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Eric Santucci

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    Eric Santucci
  1. Incredibly sad to have seen this news today. Like many others, I too exchanged several messages with Darcy over the years and he was always so helpful and forthcoming with his freely shared knowledge. My brother and I met Darcy in person for the first time at the San Fran Token Kai in the early 2000s, which is a great memory. My deepest condolences to all family and friends.
  2. Sugita Yoshiaki. His work was very unique and quite good. Sadly he did indeed pass and it was in 2012.
  3. Hi Wah, Yes, that appears to be the one. Although the pictures you have added are of much higher resolution than what appeared in the auction at the time I saw it and there are additional pictures that were not present as well. It's a beautiful sword and koshirae. I know some folks are not fans of that style of koshirae, but I quite like it. Thank you for posting these pictures - cheers!
  4. There was a Gassan Sadakatsu gensui-to for auction a few years ago that was posted with a starting price well over $100,000 USD (yes, I wrote that correctly). We discussed it here on NMB so there should still be a thread regarding it. To my knowledge it ended without a bidder, but I have no idea if it eventually sold or not privately. It was a complete package having the koshirae, box with hakogaki, documents, the Admiral sword belt, as well as, the provenance associating with the Admiral it was made for. It was a lovely package and the only time I have seen a gensui-to for sale on a mass (public) sale. Gotta love the war-time history of these pieces. As Joe mentioned, Clive's Shigetsugu is a rather excellent example of what came out of that era and shows especially strong provenance. The Sadakatsu above was another great one as well. There have been other blades I've seen lately for sale with indications of big-name war time provenance, but the provenance is not nearly as strong (more hearsay really and you have to take it with a bit of a grain of salt). The Sadaichi sword noted above is nice - as Wah mentioned there is no provenance. However, we do not often see this mei being used, which is why it is a bit rare and why it is likely posted at a larger amount than what we are accustomed to seeing. By the way, I have seen this sword offered before either on the site it is listed now or sometime in the past as I have an archived picture of it. Regarding the TH papers, there are many WWII Gassan era blades achieving TH status now. This is probably the 4th or 5th I have seen achieve it, although most of those were Sadakatsu.
  5. The Evangelion pieces may be forged with great care by the top smiths in Japan now and be aesthetically pleasing (to some, but surely not all); however, the base subject design of a majority of the pieces are overtly science fiction and pure fantasy. I would find it hard to believe that someone would seriously wield many of those weapons due to their size and configuration (refer to the giant spear for instance). Furthermore, it is quite easy to extrapolate that this exhibit was done in order to increase awareness of both modern and historical nihonto culture to the masses. I have read numerous articles over the years about how the younger population had not been taking interest in nihonto, the collector and enthusiast base has been growing “older” – on this very board the same has been postulated for quite some time as well . What better way to attract attention to this situation then to draw in a younger crowd with the fantasy-inspired pieces they have come to love in the anime universe? It is a great marketing tool and it provides an opportunity to showcase actual historically based nihonto as well. After all, the exhibit did mention they showcased antique nihonto as well and not just the Evangelion pieces. I’ve read on The Japanese Sword Facebook page that similar exhibits have had recent success drawing in a new, younger, female-based interest in nihonto as well. I think that is highly encouraging and wonderful news. I think this Gassan sword is very intriguing. Obviously manga and anime didn’t exist in 1843, so I am sure this particular Gassan sword was forged in this manner for a specific reason. The blade was forged by a smith of some significance back in the day and he is equally considered of some importance in our modern times as well. It was probably not meant to be a weapon used on a daily basis based on its configuration. It appears to be an homage to a crescent moon. Perhaps a special order, a dedication of some sort? Maybe someone simply dared Sadakichi-san to forge a highly curved, strangely looking sword to test his skill? I don’t know the answers, but my personal viewpoint from the beginning is that it is fascinating (to me at least) to understand the historical context of this piece – and any piece – that deviates from the norm to understand what might have been going through the smith’s mind when they forged this. So whether we think it is good, bad, ugly, unique, or interesting, the fact we are all talking about it so much 173 years later is a further testament to the sword. Awareness, education, interest…and some good conversation.
  6. I am not familiar with Japanese manga or anime in any great detail, but several years ago there was an Evangelion series Japanese sword exhibit that saw traditional craftsmen forging swords and other items that matched the fantasy pieces from the series. The resulting exhibit catalogue is quite interesting and surprising given the typical traditionalist view of swords as opposed to the fantasy pieces out there. In any case, this Gassan sword (made in 1843) predates manga, so perhaps someone took some inspiration from examples similar to this sword along the way in history.
  7. I agree that it is "interesting". This example is one of the things that I always find to be fascinating about nihonto in general regardless of whether it is considered a tasteful design or not (different strokes for different folks). I like to look at objects like this conceptually to understand why it was made this way and for what purpose. And that concept tends to extend to many forms of art and science as well. As one well-known nihonto dealer said to me a few years ago when I asked a similar question about a style both of us have never seen before he replied to me "I have learned one thing in my 35+ years with Japanese swords, that is there is always something new to be seen. We never see it all."
  8. Update: I just confirmed directly with the dealer on the price and it is definitely not 695,000 JPY. I don't feel comfortable listing the quoted price, but think of a number that is a multiple of 695,000 JPY...and then add some additional Yen to that. I wonder why the 695,000 JPY price was listed in the bank rate section? Clearly other items have their price referenced in that section too as pointed out by others. Interesting there is a discrepancy...
  9. Interesting, I see what you are saying. It is strange they would request that someone contacts them for pricing, but then indirectly lists the price in the loan detail section referenced against the percentage.
  10. Hi, The section referencing the 695,000 JPY mentions a bank loan fee among other payment methods and is not the asking price. You need to contact the dealer directly to request the price in this case - if you look at the section referencing the actual price, it says to please consult them (by email or phone). Very interesting piece and thanks for posting it!
  11. Both of these books are now hold to the respective folks that contacted me. Thanks
  12. I think if anyone is on the fence about the Sadakatsu, you should contact Ed and discuss with him. Perhaps he can nudge the owner a bit more on an already exceptional well priced piece. The sale is, after all, only until 12/31.
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