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Everything posted by paulb

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. sorry Thomas, it isn't my sword and I no longer have access to it or any other images of it.
  7. 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
  8. I have some more images. posted below:
  9. jean please see the answer to Barry regarding the same subject
  10. 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)
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. Many thanks Koichi-San as always Paul
  17. Having been looking at this withsome friends and cant work it out. I would very much appreciate some help please
  18. 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.
  19. paulb


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


    so Christian was your answer right?
  21. paulb


    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.
  22. 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?
  23. 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.
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