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Shamsy

Fake Type 95 Nco Swords

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Good morning everyone,

 

I've seen one of these before, but not so well 'aged'. They're pretty good really, but there's obvious problems. With all the recent revelations about the numerous 95 variants, I thought I'd add better add these here.

 

Obvious tells are the leading 0 in serial number, over extension of bohi and the low quality of the tsuka cast. Other less obvious tells are the tsuba, which is the wrong shape and oddly sharp, stamps are not right (look at the ugly Kokura), serial number font, saya throat shape, the blade itself (incorrectly proportioned between bohi and blade), the fuchi size and material and the overall quality of the sword.

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Thanks Steve for the great example! The screwdriver slot for the lower tsuka screw looks like it was simply stamped onto the surface of the nut! This one has the best faked Suya stamp I've ever seen, but they definitely blew the Kokura.

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Can someone tell me if i got a real ww2 nco sword? I don't see any arsenal markings, the serial numbers are matched. The scabbard is a bit aged up...thanks.

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Just a matter of it being a different pattern. The brass tsuba, seppa and fuchi examples are more popular and and start slightly earlier than the iron fitting equivalents. However, I don't personally place any more value on one over the other. It all depends entirely on the subcontractors and variations.

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Righto. So if you've been here a while you might remember me talking about the Polish made 95's being the best examples of reproduction swords I have ever seen. Properly aged into a fake, they can be near impossible to tell from the real thing.

 

So here is an example to post finally. It's not 'fake' and the seller is making no claims that it is anything but a repro. They even correctly state the country of manufacture. What a gentleman/woman.

 

So what do you do if you find an Iijima sword then to know it's the real deal? That's a hard question, because Iijima, IMHO more-so than any other contractor, has varying peaks and troughs in quality.

 

So the best thing to look for is patina, in all those key spots that are so hard to replicate correctly. You will also notice that the edges of the seppa are not nicely crimped, the stamps are not very well struck (though the paint obscures some), the sarute is long and very triangular (though there is some variance in these normally), the fuchi has been painted and the forward tsuka nut is not quite the right shape. Sorry to say these tells are not current across all of the Polish repros and there is a degree of quality variation. Everything else about the sword is pretty spot on (no, the bohi is fine. There are variations in those too).

 

A well aged Polish sword transformed into a fake is tricky to spot and the 95 collectors may not agree or be able to offer definitive answers. If in doubt, walk away.

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What do the repros retail for? If a lot, then there wouldn't be much point in ageing and faking them. If cheap, I can hear the sound of digging now as people bury them for for a while to age them.
We have arrived at the German militaria stage, where some people refuse to collect certain things as the fakes are just too good.

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They're about a third of the cost of real deal, Brian. I've only seen Iijima ones, though they do have unique serial numbers.

 

Chris, the stamps aren't perfect, but remember these are under paint. There are also so many different iterations of genuine cannon balls that these are perfectly valid if viewed alone.

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Steve you are right and I'm not that much experienced like you in these NCO Swords.

 

But in this case the Stamp didn't look stamped, more like carved. Maybe there exists some genuine swords with that?

 

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Steve,

 

Thanks for this continuing education. We really depend on you (and Stegel when he's around) as the residant experts on 95's!

 

This is one of the most accurate reproductions I've seen. For all the reasons you listed, though, I would have rejected it as fake, but can see that a rookie could easily be duped by it.

 

I'm curious about your comment on the bohi. In my limited experience, the Tokyo/Kokura bohi end in a shape that mirrors the kissaki, where the rounded ends seems to come from Nagoya contractors. Have you seen rounded bohi ends on Tokyo blades?

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Steve you are right and I'm not that much experienced like you in these NCO Swords.

 

But in this case the Stamp didn't look stamped, more like carved. Maybe there exists some genuine swords with that?

 

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Now I look closely Chris, it does look carved. I've never had one of these swords in hand (for obvious reasons) but I'm fairly sure that they are stamped and it's the paint making it look flaky.

 

Bruce, I'll have a look and edit this comment when I have an answer.

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I'm back (!!)  and reading some old posts.  I have been off the grid a long while  because of business demands on my time/travel  (...and 4 sons with continual challenges).

 I expected 2 things to be a guarantee - 

First - fakes getting better, and I always enjoy reading Steve's educational posts and Bruce's superb commentary ... makes me a smarter man  :)

Second - the price of swords continues to rise (not that I have ever seen the price of military antiques drop) ...and I have been collecting a long time  

 

Dan 

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I let the seller know the sword was a Chinese reproduction, but unfortunately they have decided not to update the listing. There is a standard disclaimer of course, so they aren't strictly guaranteeing it is period.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-WW-II-Japanese-NCO-OFFICERS-KATANA-BATTLE-SWORD-WITH-MATCHING-NUMBERS/332997092938?hash=item4d882c664a:g:D4YAAOSw-QxcMDQz

 

I thought it worth including here because they're really good photographs.

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I sent the seller a note saying, "this looks like a rough reproduction, has anyone else contacted you expressing the same concerns?"   -  Dan 

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I’m surprised they gave us such a clear picture of the fuchi stamps! Quite an artsy-fartsy Kokura stamp! At least they attempted a Nagoya inspection stamp. And gee, I didn’t know the Tokyo inspector was a contractor!

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Steve - the seller finally responded to my questioning of his sword  (https://www.ebay.com...4YAAOSw-QxcMDQz)  a few minutes ago ... he said nobody else sent him a note that questions the authenticity of the sword.  So, there you have it  - interesting.     They took 4 days to respond to me ... action ends in 4 hours.   Dan 

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I get emails from a company called IMA who sell militaria. You may know them from the TV series Family Guns. Loved watching that show.

 

Unfortunately, it looks as though they have been sold a fake 95 which is now listed for sale. I let them know, so hopefully they will be the exception to the rule and accept the feedback, instead of the usual 'what do you know'.

 

https://www.ima-usa.com/products/original-wwii-Japanese-army-type-95-nco-shin-gunto-katana-sword-with-matching-serial-number-83596?variant=19314375589957&trk_msg=UG0SEOVISKKKF4R7H4PCKHFGL4&trk_contact=0USE0VFEDSJFE4602ONLO43CTO&trk_sid=MOE68VHA0COEOBP28LEC0PBRGG&utm_source=Listrak&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=Product&utm_campaign=20190222&utm_content=20190222

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Getting pretty darn good at the Gifu and Tokyo stamps! Glad they still don't have the sizing, and location right!

Not to mention getting just about every other detail wrong, except that it's made of metal.

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A good example of a repro sword, certainly one of the better examples seem and worth listening here. Originally brought to the board by Vladimir.

 

The three immediately obvious signs are the sarute screw, the serial number positioning/font and the tsuba patterning, though there are a host more less obvious issues.

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May as well add this too. No point in listening what is wrong, because there's nothing right. These are all over eBay, coming from China.

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This example is hard to judge. The knot is obviously a repro, as is the saya, but the sword itself is quite excellent. I think the stamps are a little vague, the serial number of the blade don't look quite right, patina lacking though maybe brass was polished... very hard to say though whether the sword is genuine. Might be a fake saya and knot added to a genuine sword. The photographs are too small and low resolution on my phone for decent examination. It's 3AM so I'll look again later and see if anything else stands out.

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