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What Sayeth The Members?


Brian
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This one from FB....was apparently on a tv show called Flog It or something?
Apparently the British Museum said it is 500 years old, but those papers are gone. Hmmmm.
I made a few comments, but the more I look at it, the weirder it gets.
At first, I though nice hi...and horimono. Might be a decent sword, with an amateur wrap.
Then after more pics were posted, I started to think the horimono look wartime, and not that well done.
Then I saw the mei, and although I didn;t translate it (due to the horrible angle) it looks Dremeled on (but is probably not, just due to the angle again) but it does look recent. Still showing "pillows"
Then I noticed the Kaga looking nakago jiri, and the lack of yasurime. Or are those vertical marks?
Habaki looks terrible. The single menuki looks good. And the tsuba looks average.
Then I noticed the sword appears to be hira zukuri?

So all in all, a mixture of confusing attributes, and I don't know which way I lean on this one. Not buying...just an exercise in first impressions.
Apparently it went (or is going) for GBP3000.
Hmmm..not with THOSE pics.

Comments?
 

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Brian,  I too saw the programme and very much shared your confusion. The loss of the letter from the BM is a bit worrying - but again I am not sure if anyone there has any real knowledge of Nihonto. I have been trying to make sense of the mei but failed, I think I can see ..kami 守 but the preceding characters do not seem to be those of a province. The last character, partially mangled by the mekugi ana, does look like saku, but what the name might be is another matter. With time it might be possible to make sense of it but it doesn't look as if it will be easy. The horimono looks new and has a bit of a  'machined look' about it. If I was asked to guess I would say Taisho or early Showa. Still someone punted £3000 for it - brave person!

Ian Bottomley

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Hello,

The Mei alone would put me off....I don't think you are that far away with " Dremel " Brian...Without a clear picture I would have said it looks "laser cut"...Maybe that's how the nakago looks so clean ? Only my opinion and no insult to the owner meant...But on those points alone I would not want it...!

Regards,

Paul.

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BUT... is right.  Its not like any SUO MORITOSHI I've seen (2 in new polish).  The menuki looks good, methinks, and the poor-looking, neglected tsuba may be OK.  BUT the blade...  I tend to thinking its a Chinese knockoff...  It will be interesting to see if this comes to light anywhere else.

 

BaZZa.

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You sometimes do see them having gotten chromed by the GI. It is a pitty as usually before the chroming the blad gets buffed - whch is worse than the chromig itself that could be polished away.

 

With this blade someone obviously tried his best to restore it and make it shiny again. So the chromeing just goes hand in hand with the Tsuka job and possibly a cleaned Nagako.

 

The blade is most probably ruined through the grape vine.

 

Some days ago there was a Tadayosho Waki on eBay ... possibly good for the 4th generation but the seller had tried to show the signature by cleaning it with steel wool ... too bad (while that partocular blade had some otehr issues though ...)

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I just gave the blade a 2nd look ... at first glance the Nagao looked like a Chinese knock off as it was missing any Yasurimi ... but that is probably because the ting git buffed 60 years ago including Nagako. The rust level on teh Nagako would also be right for around 60 years.

 

Overall this blade is mere junk and however paid 3000 punds is a wealthy moron ... so I would be happy to be him :)

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That is the most strange thing on this auction. 

 

Why? The British museum could be right if the stated that the blade is 500 years old and got buffed and chromed. If I was a smart ass seller I'd take the best out of that stating the blade is 500 years old according to the British museum ... the less pleasent things would get lost (along with the paper). So the seller did not necessarily lie but just did present t he blade in the best possible way.

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Interesting topic Brian :) Being new to nihonto collecting myself, I don't have much to add aside from the obvious.  I would've taken one look at that horrible tsukaito and habaki and dismissed it immediately I'm sure, since being inexperienced I tend to err on the side of caution rather than finding the diamond in the rough.  I, like Brian, also think that mei looks awfully suspicious as well, dremel seems a good guess.  Though, without seeing it up close in person its hard to tell for sure. 

 

Either way, 3000 pounds seems a bit steep, especially if its a Chinese knockoff of course ;)

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Me too.

 

Why?

 

Both Kanji and Horimono put it way above the common Chinese knock off. The Tsukamaki is done too amateurisch and the Kodugu ist unquestionable authentic. So we would have some making a sword using a Chinese copy with genuine parts? I think it being simply an abused / wrongly restored genuine Nihonto is more logical and will by the way go hand in hand with what the Museum had to say - but for the part where it got ruined through the Grape Vine.

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Why?

 

Both Kanji and Horimono put it way above the common Chinese knock off.

 

Someone could get a Chinese knock off and add horimono etc etc etc

 

Maybe add a cheap tsuba and fuchi (legit ones)

 

Then sell at a profit.

 

Steel looks wrong in the close ups, horimono looks weird, as though the metal crumbled as they were doing it and it looks like it was done yesterday. Then there is everything else previously mentioned above.

 

Chromed did you say?, a museum discussing a "chromed" sword, unusual.

 

I see enough to run a mile.

 

£3000, oh dear, difficult judging from photos though, lets hope I'm wrong.

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