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Bruce Pennington

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Everything posted by Bruce Pennington

  1. John, I think you're right. I checked some other blades with stamped numbers and they all had the horizontal base to the "1". These two one's are just low and the base isn't fully struck. Thanks!
  2. Thanks John! I've never seen so many Mantetsu on one site! I had a couple of those already but several were new. Now added!
  3. Guys, I'm pretty sure the first character in this number is a katakana. I want to say it's "イ" but it looks like the top is just a corrosion dot to me. What do you say?
  4. Good eye, Thomas! Dang, another unknown! The four bumps around the circle strike me as familiar, but I've looked through my files and can't find a similar one. The center was different, but I could swear I've seen a circle with semi-circular bumps around the edges like that. I checked Dawson and he doesn't have an example with this stamp. All his are made by Solengen (sp?), and some have Japanese inspector stamps. But this one looks like it was made by a Japanese shop, or at least the handle was.
  5. Simply using yokusi steel ( if I have the name right) would require the stamp - it’s not tamahagane.
  6. Well, if Chris is right, that this isn't possible (nearly impossible?) with any steel other than tamahagane, then this supports the theory that the large Seki stamp is Gild stamp that has nothing to do with the regulatory stamping system. Hmmmmm.
  7. That was tough! I hate their writing, sometimes. It's like trying to read Doctor's prescriptions. Couldn't get all the date, 2 kanji didn't make sense.
  8. I believe I've done some business with you too, welcome! Your very presence is a sign of your honesty. Shady dealers would never join the forum using their sales name (I can think of a couple or 3). So!! Are you a collector too? If so, start bringing out the eye-candy!
  9. John, Here is where the Gendaito/Nihonto jargon gets me confused sometimes - are you saying the blade is "traditionally made"? and that the large Seki stamps aren't part of the required stamping on non-traditional blades? Or are we saying that this blade was made using traditional methods (including water quench) but likely used non-tamahagane, and therefore the Seki stamp?
  10. Thanks Brian! I don't see a "File Actions" option.
  11. Brian, I'd like to delete old versions of my Stamps Doc, but when I look them up under the "My Attachments" page, I don't see an option for deleting.
  12. Stamps Doc 6.0: includes re-write of the "Stamped Numbers" section due to results of the Stamp Survey. Also includes discussion in the Type 95 section of the suspected tie between the Gifu stamp and the Seki Shoten stamp (being of the same re-named company). I'm also posting the current version of the Stamps Survey for those of us that love those tabulated data! Brian - if it's not too much trouble, could you replace the outdated version of this in the Member articles section? Thanks! stamp survey (1).pdf Stamp 6.0.pdf
  13. James, Could I see the full tsuka on that one? The portion of the wrap, plus the basic tsuba, look like Rinji-seishiki fittings.
  14. Thanks for looking into that for us John! At least it gives us a "earliest known" date we can reference. The sakura pattern on the tsuba (1st pic), shows that this is one of the gunto that Ohmura calls an Army Civilian Employee Gunto (probably Gunzoku). They are discussed HERE on NMB. There is another thread, which I haven't found yet, that quotes a WWII survivor that describes this pattern fittings as something a village paid to have made for one of their people going off to war.
  15. We know they weren't army inspector marks, they were definitely personalized marks, like the "check-mark" of Nike. I've just never read a dedicated article on them that went into their history.
  16. So, numbers 1 & 6 are enlisted rank but their swords had mei. We don't know how they were mounted though, do we?
  17. Yes, my thoughts too. I know the kao is just a personal mark for the smith, this blade shook my subconscious assumptions loose when I saw it had both the Seki stamp and kao. I'm firmly planted on the "inspector stamps mean non-traditionally made" side of the camp. As to the original question - how long have smiths been using kao - I want to say I've seen some pretty old blades with them, but I haven't kept track of them and/or the ages. Hopefully some of the nihonto guys can opine.
  18. I have a small collection of loose seppa and one of them is that same color. The more you get into the hobby, the more variation you'll come across. Do us all a favor and introduce us to some of your gunto!
  19. I have seen leather covered saya with the standard haikan underneath. So maybe this saya is simply missing the leather cover.
  20. There is a Kanezane blade being discussed HERE that has Kanezane's kao, but it also has a Seki stamp. I had been assuming that the presence of a kao (hot stamp or an inscribed mark) would indicate the blade was made traditionally, because blades can be found by that same smith that don't have the kao. But this blade has a Seki stamp which means it was not. Hmmmm. Of course, this hearkens back to the debate about stamps - are they always an indication of a non-traditionally made blade, or could they sometimes simply be an acceptance stamp. The answer could lie in the reality that some blades with a smith's mei were really made by apprentices, so maybe the kao would indicate that this blade was made by the smith? Another issue is that many WWII blades were signed by a professional mei-cutter (there's a word for that). Maybe the presence of the kao, simply means the mei was cut by the smith himself? What we know for a fact is that the government ordered all non-traditionally made blades to be stamped. We do not have proof that stamps were being used in other ways, so with the assumption that the Seki stamp on the blade means that it was non-traditionally made, then the kao's significance lies somewhere else, like who made it or signed it.
  21. Speaking of the kokuin, I had been assuming that the presence of a kao (hot stamp or an inscribed mark) would indicate the blade was made traditionally, because blades can be found by that same smith that don't have the kao. But this blade has a Seki stamp which means it was not. Hmmmm. Of course, this hearkens back to the debate about stamps - are they always an indication of a non-traditionally made blade, or could they sometimes simply be an acceptance stamp. The answer could lie in the reality that some blades with a smith's mei were really made by apprentices, so maybe the kao would indicate that this blade was made by the smith? Another issue is that many WWII blades were signed by a professional mei-cutter (there's a word for that). Maybe the presence of the kao, simply means the mei was cut by the smith himself? What we know for a fact is that the government ordered all non-traditionally made blades to be stamped. We do not have proof that stamps were being used in other ways, so with the assumption that the Seki stamp on the blade means that it was non-traditionally made, then the kao's significance lies somewhere else, like who made it or signed it. Sorry for cluttering up your thread with my ruminations, but it was rolling and I needed to work through that!
  22. Well, that could shed some light on some of the officer/NCO combos we’ve been seeing through the years!
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