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Everything posted by AntiquarianCat

  1. True, I should remember just because a word is similar doesn't mean it's appropriate. If it is older than Edo that would be very interesting for sure. The kasane did certainly seem quite thick for a blade its size. Is it possible to make a rough guess as to the jidai and what tradition might have influenced it? Thank you again for your help, I always wind up learning something each time come here.
  2. Hope this one is not too big but I've got a little dagger I'm fond of, I think it was a kaiken. It's mumei and I don't know much about it but I'm guessing the flamboyant hamon and masame at the bottom and mokume-itame elsewhere means it's probably from the Edo period.
  3. I don’t know who that ebayer is but I wouldn’t be surprised if he bought a busted Showa22 sword and now has the nerve to try and flip it for even more. Buffing marks, misshapen geometry, acid stains, even the busted kissaki all remind me of the nearly worthless wrecks he sells.
  4. One thing that still impresses me about amateur polish is its ability to make its nihonto victims resemble shoddy counterfeits. As all the people better informed than me said; amateur polishes are bad as it will cost a fortune to pay a real polisher for the chance to salvage the blade and till then, your sword has next to no resale value. That’s part of what makes eBay so risky as many big sellers like Showa amateur polish their swords and conceal that with low resolution zoomed out photos. So you could buy what you think is a fine sword with bad photos and find out he or any other seller gave you a sword damaged beyond repair. Also it sort of looks like the sword you posted has the same kind of buffing and acid marks Showa22 blades do. It also has a not straight shinog-ji so it’s in a pretty bad way. It worries me that sellers are doing this rather than letting swords stay in old polish.
  5. Hello Glenn, I also agree with the late muromachi attribution: it looks like your sword has a lot of sakisori and a fairly wide mihaba. If it helps, Markus Sesko has an excellent site for recognizing date by sugata https://markussesko.com/2015/04/03/kantei-1-sugata-6/
  6. My apologies, I should admit I am unsure if Mr. Benson completed a full course of study but regardless I have been told by American collectors far more learned than me that he’s very well regarded and fully qualified to polish swords. Equally important is that I have found him to be friendly and willing to take time to answer questions from a relative neophyte like me, even if he is busy. I think his willingness to help and answer questions about which blades are worth or need a polish, and which don’t is very helpful to newer people like me.
  7. Hello Edward, since you’re in the United States you can avail yourself of the fortune of having two fully qualified polishers: Robert Benson and Jimmy Hayashi both of who are classically trained and thankfully live in the states making shipment easier. I know for a fact that Mr. Benson is kind enough to answer questions via email, you could send him detailed photos of a sword and ask if a polish is warranted and he will give you a honest answer, even it is not to polish. Hope it helps.
  8. So I'll start with the question: have any of the experienced collectors or sellers here shipped to Guatemala or if not other comparable Latin American countries? If so, was it a lot of trouble? What helped, and what worked to get a Nihonto to someone in there? The reason I'm asking is I've got a unremarkable but decent looking wakizashi with decent koshirae and I would like to give it as a gift to an uncle who lives in Guatemala. He's an archeologist, and seems to enjoy that, being very into history. Whenever I'd visit, we'd always spend time looking through history documentaries, or him loaning me rare books, or even gifting me trinkets. Nihonto are something he would like but they're not easy to come by there, so I figure if it's at all possible, maybe I should try and bring one over, give something for a change. When it has come to receiving stuff from Japan or Europe, Fedex has always worked well for me, but I don't know if they will deliver to Latin America. If it at all will help me, I have copies of the Torokusho and Japanese export paperwork for the sword in question.
  9. I’ve been told by a more experienced member than I, that that type of very slow taper that picks up around the middle is Kanbun “fumbari“ and part of what made me lean towards that time period or something in that style. And I agree, it could just as easily be Shinshinto given its size.
  10. Thank you! Yes I’ll be honest in saying I’m not good at telling how and if a nakago has been reshaped. That said, the Shinogi ridge in yours is pretty straight and linear so that makes me think there wasn’t a lot of curvature lost when yours was shortened.
  11. You know you really could contact Benson or other polishers. Try asking them what they think. In all honesty, you never really know until you give it to an expert in Kantei.
  12. Hello Matt, I’m fond of your fittings and the family mon. Could you tell us what the dimensions of your tsunagi are. And if possible a guess at what length and sori the saya was supposed to accommodate? Thank you, and good luck.
  13. I wasn’t thinking buying a window from a polisher, I’m not informed enough to know if worth it. I wasn’t thinking a DYI polish either as that would risk damage and wouldn’t make the features more visible. Uchiko is a very fine abrasive powder, cleaning historically in use. If used in badly out of polish swords, it can make their details more noticeable. If used on in polish, it can wear away the polish. You could always contact Robert Benson and ask if he thinks a window worth it but I was wondering if some of his powder alone would help. The link I gave was a discussion featuring him.
  14. Hello George, I agree, it’s an interesting sword and it’s a pretty good game in trying to guess what it is. I am still leaning towards Kanbun: the blade has significant taper and I can’t find traits hinting at significant curvature lost to shortening. With greatly shortened koto pieces, I’ve sometimes seen the hints of the their lost Koshi Sori in the nakago. How it curves and keeps showing signs of ongoing curvature even past the truncated part. Yours doesn’t seem to do that, as if this were close to what it’s maximum curvature was like and the shape hasn’t changed much. I hope my example shows what I’m trying to say.
  15. Hey Michael, I actually kind of like aged and worn fittings like yours. To be honest, the mirrory look and scratches across its length make me worry the sword was buffed, maybe as an improper way of removing rust. I guess the good news is that by taking it, you’ve saved it from further damage. Right now the features are not very discernible, but perhaps if you use very fine uchiko, like what Robert benson sells, you can make the hamon and hada easier read. Obviously it wouldn’t be a good idea on an in polish sword but since yours isn’t at all, and may have been buffed, it might help make it easier to read. This has an explanation http://web.archive.org/web/20191102061738/http://www.sydneytokenkai.com/new-page-14.htm
  16. The new layout seems to handle well on iOS. Also, I kind of like the iOS like look. Obviously it’s just my preferences regarding a single platform so whatever works better for most people is great as far as I’m concerned. I should note the login seems to be a bit slow so perhaps that’s something to do with the update.
  17. Honestly the boshi reminds me of my mino katateuchi, as does the jigane. This one has Sanbonsugi (which I like better) to that one’s gunome midare though, guess that shows the difference in smithing line. This one seems to have a wide Mihaba and thick kassane. Would I be right in assuming your sword was a katateuchi? Kanemoto or someone in his style?
  18. I guess some of the pictures do give it a fat middle that tapers later on, like kanbun. It also doesn’t have the robustness or big kissaki I’ve gotten used to with nanbokucho so I wouldn’t be surprised if it were kanbun after all. Although the buffing and other wear probably makes it hard to look for features that would narrow things down better. The only question then is why would a Kanbun look osuriage? Was this an attempt to make a newer sword look older? That reminds me a bit of the doctored shinshinto I ran into a while back.
  19. Thank you, and good luck to you too. I’ve always found everyone here to be very helpful and willing to answer my questions. I’m sure you’ll like it if you stick around.
  20. I hope it’s not rude to ask, but was the vendor someone like Showa22? It reminds me a lot of his buffing jobs. Personally I try to stay away from those since it causes geometric damage to the sword, obscures most features you would use to appraise, and getting a proper polish to fix it is going to cost many times the price of the sword. Also if the grinder has removed too much metal, upon a polish it will be tired at best. Your hamachi is also pretty worn, indicating it might already be tired. I like the nakago and suriage shape regardless. For some reason suriage swords are cool in my head. It sort of testifies to their character and continued use across multiple periods.
  21. Hello Rob, I’m sorry about your sword. If it is any consolation though, there are guides in how to avoid them. Damascus “hada” and misshapen kissaki are often found in lower end replica http://www.jssus.org/nkp/fake_japanese_swords.html Some are more convincing than that nowadays (Changtian sword) and the only safe way to be able to recognize them is to look at photos of good swords, their geometry, nakago and kissaki till you’re familiar with what’s normal. Usagiya is full of a ton of photos and you can look at dealer sites to get more examples. http://www.ksky.ne.jp/~sumie99/index.html Hope these links help.
  22. I wonder if it would be too strong to say no new papers for a supposedly famous sword is a major red flag: If the seller had a Muramasa long sword, then surely he would invest a little bit and get it papered so he could sell it for quite a bit more, not leave it with poorly regarded old papers and sell for less. The fact he isn’t able to do the far more profitable route might mean he can’t (as in it wouldn’t paper to Muramasa).
  23. I mean this respectfully but the Nakago looks very odd even by Showato standards, also looks like a patina was forced on. I do see some gunto parts albeit in bad state. Was it common for gunto replacements forged in occupied countries to have those odd quirks? And why would they use type 98 fittings instead of cheaper late war fittings? More a question than a statement, I wholeheartedly admit I know too little about gunto, even if I am trying to read up on them nowadays.
  24. Honestly it disturbs me a bit that he can make his swords near worthless with acid and buffing, and still manages to turn a profit. It’s a shame many buyers don’t realize just how bad that is.
  25. I’m very fond of this one, things like the long kissaki and robust proportions. Sometimes I forget Showa blades can be imposing like this. It’s also from a tradition I like. If I hadn’t already spent my budget I would buy it.
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