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Bruce Pennington

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Everything posted by Bruce Pennington

  1. Dave & Grey, I'm glad to see you both in the same place at the same time! I was wondering if you were the same guy, posting under 2 names!!! Now I can see the difference! HA!
  2. Here are pics of my Dad's Mantetsu. Seems identical. In hand, I can see a ridge where the yakote is, but if it was every polished, it looks like it has long since rubbed off. And that's a steal for a Mantetsu!
  3. Gert, I just re-read your original post - waki in full sized mounts! Can you give us the cutting edge length? It does look short.
  4. Gert, Beautiful Kaigunto, and yes, it is Navy! Everything has the look, to me, of someone with money, custom fitting an old, treasured blade. I could be wrong about the blade, but the fittings are nice. Sharkskin saya cover was an expensive upgrade to the standard saya, which is what you have there. The only odd-ball thing is the white, army style, rayskin (same'). I don't know what to think about that. It is possible the tsuka was re-wrapped (ito looks almost untouched) and the person used un-laquered rayskin, but I don't know why someone would do that. The longer I study gunto, the more variations I see. It is possible the original officer ordered it this way, but it seems unlikely.
  5. Update: All ugly paint removed. Uncovered a Nagoya stamp on the drag! Next us a trip to a powder-coat shop to see if they can reproduce an accurate color for a re-paint.
  6. Found one on a Kojima Kanenori: http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7703278&posted=1#post7703278
  7. Julian, that's fabulous! No other stamps, like a Nanman or anything? Also, what is the date on the other side?
  8. Ok, sounds good. In fact the auction one looks quite similar to Paul's. Sorry about my pics. They initially posted sideways and I cropped them to fit upright.
  9. Stephen, I agree, even the date is the same - Spring 1941. So for a high quality operation like Mantegsu, why would the mei be so thinly cut. The auction pics are low quality, but even the file marks , which are distinct on mine, are almost not visable on the auctioned one. The memugi ana isn't cut in the same place. Then that seppa, which of course could have been a replacement. My first thought on seeing it was this looks more like something done late war, yet it's Spring 1941. I don't know.
  10. Greg, The mei seems poorly cut, but accurate. Nice blade, so-so fittings. I'm completely stumped by that seppa without any edge work! Good price considering... Here are pics of my Koa Isshin for comparison:
  11. Just watched a British documentary produced for the newspaper Daily Mail with some film footage I'd never seen before. On shot clearly showed a tank driver or pilot (don't know the leather helmets) with a Type 95. Another carrying on his back a gunto with white-wrapped tsuka.
  12. Agree with Stephen, nice Japanese WWII officer gunto! The string-wrapped saya (scabbards) are rare and I would consider them a collector's item because of that. The fact that it was done by sailors returning from the war just adds to their wartime history.
  13. Thanks David, I like his work, and this is a Mantetsu blade, not a high-art blade.
  14. Thanks for the reminder David! I just sent an email to David Hofhine to make sure, but I think I told him about the blade when I first contacted him. We'll see what he says. I'm also checking into a shirasaya maker, now that you mentioned it!
  15. Brad, There were rare NCO gunto without the fuller groove (bo-hi), but rare. Likewise, there were rare officer gunto WITH fuller grooves. The hamon on war gunto was usuallly straight, not wavy, and late in the war, the details were often hard to see. The blade was still tempered though. You got a decent price for an officer gunto with leather saya cover. I'm still bothered by the high-shine brass looking hand-guard (tsuba). It looks newly made with fine detail, styled in the early-years pierced tsuba. But if it were late-war, then it very well could have been "newly" made, before the war ended. Nice war piece! Of course, you're going to have to treat us to a couple of pics of your 32's!
  16. Brad, I assume these are the pics the seller provided? Better pics would help, obviously. Personally, I hate trying to evaluate this kind - it's either a really good reproduction, or a fair to poor legit gunto. Positives - The metal is NOT the Damascus steel that is common in fakes; the styling of the handle fittings are proper; Iffy's - While I've seen black same' on army gunto, this looks imitation (pending better photos); the fittings are poorly made; the tang is muey-ugly! I've seen lots worse, but if this was Japanese made, the tang was made by a moderately unskilled worker! If you got it at a good price, so be it; but I hope you didn't pay "a lot." (subjective terms admittedly!)
  17. Neil, I tossed and turned on the same decision about my Dad's Koa Isshin. It's got lots of stains and scratches that give it the "used in combat" (or on some poor hapless Chinese) that is tempting to preserves as-is; but it's Dad's. So I've decided to have it polished. Sentimental reasons only. You know that there are really good polishers out there that can do it for around $2,000, right? That's what I'll be paying for mine, when my turn comes up this Spring.
  18. Stephen, amazingly I was running that same thought through my head as you must have been typing it! David, yes, I have been delving fairly deep into Type 95 NCO gunto for some time lately. They have large "Arsenal" stamps and alongside, there are small "inspector" stamps. Yes, the inspectors are tied to the arsenal, and just seeing the inpector stamp immediately identifies the blade's arsenal, but the two are there for different reasons. It's like buying a new shirt. On the tag is the maker's name, say Land's End. Usually, also, inside you'll fid a little paper sticky with the quality control inpector's number that we always peel off and discard. The inspector's sticky is not the same as the maker's name and is there for different reasons. So, yes, we're (or I) having a semantics problem! the "Arsenal Stamps" thread has become much more than just a collection of arsenal stamps. There are swordsmith (I've forgotten the official term) personal hotstamps. There are area swordmith guild stamps (Gifu, Seki), there are quality stamps (star, showa), there are patent stamps, etc. Yes, most of those are used and put on by arsenals, but they are not the trademark (to use Ohmura's term) of the arsenal. So, I realize I must broaden my scope when I read someone ask about "arsenal" stamps! The stamps have become a bit of a secondary hobby interest for me, so I'm just going to have to seek clarification with the question asker before launching into my answer. Good discussion guys, thanks!
  19. Neil, yes I've seen stamps on koshirae, but even that one is more an inspector stamp rather than the arsenal stamp; but I meant the blade itself. David, Like I said, my experience is QUITE limited as I've only been studying gunto for a little over 2 years. And one of my lessons learned is "never say never!" Would you think it fair to say that it's rare to see arsenal stamps (not inspector stamps) on Army gunto? I'd say it's slightly more common to see inspector stamps, like Na and To on Army gunto, but even that is PROBABLY less than 50%, seems to me.
  20. David, I'm specifically speaking of Arsenal stamps - Kokura, Tokyo, Nagoya, Incheon, even Mantetsu. Sure, you'll see Star, Showa, even Seki; but I can't say I've ever seen an Arsenal stamp on an Army blade. Navy, sure, Tenzoshan (sp?) and Toyokawa, but even those are, what, 50% or less on Navy gunto?
  21. In my limited experience, I'd say Army gunto almost never have an arsenal stamp. Navy gunto sometimes have arsenal stamps (50% or less). NCO gunto always do.
  22. Steve, It's on a 1945 blade with a chippy Seki-style smith name of "Nagamitsu". It's a bit puzzling because it's clearly not the famous Nagamitsu (wrong "Naga" kanji), plus the Naga kanji is right for a Seki naga, but the only Seki Nagamitsu I can find even uses a different kanji. This naga is used in other smith names, but not in the Nagamitsu, as far a I can find.
  23. Here's an odd one: Looks like the kanji "So" as in Soshu, or made by. Does "So" by its self mean "made"?
  24. Very good! Here's mine. You can see the file marks, and for some reason they added an extra "1" in the number
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