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Everything posted by Surfson

  1. Ford, I just viewed the videos and found them utterly inspiring and amazing. You are truly a great artist and your patience and skill are humbling. Congratulations on mastering the highest level of the art! Bob
  2. Does George Hakes really exist or is he a Fakenman from Fakenham?
  3. Just finished the Nakahara book after reading the discussion on NMB. A great read and very informative. As far as his attitude about mumei blades and osuriage, I have to say that his comments were a little inconsistent. He seemed to be saying that nobody would cut down a sword with a mei on it without making an orikaeshi or an inlaid mei, but then elsewhere seemed to be aware that during muromachi there was not so much concern over collecting or honoring makers so much as there was focus on the use of the swords as tools. It's easy to see how one might cut down a sword and not bother about the mei. I loved his discussion about changes in the shape of the nakago, especially when a signed blade was cut down.
  4. Surfson

    new nihonto

    Looks a bit tired too - I think I see a lot of shintetsu in a couple of the photos.
  5. Surfson

    "Good Bones"??

    Thanks for a lively debate gents. I certainly don't intend to perform the experiment, though I do think that the pressure and hardness of the buffing material could be selected to approximate those in real life, and my gut still tells me that wear is an important factor in the evolution of the shape of a tsuba. I'm guessing that most samurai did not wear silk on a daily basis, so we would need a edo clothing expert on the research team. Cheers, Surf
  6. Surfson

    "Good Bones"??

    I'm sure that you and many of the NMB members have been known to rub on an iron tsuba with a simple piece of cotton cloth and know that if you do it long enough you can smooth the surface and develop a patina. I realize that rust is softer than the iron, but I don't think that it requires a great deal of suspension of disbelief to think that silk can wear down a tsuba over hundreds of years. We'll just have to do some experiments. Do you think that if you put an iron tsuba on a buffing wheel with soft buffing material of the hardness of a kimono that you could wear the mimi down two millimeters? If you are willing to wager, I think that it will, in fairly short order. Of course each minute of rotation of the wheel may be the equivalent of a week's wear, but we certainly can't do the experiment over 500 years using a kimono..... As to the face of the tsuba that you mention, I'm not suggesting that all irregularities on the face or rim of a tsuba are from wear.
  7. Surfson

    "Good Bones"??

    Glad we've moved from the ridicule stage to a real discussion on this. The article Mariusz linked to is quite good and provides some insight. Ford, I agree that iron is harder and wears more slowly than soft metal, but I have had many very old iron sword parts that are quite worn, and not from abuse or neglect. The concept that old iron tsuba with bones result from wear was introduced to me at a special presentation by a tsuba expert (I don't remember his name) at the Chicago Sword show two or three years ago. He had many wonderful tsuba on display and spoke about many features as well as kantei and dating. As I recall, he made the point that the bones tend to be on the lower left of these guards as you face the front, since that is the region that comes in most contact with the kimono for a right handed samurai. Anyway, I have tired of the upkeep with the Brooklyn Bridge, and am willing to sell it at a good price if anybody is interested. Cheers, Bob
  8. I couldn't make that one out either. That tanto went for over $3K.
  9. Surfson

    "Good Bones"??

    You guys can't fool me - I already own the Brooklyn bridge. By the way, 500 years is a long time. Have you ever seen the wear on an old coin, kashira or umabari just from handling? Ever seen a kozuka so worn by use that you can't make out any of the carvings? Smug you are, but a lot to learn have you.......
  10. I've been a Mac owner since they first came out and can say that they are superior to PC/Intel machines in many ways. Very user friendly, and can now run all PC software. The most valuable feature to me is that I have never had to load a bit of antiviral software, purge viruses or worry about what attachments I open etc., since they are virtually impervious to the ones that lurk out there (at least so far and to my knowledge). Just my two koban worth.
  11. Surfson

    "Good Bones"??

    I have had it explained to me that bones emerge as the tsuba rubs on the kimono of the wearer, and the harder iron wears down more slowly than the softer, exposing the bones. In other words, one tends to see them primarily on quite old tsuba, and they weren't there immediately following the construction. Can anybody confirm or refute this view?
  12. Very few of the folks that haunt the NMB will be interested in that modern sword that is not samurai in any way other than appearance. Some of us collect modern gendaito blades, a few collect militaria, and most are interested in genuine nihonto from 1870 and earlier. If you are really itching to buy a blade (as my Dad would say, if the money is burning a hole in your pocket), and you already have enough books to keep yourself amused, I suggest that you enlist the help of Grey or another collector that you know and trust and have them help you buy a decent blade on Ebay, at a local gun show or one of the sword shows that take place around the country (e.g. in SF, Chicago, Tampa etc.). I echo what the others said that reading, reading and more reading is the way to go. Good luck with your collecting.
  13. Nice soft metal tsuba. Not sure of the school, but I would say that it is Edo period and has clearly been mounted so is unlikely to be Hamamono or Meiji tourist item. it appears to have been cleaned and there is some wear on the shakudo in the hitsuana and removal of some of the finish on the raised work. I would think that on ebay it would go in the $200-250 range, but that's just a guess.
  14. The hada on those is pretty impressive, though the hamon leaves much to be desired. I suspect that you are right that the nakago would give away the ruse.
  15. Anthony, I'm in Chicago, and would be happy to show you a few blades some time. Several are definitely of interest as the subject of an oshigata. Cheers, Bob Surfson@rcn.com
  16. I believe that it is Naminohira Ju.........
  17. I have a tsuba very similar to this. This maker was very prolific, like Munetsugu or others. I suppose he may have had a "shop" with kaji that helped produce them. This one does seem to have some damage on the leaves from insects.......
  18. I looked at at least ten examples, and the suke character was written very differently. On the other example, it was the naga that differed considerably.
  19. Two late Bizen Sukenaga's listed. The kiku ichi mei didn't match the ebay sword, nor did the other which I could only find in the Bizen Taikan. I agree that somebody really took a stretch on this one.
  20. No, didn't really set out to collect them, but they just accumulated over the years. I have bought a few nice sets or collections on ebay when the price is right.
  21. Surfson

    Gai Sô Shi

    Has this book ever been published? I remember Bob carrying around his huge notebook overflowing with Kao and signatures. I would be interested in getting it if it is out.
  22. 1. Tsuba Shoki 2. Showa Token Meibutsu Cho 3. Tsuba Shusei (?) 4. Yumei Koto Taikan 5. Osafune Choshi 6. Waga Ai Tsuba Not sure of values, but I think the Yumei Koto Taikan is quite expensive. Cheers, Surf
  23. I have a large collection of tsuba and seppa and see nothing wrong with marrying a tsuba to a sword that is in mounts absent the tsuba. It is my impression that often people will remove a beautiful tsuba and leave a sword otherwise intact. If you have enough tsuba, you can usually find one that fits tightly and is the right thickness. With any luck, it will fit well with the other koshirae!
  24. Nice sword Dale! Where did you find it? Cheers, Bob
  25. You are correct, the signature being Bushu Ju Masa Toshi. Classic Bushu work I think. Very nice.
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