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Lee Bray

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Everything posted by Lee Bray

  1. Thanks, Guido. I found a youtube video on the subject and it seems 'sensory overload' is an understatement. Looking forward to being there.
  2. Apologies if my earlier questions weren't clear - Where is it? Do I need to book tickets and if so, how much? Will there be a shinsa?
  3. Could somebody please fill me in on the details of this? It just so happens that my business partners wife wants to go to Japan , so myself and said business partner have reasoned that makes a perfect excuse to spend our spare company cash on a small holiday at the end of October. Talk about luck... I take it this is a must see?
  4. I did and you're correct. With opening bids of $0.99, I'm certainly not sat on my retirement fund. Ah well, still an interesting little find and I don't need to spend 8 bucks to get one...
  5. Is the Japanese mon coin from the 1600's worth anything? I have a small collection of Chinese coinage and this thread made me look at the few I have with the square hole. One of them is the same as the picture above.
  6. Perhaps the hesitancy comes from it being his first year at the shrine's forge. Difficult to say for sure. Looks shoshin when compared to the book but something looks amiss. This is a current auction; should it be in this forum?
  7. Lee Bray

    Akasaka tsuba

    Hi Ed. This tsuba is not to be, it seems. It's a delightful tsuba; quite delicate but more than capable of its task. The Akasaka/Akao misrepresentation was my lack of understanding. You told me it was Akao previously, I've read it for myself and yet I still called it Akasaka. Appreciate you trying to give me an out but it was just me being dumb. Now I know better. My thanks for checking your books, Pete and Ludolf. I'd have to agree that I cannot make out Yoshitsugu from the mei and I'm fairly certain it's Kanen and not Kofu. I also think the mei is struck more elegantly than the examples of Yoshitsugu that I've looked at but perhaps I have bias. It's still early here so later today I'll take some shots of this in the sun and post some dimensions. Perhaps it will illicit some more opinions on the quality of workmanship as I'd like to know what peoples opinions are on that, too.
  8. Lee Bray

    Akasaka tsuba

    I own this piece and have been unable to find any information on the maker. Anyone know anything about the piece or maker? The translation in the picture is courtesy of Ed Marshall of Yakiba.com My own translation came to Kanen Ju Akao Yoshiharu Saku. Which is correct?
  9. Yasuhiro was a very good smith but it seems the work signed Kunemori is judged inferior although it is later. The sword is in need of a polish so unless the seller offers it for a good price, I'll not be buying it. Saya is damaged and seppa are mismatched so it's not ideal.
  10. If it's not fake, it looks fairly well butchered, to be honest. The shaping of the seppa dai is wrong. The mimi has been rounded off somehow and poorly done. The rectangular latch slot is either missing or filled in. Possible work done to disguise the tsuba as civilian after the war? Why? Looks rough to me, I'm afraid. Poor work done to a possible gunto sukashi tsuba and I'd still lean towards fake. Sorry.
  11. No more confusion with this blade... Went again today and it is signed, "Toto Ju Nin Ikkansai Kunemmori Kin Saku."
  12. First, a Kunishige blade that I can't make out the province. 99% sure it's gimei but... Second, a koto blade which appears to have had something done to it(mounted for war?) early WWII from what I can read in the mei, "Showa + 16". Thanks for the help.
  13. Ebay tends to do that, Henry. It takes note of what you search for, uses that info to search for similar items, then recommends them to you the next time you log on to ebay. It doesn't differentiate between fakes though, so use your own judgement.
  14. Lee Bray

    nanban tsuba age?

    Wow. Some details on those pieces, Guido. Here's a thought, perhaps not a good one, but... Given the swords we are seeing with rectangular 'fuchi' look to be very high ranking swords (I very much doubt foot soldiers are taking ruby studded blades into combat) maybe that is a sign, to the Chinese, of a higher level of craftsmanship? Would it have been easier to create an oval fuchi or a rectangular one? Then when the Chinese received high quality Japanese blades, they thought them worthy of high level fittings and so the rectangular form was used. Perhaps the Japanese tsubako saw these extreme examples of workmanship and made their own versions. Japanese 'copies', as it were, to sell on the local Japanese market as very valuable 'Chinese' sword guards. They were forging their own stuff, why not forge top quality fittings from the Chinese market and try to pass them off as such? Kind of a reversal of what we see today with the Chinese copying Japanese blades. Just a thought...
  15. Lee Bray

    nanban tsuba age?

    Maybe more research should be put into who used rectangular "fuchi/ferrule". The vast majority of Chinese swords that I've seen used an oval or circular shape in that area. At least with dao and jian. http://www.northernwu.com/Swordgrp.htm Perhaps there is more influence from Tibet, as per Rheinhard' post/picture, than initially meets the eye? Perhaps the Japanese lumped Tibet in with the rest of China without making much, if any, distinction? Tibetan artwork has always looked very 'jumbled' and 'busy' to me, much like namban tsuba. The work I see on everyday Chinese swords is generally not as intricate as a standard namban tsuba. Always the exceptions though, and especially with swords for the higher ranked and the big boys.
  16. Lee Bray

    nanban tsuba age?

    Just to add to the pics, I'm posting this piece on behalf of Roger Robertshaw. The ball is floating and there are several 'through cuts' where the overlapping tendrils actually have space between them inside the tsuba. Excellent quality carving, imo, anyway. A 'proper' shaped seppa dai, lead seki-gane and a Chinese(I'm assuming) kanji at the bottom.
  17. Yes, and aside from a small section by Chris Bowen on the Yasukuni smiths that does not include Yasuhisa, I find nothing relating to Yasuhisa or "tangon dohen". I may well have missed the relevance though. Wouldn't be the first time...
  18. Yes, I forgot that Hawley is not the be all and end all of ratings and that for Gendai blades his ratings are less than helpful. That won't affect my decision. Anyone have any idea as to what "tangon dohen" means?
  19. Either way, I have the two blue books of the sixties and they do not contain the above information. This will be a long shot but is there anyone with an oshigata of Echizen Yasuhisa?
  20. Thank you very much, Mark. Something more to go on. 8 pts is not very promising though. Stephen, the 1966 Hawley's is somewhat lacking compared to the 80's edition. My mentor, Mr.Robertshaw, keeps threatening me with a PDF version but hasn't got round to sending it yet. I was starting to think I should have kept quiet about Hong Kong. There are some genuine collectors and enthusiasts over here.
  21. Nobody wants to look at a newer Hawley's for me? Ah well...
  22. Apologies if this is the wrong forum section. I'm looking for information on Onuki Hisashi. Smith name was/is Yasuhisa, of the Yasukuni tosho. I've read about him in the Yasukuni book by Tom Kishida and any info on him seems to end in 1954 when swords were allowed to be forged again. Managed to find these references to him in Hawleys and the Toko Taikan but my Hawleys is the 1966 version and doesn't contain this reference and I don't own the Taikan. YAS-812 and TK-697. If anyone can post the relevant info for these, I'd be very grateful. My reason for this search is because of a strong possibility of buying a katana in officers(I assume because of the sukashi gunto tsuba) gunto koshirae here in Hong Kong. I've only seen it briefly but it has an interesting mei. It's in the upper left corner of the ura nakago, starting just below the yasurimei demarcation and seems a later addition. I'm assuming it's some form of dedication/shrine - I don't think it's Onkashi-to as Yasuhisa 'qualified' too late. The Chinese seller says the additional mei is some form of polishers attribution. I've never heard of that, but... Slough' only rates the smith at 1M yen but it seems a good sword with interesting mei. Yasuhisa seems to have been a star sakite at the NTK as he was chosen as the only sakite to go with a couple of top smiths to open a new 'school'. So, I'm a little confused... The rating doesn't speak highly of him but there are indications that he is/was good. Therefore, I'm trying to find out more but seem to have run out of sources. If anyone has anything more on him, I'm all ears. Cheers fellas.
  23. http://www.arscives.com/bladesign/kenda ... tsword.htm A blade made from 50% 1095 and 50% meteoritic iron by bladesmith Rick Barrett. Scant detail in the article but a couple of pictures and the smith is easily contactable for possible information.
  24. I'm not so sure it's traditional for the Kris but it certainly happened. From what I've read, weapons(kris) forged with meteorite ore were considered magical or talismanic. There is a meteor known as the Prambanan meteor in Surakarta to this day which is considered Holy. It is recorded that it fell close to Surakarta in approximately 1757 and a chunk of it eventually made its way to the palace in 1784 where it was forged into various kris, some of which are still in existence in museums today. The main body of the meteor was brought to the palace in 1797 where it now resides. This is loosely copied from 'The Kris - Mystic weapon of the Malay world' by Edward Frey. If anyone's interested, I can scan the pages and a couple of pics and add it here.
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