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Lee Bray

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Everything posted by Lee Bray

  1. Whilst the carving is reasonable, I wouldn't get overly lost in it. It is not deep and cavernous to my eye, but then I get to see lots of Chinese wood carving, living in HK and traveling through China. If you want deep and cavernous, buy one of those Chinese puzzle balls with the seven layers. Now there's a lesson in carving and they're being cranked out at a rate of knots and cheap as chips. Do a search for high quality carving images from Japan or China. Their quality is far, far superior to what we're seeing in the above sword.
  2. A skilled artist that did that to the nakago? We're all entitled to our opinion, Jim.
  3. I thought the same as Jacques with this piece. I'd go so far as to say the blade is a decent fake, too, as it just looks wrong. Naginata hi is crude and shallow whilst the soe hi is crude and deep. Habaki is beveled and has no mune slot. If the nakago wasn't reasonably shaped (allowing for the nasty ana) I'd say this was fake for sure but as it is, I just think it's a later, poor quality tourist blade. Whilst the koshirae 'looks' to be well carved, it doesn't say Japanese to me.
  4. This is a modification I made to a tsuba to fit a sword. The copper insert in the nakago ana is friction fit so no damage to the tsuba is done at all.
  5. Lee Bray


    I agree the yasurime look a little fresh for early Shinto but I'd say there's a chance they could be. There is a smith in Hawley's that signed Hizen Kuni Yoshihiro, YOS 1449, who worked c1865. A possibility.
  6. Lee Bray


    Suspicions of the translation or authenticity of the mei? It is Yoshihiro.
  7. Looks like Brian nailed it. That nakago looks fake.
  8. Honoki is a soft wood; from what I understand, magnolia, basswood, poplar and alder are used in the production of modern saya outside of Japan but this is going beyond the scope of this forum. The information is readily available on other sword and knife websites. Oils can take a long time to leech out of a wood. They are part of the properties of a wood and do not disappear quickly. It's not moisture in the glue soaking through the wood you have to worry about, it's the chemical make up of the glue that is the problem. Titebond II & III have an additive that corrodes steel long after the glue is dry. Titebond, however, doesn't. These questions and pitfalls are what makes a craftsmen worth his trade.
  9. Using hardwood is probably not a good idea as it can contain oils, resins or tannins. Oak is well known for its corrosive properties when combined with carbon steel. Honoki is very low in oils and does not harm steel which is why it is used. Also be vary wary of the glue used to join the wooden components. Some of the available wood glues can cause corrosion problems. Let's hope you haven't spent time and money creating a rust box for your tanto.
  10. Indeed, an excellent post. Thank you, Reinhard. The same Hobbits that found the ultimate treasure, kept if safe and ultimately had the strength of will to destroy it and save mankind, thereby allowing us to indulge our interest in NihonTo? I'd say that allows them a little civility and respect in my book.
  11. My guess would be the middle sword based on my opinion that it has the clearest, most consistent nioi-guchi.
  12. A great film. I've watched it a few times on DVD now and still gobsmacked every time I watch it.
  13. Lee Bray

    new nihonto

    I'm certainly envious but hopefully not too smelly. Let's play nice, chaps. Too few of us as it is without squabbling about levels of experience and competence.
  14. Lee Bray

    new nihonto

    Diamonds... I bought a mumei tanto last year from a guy in the states which, when it arrived, was not nearly as good as it looked in the photos. And the guys photos were not great. But it was a good price and the koshirae looked to be worth the asking price. My experienced mentor saw the blade and thought the same as me, nothing special. It eventually made its way to Japan for polish and papers and when the Japanese agent saw it, he got very excited and started saying 'Juyo...this blade will go juyo...' His polisher was in his shop and agreed with the Juyo call. They believed it to be by Sekishu Naotsuna, one of the Masamune Jutetsu. It passed Hozon as a Hoki blade but failed Juyo. Being an inexperienced collector, this taught me to never count your chickens until they're hatched, grown and sat in your home with a cup of tea and their feet up. If you're actively looking for a diamond....be prepared to put the hours in and don't be surprised if you haven't found one after 30 years of looking.
  15. Lee Bray


    Whilst you're correct, 'Muki' states that the spots on his blade are regular and have a corresponding mark on the opposite side of the blade. This, to me, sounds controlled and intended. The 'Shigetaka' blade that I started a thread on here has very similar markings, two spots together like a vampire bite, regularly spaced down the blade and these seem to be controlled. I have a naginata with choji gunome hamon that has one tobiyaki on the entire blade in between two choji peaks. That looks like a bit of clay came off. Just pointing this out so Muki can decide whether his are intentional or not.
  16. Lee Bray


    That looks like tobiyaki in the pictures to me.
  17. Lee Bray

    new nihonto

    You got to hold that one? I saw them behind the glass in the side room and thought they were locked away from all. That Kiyomaro daisho was the highlight of the show for me, even viewed from behind glass.
  18. Lee Bray

    new nihonto

    Chrisf - your level of study and comprehension is apparent. Enjoy your cheap, rusty swords. Brian's level is also apparent and that's why he doesn't appreciate cheap, rusty swords. He wants something better. If you don't aspire to that, fine, but have the decency not to denigrate those that do. After all, you want respect for the low end of the craft, why not the high end? Making jokes about a persons character is low.
  19. A puzzle indeed. Why fake the mei of the 6th gen Shigetaka who seems to be a run of the mill smith and then why fake papers to verify it as such? The three kanji with question marks read - Yo Ito-Zou ("given to Itozou"), and the Japanese dealer that recently translated them also said he had no doubt the mei was gimei based on the carving style. The date discrepancy is enough to confirm to me that it is gimei and that the papers are fake, though. Thanks for the help, guys.
  20. I have green Tokubetsu kicho papers from the 1960's for a Shigetaka blade I have. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8593 The sword is signed 6th gen Shigetaka and dated 1663, which is when the nidai Shigetaka worked, so I'm fairly certain my papers are meaningless.
  21. A friend and I took six swords into Japan from Hong Kong via Narita airport in June. The process is not difficult providing you have organised with your dealer/polisher that you will be arriving. Customs will check with the dealer to verify you are taking the swords to him. We had a letter from our dealer stating this, including his contacts and address in Japanese. We checked the swords in at HK, ticked the box for swords on the customs declaration form in Japan (much to the surprise of the immigration counter lady), collected our two sword flightcases from the oversize baggage, handed them to customs and were escorted to an area where the registration process took place. This took a while, approximately an hour and a half, as the official measured each blade and noted the signatures. Include tissue and oil in your case as the official handles the blade. You are responsible for repacking. After this process we were given the registration papers and the swords and we went on our merry way.
  22. Buddhist connotations? http://www.exoticindiaart.com/product/ZJ94/
  23. There's an exhibition going on...they won't need to spend 4 hrs with you. I just think that 'half' an oshigata won't attract the average NihonTo enthusiast who tend to want the best for their blade. Complete, professional package for a small fee sounds better than a free, rough sketch.
  24. Lee Bray


    My whimsical opinion has been drooling over this tsuba since Tsuruta San advertised it. Who worries about others and their circles? (j/k, Ford. ) Thanks for the other image, Eric.
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