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Surfson last won the day on February 13

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About Surfson

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    Chicago, IL, USA

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    Bob S

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  1. Great news Mark, I plan to come. Please keep my reservation from last year. Cheers, Bob
  2. I would only restore it if I were sure about the mei, the health of the blade and the signs of beauty of the blade. Proper restoration will be likely $2000-3000 minimum for just the blade and a $1000 more if you decide to have gold foil put on the habaki, another $1000 for shipping and shinsa..... The koshirae are of interest as well.
  3. That is good news Tom. I just might have to make it out, after a hiatus of at least 20 years since last at the SF show. This will be the second year running without a Chicago or Minneapolis show and I miss it.
  4. What a great job of sleuthing by Darcy and his customer too. To figure out that this was a lost famous sword is huge.
  5. I organized a scientific meeting in the early 80s, and invited a famous Japanese scientist to come to the meeting, all expenses paid. He stayed with my then wife and I at our humble home in Baltimore. He had a great time at the meeting and then a year or so later, invited me to be a visiting professor at his department and university in Sendai, Japan. My wife, two babies and I went for a 7 week trip that was spent in Sendai, with one week in Kyoto. The grant that I had gotten to cover expenses was for one million yen, and as the end of the trip was approaching, I still had the equivalent of about $1400 left, which I spent on a Edo period mumei wakizashi in mounts. I gave a series of lectures and did research in the laboratories in Sendai. I also introduced them to the Macintosh computer and showed them how to use them in their research, and they ended up buying them for the whole department. When we traveled to Kyoto, I told the ticket agents about the sword and in no time was being searched and questioned by the police. We nearly missed our flight. When we flew back to the US, I kept quiet about it and got it home safely, only to find out years later that I was supposed to submit it to the authorities and have it released. I still have the torokusho somewhere, a license that is not legal outside of Japan. I started to buy and read every book in English that I could find. Soon I discovered that there were many authentic swords to be bought in the US at bargain prices, and I became obsessed with the hunt and the thrill of the catch. I placed ads in all the newspapers, and even on those paper placemats in diners. My thrill of the hunt hasn't changed, though I went through a period of disinterest that lasted 5-10 years or so in the late 90s. It was only after my divorce that I was financially able to build a very nice collection (that's another story). I have lots of stories about chasing swords and would welcome sitting at a show with any of you that are interested over a drink and talking about our respective experiences.
  6. You are correct Bazza! It reminds me of the joke about a scientist who used condoms for an experiment he was performing in the lab. He went to the druggist on friday and bought a gross of condoms for his research that weekend. The next friday he went in to buy more for the coming weekend and told the pharmacist that the last gross he bought had only 142 condoms. To which, the druggist said, "Gee, I hope it didn't spoil your weekend"
  7. I have seen a lot of them that appear to be like these new blades that we speculate were either made in China or made under the radar in Japan.
  8. I never saw this thread Brano! I am guessing that they are all ten years older. Not sure, but an educated guess. Hopefully we do have some new, younger collectors joining us.
  9. Surfson


    Looks like Yoshifusa to me too.
  10. One of the photos looks like a large part of the tip is missing. Is it just sunk into the carpet? If so, that is an issue to consider as well.
  11. This could be a very useful resource to newbies, Adam. Is it really a buying guide or an intro to appraising? You would want a section on how to tell a fake, one on flaws and fatal flaws, one on things that collectors consider important (originality, condition, reputation of the maker, period of swordmaking etc.). Sections on markets (ebay, auctions, private sales, shows, NMB....) and valuations (this one would be tricky, but most newbies or heirs want to know what their sword is worth). Your preview (love that big band music) implies the importance of reading the right books. I am glad that you are seeking help on this, as it is my impression that you have been working hard to learn about nihonto but haven't been at it for decades. Sometimes writing something like this is the best way to learn the subject. You know the old adage, "see one, do one, teach one". Good luck! Cheers, Bob
  12. It's an interesting question, Brano. There are certainly several smiths where the nidai is arguably more famous than the shodai. I am thinking Kawachi no Kami Kunisuke, Echizen Sukehiro, Kanemoto (Magoroku). In the case of Ishido Korekazu, the nanadai is as famous as the shodai, I believe. But in general, you are probably right. It would be interesting to test whether it is a true quality difference or is more some sort of social pressure. I hope that it is the former.
  13. Have followed this thread with a cringe. Jean-Pierre, is Robert Burawoy still in business? I had a great visit with him decades ago and saw everything he had in his shop. Very nice guy.
  14. My reasoning in these cases is that if I don't remove the active rust, the rust will mess with the tang even more.
  15. It looks like it has some nice old patina, but it also has a lot of severe active rust. If it were my blade, I would take some horn or ivory to the tang until I got as much of the active rust off that can be readily removed. Although some may disagree, I would then likely rub in a little choji oil on it with a soft cloth to stabilize it.
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