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Peter Bleed

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Peter Bleed last won the day on May 11

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About Peter Bleed

  • Rank
    Sai Jo Saku
  • Birthday 11/03/1943

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  • Location:
    Little Rock, AR
  • Interests
    Sendai Kunikane, Ainu blades and artifacts, Namban fittings, rapiers

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    Peter Bleed

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  1. That sounds like a trick question, but, ahhh, NO. I just want a Japanese cannon. I suppose it has got to be portable. Peter
  2. I need (!) a Japanese cannon! Well, that sounds unhealthy. What I mean is that I really want a Japanese cannon, something nice and Edo period! Peter
  3. Dear Friends, Please allow me to present an image I recently acquired. I am interested in early photos of even earlier swords. And in that pursuit I "found" the attached image. It doesn't fit what I was interested in, but I was bored and the whole Covina thing has us al running in strange directions, so I followed it there in the world's fleamarket, and.... I find this an interesting image.The photo has no marking beyond the name of the photographer K. Yamanaka from Nakatsu. I think that is a place in northern Kyushu. It is also undated, but I read it as either very late Meiji times or maybe even Taisho - that is a pure guess. Let's start with the sword the gentleman is holding. It does not to my eye look exactly like any of the gunto types I have seen. I don't think it is a Type 32 sword. It looks closer to what Jim Dawson calls a Type 8 Riding Sword altho the shape of the backstrap seems like less than a perfect match for anything he shows. And I would like to have a different perspective on the tsuka. Notice, too, that it seems to be equipped with a leather barrel sword knot. Moving to the fellow who is shown with the sword, it is fair to start by saying that he is holding NOT wearing the sword. He is in Japanese clothing so there is nothing like a sword belt. He is wearing a mon-zukuri haori and a couple of other layers. He has what looks like a billed cloth cap that might have a small central pip of some manner, but it doesn't look like any of the military caps I have bumped into. He is also wearing tabi so I assume he showed up at the photographer's shop wearing geta. All this to say that I don't think his fellow is dressed at all in a military or other official outfit - - right?? Now, let's look at how he is standing.First, he is holding this apparent gunto with edge up, as if it were a katana. And he is also holding a carpet bag. Together with hat and the rest of his outfit, this suggests that he was getting ready to travel. The fellow also seems to my - aging - eyes to be too old to be an active soldier. Could he be a "old soldier" who is getting ready for reassignment? Peter
  4. There are times when I approach the NMB like Amatarasu doing a dirty dance in front of a cave in hopes of getting the important spirits to come out (If I have misremembered this story forgive me. You should hear my recollection of Genesis). My point is that NMB is a wonderful resource when a naive can pose a question that draws out real experts. I think I shook my bootie pretty well today. I drew out Ian! Thank you, Ian, and let me say that the Fur Trade Museum also mentioned the "Leather in Warfare" volume. Peter
  5. Thank you all for these interesting replies. In the popular understanding leather working was the specialty of so-called Burakumin or Eta folks. I had seen one of these pictures but not the one with the fellow painting the drum. They are very neat, Thank you David. In popular presentations these folks are often classed as "untouchables" and the folks in these images might seem a little unkempt but it also seems fair to view these folks as careful handlers of a field they monopolized. A friend of mine - now departed- studied the archaeology of Meiji period Eta sites because they got way (!) into bone working and made bone tooth brush handles for the world - but I digress. I will attached an image I have been permitted to attach to this discussion. This is a snippet, but it really looks to me like it was not made in Japan Peter
  6. I have been asked to assess what looks to me like a rather clean Type 95 Non-com's sword - round iron tsuba with top lock. Base on pictures it retains most of the paint on the tsuka and seems 'clean." It has been a long time since I had any contact with this market. I'd appreciate guidance. Peter
  7. cuir bouilli in Japan Out of interest in Nanban fittings etc, I recently discovered an article that describes the Dutch trade of deer hides from Taiwan into Japan during the Edo period. And that made me recall a wonderful wakizashi a friend owns that is fitted with “Nanban leather.” I asked for help from the (wonderful) Fur Trade Museum and they identified this stuff as “cuir bouilli” which is boiled leather – altho it doesn’t actually involve “boiling” (Be that as it may, I bet that a red wine is still appropriate accompaniment.) So please allow me to ask this august body if we are aware of other Japanese cuir bouilli. Or should we assume that Japanese workers used leather that was “boiled” or otherwise prepared before it arrived in Japan. Leatherwork was hardly a common craft in Edo Japan, but there certainly was interest in exotic materials. Peter
  8. Sean, Thank you for following up. And I agree with Piers that it sure looks like the nipple is missing. I suppose that it could be this gun was set up for some manner of "pill" or some other alternative to a percussion cap. In fact, this gun look like it is pretty highly machined and "designed" so it might be a specialty. Now, selling such things follows the old cowboy axiom, "Going out on the buffalo range, depends upon the pay.." You could put a price out there and see if you get any takers. A couple of these did sell - rather slowly IMHO- here in NMB in the past year. Check the files to see how they went. Peter
  9. I would never read this signature. The NMB is a great resource. Peter
  10. Sean, Thank you for showing us an interesting shooting iron. I am interested in how technology changes and that is what attracts me to these late modifications to Japanese matchlock guns. My opinion is that you gun is much older that the modifications that it shows. As a guess I'd say the gun was made at about 1700 or so, but that the ignition system - and other changes date from something like 1860. This was a moment in world history when firearms were evolving rapidly and when Japan was under great external threat. They were very interested in percussion cap technology. It was one of the "secrets" that Admiral Perry was specifically asked about. And not incidentally by late 1865, the world was awash is surplus cap lock arms. It was in that window that lots of Japanese gunsmiths explored caplock systems. Most collectors avoid these modified matchlocks for two reasons" 1) they aren't 'original' , and 2) there are challenges to getting them into Japan. That means their 'value' is not what Japanese collectors will pay. Bottom line, these guns interestingly reflect a moment in Japanese and world history. Peter
  11. Can't judge his smithing, but his penmanship was - ahhh - dodgy Peter
  12. INDEED! The o-tanto by Yasushige is a perfectly worthy Japanese swords, BUT that Southeast Asian sword is very interesting. Please forgive me if my lust is showing! Peter
  13. Bushu ju Yasushige saku Looks like a nice old sword. I'm off to the books Peter
  14. Dear Colleagues, I recently discovered an interesting article on the Dutch deerskin trade out of Taiwan and into Japan in early Edo times. This link will hopefully point anyone interested in the right direction. https://www.academia.edu/35305851/Emergence_of_Deerskin_Exports_from_Taiwan_under_VOC_1624-1642_?email_work_card=view-paper There is nothing in the article that is directly replated to swords, but we are all aware that so-called Dutch skin or "namban-kawa" was feature of Namban style. The odd pieces of that leather that I have seen are all pretty thick. In the conversations I have had about this stuff it was always assumed to be "European" and beef hide. I THINK(!) it should be possible to tell the difference between deed and cow, so I am wondering if there are any inspectable pieces of "Namban-kawa koshirae". Anybody got any of this stuff? Peter
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