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Geraint last won the day on December 1 2023

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    Long time collector of Japanese swords and associated items.

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  1. Dear Ron. Please forgive me, I too am confused. Just what is it you are looking for? First question, are either of these two blades papered to Muramasa school? If not then speculation can run wild. Second question, when you say an unknown smith in the Masa line you are not suggesting that all smiths who use the masa kanji are in the same school, are you? Third question, when you show the nakago of a blade that does not, at least as far as we can see have typical Sengo nakago with the mei Masahiro why assume that it is Sengo school and not from another school altogether? Hoping for some clarity. All the best. P.S. some great information here, https://nihonto.com/muramasa/
  2. Dear Ste. A number of points for you to consider. The kashira, the end of the hilt, features a gunbai or type of fan rather than a rudder, but this matches the fuchi which also has a fan. I would encourage you to look elsewhere, this sword pretends to be by Awataguchi Omi no kami Tadatsuna but it has nothing to do with him. Compare here and that should be obvious, https://sanmei.com/c...8765_W8575_PUP1.html He was a master carver and so the horimono are really weak and nothing to do with him. The sword hit has been rebound and I would dare to suggest not very well. If you look at the whole sword there is an unevenness about the line of the tsuka rrunning into the saya which suggest one or the other is a replacement, the saya finish looks wrong to me. The silver foil on the habaki is damaged but more worrying is the rather strange seppa which look homemade by someone who didn't want to put in the effort. I can't speak to the tsuba but I can say that it is of no interest. If I saw this for sale I would assume that someone has put together a rather dodgy blade with some home made koshirae. Owning this will bring you no pleasure and you will then have the moral problem of trying to pass it on. Save your money. keep an eye on the For Sale section here, try to get in touch with a local sword group who will help you. Forgive my bluntness. All the best.
  3. Dear Hunter. Nicely put by Giordy, and just to add to his comment, many resources illustrate and name hamon but very few swordsmiths are so obliging as to stick to the rules. Most descriptions of hamon in Japanese sources are much more complex, using phrases like, 'suguha tending to notare', gentle gunome midare with isolated areas of togari', 'exuberant choji midare becoming more restrained toward the monouchi', and so forth. I suppose that it is more a case of describing what is in the sword rather than seeking to classify it into a set of boxes. Enjoy the journey! All the best.
  4. Dear Ron. Handachi koshirae is essentially half tachi, all the mounts of the tsuka and say look like tachi mounts but the koshirae will have a kurikata and no hangers. It may also have provision for kodzuka and kogai which is not usual for a tachi. (See below). WWII gunto mounts are reminiscent of tachi mounts but quite distinctive, (see below). it would be possible to find a handachi mounted sword converted for use in WWII. Derek, tachi mounts are essentially for use with armour, there are types for specific activities and ceremonial events including court activities. A rough distinction would be between early tachi koshirae which are for use in combat, sophisticated and high quality tachi koshirae produced during the Edo period and a relatively commonly encountered type with brass mounts,often engraved with floral designs and silver plated, that are usually assumed to have been manufactured in the late 19th century or early 20th century. (See below) For a high end example see here, https://nihonto.com/6-03-18/ Hope that helps a little. If you want to dog deeper than Sesko's excellent book on koshirae should be good for you. All the best.
  5. Just stumbled across Ian's take on tanegashima, nothing very remarkable but nice to see. All the best.
  6. Dear Henry. A somewhat generalised answer. Our current rather rigid classification of swords by very specific length is a modern system. I do not think that a system of regulation existed that specified what swords could be carried by whom at that point. Nambokucho period tanto tend to be long, often longer than our classification, wide and thin, fitting into a grey area of o-tanto or ko-wakizashi. Generally speaking wakizashi as we now classify them are not a feature of the period. For more information see here, https://nihonto.com/the-tanto-短刀/ All the best.
  7. Dear Peter. An interesting thing to have, and I think John is onto something regarding the kinnoto. From memory there is one example in the Boston Museum catalogue, I'll see if I can find it. All the best.
  8. Dear Brian. You will find an interesting discussion and many examples here, https://tsubakansho.com/tag/kamakura-bori/ All the best.
  9. Dear Taylor. First warning, the phrase, 'authentic to the style of the smith', could mean as little as the same shape more or less. Next, and I suspect you have already done this, does this look like the signature of an excellent smith in full command of his powers? I would say it looks more like someone hesitantly working at making a passable copy, wouldn't you? Have a look at this thread and scroll down to the last illustration, looking at the flow of the strokes and the ends of each stroke in particular. https://markussesko....8/kantei-1-sugata-4/ Add the yasurime and perhaps the rather red colour of the nakago, but that could just be the photograph. I would say that about wraps it up and your instinct is correct, however others with much better knowledge of this smith will chime in I'm sure. All the best.
  10. Dear Christopher. Nice sword. The blade decoration is not etched but carved and is called a horimono. This particular one is a sankozuka ken, for more information see here, https://markussesko....8/kantei-1-sugata-4/ You will need to scroll down a bit to find this one. All the best.
  11. By the way Robert. I would be surprised if the first sword was a katana given the proportions of the nakago. If you are thinking of buying this then check the length against the description to be sure. All the best.
  12. Ah well! I do live in Cornwall! I'd post pictures but it would upset people. All the best
  13. Dear Robert. The first one is Hoshu Takada ju Fujiwara Yukinaga. The second perhaps Sukemune? All the best.
  14. Wow Piers, thank you once again, I had a few of the kanji but missed quite a bit of that however the information about the wrapping is new to me altogether. Looking forward to the book, any idea when it will be coming out? All the best.
  15. Dear Piers. I only have three and they are the result of a distinct lack of focus in my collecting, primarily swords but some armour, more recently tsuba and fittings and, as I came across them these three. One which I bought last year and you were kind enough to help me with on this thread, And just one more that I have had for some time. Pictures attached . I think that for me they are just one more aspect of a fascinating culture. All the best.
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