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jt nesbitt

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Everything posted by jt nesbitt

  1. Bruno- You are "polishing" this sword on an electric buffer with a cotton wheel hence "I notice this blade get much more hoter in the polish process". There is a disconnect in what the word "polish" means. In the nihonto world it means something very different than what you are used to. It is in fact NOT about making a surface more homogenous in the way that you would imagine adding luster to a piece of gold. Here's the secret to Japanese steel as opposed to western steel - The way in which it is crafted - the metal itself is never in a liquid state. It is NEVER homogenous. It is worked in a semi-solid state. Even the foundational material - Tamahagane is a semi-solid in it's hottest state. The beauty of the steel is only revealed when the "Togishi" (sword polisher) flattens the roughness of the raw forging in a manner that reveals the layers of steel rather than blending them - the way a buffing wheel will. This is not like modern knifemaking either, where "damascus" steel which is really just different grades of liquified modern steels, are then acid etched to reveal a texture. Traditional Japanese polish uses stones and water. The steel flattened and kept cool always. -- JT
  2. Uh - not at all similar. You are implying that the only reason for collecting is to profit from the act of acquiring things. My motivation is to learn more about the subject matter (education). Reading books can only take me so far. I am a visual learner, and going through the exercise of studying, photographing, and asking experts foolish questions is OK with me, as long as it's OK with everybody else. I think that this Piece of Nihonto is very interesting BECAUSE it is so flawed. Kinda like me. -- JT
  3. So am I finding a consensus here? - This is Gassan work from the late Muromachi (which has value) That has a forged Mei done long ago (that renders it worthless except for educational purposes). That has a nakago in poor condition, and is polished to death (also rendering it worthless). How very interesting! I think that it was money VERY well spent, and thank you all for your input! I learned a lot! --- JT P.S. The only remaining mystery is - why on earth would a forger include a smith's given name?
  4. Dave - In this very cool link that you sent about Chikuzen Jitsua the author of the piece very accurately describes what I am seeing with this hada as "itame mixed with ayasugi and some flowing masame". It also describes it as "rustic" - I would go for that when describing this piece. Is it possible that the "mei" on this blade was done fairly soon after this was made in an attempt to describe this as a Sa blade that was made before Saemon Saburo studied under Masamune and became the "Great Sa"? If that were the case, this would not be a Mei, but rather an attribution that someone added, but I am positive that this signature - whatever it is - was done in period. Is it possible that this is an early "rustic" Chikuzen Sa done while working in the family shop with his father? The shape and length of this blade says Muromachi, but it is very thin, less than .250" (5.9mm) when it was first made. There is no Habaki because the nakago is wider than the blade due to polishing, the first character lives halfway into the polish.....Weird, right? Registered in 1954 3 years after the program began. Sayagaki is consistent with the "signature", yes? For what it's worth- This blade feels very thin and light in hand, almost utilitarian - like a butcher's knife. Thanks to everyone who posted! Any further observations? What have I overlooked here? Love this interaction very much! -- JT
  5. I am going to assume that the signature is a forgery, but done a long time ago on a Gassan wakizashi? Does this make sense? I can't find a signature for "Saemon Sabouro Sa" anywhere and it would seem very weird for a forger to include a smiths given name...why not just forge "Sa"? less likely to attract suspicion, right? I would be very grateful if someone would please translate the registration card copy, mainly to know when this thing was registered. THANK YOU so much, Y'all! -- JT
  6. Hey Gang- Apologies in advance for my lack of participation recently. I have been completely immersed in getting the new motorcycle into production..... Presented for your consideration is a little slice of completely wore-out nihonto, of dubious origin. The jihada is ayasugi, mixed with mokume, but very faint due to neglect and age, the mei barely legible and the first character now lives really close to the mune-machi. I used talc to bring out the mei, and a little trick lighting with digital filters to make it as clear as possible. Please help me identify this strange Wak. I bought it on Ebay for $700 cause it looked like s**t, but was interesting. I have hit a wall because it doesn't really fit into any category that my limited library of reference books has. This is a thin blade measuring 5.28 mm at the mune-machi But polished to death cause the nakago is 5.9 at the widest point. The nagasa is currently 40cm (15.75"), but was probably shortened from the tip down considering the position of the first character of the mei which now lives under the habaki. This does not make sense when considering that the blade has what appears to be a nice healthy boshi.... Width at the ha-machi is 28.2mm Please help me learn a little bit about this junk, keeping in mind that ALL nihonto has value....it's just relative. Thank you! -- JT
  7. The little motorcycle hanging up in the front of the shop is a Simplex. I keep it as a wall hanger because in 1952 (when Indian went under) New Orleans was the home of the second largest motorcycle manufacturer in the US. As a motorcycle designer working in NOLA, I find it equally as inspiring as the Japanese Sword collection. The first floor is dedicated to design and construction of prototype motorcycles, and a small assembly line. Thanks for all of the compliments, and if any member finds themselves in NOLA please let me know. -- JT
  8. The Car is the "Magnolia Special". I built her from scratch, and she now lives on the second floor of building that I also built from scratch. Check it out, thanks for asking! Brian - Apologies for getting off topic.-- JT
  9. Hey Fellas- I finally finished my sword display and study space. Thought you might enjoy taking a peek into my little world. The swords displayed on the table usually live in the the bedroom/Livingroom, but I rotate them out in the display case from time to time. In total, I have acquired 18 pieces in 3 years of active collecting, 6 of them are "mystery nihonto" the rest are papered. I think that my next step should be to get a professional appraisal of the whole lot for insurance purposes. any suggestions for how to go about this? Thanks for helping me get this far! -- JT
  10. Crazy.... It is so interesting to me that a sword made at roughly the same time, by the same group of dudes, who used the same source of inspiration, with the same techniques and materials, would be valued so differently. The sword you referenced is 25x more expensive than the one that I bought. Is it nicer? Yeah, I can see that it is a better work, more finely made, probably a special order because of the length, lovely bohi, yeah....Nice. 25 times nicer? I just don't know. Goes to show how little I know and how far I have to go to get up to speed on this subject material. I think that this is where the industrial design component ends, and the art world begins...and brand becomes REALLY important. I wish I had some more reference material on the Ishido school. - - -JT
  11. Jeremiah- Thanks for the stamp of approval. Do you have any idea whether any Ishido work has made it to Juyo level? Any resources you could direct me to so that I can learn more about them would be really helpful. Thanks -- JT
  12. Matt- You want to hear something crazy? My offer on the Ishido Yasuhiro was accepted on the very day you made this post. What are the chances that of all the THOUSANDS swords for sale in the world on 7/12 - a guy from Melbourne, and a guy from halfway around the world in New Orleans - Would be saying "yeah that one is awesome" while looking at the same sword at the same time - Then meet up on a message board a week later?!?! Please tell me why this one? I kinda stumbled into it as I am not even close to being on your level.....I would love to hear why it appealed to you. Also - I heard that some Ishido work made Juyo, any info on that would be awesome. Thanks -- JT
  13. Steve- Is it possible that there is a little word play going on here? Perhaps taking the first part of his name is "Toda" and he made swords in the style of Ichimonji - (To-Ichi) - AND he thought it was cool to have Atari (a win/hit) association? A PORTMANTEAU (taking the first letters of several words to form a new name/brand, ie - BiMoTa motorcycles) that is also a double entendre? Quite a coincidence that the inspiration of the Ishido school is the Ichimonji school and this sword has Ichi written on it, don't you think? -- JT
  14. Hey Steve- Thanks for the info! What does Tou- Ichi translate to? I can't find a translation for tou (to?) sword? Are the examples that you posted dated? I have seen a few 2nd and 3rd generations with Kiku mon, why is it not present on this sword? Thanks so much for your assistance! -- JT
  15. Yeah, don't buy swords online when you are drunk. After losing out on an auction recently, I got all butt hurt about it and went and impulse bought something. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE this sword, but I don't feel like I did enough research before pulling the trigger and now I am struggling to find a comparable signature. I "mei" have made a huge mistake. Here's the thing- I can find a pretty good amount of info on the Ishido school, and Yasuhiro, but I cant find any nakago/oshigata images with this particular signature or with the "ichi" character. When I was in school (Fine Arts Major), students were instructed to make direct copies, and original work "in the style of" old masters. We were instructed to sign this work "after" - so a signature would read "JT Nesbitt, After El Greco". Is the Mei on this blade a similar philosophy? Is Yasuhiro paying homage to Ichimonji in writing? This sword is longer than most Ishido work, 29", and does not have a chrysanthemum, does this mean that it is an earlier (Yasuhiro 1st) Edo period? It's not too late for me to cancel this purchase if the consensus is that I got ahold of a bogue here....Thanks Ya'll for giving me your time!! -- JT
  16. Well dang. I just got outbid. Lost this one by 1,000 Yen. Bummer. Thanks to everybody who posted and paid attention. -- JT
  17. Markus- You on a HNL (hole nutha level), like, Yoda style Brah! If you ever get down to NOLA, please let me know! In the meantime, could you please give me a recommendation for another one of your books? Anybody else? I am not afraid of putting it out there, getting made fun of, subjecting my taste to critique....I am used to it, big part of my professional life so I have thick skin. Is the sword in question worth the price of admission? Thanks all! -- JT
  18. Jussi, Markus- Your dedication to this subject is beyond my comprehension. I am, and will probably will always be, a dilatant here. An rank armature interloper. My final question is this: I don't have anything like this blade in my humble little collection of mostly Ebay stuff. Does this sword represent good value at 750,000 yen? This would be the most expensive piece of nihonto that I have bought by a 2x factor. A little sage and salubrious advise would be most welcome. Thank you for your time! -- JT
  19. Two more questions please - Because this sword was probably made in the 1750's, It would NOT be classified shinshinto as I had originally assumed but rather, late shinto - correct? Where would I go to find out more about Ujishige? Is his work generally held in high regard? Auction ends tomorrow, so - tick tock. -- JT
  20. Markus- Here is the reply from Aoi after I asked them to verify the generation of the smith by providing an image of the NBTHK origami- "Dear Sir Thank you for your reply. No, the NBTHK paper does not write it is the 1st generation, but we can know it by the signature. Thie signature of this sword is 氏重(Ujishige). Only the 1st generation sign 氏重, thereafter 2nd generation, they sign 氏繁(Ujishige). The 1st used different characters on his signature, so we can know this sword is the 1st generations. Kind regards" The "reset" of the generations of Ujishige is hard to grasp, but I think I have an understanding - Please correct me if I am wrong: 1st through 3rd generation signed - 氏重 (1655-1750's) The 3rd generation changed his signature in the 1750's to 氏繁 Meaning that this sword was made by the 3rd Ujishige BEFORE he changed the signature - sometime in the early part of the 1750"s.... Some 45-50 years later, somebody got curious about how that old Ujishige would perform as a cutter and tested it out....in 1800. Do I have my facts straight? Thanks -- JT
  21. Steve, Markus- Thank you so much for this info!! I have some Nihonto royalty posting here and I am honored for the kind donation of your time! I will ask Mr. Tsuruda for the origami to provide further clarification. I like this blade...I hope that you also see value in it. PS - Markus - I have a copy of your encyclopedia....It has helped me countless times. Thank you for the dedication that it took to create this tool. -- JT
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