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paulb

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Everything posted by paulb

  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

    kantei

    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

    kantei

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

    kantei

    so Christian was your answer right?
  15. paulb

    kantei

    Dear All, As restrictions on movement start to be lifted I am hoping to start to have the chance to study some more swords. In the meantime the pool is becoming somewhat limited so this may be the last kantei I can post for a little while. It is also possible that the blade here is familiar to some of you. Normally when doing kantei the blade should be ubu or at least have the mei intact and have been authenticated. It should also be a piece that exhibits the traits of a given school or smith. This is not always possible. In this case we are looking at a naginata-naoshi which has been substantially modified from it's original form and is mumei. Therefore to reach a conclusion one needs to focus on such dimensions as are original (nagasa and thickness) and more particularly on the hada and hamon. Description: The blade is a Naginata Naoshi wakizashi. Nagasa: The blade is 17.6 inches. The Kasane is 8mm. the blade is Mitsu-mune. There are classic Naginata hi which are well cut and in excellent condition. The shape is a classic Naginata sugata . Hada: The blade is a combination of itame and Nagare hada covered in thick and bright Ji-nie with chickei mixed in. As the hada approaches the hamon it tends more towards masame. Hamon: The Hamon is Suguha with deep Nioi and thick, bright nie. There is Nijuba and Sunagashi. There is clear mune-yaki. Boshi: Yakitsume with considerable hakikake. Nakago: O-suriage Mumei. Beautiful colour and well maintained.
  16. paulb

    Nanboku-cho Tachi

    Gentlemen, The reality is you are debating a 30 year time window i.e. 1360 to 1392 from 700 years ago. Allowing for fluctuation in style and changes in form overtime are you not being a little optimistic trying to be so precise?
  17. paulb

    new kantei

    me too
  18. paulb

    new kantei

    Hi Alex Glad you enjoyed it and found it useful. One of the problems with the sandai is that he died relatively young (50 I think) and was outlived by his father. As a result there are not so many of his works and according to Roger Robertshaw most of his output were daimei for his father. Add to that his Tadayoshi mei was not dissimilar to some of the Shodai's various forms and that his workmanship was of very high quality and comparable in style to the Shodai's later output then the problem is compounded. I think Thomas mentioned in a separate mail about Michael Hagenbusch talking about probabilities and I think that applies here. The only illustrated examples of niji-mei (which are very few) have been attributed to the first generation. I haven't found any attributed to the third. Therefore the first would appear to be the most likely candidate. If you then add in the Yasurime, the length of the blade the not quite suguha hamon then the features pushing it towards the Shodai start to add up. I find these blades fascinating and a great learning tool. If you have something screamingly obvious then you don't need to look so hard nor think about it so much. With something like this you really have to start working through the process (well I have to anyway). It is like doing the NBTHK monthly kantei. If you know the answer as soon as you see it you actually don't learn too much. If you have to wade through references to confirm your thinking it teaches you more and is more fun.
  19. speedy recovery my friend take care and get well soon
  20. paulb

    new kantei

    An article describing this blade in more detail will be posted on the board shortly. In summary the blade has been attributed to both the Shodai and the Sandai. I have known it for more than 20 years and have eventually concluded it is the work of the Shodai (although would have been happy with either) . Briefly the reasoning behind this is as follows: Niji mei blades are extremely rare. The only reference I have found to the Sandai making them was in Nihonto Koza but there are no illustrations that I can find. There are 4 niji mei blades published and these are all attributed to the Shodai. The original size of the blade would have been about 55 to 57cm. Thus it would have been illegal if made as a wakizashi by the sandai. The yasurime are katte-sagari if it were by the sandai you would expect katte-agari. I think this is a kenjo mei sword made by the Shodai. According to various sources his presentation blades were a level better than his standard work and I think this may be why some considered it to be by the Sandai as generally the quality of his jigane and nie were regarded as amongst the best of the various generations . So overall I came down in favour of Shodai but I have often been wrong before. Well done to those who identified it as Hizen. To be honest I am not sure it would have been my first choice when I saw it initially. The Shodai did not make what might be regarded as typical Hizen blades with true suguha and konuka hada until late in his career and after his name change to Tadahiro in 1624 and even then it was early stages of those features which were refined by his son and grandson. This I think is more like an utsushi piece with Awataguchi-like hada and Soshu/Shizu hamon and nie activity. It is a very interesting sword.
  21. paulb

    new kantei

    I think the generally held view is that the Sandai and Shodai were of a very similar standard. Which one believed to be the best had more to do with personal taste and preference. I am not sure when doing kantei by trying to predict an owner's likely preference is a particularly good methodology.
  22. paulb

    new kantei

    don't worry Eric, I am just annoyed with myself for being careless. I will let this run a little longer just in case anyone else wants to have a stab at it.
  23. paulb

    new kantei

    Ok so I am not sure what to say. I must admit on my screen I didn't see the mei when I posted it up so my apologies for being lax. However isn't the idea of this to look at the shape and features of the blade read the description and try and assess who the blade was made and when? So now you have read the mei what has been learned from the exercise? The next question is which Tadayoshi made it? you have 9 generations to choose from Fortunately the the date isn't cut on the nakago. Again my apologies for the initial error it isn't one that will be repeated.
  24. sorry Jon I don't know I am aware of them by word of mouth. BTW it isn't a specific sword fair it is a traditional arms & militaria fair but most UK dealers are (were) there.
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