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Everything posted by Surfson

  1. Luis, it is certainly possible that the filing removed a mei. However, if you believe that it is nambokucho, then it was almost certainly shortened significantly. My guess is that there was a hole in the tang that was removed along with the mei when the osuriage occurred. This filing is in any case above the lowest hole, which would mean that it didn't remove a mei or that the lowest hole is the original hole and the sword's original length was slightly more than 60 cm, something that is very unlikely if you think it is nambokucho. Not conclusive, but I still think that the sword is truly osuriage (meaning that the mei was cut away also) rather than a short sword that has had its mei filed off.
  2. The joy of collecting nihonto transcends the cost for the most part. I remember the thrill of buying my second blade, a signed out of polish wakizashi, that cost me less than $200. As your collecting advances and your taste and understanding improve, the thrill is still there, whether your budget can take you to pricier and fancier items or not. If your budget is not large, then the game is to go out and find swords that are priced way under their value. If you must, you can then sell them and have a larger budget for your collection. As we see on this board all the time, it is still possible to buy blades for a couple hundred bucks that turn out to be worth thousands. (does anybody remember Georg (?) who picked up a cheap blade at a police auction that turned out to be a world class Kiyomaro, likely worth several hundreds of thousands of dollars? The best tool to unlock this is to study, study, study.
  3. Hi Luis. The Kunishige (#19) was an interesting blade. It had features that were reminiscent of Hasebe. It was hard to see if it had some hitatsura or, as you said, some utsuri. Most Kunishige listed were early, so if it wasn't Hasebe, there was a hope it would end up with another descent attribution to a nambokucho or maybe Oei smith. The mounts were wonderful and the reason I was bidding. The Soyo tsuba and fuchi kashira were probably good. If I was more of a fan of katakiribori work, I would have bid harder. I thought that #22, the katana with silver mounts, was likely osuriage nambokucho, even though they listed it as shinto. I didn't think it had a mei removed from the existing nakago but rather was shortened a couple of times with additional finishing on the tang. The silver mounts were nice, it had solid gold dragon menuki and the kozuka kogai were ok, but I doubted the mei on both of them. The guribori was probably urushi, as you said. When I compared the "layers" to those on my pieces, they were very irregular and unconvincing as layered metal. It was my impression that most swords with big names on them were gimei, sadly. Most of these swords likely came over during Meiji times. Even then, I imagine that the Japanese were not eager to sell their best items to the west. I think that the best collections built during those times were by people who actually were going to Japan and could find the best pieces, rather than those buying the pieces that showed up in France or the rest of europe. The Nosada went for a decent price and may have been ok but I didn't study it too carefully since an acquaintance was going for it. Here are the others that I thought had bad signatures on them: Muramasa Echizen Tsuda Sukehiro Kawachi no Kami Kunisuke Suishinshi Masahide Taikei Naotane Jirotaro Naokatsu I didn't see any potential juyo pieces, though #22, depending on who it papered to, might have had a shot.
  4. By the way Luis, that one blade with what looked like guribori, the guribori was simulated. If you look at the description, they even state that. Good thing you didn't get it!
  5. It is in shingunto mounts. The blade is quite bright and in excellent condition. Were these swords hand forged? It seems to have a fine hada but visible.
  6. Your uncle, or whoever brought it back, was smart enough to cover it in cosmoline or some other form of grease. If you take a soft cloth with some acetone, you might be able to clean that off pretty easily and you may be surprised to find that the blade is in pretty good shape, having been protected by the grease.
  7. This kind of activity with swords is measured in years, not months, Nick. I would suggest you wait for the next NTHK shinsa in the US.
  8. Thanks Ray!!! I would have never guessed that and finding it in the cursive book would be hard too.
  9. The first character doesn't look like Kane to me - maybe a strange form of Yoshi?
  10. Took a chance on a 27" gunto and it has this mei. Second character is Naga. Any clue as to the first character? Cheers, Bob
  11. Naotane was a chamelion like Masahide and Sadakatsu. I have a naotane in Yamato style, and I think he worked in the style of many major schools. What does it tell you Jacques?
  12. Yes, Morita San made a complete set of corrections of many of the translations. I think that it is available on one of the NMB links.
  13. Surfson

    Fake patina?

    There appear to me to be an increasing number of guards made to look like old tosho or katchushi guards. They are showing up in the Yahoo.jp auctions. I think that the forgers (pun intended!) are getting better and better at simulating the ravages of great age. I also agree with Grey and take comfort when I see convincing evidence of previous mounting, including not only sekigane and modifications of the nakago hitsu ana but also signs of irregular staining or wear on the seppa dai where the seppa once resided.
  14. Surfson

    kitsch or art?

    As I learned in my high school Latin class; "de gustibus non est disputandum", which roughly means "of taste it is not to be disputed". As to the tsuba put up by the OP, I would call them "gaudy". There is an interesting discussion of the derivation of this word. It is not derived from Antoni Gaudi, the famous Catalan artist that helped to make Barcelona the beautiful city it is. i found this little blurb about the word. http://blog.barcelonaguidebureau.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/GaudyIceBar.jpg Gaudy: tastelessly ornate or showy As you say, it is “hard to believe.” Probably what you really mean, of course, is “Get that ridiculous story away from me before I call the cops.” Nobody minds a little creative conjecture every so often, but trying to trace a word such as “gaudy,” which has been in common usage since the 16th century; to a 20th century architect whose name just happens to sound like “gaudy” is a bit much. http://blog.barcelonaguidebureau.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Gaud%C3%AD_1878.jpg Antoni Gaudí (1878) That’s not to say that there hasn’t been a bit of a debate about the origin of “gaudy,” meaning “tastelessly ornate or showy.” One theory traces “gaudy” to an old Middle English term, “gaudy-green,” which was evidently a sort of bright yellowish-green. Gaudy-green dye was made from the weld plant (Reseda luteola, for you botanists out there), whose name in Old French was “gaude,” so that’s where “gaudy-green” got its name, anyway. But most etymologists doubt that “gaudy-green” was the root of our more generally tasteless, Elvis sort of “gaudy.” A more likely source is the obsolete English word “gaud,” meaning “joke, toy, or showy ornament.” This “gaud” came from the French “gaudir,” meaning “to rejoice or jest,” which came in turn from the Latin “gaudere,” meaning “to rejoice or delight in.” (That Latin “gaudere,” by the way, is also the source of the English word “joy.”) I think that the “joke, toy, or showy ornament” definition fits the description of these items.
  15. Well, I am used to ayasugi or masame with Sadakazu and Sadakatsu Volker, but they do branch out. I have a blade done by Sadakazu that was done in Soshu style as a Masamune utsushi, and it looks nothing like the typical sword of his.
  16. Looks more like Norishige, right Volker? Or Uda. It may just be the polish.
  17. Glad to hear that Luis. Do you live anywhere near Paris? I seem to recall that you live in Europe.
  18. Yes, just looked through catalog. It looked like there were a couple of "sleepers" though.
  19. Tom, the mei looks good enough to submit to shinsa to me.
  20. That piece went for a hammer price of $8000.00. Big bucks without seeing the mei! Could easily be cut down with an ugly tang or what have you. Or, could be Kiyomaro (or so the hopeful buyer may be thinking....). If anybody on NMB bought it, please share results when you get it in.
  21. Does anybody live in France? I am tempted to bid on an item or two, but the auction house says that the buyer is responsible for getting the export paperwork etc.
  22. Wow, I live in Chicago and was completely unaware of this auction. Were there some high end swords?
  23. The koshirae were restored in the 70s, according to the above. I presume that the sword was polished at that time. All the DNA from Truman and Krueger is likely long gone and the sword appears to be properly handled now.
  24. Thanks Bryce. I think that this likely also supports that the blade in question is shoshin.
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