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Lee Bray

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Everything posted by Lee Bray

  1. My apologies for the butchering of your language, Moriyama-San. I was refering to Hama-mono and I shall amend the title accordingly.
  2. Brian, I think Ford's referring to the knackered seam as opposed to the 'worm holes', though I could be wrong... I wondered about silver nunome zogan for the worn area as you say, Gabriel, but it didn't look right. I put it down to wear because it seems limited to that area of the kashira compared to the rest of the fittings, with the exception of the kozuka, and I figured that area would get the most 'wear' as I imagine the tsuka made for a convenient wrist/hand rest when the tanto is worn on the obi. Shibuichi makes sense. Thanks Ford. Thanks for the input, guys. The saya is something new for me with regard to the 'Japanese aesthetic' I've seen it on modern Western made koshirae (I think on a piece designed by Antonio Cejunior) and also with Western carving so that gave thought to the recent topic of Hama-mono. Thinking more, I realise that death/life and decay/rebirth is a popular theme and this fits. Thinking even more, I realise I now need some koshirae and fittings books. :D
  3. I hope I didn't inspire your 'rant' from my final question as I realised at the time of writing that it was a little simply worded and to generalise the Japanese 'aesthetic' was foolhardy. :D However, as I was asking about Tama-mono in specific, I thought I'd get away with it. I've seen enough tiger striped tachi and furry saya to know that "reserved naturalistic asceticism" is only one aspect of a much more complex subject. However, because of the era and probably more because of the saya than the fittings, as similar examples are well recorded, I just thought Tama-mono. It's simply a term I wasn't familiar with until the Hisanori thread and wondered at this piece. Nothing to do with the baleen, what interested me with the shakudo was the colour. I tend to associate shakudo with black, although I know it can be manipulated to a variety of colours, but what interests me with this shakudo is the richness of the brown and how in the areas of wear(kashira) it has rubbed down to a silvery grey shade.
  4. https://www.aoi-art.com/auction/en/auct ... 1213703271 In case some of you don't follow Aoi-Art regularly, I thought the koshirae in this auction maybe of interest and some good eye candy, if it's to your taste. Having long admired the wave theme and the Omori style of deep carving and also very fond of decayed wood and the shape and textures of driftwood, I think this koshirae is stunning. The patina of the shakudo is, for me, unusual and very appealing. However, given I'm a Westerner with probably Western tastes(though I've lived in Asia nearly half my life), the lavishness of the koshirae and given the date of the tanto(1857), this makes me think of the term Hama-mono as mentioned by Reinhard in the Hisanori tsuba thread. Is this Hama-mono or a Japanese aesthetic?
  5. Bruno - no problem. I wondered if it was a language problem and it was.
  6. Sorry, you said you were interested in buying it which is why I wrote my post.
  7. There are several 'good' smiths in China. Funnily enough, most I know are called Chen. Paul Chen of Hanwei/CAS Iberia, Fred Chen of Huano Swords(?) and Rich Chen(posts over on Don Fogg's site) Rich Chen smelts his own steel from black iron sand. There are good swords being made in China, not just the crappy Chinatana. This looks to be a good one but no guarantees. The hamon does look acid etched as it very dull and lifeless. Unfortunately, whilst being a worldwide phenomenon, Chinese sellers continue to flood the market with fakes thereby undermining their own market. As ebay is such a crap shoot anyway, I'd recommend buying direct from the smiths authorized dealer. Their prices are competitive and it is really not worth the risk going through ebay for a Chinese sword.
  8. I've never been one for moderation myself, which probably explains a lot. Appreciate your effort, Ted. Always a pleasure reading your contributions.
  9. With mei? Unless it's gimei, it must be shobu-zukuri no?
  10. Lee Bray

    Three fuchi

    I prefer the work of the second piece by far. The third piece reminds me of modern work done by Bartoz from Poland. Not sure if he's a member here but he makes kodugu and is fond of the owl theme. The rendition of the work seems very similar, too. Not saying it is his work, but I wouldn't be overly surprised if it was.
  11. To my eye, this is obviously YummyMummy period and because of the way the foreheads of the figures interact with the seppa-dai, it must be by 'Yosser' Hughes of the little known Glasgow school. 'Yosser' was known for his unique way of expressing his art via the medium of his forehead with a technique known as "Glasgow kiss" and that is clearly shown on this tsuba. Also shown is the common Glasgow trait of "Swift knee to the seppa." Source, "Samurai from the Blackstuff" by Alan Bleasdale.
  12. Thanks for the explanation, Keith. More terminology for me to forget. Henry - you could try Robert Soanes at http://www.katchushi.com/. He's in the UK and comes well recommended.
  13. You can see the external 'bits' I'm referring to in this pic, stolen shamelessly from http://Japanese-samurai-swords-koshirae.com/ Not the ashi but the small rectangular pieces. Here they're shakudo, not gold. This is similar to my friends though his knot is much taller and more flamboyant. I believe(again, not gospel) the internal pieces give more shape.
  14. Metal ?? I would guess paper (ishigami) but not metal ?! I'll get clarification from the source but I'm 99% certain it was brass and not paper hishigame. Brass was used in this instance because it is not visible and much cheaper than gold. The visible embellishments are gold. I understand that on a proper, old grandiose knot, gold was used internally . Obviously, that could be a 'samurai tale' - no comment on that. But this is only my understanding from a conversation and not gospel.
  15. A friend of mine just had his "big knot" restored on a tachi by a chap in the UK. It sounds a lot more complex than a diagram could demonstrate; it seems there are little metal pieces inside the knot to form the shape. I think this is one of those things that has to be done by those in the know. Not necessarily because of the 'don't touch nihonto' mentality but because it's just so damned hard to do. If you want his name, drop me a PM.
  16. Thanks, Sebastien. I plan on hitting Hollywood Road tomorrow as it happens. Been waiting a few days for any "transactions" to occur before going to check.
  17. Thanks, fellas. No joy as yet. Mark - Yes, it sucks but not quite so much as trawling ebay daily with the search word "spear" (on the basis that a Chinese taxi driver will not know yari). If I have to look at Britney one more time I'm going to cry...
  18. It's probably a long shot but on the off chance that a board member sees these for sale or is offered them privately, it's worth it. I stupidly managed to lose two pieces of my collection last weekend after a sword day at a friends. Late, tired, left them in the cab on the way home and cab company are useless since I don't recall the driver's details. I've offered a reward locally of HK$1000 for information leading to their recovery. Should anything be forthcoming from here, I'll work it out with you. Yari Ryo-shinogi yari. 4 sided yari. Ubu nakago signed KISHU JU FUJIWARA X X Nagasa/blade length - approximately 5" Nakago/tang length - approximately 10" No koshirae, wrapped in oiled white cloth. Wakizashi Late Kamukura, early Muromachi wakizashi. O-suriage. Mumei. Nagasa/blade length - approximately 15" Nakago/tang length - approximately 5" O-kissaki. Nioideki, midare hamon. Lots of sunagashi, nijuba. Koshirae - Black ribbed wood for the first third of the saya around the kurikata with the final 2/3 being lacquered sharkskin. White sageo. No tsuka (left it at friends to take to Japan for restoration ) Tsuba - Mokko gata. Iron. Gold inlay of bird and grass. Mei/signature - NOBU X (not IE) Was inside a burgundy cloth sword bag. Both contained in a black leatherette sword bag.
  19. Block him from your ebay account. As Brian points out, not everyone on ebay is an idiot and you will get a bad reputation. On a couple of $100 tsuba - who cares? When it comes time to get rid of rid your swords, you'll care, as they won't realise their full potential.
  20. After eating the first one, which was delicious by the way, I keep coming back to the third. It's now set as my desktop wallpaper so I don't have to keep using NMB's bandwidth to view it. Would you happen to have a frontal shot with the raking light? I just love the colouration it shows. No worries if not.
  21. Perhaps tantoguy of Taiwan was doing the bidding...
  22. Is that first one edible? It certainly looks delicious.
  23. Yes, you're right and I tend to agree. I just find it vexing to be indirectly part of it. I've never even bothered trying to sell items on ebay for this reason. Shame, as I'm getting to the point where I want to sell some of my modest collection and nihonto don't seem to sell well on forums, especially with the lower quality I'll be offering. It also vexes me as I see it everyday here in the streets and there is very little done about it. Few locals seem to care that China's reputation is one of shoddy goods and fake items which is a shame as it has much more to offer. But this is unrelated to the topic and just my take on it. On topic - I imagine the cost to ebay of hiring 'experts' for each of the plethora of items they sell would be extreme. I can't see them accepting independent authorities on spurious items as it would be far too ambiguous for their rules. They couldn't very well have a 'guaranteed no fake sword' auction and a 'take your chance Rolex' auction. Then weigh the expense, logistics and legalities of the above against the huge revenue that said sales are generating... With the amount of money involved, you can bet ebay's lawyers will be doing everything they can to stay a gnat's whisker within the law. Give or take a bit. Buy maybe I'm just too cynical. I think the idea of a group is great but I also think it will always be confined to the likes of the ebay section of this forum.
  24. What, so I have to sell through a filter just because I'm in China? Thanks. :D I'm sure you can see where this could lead so let's not go there. Suffice to say we should all follow caveat emptor; realise that there are fake swords in every country(though admittedly their origin is generally China) and that hobbling a nation because of a few bad eggs is not the done thing.
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