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Bruce Pennington

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Everything posted by Bruce Pennington

  1. Yes, that's what I was thinking. The kabutogane and fuchi look civil, so likely re-fitted with the Army tsuba/seppa and leather covered saya.
  2. Amazing item Tim! Any chance of getting good pics of the fittings? Also, is that a leather belt loop?
  3. Nice detective work John! NMB will soon be the Library of Japanese Sword Reference Material. Keep it coming!
  4. While not proven, we believe we have examples of logo/stamps that changed over time. The Kobi shop is one where we think the mysteriaous "Ichi" and "K", both in sakura, were from the same shop that changed stamps at some point in time. Gunboards has a few posts on the multiple changes of the "Mukden" arsenal stamp that changed over time. Seems plausible that this was an early stamp of the Japan Steel Co. But, of course, until evidence pops up it's an "unknown."
  5. Ah, looks like Thomas was right. One for the “Unknown” file!
  6. That’s what I see. Which is why I would love to see that gunk cleared off of it to get a better view.
  7. Never seen that one either. Aliaksandr, along with Thomas' question about other stamps, how about a couple of clear close-ups of the blade tip and a body shot, for the hamon? The 2 ana implies it might have been a kyu and remounted in the kai fittings. Also, it that obstruction in the stamp something that could be cleaned out with soap and a toothbrush? It won't hurt the blade to do so.
  8. David, Could I get a photo of the full nakago showing the Toyokawa stamp?
  9. Dave, Any numbers or other stamps on this nakago? Could I get a shot of the nakago full length, for the files?
  10. Will, Are there any numbers stamped on the nakago (tang)? The other one like this I have on files has numbers.
  11. Posting photos for posterity. Will, Your kai is interesting for a couple of reasons. It's got a custom saya, can't tell from the out-of-focus pic, but likely ray skin. So the owner paid extra for that. Also the stamps on the seppa and tsuba are an unknown maker. There is a kanji like that, but these are backward, or mirror of how it is written. So, we don't know who made them. By the lacquered material under the wrap (maybe fabric?), I'd put this in the last couple of years of the war. Lacquered rayskin was the norm for these, but in the last year, the military changes their mil specs to discourage the use of skins and move to artificial materials.
  12. D, That's quite a story! Any idea who buried it? Seki Kanemoto is listed as an RJT qualified smith, so there is a chance this blade was made the traditional way. Any chance of finding a star stamp above the smiths' name, possibly around the hole? Any other stamps visible around the top of the tang, even on the back edge of it?
  13. There is such a thing, and if you have been discussed here on the forum. In the pictures it can be a little difficult to distinguish between the two. The zoheito tend to have a bit more curve in the blade and shorter nakago.
  14. Not mine, something at auction, but it has a stamped number "250" on it for my files (no date). Just need the name, thanks guys!
  15. Matthew, So cool to meet the real owner! I'm with John. I think you've got a legit WWII gunto. And in a collector's perspective, more valuable BECAUSE of the uniqueness of the date. In the coin collecting world, a double-struck coin is more valuable because it is so rare. The image of Japanese precision in their craft can create this false aura that they were flawless. I like to see things like this because it brings the humanity back into focus.
  16. As I always say - Communication is a terrible thing!
  17. So, it seems unlikely to me that the non-functional arsenal would be stamping these post-war souvenirs. Thomas has quoted the polisher interview in which he states that bundles of blades were inspected and stamped by Army and Navy, then sold in the 2 clubs. Found here: My reply: " Hmmmm. This also fits a witness interview about the RJT blades that were collected, inspected and stamped. Interesting development, indeed. So, the implication is that these "acceptance" inspectors were Army & Navy, possibly independent of any arsenal? All 23 of my circled anchor stamped blades are not dated. It is my theory that the majority of non-dated blades were made before the Army took control of the sword industry in 1942. So, these stamped blades, along with the multitude of non-dated Showa and Seki blades could very well have been stamped by an inspection/acceptance stamping system broader or independant of individual arsenals. In 1943, all three of these almost disappear and blades are stamped by arsenals mostly. I had always just assumed that these inspectors were from the arsenals, and therefore the stamps were arsenal stamps. We learned clearly that the Seki stamp was not military, and was leaning to the Showa being civil as well. But in light of the witness, is sounds like the Showa and Circled Anchor very well could have been the Army and Navy inspectors referenced by the polisher. Hmmmmm"
  18. Hmmmm. This also fits a witness interview about the RJT blades that were collected, inspected and stamped. Interesting development, indeed. So, the implication is that these "acceptance" inspectors were Army & Navy, possibly independent of any arsenal? All 23 of my circled anchor stamped blades are not dated. It is my theory that the majority of non-dated blades were made before the Army took control of the sword industry in 1942. So, these stamped blades, along with the multitude of non-dated Showa and Seki blades could very well have been stamped by an inspection/acceptance stamping system broader or independant of individual arsenals. In 1943, all three of these almost disappear and blades are stamped by arsenals mostly. I had always just assumed that these inspectors were from the arsenals, and therefore the stamps were arsenal stamps. We learned clearly that the Seki stamp was not military, and was leaning to the Showa being civil as well. But in light of the witness, is sounds like the Showa and Circled Anchor very well could have been the Army and Navy inspectors referenced by the polisher. Hmmmmm
  19. I checked my Dawson book, and I see why Hamish called it a transition between the Type 9 and 19. The plain backstrap is of the Type 8 Company grade kyu, but it had a solid handguard. The open floral design came in the 1886 revision which also added the sakura to the backstrap. I've attached pics from Dawson, including his description of the black German styled knot authorized in 1912.
  20. As always, a beauty, Neil! And in one gunto, it has items for three files - Showa stamped blade, Dot on Nakago, and Patented sayajiri. Thanks!
  21. Quite gorgeous Volker (the sword, I mean!), and amazingly intact and well preserved. I agree with you, that blade is a beauty. Great feeling to know you have such a rare item, isn't it?
  22. Thanks John, quite interesting! Nice to see that I've been using a couple of methods that are actually in the book. Never thought of that stuck habaki removal technique though!
  23. Digging a little, I'm reminded that the late-war kaigunto usually just had the circled anchor with no mei. The blades in the post war souvenir all have the circled anchor. Post war, the Tenzoshan factory was allowed to remain open and make souvenir swords and they all had this stamp. Would this support Thomas' idea? Would this say the circled anchor was actually the Tenzoshan Factory stamp? We've already learned thanks to @Kiipu that our reference books that show the stylized anchor as the Tenzohsan stamp, were wrong, that in fact it's the Navy Kamakura-Tenzoshan Inspector stamp. Or was the Toyokawa Navy Arsenal still operating after the war and stamping these souvenir blades? Maybe someone knows the post-war history of the arsenal? Seems unlikely, even if open, that a Military Arsenal would be stamping souvenirs made for G.I. tourists. Back to the previous post, though, I found discussions about the evolution of the Mukden stamps revealed by @BANGBANGSAN HERE and @Stegel HERE. Would this practice support the idea that the unadorned anchor of the Toyokawa Navy Arsenal was in fact being used in circles and sakura on varying items? If not, why don't we see the unadorned anchor on a multitude of weapons, swords, etc? Was the Army the only arsenal system that widely stamped their military equipment? My final observation is in looking at the "He" of Jensen and the circled "He" of the Hoten Corp. Maybe this one isn't the same as what we are discussing? Could it just be coincidence that the Hoten Corp used the "He" in their stamp, or could this be an example of the Jensen Arsesnal using variations of their inspector stamps for different factories? I know I'm all over the place with these 3 questions, but just thought I'd post them in hopes of stirring some insight from someone/anyone.
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