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Hello,

I am very new to this realm. I have a friend who has the sword below that is missing parts as shown.

There is no maker marks anywhere on it.

What should be done with it? Should it be restored or maybe it can be used to restore other swords?

 

I want to do what is best (within reason). How much would it cost to replace the missing items..or how much would it be worth for someone to use for parts if not worth restoring?

 

Thanks,

Dave

 

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You're looking at easily $300 just to get the correct parts. And you might be waiting months to find the correct fitting one. Factor in a polish, and Tsuka re-wrap you are way over $1k

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I doubt the parts present are worthwhile to use on another blade. The habaki (blade collar) is made to fit that particular sword as is the tsuka. The only transferable part for certain is the sarute. The blade itself is very much abused but appears to be solid, if its traditionally made then it is likely worth a polish. The only way that can be found out is by having a window (small polished area) done to see what the hamon is like.

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I agree with Chris on the window option. The blade appears late edo (pre Showa I think for sure) and likely traditionally made (basing this on the nakago age, 2 holes, and the fat kissaki (hard to forge that, what’s its name please?). if you are patient enough you can not only restore the koshirae but learn quite a bit of interesting info and history. Professionally Polishing the katana will cost quite a bit, so gotta get a window put in to see if there is anything there really worth it, but then when/if you get a tsuka made (gotta buy the missing parts first) you could be looking at a blade that would probably look better without the window. Don’t rush, stick around and learn for a good long while, and that would be the best thing before jumping in to restoration, unless money is no option and it’s got sentimental value or something, then you can easily be pointed to properly qualified and decently priced services from various board members. Search polishing services here and some great options show up. Good luck! If you stick around and meet some members in person they can get a much better feel for the thing when in hand. Your thoughts on the blade are important as it is in your hands and you can study it and make an informed decision after learning more. Logan is right restoration is expensive. I think fully restoring this would be $2k, or more if it can be done (pitting isn’t too deep, turns up machine made or Chinese, has hagire)

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Would file this one firmly under "wild goose chase" category. New handle, new wrap, new Tsuba, new liner, thousands on a car wreck of a blade that will have permanent pitting and possibly be nothing more than an early oil tempered Seki-To.

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Thank you for all of your replies. One other question he has asked...what do you think it is worth in it’s current condition?

I am very slowly starting to learn about these (I recently picked one up myself (non-traditionally mad,I think..., but good condition).

 

I posted pictures of mine in the following post:

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/28997-first-onewhat-is-it/

 

Thanks Again,

Dave

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It's always easy to spend someone else's money. As what was mentioned above, if you have this fully polished all the parts replaced etc.. you're probably close to $3k. I have not seen a Mumei Gendaito(if it is) sell for that. I recently saw a Gunto blade with habaki(not traditionally made) that was signed and dated sell for $225 on eBay that was out of polish but had no rust or damage that I recall.

 

Unless a Gunto is traditionally made, is in full polish and has all the original parts they're really not worth polishing/throwing money into.

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My advice would be to take it to a proper Nihonto show near you and get opinions on it from people there. Looking at a blade in hand is always better than pictures over the internet.

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Dave , John is right and everyone else is dreaming in my opinion . This is a showa crapper in poor condition . It is not worth restoring or putting a window in . Keep looking and something decent will turn up .

Ian Brooks

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Maybe dreaming sure, looking again at the habaki yeah I tend to agree, but also maybe trying to avoid the nightmare of dismissing something decent and it ending up worse off for it. Looks like the edges have been cut away a bit near the middle from ameteur polish, which is a real awful thing for these.

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I suspect a wartime arsenal blade  subjected to water.
I would consider putting it into shirasaya to keep it if you like it, and selling the rest of the fittings to pay for the job.

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Looks like a non traditional blade to me. I personally wouldn’t spend too much for it. If your friend wants one, I’d sell this one and use the money to save and get a better one. Just my two cent.

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Well, I think I have talked him into selling it as is. I found out he paid $150 for it. Not sure if he will recover that back, but live and learn! Would ebay be the best place to list it?

 

Thanks Again.

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I was going to avoid this discussion but it keeps going. I agree with the others who see this as a rather early Showa-to. It clearly  has what early collectors called "The Showa Hump" which is a slight but noticeable thickening of the mune above the kissaki. I see little other upside potential for this blade. I'd let it go, Dave.

Peter

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The blade is not interesting and the condition of the Sword is worse. 

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I believe he should be able to get his money back no problem. Put it on eBay, people that practice tameshigiri or iaido like to get these and do their own polish jobs on them and re-handle etc..

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It appears to be a non-traditional blade to me, and as such, would not be worth a traditional polish. A non-traditional less expensive method to restore the blade may be worth considering (if it’s 100% certain you have a factory made sword). It would probably be better to wipe it down with some oil and store it in low humidity to prevent further rust.

 

That said, my suggestion to do a nontraditional restoration would still be considered controversial by many even on a mass produced factory made blade. Personally, I don’t consider such blades to be of any value other than as weapons, militaria, or sentimental. There’s really not a substantial dollar value in such things, so I wouldn’t spend much or anything to restore it unless it has some special personal significance, in which case, money doesn’t matter, go for a traditional restoration.

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You are not helping out that sword by "cleaning" it.

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I don't know, it kind of does look like Hada? I'm not sure how it's that visible though with just a poor polish.

 

If you plan on selling this, I would recommend not doing anymore. You're putting some deep scracthes in the blade and changing directions which will require more material to be removed(if someone wants to polish it themselves)

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It appears to be a masame hada  perhaps with a bit of ayasugi to it to me. You must have etched it?

 

 TomC

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Everyone,

Thanks for your help and guidance. The owner asked me to list it on Ebay, I did as he wished and it sold in 15 minutes.

Everyone is happy, and hopefully the new owner will enjoy.

 

Dave

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