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Lee Bray

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Everything posted by Lee Bray

  1. Hi Stephen, Regarding shipping swords to China, don't do it. If your bidders have Hong Kong addresses, then that is fine. I live in Hong Kong and have received swords shipped from the states with no problems, perfectly legal. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Best of luck with the auction.
  2. I have no problem with the modern NBTHK system and have happily sent in swords for hozon papers but resubmitting the Shigetaka would be pointless as it is gimei. Removing the mei is an option but not a cheap one, especially with both sides of the nakago needing to be worked on. As it is, I'll keep it as a good example of why you buy the sword, not the papers.
  3. Hi Denis, Glad I altered your perception of the 'Godly' papers - even the modern NBTHK and NTHK papers should be treated as opinions, albeit extremely good ones. As Jacques points out, there's always room for doubt.
  4. Sorry it went unanswered...different time zones and sleep. I'm confused (possibly by the question mark after my name). I'm not asking members for their opinion on my sword, I'm just presenting it as evidence that kicho papers are not worth the time spent discussing them. I referred Geraint to a search because he sounded interested in Shigetaka but I didn't have the link to hand and I was pressed for time. Given the doubt around kicho papers, my initial point is I wouldn't trust what they said. In your position, I would not believe the Kanetane attribution and would submit for hozon. If a low ranked smith such as Shigetaka 6th gets fake papers it raises too many questions on the integrity of the whole system. At least it does for me, but then I bought the blade based on the advice of buying polished, papered blades so now I'm rather jaded on kicho papers.
  5. Hi Geraint. There are pics of the mei and papers somewhere on this board if you do a search. The blade is dated to 1663 and part of the mei says roku dai, or sixth generation, yet the nidai worked in that time period and the 6th worked in 1740's. Because of the time difference, I sent hi-res pics of the mei and date to a couple of dealer associates in Japan and both thought it gimei. Good questions regarding the reasoning behind the gimei/papers. I've never understood it myself.
  6. I have an Echizen Shigetaka 6th gen in Japanese polish from a dealer in Japan with kicho papers and it is gimei. The kicho papers are genuine but not worth the paper they're printed on. If I had a mumei sword with kicho papers, I would send it for Hozon just because I have zero faith in kicho papers.
  7. http://www.tachisword.com/ There you go, Henry. I wonder if Forbes are aware of this farce?
  8. Very commendable and generous of you, Sir. Is there/should there be a minimal post count to qualify for these generous discounts or can I join NMB tomorrow for my 10%?
  9. Thanks very much for the translation, Morita-san.
  10. Having trouble with the smith name, possibly Uemon, but doesn't seem correct. I have Kyushu Higo Dotanuki - the remaining four kanji are the smith's name, I believe. X X X Mon. Thanks for any help.
  11. A year? Ford's tsuba and fuchigashira in the classifieds at the moment with Higo shaped, doeskin wrapped tsuka and a saya of Kens' choice, preferably not black. There...only took a minute...
  12. Chatting with Tsuruta-san of Aoi art last year, he said that tanto were preferred by older Japanese collectors because they were much easier to physically handle.
  13. Other side, Henry. I thought the same as you but there is a plugged ana under the inlaid Samurai. I wonder if the plugged ana was a mistake at the time of making? The tsubashi just cut the ana on the wrong side. The mounted Samurai looks part of the original design and as it is inlaid into the plug, the plug must have been there from the start.
  14. Hi Brian, Don't be too zealous with the cleaning, especially if you're using uchiko. I live in Hong Kong which is permanently humid and lots of rain. My house is an old fish farmers house and has four derelict fish ponds 15ft from the back wall. It is bordered on two sides by wetlands and a hilly wood to the last side. Suffice to say it is very wet. I use AC and a dehumidifier and still occasionally have issues with books and clothes getting moldy but so far, I have not had any swords develop rust because of it. I've had the silk ito on tsuka get moldy so now keep koshirae in silk sword bags, which although still silk, seems to keep the tsuka safe. My swords tend to be oiled once every couple of months and I've had no issues with rust over the years if kept housed in shirasaya or saya. Of course, when you're studying them a lot, they need cleaning after use so try and use isopropyl alcohol to clean the oil off when viewing them instead of uchiko if the blade is in good polish.
  15. In the picture I posted the patch I refer to is above the hamon.
  16. Jean, you maybe right as a uniformly shaped patch would be a lot easier to apply. I'm still convinced I see a patch of different steel because of the disruption in the nie at its top edge, though. Perhaps it is an umegane, perhaps it is a weird piece of steel in the original kawagane that did not harden the same way as it's surrounding steel. If Marius' picture is showing an inclusion of some kind, as Chris suggests, then that's a possibility.
  17. You mean the small carbon pit? I can see a complete outline of a patch of steel, at least to my eyes. That pit is on the lower edge of the patch that I see, the upper edge going through the streak of ji-nie, which is why the ji-nie is partially obscured. At least that's how I interpret it and could be entirely wrong.
  18. Marius, I've roughly outlined the umegane I refer to. I believe it's an umegane as there is no nie in it, indicating it is different steel added later. Is that what you refer to as the "elongated lens-shaped something"?
  19. I'd say Koto. The shape shows repeated polishes so possibly Koto but that can be mimicked; the hada does seem very tight from what can be seen so that could say Shinshinto. It also sports a wide hamon, plenty of boshi and kaeri despite its tiredness which could also suggest a Shinshinto copy. I'm pretty sure I see an umegane on pic 30 - lower edge marked by the carbon pit and top edge breaking through the line of ji-nie. That makes me go with Koto just because I'd hope Shinshinto steel would not have such a flaw. If not for the umegane, I'd say Shinshinto... How's that for hedging your bets? :D
  20. Lee Bray


    I remember the topic and the similarity of the tsuba you linked to but, along with the missing squirrel, 'mine' also lacks patina depth and the carving doesn't seem as crisp. Which is why I ask if is utsushi work based on your tsuba. If it is ko-kinko, it sold cheaply.
  21. Lee Bray


    Hi guys. This tsuba was recently on ebay - http://www.ebay.com/itm/330776921858?ss ... 1423.l2648 To me, it looks like Ko-kinko work but the seller states it is only 170 years old. Is it an utsushi of ko-kinko? The shape, style and the rivets on the seppa-dai make me think ko-kinko but then the patina colour doesn't seem overly deep or old and the overall quality seems a little lacking(shallow carving, sloppy seppa-dai) to be good ko-kinko. Thoughts? I didn't buy it, just curious.
  22. Fred Lohman does work for Chinese and American production and custom blades. He's not a Nihonto guy. He farms the work out to various craftsmen so you'll be getting pot luck on the quality. As of late, even the cheap production katana guys are moaning about his lack of communication and poor work done. "Everyone says"...
  23. Again, I'm with Franco, and think that Raymond's example looks to be flush inlaid gold wire on a shakudo base with nanako done afterwards. Geraint, I think the irregularity that you point out in your kodzuka example shows wear of the gold amalgam and possibly poor application of the amalgam when it was made. I don't think the irregularity we see is a result of nanako distortion. This also seems to be backed up by traces of gold in the black squares, noticeably at the closed end. Only my opinion for the discussion, not fuel for any oily, troubled waters. Ron, lovely kodzuka, no matter how it is done. Interesting topic.
  24. I'm with Franco; the nanako will be done first with the gold applied over that and then given patina. Not 100% sure how the gold is applied, possibly butter of gold carefully 'painted' on with a stencil and then fired off? It's not inlay and it's not nunome-zogan. If the nanako were done afterwards, the details in the designs would be distorted with the metal deformation.
  25. Brian, you're getting knocked because you haven't paid your dues with the book knowledge and it shows. I say this respectfully to point it out to you. You start this thread saying it's a beautiful blade and you'd buy it in a second yet you're talking about a Chinese fake in all probability. Your beautiful hamon is acid etched. With six swords and only three books, you run a good risk of buying one of these fakes if you don't slow down a little. Nihonto study will take a lifetime; don't burn out now. You've just copped a little flak because you're admiring an acid etched hamon on a fake blade and with a little work on your part, that shouldn't happen. Slow down and smell the clove oil...
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