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Ian B3HR2UH last won the day on May 22 2021

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About Ian B3HR2UH

  • Birthday 08/02/1955

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  • Location:
    drouin australia
  • Interests
    I have been collecting nihonto since I was about 15 years old . In the days before the internet I was able to purchase a lot of swords from soldiers who bought them home from the war. Of course most of these were of pretty low quality but the occasional gem did pop out .I like quality blades in quality mounts but these are pretty hard to come by.
    I have probably handled several thousand swords over the years and have owned a couple of hundred . I currently have about fifty in my collection.
    My collecting highlight has been purchasing and identifying the Norishige katana which is one of the missing Japanese National treasures.

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    Ian Brooks

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  1. Hi Colin , I have a katana by this man. It is signed Soshu Kamakura ju Kunihide saku and is dated 1853 . It is a terrific piece which , like yours ,has masses of sunagashi running through it . I don't think that I have ever handled a blade with more sunagashi . Enjoy your piece. Ian Brooks
  2. I have one aikuchi with a rather battered " Baleen " binding . I have always been skeptical about whether this wrapping is really baleen or another material . There is a whale skeleton on display at the Melbourne museum and as part of that display there is a large piece of baleen which is like a fusion of strands of coarse hair . It doesn't look much like the baleen on these so called baleen bindings . The fineness of some of the bamboo work in this article makes me wonder , if what we are calling baleen , is really shaved down bamboo . Ian Brooks
  3. Hi Marco , I am afraid that I have no real idea how these are attached on either the Kabuto gane or saya . Solder I guess but I will leave that to those who have more knowledge of practical matters than I do . . Ian
  4. Here is a sword that has a mon on the kabuto gane and also on the saya . Ian Brooks
  5. Here are my shin gunto hangers . They range in length from 33 To 53 cms. Ian Brooks
  6. Well as no one else is game to comment on the swords I will stick my neck out There were about 250 swords . How do you assess these in a short time ? I disregarded all metal hilters and parade sabres which I have no interest in . Anything in poor quality mounts I disregarded as the blades in these will generally be of low quality too . If the blades in medium quality mounts were out of polish or had condition issues I left them alone too . There were some Yasukuni to at the auction so the above criteria caused me to miss them and probably some other things that were worth investigating further . Where mounts had some quality about them and no major condition issues , I tried sometimes unsuccessfully , to take the handle off and see what was there . If I couldn't get the handle off I looked no further unless like on lot 572 I remembered seeing the nakago previously . Here are the ones that appealed to me. Lot 504 , I used to own this and regret selling it . I hoped to buy it back but not for $ 3850 + premium Lot .507. I have a soft spot for Kai gunto . This had a good quality mount in good condition . The blade was OK as well . I bid too $4000 and was the underbidder . If I had popped one more bid on I would have been up for around 5000 which was too high . Lot 513 This was a signed and dated but short katana ( by Kiyonobu ) in an original undicked with mount . For $2866 I thought this an OK buy in the context of the overall really high prices. Lot 514 . This was by Morihisa an Ishido school smith . I thought this possibly the best blade there and a good buy at $3721 Lot 534 was a nice little shin gunto at a reasonable price of $ 2561 . I am showing my tastes here as others would dismiss it as an average blade in shingunto mounts Lot 548 a really nice shin gunto mount ( again showing what I like ) with a blade signed Yoshisuke saku . I thought a friend was going to bid so didn't . If the buyer wants to sell it to me for the closing price $ 2950 then lets talk Lot 550 . On my criteria above I missed looking at this one which may be OK just not at $5200 Lot 559 a long blade signed Moritoshi which was a good buy at $ 4000 if the mei was right ( I had some doubts as it was not as well cut as that on the Moritoshi I referred to above ) Lot 561 a nice gunto mount with a good quality mumei ( Shinto ? ) blade $2661 Lot 572 . This was the other one that I bid on. The blade was well made in excellent condition . It purported to be tachi mei originally but an orikeishi mei was now missing . It had nice bohi that were atabori . I bid to $4000 but was blown out of the water as it sold for $ 5950. Lot 626 . A member here bought this and it is one that I would be happy to own . Ex Donald Barnes like almost all of these and Ex Bruce Ruxton for Victorians who will no doubt remember him Lot 653 was another that I liked as an overall piece . It was also bought by a member Ian Brooks
  7. Lot 519. This one is inexplicable . It is a showa blade in a military mount worth nothing like what was paid . Lot 546.This sword was owned by Maj Gen Bridgeford and originally came with a note from him to the effect that it was Lt Gen Akinaga's . It has been owned by a couple of people since then including another board member . As you can see the sword is in Naval mounts with an Army Generals tassel on it . What the photos didn't show was that the saya was metal like a shin gunto and not the usual lacquer over wood. I have never seen this before. In Fuller and Gregorys book there is an excerpt from a letter written by Maj Gen Magata chief of staff of the 17th Japanese army . Bits of the letter are not published including the following "When Maj Taylor came to our HQ on the 9th he brought instructions from General Savige that we were to hand over the swords of the staff officers of our HQ , of the GOC 6 Jap Div and his principal staff officers. My Fukuto and those of three staff officers and of the GOC 6 Jap Div Lt General Akinaga and his chief of staff Ejima " were handed over on the 10th . So Akinaga 's sword was not formally surrendered but handed over in a group . Possibly the sword was Akinaga's but I also wonder if Bridgeford wound up with that of a naval officer which explains the mounts . The blade is signed by Tsuta Sukehiro and as far as I can tell is certainly Gimei . A friend whose opinion I value thinks the nakago has had a mei removed and this one added . My friend says this explains the thin nakago . I don' recall the nakago being thin but something is not right about it .If I am wrong about this then someone has got a bargain and I will kick myself . $32000 plus buyers premium is a huge amount to pay for this sword . Lot 555 This was the handachi signed Yamato Daijo Fujiwara Masanori. On my cursory lookup the mei matched up well with the real thing . As I said above the color and fuzziness of the nakago worried me a little . It was also slightly suriage . The price this sword reached was high but a real bargain compared to most of the others . It at least has a chance of being genuine and of good quality . Most of the rest don't Lot573 . Words escape me on this as well .The blade had a Seki stamp ! At least it was a good buy compared to lot 519 given that there are fewer Naval mounts . Did anyone else inspect these swords ? If no one else did I will give you my thoughts on the rest and answer Jacks questions Ian Brooks
  8. Hi Paul , I will comment on some of the swords . Donald Barnes was a Victorian collector from the 1970's right through until about ten years ago when ill health affected him . He was a real bower bird and collected anything Japanese from WW2 . He was quite knowledgeable about Japanese militaria and military mountings but wasn't much of a blade man . I doubt that he could read the signatures but this didn't matter too much as his wife was Japanese . He had a big room full of stuff including a Japanese skull which was particularly bizarre given his wifes nationality . Donald didn't have much of an eye for quality though .Most of the older collectors here have Donald Barnes stories . I sold swords to him and a number at the sale were ones that I used to own. Rod Bellars obviously had a huge militaria collection . I saw this about ten years ago . At that time he had lots 503 and 546 along with about thirty other swords . The thirty were all no good ,fake signatures poor condition or poor quality . Rod knew virtually nothing about swords and I had the impression that anything good that he did have had been winkled out of him by those with more knowledge . A friend has a fine Moritoshi that he got from Rod. This was restored and went Tokubetsu Hozon Donald Barnes's health deteriorated and he eventually sold all of his swords to Rod a couple of years ago . Most of the swords at the auction were ex Donald Barnes and I mention all of this to give credit to Donald. Onto the swords. Lot 500. This is a naval kyugunto that I used to own . I swapped it to Donald for another Naval Kyugunto that I still have The blade on the auctioned sword was nice but it had a number of cracks along the shinogi and shinogi ji . These were perpendicular to the cutting edge like hagire but on the shinogi. Like all of these swords the price it sold for was way too high . Lot 503 . As I mentioned above I was offered this by the man who bought it back from the war . He wanted too much so I passed . Rod obviously later bought it . The blade is signed Kaneuji and is dated 1331 which it can never be . I feel sure the blade is a showa fake . Lot 518. For years I wanted to own a " Generals sword " but never found one . Then thirty or so years ago Donald turned this one up ! It has an interesting story . The man who bought it back to Australia was on the Tokyo docks on the day of the surrender on the Missouri . The Japanese surrender party had to take their sword off at the wharf before they were taken out to the Missouri for the formal surrender . Their swords were left in a pile on the dock. The Australian who was there asked the Americans guarding the swords if he could have one and wound up with this one. The sword has a Generals tassel and there is a silver owners name " Hasegawa " on the kabuto gane. There was no officer named Hasegawa who surrendered on the Missouri. A Major General Hasegawa was in command of the Kempetai though The blade is in good condition ,is mumei and probably shin shinto . If not for the tassel and background story I wouldn't keep the actual sword itself . However it is a piece that I have always wanted and I could afford it so I paid what I had to to get it. I wlll write about the other four swords soon . Ian Brooks
  9. Hi Paul , there are swords that were made during the war by the Japanese which have famous makers names on them . Typically they are signed by Kotetsu and have a dragon or other horimono . I once had one in naval mounts with a dragon horimono that was signed Sa Yukihide . I eventually decided that it was a showa era blade with a famous makers name put on it .Others are signed with fictitious makers names usually with a lord of ( kami ) prefix . I imagine the Japanese smiths and dealers could sell these to officers buying a sword , for more than a blade signed with the smiths true name. That is probably overstating it as the blades are most likely factory produced ones. The freshness of the chisel cuts on the Kaneuji signature together with the new looking tang ,lack of forging faults and odd looking tempering make me conclude that it is one of these faked blades . Ian Brooks
  10. Hello Paul , I have seen Captain Ikeda's sword a couple of times over the years and could have had it with a little effort . I was offered it by the man who bought it back from the war. It is signed Kaneuji and dated 1300 odd . My belief is that it is a showa period fake . The mount is interesting though and is the one that I referenced in my piece about the swords from Buka Island . The price that this sword achieved was crazy. The Masanori has promise but you would need to compare the mei with genuine pieces . To me the nakago lacked the colour and crisp well cut mei that you would expect on a better quality shinto piece( which this purports to be ).. Overall this was a good package and worth a punt at the right price Ian Brooks
  11. I saw this myself at the old shop . I walked in and Mr Tsuruta was polishing a tanto . Not with finger stones as I recall. Ian Brooks
  12. Thanks Brian , No I don't believe that there is any such requirement. My understanding is that if I took the piece to Japan I would continue to own it but would not be able to take it back out of the country unless I had received permission to do so before I took it in . When these missing pieces have turned up in the past there has been no push by the Japanese government for them to be returned so I don't think it is an issue The Treaty of San Francisco which was signed by Japan and the US in 1951 contains provisions recognizing the validity of dispositions of property made pursuant to directions of the US Military government . As the swords were handed in on the directions of the occupying forces this treaty , I think , validates our possession of swords handed in during the occupation. Article 19(d) of the treaty also recognizes the validity of all acts and omissions done during the occupation under or in consequence of directives of the occupation authorities ( ie the SCAPIN's requiring the swords to be handed in ) and waives Japans right to take action for those acts or omissions. Ian Brooks
  13. David , your friend didn't get what he thought he was getting . This is horrible. Ian Brooks
  14. Stegel , are you just going to tease us with the one shot of yours ! How about some more photos and details . Ian Brooks
  15. Everything about this sword . other than the mei which is well cut and looks old , points to this being a showa or gendai blade . Ian brooks
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