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Lee Bray

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Posts posted by Lee Bray

  1. The Kaginawa in this case was forged from one piece of iron.


    Looks like a seam/join right down the middle of the pictured piece.

    Probably two piece construction with the upper portion of each piece split into two and the hooks forged. Then each piece with two hooks forge welded together to produce the four hooks.

    Interesting piece and story.

  2. Titebond wood glue, both II and III (2 & 3) are known to have issues with rusting/staining carbon steel.

    Titebond (original) wood glue causes no issues.


    May or may not be what was used on the kake and felt but just thought it should be known.


    Thanks for posting your example, seems like this theme was really popular (or just easy to produce? :lol:) ...


    I think you're probably closer to the mark with your parenthesised comment, as I've seen several sets like this since buying mine.

    That Brian has another set, as no doubt do a few others, is further proof of such.


    I believe I've seen it described as 'rain'.

    A 'fitting' description...

  4. I thought I might add this as a way of making a 'safer' sekigane.

    It relies on a friction fit inside the tsuba ana therefore does not need peening into place so avoiding errant hammer blows on your antique patina.

    It's just a piece of copper sheet, though you could use brass, which is the same thickness or slightly thinner than the tsuba.

    You'll need a piercing(jeweler's) saw, some small files and some patience to get it right but it's safer than hammering the normal sekigane into place.




    Of course, this is the amateur way of doing it.

    You really want to send it to the pros to fit proper sekigane.

    That way, they know how to fix the patina when they hit it with a hammer...


  5. I'm having trouble translating this mei that was posted on another forum. I have permission to repost the owner's photographs here for a proper translation.

    I see ten kanji and read them as - X Tachibana Iga (no) Kami Nyudo Minamoto Mitsuhira.

    Could someone kindly please fill in the blank and correct any mistakes?





  6. Please pay all bank fees , they say.

    Bank transfer is expencive and the transfer could have coursed issues.


    Not related to the topic but bank transfer is much cheaper than paypal when you get over a certain price, as the transfer is a set fee rather than paypal's percentage.

    I'd also think transfer between banks is much less prone to issues than a paypal transaction between email addresses.

  7. I have one in black.



    Mine is water buffalo horn.

    Don't think yours is buffalo but maybe ivory?

    The 'spongy' looking centre is natural and I guess is the new growth area where the dead hair cells 'go' on a living horn/tusk, being that the outer wall and towards the tip is generally fairly solid.


    Here's a cross section of an antler I have to show what I mean.



    Mine is mounted on a small, Sue Koto shobu Bizen wakizashi, like a hamidashi tsuba.

    I don't think the buffalo horn ones are so rare but not seen one in your material unless you count the carved bone tourist tanto you see often.

  8. Definitely police?

    I don't know much about these dirks/tanto but I owned a police issue Meiji period tanto once and it had the attached insignia on the handle, which Hamish's appears to be missing.



    It's probably the overcleaned brass and etched hamon but I get a funny feeling on this one.

    Some elements seem ok but some don't. Strange one.

    Wish I could be of more help, Hamish.

  9. I raised the question, and was given good advice! enjoy what you have. I don't have a problem with that, but knowing what I know now should I have;

    a. Avoided this buy because of the paper offered with it.

    b. Be unhappy with the seller for passing on a suspicious Kanteisho,.

    c. Or could he and I insist that this paper is 100% and leave it to others to prove it wrong. (Ethics here)

    d. Would a mumei blade at £5,000.00 suffer financially due to paper, or would it be buyer’s resistance on a resale. (Back to a.)



    I still enjoy my Shigetaka despite its (now)obvious gimei, fake papers and that I paid slightly over 2kUS because it had kicho papers when I was less informed.

    The seller was a caucasion in HK who bought the sword when stationed in Tokyo 30 years prior to me buying it from him several years ago. He wasn't a collector, just wanted a memento from his trip - the sword had been left unoiled since his small bottle of oil that the original dealer gave him had ran out. He'd even taken sandpaper to the blade to remove the worst of the rust(minimal) slightly prior to me buying it.


    I hold the seller in no way accountable for the 'mistake' that I made.

    He was not a collector, didn't claim to be and was obviously not from our meetings, although he was a thoroughly amicable and genuinely nice guy.

    He thought he had a genuine package and sold it as such.

    Caveat emptor.


    With hindsight, I'd have bargained him down more, but certainly not dismissed the blade because of the papers.

    With more Nihonto knowledge, I'd have bargained more because it was a 6th gen Shigetaka wakizashi. If I'd known it was gimei, I'd still have bought it but would have tried to be ruthless with the price.

    As it is, I count it as a lesson.


    Regarding your point C, if you have to ask about ethics, I feel you're already skirting your own personal ethics.

    Point D...depends entirely on the blade.

  10. BTW: Lee, if it were me I think I would remove the date and resubmit it.


    Both mei and nengo are done in the same hand plus the sword characteristics don't tally with Echizen Shigetaka works, though I've only compared it with the first three generations as the sixth is impossible to find.

    I think it's a clear case of gimei.


    I would love to find out who made it but if I had the grand or so it would cost to remove all the mei and resubmit, I'd prefer to give it to Grey for some books I'm missing.

  11. Hi Ed.


    Good topic. It will/would be interesting to see the percentage of resubmitted blades passing hozon at the same attribution as the previous kicho papers.

    I get the feeling you won't get a true figure, regardless how many respond.

    A few reasons:

    - the blade is obviously gimei; removal of mei being reasonably expensive and therefore whole resubmission process becoming more than the blade's worth or the owner can afford.

    (my own bias against kicho papers - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8593&p=75087&hilit=Shigetaka#p75087)

    - owners not wanting to spend the money.

    - owners not wanting to be told otherwise(took me awhile ;))

    - owners not wanting modern official record that their 'Masamune is not real.

    - knowledgeable Japanese saying that kicho papers are called "certification of Gimei/Gibutsu" - viewtopic.php?f=3&t=16989&p=149712&hilit=kicho+fake+papers#p149712


    Essentially, if you're in this hobby for cash, kicho papers are great.

    If you're in it for knowledge, education and preservation, then it seems that many kicho papers are not reliable. That many are unreliable, unfortunately, throws the good ones under the bus, as well


    I'll be interested in how many documented examples are out there.

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