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Posts posted by Surfson

  1. Looks like a nice find.  The hada to me looks more like a masame nagare than ayasugi, but that would still be consistent with Gassan.  Just to be sure, is the cutting edge 32"?   Reference to "the blade" is unclear, as that could be total blade or just cutting edge.  As to it being signed katana-mei, does anybody know if the ko-Gassan signed tachi mei or katana mei?  I look forward to hearing more about this sword.  

  2. Hi Nathan.  It's an interesting sword, and has much to like about it for collectors of shinshinto makers.  Sukenaga is arguably one of the two best of the Yokoyama Bizen school (there  is an Art and the Sword article about them I think).  The mounts are nice too.  The seppa are interesting thick ones, presumably in gold foil.  The tsuba looks like Umetada to me.  The mounts on the saya and tsuka appear to be en suite; it looks very black like shakudo on the saya, but the tsuka makes me think that they are all silver with some sort of black patina applied.  The activity on the sword is unusual for Sukenaga, including a "jewel" (I guess) near the kissaki, a long stretch of suguha, the typical Sukenaga choji/gonome, and what looks like a rendering of Fujisan.  As Tsuruta san, or his associates, describe the hamon:  "This blade is called Fujimi Saigyo which means Mt Fuji and other mountains and also Miho Matsubara(it is beautiful see side contrast of Matsu trees and seaside)The sentry from the view from the point(Miho Matsubara) Mt Fuji is excellent scenery.

  3. Marki, I just skimmed this thread, but will comment that the sword you posted appears to be a very stout sword, long, thick and heavy, as is typical of Koyama Munetsugu.  Some collectors find the Hamon of Munetsugu, and his student/son Sokan to be slightly repetitive.  I own both a Koyama Munetsugu and a Sokan (tanto and katana respectively) and find them to be very pleasing blades.  At the price that is being asked for the one you are asking about however, I would say that the mounts must be of outstanding quality.  I think that a TH Munetsugu in just Shirasaya, even one of this size, would be half of that price, so if you are seriously interested in this blade, you should be sure that the mounts have great value.  I didn't see photos or descriptions of the mounts enough to tell whether they are highly important.

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  4. Brian, the most valuable commodities in sword collecting are knowledge and experience.  These can be had a myriad of ways, but extensive reading, attending sword shows and, if you have the inclination, buying and selling in order to learn by ones experiences and, especially, mistakes.  With these things, and hard work, there are still plenty of undiscovered treasures that you can unearth at sword shows or on eBay or in other auctions.  They are still rare, but can be found.  I am aware of friends finding important swords or fittings, and I have found a number of them myself, at prices less than $3000.  Of course, they will usually require shinsa, restoration, more shinsa etc.  If this is one's temperament, a person can build a wonderful collection on "sweat equity".

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  5. Piers, it had a Myochin Muneyoshi signature on it, though I couldn't find great examples.   There was one from the Met signed Muneyoshi, but the chiseling was different.  It is certainly in an "armor maker's" style.  

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  6. Every sword is different Brian.  It is hard to find a juyo katana for under $20,000.  Upper limits are hard to set, as a famous maker sword with Hozon papers can be worth over $100,000 in some cases (e.g. Kiyomaro or Nagamitsu...).  Good entry level pieces can be found at the bottom of your range; as prices go from $5000-10,000, the condition of the polish and the quality of the mounts tend to increase dramatically.  In-polish, tokubetsu hozon katana from jo-saku makers and better with nice mounts can be had in the $10,000-20,000 range.  Just a very rough answer.  Your question is like saying I have a car in my garage.  How much is it worth?

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  7. Mark, there is also often a shinsa in Chicago if that is more convenient to you.  If you do decide to come, I would be happy to  have a look at the sword and go over it with a fine tooth comb.  A show would be a good place to find a nice pair of menuki as well.  Another unknown in this thread is the extent of the repair to the says that will be needed.  If it needs replacement, a new says in Japan can be costly ($2000-4000), though the product is beautiful.  It's a nice sword and I'm happy that you are excited about it and want to bring it back to its previous glory.  You will be amazed at how nice it will turn out.  

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  8. Mark, if it passes shinsa in SF, then I would send the whole sword to Japan for restoration.  That can include the saya, having new seppa fitted (I would recommend gold foil covered seppa), rewrapping the handle (does it have menuki?), making a tsunagi (wooden sword) for the mounts, making a shirasaya and, of course, polish and papers from the NBTHK (preferred to NTHK papers).  Total cost would be $5000-8000, depending on work required.  

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  9. I usually have shinsa done before restoration, unless I have no doubt about the sword's authenticity.  I haven't studied the mei on yours at all.  But the company that it keeps (i.e. the very nice mounts) and the hamon are both helpful to give confidence.  It's not that hard to submit to NTHK shinsa, and restoration for this sword in Japan is about a $6000 proposition, so yes, unless you are sure it is shoshin, I would suggest you submit it.  

  10. Hi Chris.  Looks like an Edo era wakizashi, possibly by the Kaga school, based on the tang shape only.  You can take some ivory or horn and rub it to remove the active rust on the tang.  Some oil on the blade is a good idea too.   My guess is that it would not be worthy of a polish based on economics, so I suggest you study it and move it along.  It might fetch a couple hundred bucks on eBay.  Hope this helps.  

  11. It's a nice blade in aikuchi mounts,Tatyana, and worthy to be enjoyed.  The hada, or grain of the steel, is attractive, the tanto is in a good state of polish and has some Gassan features.  If this is your first sword, it is an excellent study piece.   Hopefully it didn't cost you too much and when your studies are completed with the tanto, you can get your investment out and find the next piece to enjoy.  Welcome to NMB! 

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