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Dr Fox

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Everything posted by Dr Fox

  1. Ray its always a pleasure to view your sale items, they always present an opportunity see excellent pieces. Presentation, explanation and full description its all there, thank you.
  2. Not being a tsuba collector, but having a basic understanding of how they are made, used,and why. I have followed this post, and now as a novice need some clarity and answers. The nakago ana is the focus of my attention. If this is an original tsuba, then it is suggested that at some time it has been fitted to a blade. To allow this fit, the standard signs of alteration to its size is present. The seat of the kuchi-beni to accomodate the nakago mune is very much smaller than the original ana, this immediately indicates this tsuba was way to large for the intended blade. Yes it has been done, but then its not unusual for the kuchi-beni to have ‘wings’ passing around the blade, to resist the twisting motion at this point. Moving now to the ha area of the nakago ana, this tsuba shows the usual punch method of spreading metal to tighten the blade grip at this point. But this is where I lose the plot. The method shows at least 4 strokes of the punch each side, each one progressively spreading the metal. Yet the surface texture is faithfully carried down to the very last punch strike, how did he do that?.
  3. Hmmm! I find it just a little odd, that the chisel would leave a 'dappled' effect, at the end of its strike. Would expect a clean regular finish at this point. Also the 'veins' in the leaves, appear to have a loss of detail on all the high points.
  4. Luke Sloooow down. Don't dance before you can walk. Restoration thoughts are for the future. First step, find out what exactly you have got. From what we can see, a sense of excitement should be your feeling at this moment. Seen in hand, your sword will show to the more knowledgeable in our hobby, much more than you could ever capture on camera. Don't at this moment have any concern for the tip of the kissaki, that too is for a later date. Fingers off and oil on that blade. Looking forward to sharing your discoveries with you, if you will be so kind.
  5. Dr Fox


    Doing the best one can from images. I find I was bothered by little points that did not sit right. So I am going to take a punt here, big guns get in on this. The bo-bi is kaki-nagashi, on a long sword this is often seen, but only in some cases continues, almost to the end of the nakago. This blade shows a continuance of bo-bi almost full length, it is also a very bold bo-bi. (to balance a wakizashi?) The crack showing where it is seems odd, what stress forces are exerted there? The mekugi ana shows a noticeable difference, either side to its relationship to the bo-bi. The nakago to me is not pleasing although it shows a regular nakago- jiri. Here's where you can shoot me down: I thought that this is a shortened long sword. And it was done to convert, and continue the blades service as a wakizashi. Originally the crack was a ha-gire as it was in the ha, but shortening made it a crack in the nakago. If I am right, then someone thought a lot of this blade. If I am wrong, then the counter points will all aid to the pot of learning. It would have been a help, to see the blade without the habaki!
  6. Great insight into your world there, thank you Dave. Most enjoyable.
  7. Hi Ed Further to the kashezuno, When the right hand is occupied with the katana. The short sword when thrust through the obi, would be drawn with the left hand on the tsuka. Although the wakizashi would be attached by sageo, there could be enough 'give' to not allow the blade to be drawn. The kashezuno, would anchor under the obi and arrest the saya. That resistance will allow the blade to break out.
  8. The thought I have, is that should one come across a sword as this, with poorly cast fittings, and a poor blade to match. And not having the benefit of the exposure given here. Is that these poor relatives to better examples, could be passed as Chinese, and as a consequence be ignored, as not having any importance what so ever.
  9. Dr Fox

    First Blade

    Geraint. Hi again, could you check me out on a point you mentioned! "have a shira saya made for it". It has a shira saya already, why not refit the saya, if indeed it would need it?. This could be seen, by a man who knows after it is separated. If possible this would ease costs.
  10. Franco has put it right. Your bought saya, could well accept your blade, and you could be thinking great job done. Wrong! And wrong it many ways you cannot see from outside. Alex A has it right. Tsuka, here is a bigger problem, nakago fit and the mekugi ana. Do you know what the chances are of a match in these areas? At very, very best, nil! I had this as a decision for a blade. The only way is a new build, chose your own fittings, get the comfort of those who have the skills around you, and go for it. Set aside thoughts of future sales costs recovery, you are in the wrong business for that anyway.
  11. Chris. Blades in a properly fitted saya, drawn and replaced by contact with the mune only, seldom get scratched. Over oiled blades that can pick up small particles, and then carry those into the saya, can cause scratches. But with the best care in the world, I have seen blade showing line scratches.
  12. That tightness indicates you might very well have a good seal. I doubt that there are any shira saya that are 'air tight', the habaki whether wood or metal is what snugs the fit into the saya. If you find that it is tight to draw the blade, then I suggest you might trying, just to seat the blade home without undue pressure. You are never going to exclude air, but if your storage conditions are correct, then no worries.
  13. In my old memory bank, I seem to recall that this shape in WW2 was called a 'Generals sword', but could be wrong!
  14. 'Little crow' construction. A copy of a blade made by Amakuni in the early Heian period. Many smiths have forged blades in this style.
  15. A sleeping case for a sword blade, is meant to be separated to allow cleaning, and refitting for its blade after a polish. For this reason alone, never use any adhesive that will give a permanant fix. Rice glue is used for the very reason, that with warm water the saya can be separated. To need your saya separated, only to find someone has previously 'glued' it will mean sawing it apart. I know I have been there. Don't do it its bad form.
  16. Marius thank you. As a concept (fumbari) simple, but understanding it, has always got past me. Not helped by the man standing legs apart scenario. I see that as a tapering. "Funbari (the difference in curvature between the back of the blade and the cutting edge just above the blade collar). Even that did not help, but now there is a new word on my page, mune-kado. So there was my problem, the 'back' of the blade is not the mune as I thought, but the line from which the mune rises from. Now I know where it is, its just a matter of practice to see it.
  17. Grey Picking up on fumbari, I have always understood that the degree of funbari is assessed by a comparison of the Moto-haba and Saki-haba, which is exactly as you say. Also that suriage will remove the original funbari to some degree, using both these meanings advise please on the following. I am looking at a tachi which has all the hall marks of suriage, to the sum of 4.cms. Moto-Haha is 3.5 cms and Saki-haba is 2.6 cms. Does this then hold that yes, before suriage this blade would have had funbari to a greater degree?
  18. Two short pieces of wood each side of the nakago, a brass bolt or rod through the wood and mekugi ana. Place blade upright in a vice. This allows a stable blade so you can access all areas. Padding the blade edge is a useful safety tip here. Slow and steady wins the race.
  19. Not being compulsive by nature, I shop where quality will be found. I am not in the buy/sell business, so my purchases are keepers. So its: A. Do I like what I see?. B. Can I afford to tie up the cost?. If the answer to both is yes then my fate is sealed. Up to now its served me well.
  20. For me Stephen started to prod here. There will be sensitivity around the return of a war sword, lawful as well as personal. Its not something I would ever contemplate. But I would be guided by Paul Martin, who is in a better position to comment on the acceptability of this.
  21. Valuable papered fittings which are boxed, are sale items which collectors value. Although they are not serving their original purpose in the box, they are collectable. Lower value, unboxed, non papered items could be used in a koshirae build, and will take on a new ‘look’ when fitted as intended, the tasteful selection of all parts will be a delight to the owner, and will make a blade a sword. Recovery of costs! If every thing we do or have done, has resulted in 100% profit ,then we were born under a special star, it has not happened to me. The loss in this project is the cost of the craftsmen’s work, the fittings are still there, either to be resold as individual pieces or as a complete koshirae. There is a keen sense of satisfaction, when a koshirae. is completed. More so if it showcases the local talents in these skills, in my case the UK. Is it meant to compare with or pretend to be Japanese?, No never, the intention was to admire the art of the metalwork in their fitted for purpose settings. “A waste of money!” ………… This is a family thing, not for resale. Had I commissioned the same from Japan, still a ‘modern’ build, the loss would have been substantial, as it is, I could not buy a low grade nihonto with the sum of the ‘loss’.
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