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Before And After - Ford Hallam Repatination


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Hi all,
Planned on posting this a while ago, but didn't have time to take some pics up to now.
A while ago I purchased a tsuba from a member here that I really liked, as I was looking for a nice example of Kata-kiri bori, which I absolutely love.
Yes..gimei of course....wish it was a Somin. :D But the work looked good to me, and I really loved the fine work and detail of the faces.7 Sages in the bamboo grove of course.
Anyways, the finish on the tsuba bothered me. There was no way the splashes of gold were original. They seemed too random and didn't add anything to the tsuba. They were haphazard, and looked like someone had tried something and decided against it. The patina was also dull, and I was sure that the original patina was more like that toffee-look that we see sometimes. So I sent it to Ford for his advice.
He agreed that the gold wasn't original..probably some form of amateur electroplating gone wrong...but suggested he could remove it, prep the ground, and repatinate back to the way it was meant to be seen. He took the time to explain that he wasn't going to go for a "made today" look, but it would retain a bit of aged look...but with a decent patina.
Anyways, when I got it back, I was over the moon with it. This is the difference between professional repatination and home experimentation imho. Seeing this, it is not hard to understand why repatination and restoration is encouraged with Japanese art when done properly.
I'll let the pics tell the rest. Colour variances on the repatinated tsuba are due to lighting and reflection.






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Hi Brian:

I considered that tsuba for awhile. I did not think that it was good enough for Somin work but still interesting. If it looked the way it does now I would have bought it. Ford certainly has made a major improvement. Professional restoration is the way to go. If it is worth restoring the work should be the best possible. Same goes for sword blades. If it is worth restoring it should be done by a fully rained professional.

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steel patina can be created exactly like any of those on my own work if I'm doing a full repatination. It's much harder when I'm trying to retain what remains of the original patina and not effect the rust etc inside any sukashi. But it all really depends on the actual piece and the condition of the metal. There are two basic types of ferrous patination that were used, depending on the period and type/school of guard.

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There are two basic types of ferrous patination that were used, depending on the period and type/school of guard.


Is it the reason why some patina are brown and other dark, or there is no relationship between these two basic types of ferrous patination and the patina color ?

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