada which I hope might help you to identify what you are looking at. Basically nashi hada is extremely fine ko-itame hada covered with a profuse amount of ji-nie. If this a Yamashiro work you should also look for the hamon being predominantly ko-nie on an bright nioiguchi. There should be a lot of very bright activity such as inazuma and kinsuji running through the hamon.
  9. George, As Thomas has suggested what you are seeing is not fumbari but the result of the blade being reshaped when polished to remove a chip or fault near the hamachi. It look's to have lost a lot of metal which certainly could be an indicator of age. Can you let us have some dimensions? in the image it looks long and thin which would suggest a little later than Kamakura (at least to me) and more in to Nambokucho. The images and condition don't allow too much conjecture regarding origin.
  10. Axel Sorry to disagree but personally I find this blade very unattractive. The only reason I can think that it achieved such high ranking is the fact it is ubu and that is extremely rare. Regarding the hada hand hamon it looks coarse and tired and I have seen many far better Shikkake examples Don't mean to be argumentative but of all the blades receiving Tokubetsu Juyo certification this time round I find this the most difficult to understand. not least when one considers some of the pieces that failed.
  11. Ben, There are two problems in trying to assess shape. Firstly the differences can be quite subtle. Illustrations tend to exaggerate the feature to make a point, in reality identifying traits requires a degree of concentration. There is a tory of a master telling his pupils that a sword had to be later than they thought because it had saki-zori. None of them could see it but when they checked it was there but less than 2mm deep. The second issue is that one a blade is shortened the sugata changes. koshi-zori can become tori-zori, fumbari is lost and the whole character of the blade changes. You have to see the naked blade and then try and think how it looked when ubu. This isn't always practical. To start with look at the more obvious features such as how much the width of the blade decreases from hamachi to kissaki, the thickness of the blade, the size of the kissaki. Once you have your eye in and focus based on those points the others will follow.
  12. The Token Society of Gb publishes between 4 and 6 e-magazines a year for its' members. We started doing this a couple of years ago and it has proven very popular with the members. Covid and the related restrictions caused us to look at using technology and like so many other organisations we started running online meetings which have also proven to be very popular. As we move out of restrictions we have started to arrange physical meetings again. It is our intention to go forward with all these activities to offer the broadest opportunity we can for members to participate and to gain from membership. The cost and time of producing hard copy magazines is prohibitive and I don't see it as a truly viable option for the future. However the use of technology as an addition, not a substitute can only strengthen Societies rather than weaken them. This is a long way of saying the future of societies isn't dependent on paper publications, (or shouldn't be) It depends on participation from like minded people who want to learn more and to help others do the same.
  13. Chris, you must remember that until forced in to using email because of the Pandemic the NBTHK's favoured method of taking part was via letter, or if they remembered to switch it on, fax. I think video kantei is a generation away emotionally without even considering the cost.
  14. Shijo Kantei cannot compare to studying a blade in hand and I agree that over time you become familiar with the terminology used and what it may imply. However the exercise, at least for me, has proven extremely valuable. Over the years it has helped me to try and focus on what to look for what to expect to see and develop an approach that I hope helps me towards a logical conclusion (but not always). What it cant do is help you identify physical features in a blade that can really only become visible in hand. Until you recognise these, whether a form of hada, the activity in the ji and hamon or whatever it will be a struggle. The lack of opportunities for most people outside of Japan to study really good examples of particular traditions makes this difficult. Shijo kantei is not as good nor a substitute for the real thing. However it is certainly the next best thing and a great learning tool. It helped me and I would strongly recommend any student to use it as the excellent learning tool it is.
  15. Think I am in the shinto camp too. I would guess early Edo but that is purely on shape. I don't see anything that suggests Kamakura or Nambokucho but again that's just based on shape and nakago. As Brian says someone valued it to have that habaki made for it (assuming it isn't a swap) but it is a gamble good luck and keep us posted with what you discover
  16. Congratulations on your first sword, you have certainly started in a much better way than most of us did! Picking up on Geraint's point, Bungo Takada blades tend to be regarded as utilitarian in Japan. I think this is in part because they tended to produce copies on the main line schools rather than in an individual style. However the fact they were able to reproduce so many different styles (Bizen Soshu, Mino etc.) says a lot for their skill. There are many blades around that have been attributed to well known schools and then re-assessed as Takada and vice versa . Enjoy you blade and where the study leads you.
  17. sorry Thomas, it isn't my sword and I no longer have access to it or any other images of it.
  18. 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
  19. I have some more images. posted below:
  20. jean please see the answer to Barry regarding the same subject
  21. 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)
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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