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About Legatus

  • Rank
    Chu Saku

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  • Location:
    Hong Kong
  • Interests
    Nihonto, numismatics, whisky, music, history, medicine, art

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  • Name
    Leon T.
  1. Legatus


    Hello John, . From a fellow Canadian in Hong Kong! I was following that too on Czernys Auction, I see u got it for the opening bid- aren't you glad I didn't bid for it?! I really liked your piece but decided to save my bullets for the next lot , a tsuba by RYUKUDO MITSUOKI. I shouldnt have bothered- 1000 Eu ended up at 3800 Eu + fees.
  2. Just chiming in here, as a long time nihonto person but new member. Regarding the "Million yen" swordsmith, that valuation is due to a mistranslation commonly used both by many dealers and collectors. The original Japanese is 1 Man (or mon), carelessly abreviated to 1M and erroneously taken to mean 1 Million. In fact the Man /Mon unit means 10.000. (This is also the same for the Chinese Unit) So your Million Yen swordsmith actually means 10,000 Yen - which makes a lot more sense, and was still a very significant amount of money , (say 10,000 silver yen pieces) back then whenever written. Secondly look at some of the better dealers websites. You pay (and they get) a significant premium price above what you can sell for , because of: 1) Their reputation (i,.e you know they won't cheat you and will accept returns if there is a problem 2) The nice presentation- which includes a printable article with researched information about the smith, historical context , discussion about the blade etc 3) They have usually taken the time and trouble (which can be substantial) to paper the blade, which takes it to another level of authenticity and desirability 4) Usually included with the deal are professional photographs of the blade, koshirae etc which you can use to display or advertise your blade to sell in the future. 5) The blade when sold will be archived; you can always refer back to it on the website when studying it, showing friends or a future customer ! 6) Guarantees about shipping, etc - I don't have to deal with the details, insurance etc. 7) Wider and established and richer customer base. You as a private individual will simply not have that exposure. Speaking for myself, I would gladly pay 25-50% above the price of the same blade that I would pay a private unknown individual, even if I was reasonably confident of your trustworthiness, authenticity etc. IF the above factors came into play. But of course, for most blades and equipment, the "For Sale & Trade" forum on NMBs does provide an invaluable avenue to sell and buy for members at a reasonable and fair price, without having to pay the $ premiums mentioned above. And I do realize that most members here are knowledgeable and experienced, and so will be more equipped to strike out on their own and less inclined to pay those premiums. So, if you think your sword is undervalued, if you can provide the above factors, then that will be one way to increase the market value and what you can get for it. If you can't or won't, the next best step may be to consign to a better dealer and agree on the price you are willing to sell at. You may be suprised - he may be able to get the price you could not. Big Auctions sites have pros and cons. Yes, they have a much bigger audience and occasionally can sell at inflated prices, but they simply do not or have have the time to take care of it and fully research and do a write up of your few blades and they charge very expensive commissions and fees that can add up t0 40% (!) of the actual sale price. As to price comparisons between say "shinsakuto vs gendaito" I completely agree, but it does depend on current interests and fads. As an amateur historian myself, there is definately a panache or thrill factor about gendaito that appeals to that group of collector , especially among the younger ones. Why else would mass produced WW1 and WW2 helmets with almost zero artistic value go for $thousands? Also , one thing I have noticed, is that there is an increasing trove of veriable information about gendaito, along with the possibility of new discoveries that makes that area fascinating. In comparison the amount of complicated knowledge that Nihonto requires to be reasonably competent does seem a bit daunting. I understand that John's price comparison is for items somewhat comparable (such as same Yasukuni smith, different years) . Well, it's even crazier for things not directly comparable. I am of the age where I think it silly for someone to pay $1000 for a pair of collectable sneakers ; however that person would think me nuts for paying the same amount for a fine & rare whisky. My wife would think both us were crazy! But its all good. The market is what it is. Those new gendaito collectors may move on to nihonto in the future, and provide new blood and a customer base to buy our old stuff! Cheers, Leon
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