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Lee Bray

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Everything posted by Lee Bray

  1. Here we go again... Edit - Sorry, that wasn't meant to be a glib comment, I just don't want to see another thread/idea run down because of personal differences. Perhaps some thicker skin (I need some myself) and some allowance for cultural differences?
  2. You may well have started this yourself by changing your board name.
  3. Reinhard would be a more than worthy contributor.
  4. Veiled? I think everyone saw me coming a mile away... :D Give it to me and I'll promise to get it polished immediately. You're more than welcome to the pics. Thanks for clarifying the mei. I have access to a lot of Shibata Rei oshigata through a friend and the index I have shows 4 or 5 Toshinaga but none are niji-mei. Mutsu No Kami Fujiwara Toshinaga - TOS290 - Ise Bushu Ju Yamamoto Geki Toshinaga - TOS74 - Musashi Mino No Kami Fujiwara Toshinaga (or Jiyumiyou) - JU32 - Mino (Kyoto) Yamashiro No Kami Fujiwara Toshinaga - TOS287 - Yamashiro I'll be able to check the oshigata tomorrow as we have a sword day planned so I'll see if your niji-mei is close to any of the above.
  5. Well, if you don't like it. I think it has quite a pleasing shape, condition aside. I'd be dubious about the mei. Crude and newer rust inside the strokes.
  6. If my post has caused any confusion, allow me to clarify. I asked about the cross hatch/fine lines as, to me, their presence would indicate nunome-zogan. If there are no cross hatchings then, I believe, it is mercury gilded which is brushed on and requires no cross hatching. *Edit to further clarify... * As Peter said it has lines evident, I presume it is nunome-zogan.
  7. Keep studying real swords on authentic dealer sites and where ever you can find a blade that is genuine. Don't try and learn from ebay. With enough of the real thing, you will soon come to see the real thing from the fake just by a reasonably quick glance. I only say 'reasonably' as some of the more modern day copies are getting better. Most are very obvious after you've taught your eyes to see. Even if a genuine blade is rusty, chipped, bent, whatever, the trained eye can see it. A missing habaki or a missing whichever piece of koshirae makes no difference to the blade. So 'looke' for real swords. Keep looking at them. Then look at some more. Have I stressed that enough? Only then go look at ebay and laugh heartily at the cheap and nasty imitations.
  8. There was a free auction site opened by an admin over on Don Foggs' Bladesmiths forum. I helped with testing. It was primarily for knives and smiths tools but didn't seem to take off due to low volume of viewers. Perhaps a collaboration between forums to get more people interested would be beneficial to us all, however, ebay has such a high flow of viewers that competing with them is going to be hard.
  9. Lee Bray

    Nakago Colouration

    That IS the relevant question and I'd say cosmetically, yes, with polishing. However, the blue colouration evidences that the heat applied to the nakago has been sufficient to alter the heat treat in that area. So then that begs the question, is the heat treat/sword safe? If the HT is altered, and recently, how collectible is it? Probably not very, in my opinion. About the temperature needed to change the temper in the steel and your comment about the solder joint melting first. I honestly don't think that's the case although I could be wrong. I've softened steel just by the heat transferred from grinding a blade(non nihonto). No colour in the steel at all, just too hot to touch. I'm thinking the sharp transition line is from possible immersion in water of the whole blade, with heat being applied to the nakago for Keith's stuck habaki suggestion or for machi okuri.
  10. Is that not a mercury gilding application of gold? Nunome zogan would be a tricky process to do on the irregular areas shown here. Any cross hatching/very fine lines behind the gold? School - Higo? Based purely on the vines and nothing else.
  11. Lee Bray

    Nakago Colouration

    Keith, I like your idea but surely the thermal conductivity of copper would not create such a sharp transition? The habaki would need to be a fantastic insulator to create that transition line. It looks like someone has been trying to draw temper on the tang for whatever reason. I think we can speculate all day long about why but at the end of the day, a decent smith would not have left the nakago looking like that so it's probably a hack job and should be treated with suspicion.
  12. Interesting topic of discussion. For another time and another forum.
  13. And one in which we all share and live so some civility would be great. Whether the writing on this piece is fraud or whether it is the illiterate ramblings of a smith with too much nostalgia and sake inside him, we'll probably never know. The fact that the work is not great means we probably never will know.
  14. I had a local friend look at the inscription and after consulting with his wife and father, this was their translation. He commented that it had a Chinese feel to it. Just in, another translation, and a slightly different slant. Certainly looks like you'll need the original author to clarify the meaning, if indeed it ever had one.
  15. It could also just be gibberish. If the native speakers and the good translators can't get it... Perhaps a Chinese inscription on a cut down nihonto with a reasonable patina? I'll ask a native Chinese speaker if it makes sense. I honestly don't think the mei is well cut. The kanji are large, clunky and rather square looking. Also, why the two directions of yasurime? Vertical?
  16. You see what I mean? It suggests that the nakago is an actual nakago shaped by the smith. Some smiths would not put the same effort into their nakago as they did the blade. Hence an undulating shinogi. If the sword were shortened, the shinogi of the nakago would probably be a smooth line, based on the fact that the shinogi of the blade is smooth. However, that theory gets wobbly if there is any work done to the nakago after shortening as the work can affect the shinogi. Considering the yasurime and the nakago jiri on your blade must have been worked after shortening(if it was), that means the shinogi could be affected. Fun, hey? I still think your nakago is ubu, though.
  17. The seller pictures that you posted last show the shinogi undulating. It maybe just the pictures but it seems apparent on both sides.
  18. A good shinogi would be a perfect ridge line, whether curved or straight. The one pictured dips and rises.
  19. I wouldn't be making that call just yet based on one opinion. No disrespect intended, Veli. If you're going by vote, I'll go for not cut down. Your own words, "I really feel this has never been cut down." You've got it in hand, you're in the best position to tell. Work on the details with the idea that the nakago is untouched with the knowledge that you may have to scrap all that if it is o-suriage. That's part of the fun and learning experience. You don't always have to be right to learn. Until you've got some experience and seen more blades in hand, you'll be hard pressed to tell if it is cut down or not, because if it is cut down, the smith has taken a good deal of effort refinishing the nakago.
  20. Wisely. Do you take your news from varied and reputable sources or do you read the Daily Mail?
  21. I'd say it's certainly possible but obviously not the reason for all short nakago yari. The ana certainly seems to be a weak point in the nakago and if that is being subjected to sword blows and possible metal fatigue from a flexible wooden shaft...
  22. Perhaps a shorter nakago was introduced to save weight for the purpose of user fatigue? I imagine holding one of the longer varieties on a 6 ft pole at arms length in battle could tire a man fairly quickly. A lighter yari might not be as strong but is potentially faster and easier to wield, especially over an extended period of time. Purely speculation on my part, though. I'm also curious about the way the mekugi ana were finished with regard to the steel either side of the ana. Looking at a couple of Koto pieces on Aoi the other day, both yari had punched ana, one having a noticeable swell in the surrounding steel, the other was uniformly flat. The flat sided nakago was partially rusting through either side of the ana and was a weak point. The nakago with the swell around the ana was still healthy and presumably strong. A Shinto yari I owned had that same weak point, the mei on the portion of nakago below the ana. http://img718.imageshack.us/i/yarimei.jpg/ Had the nakago snapped at that point, the mei would be lost. Perhaps a reason for shorter nakago is purely that they snapped and the resulting rough end was cleaned up? The short blades are almost bullet proof so would remain useful even if the long nakago had snapped. So, my above curiousness is in regard to the swell around the nakago ana and whether it was a trait for some smiths or schools? Loses relevance when ana began to be drilled, though.
  23. It's currently on ebay as a gendaito. 250621324087
  24. I think various bits of the koshirae alone were worth that and certainly the sword stand was worth more than that. Katatan is gimei but I think most here would have not minded at that price...if it had stayed at that price. Eric is right about the auction category being wrong but I've a feeling this was bought privately.
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