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Is there any chance?


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Hi all,

 

Not sure if a question like this even belongs here but while dreaming of well polished swords I saw this absolute rust bucket somewhere. I've got no experience whatsoever with neglected nihonto, so hopefully someone with more experience can help me out here.

The shirasaya (is it??) looks very iffy, I've never seen it done like this. What is this? A 'fake' or something very unusual? The blade itself I also have no idea about. It might be genuine but it is in absolutely pitiful state. So even if this one were the real deal, would it even be possible to bring this back to a state where people would want to look at it?

 

These pictures are unfortunately all I have.

 

Best,

Mark

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Dear Mark.

 

Axel is right on this one.  Usually quite crudely carved sections of bone with a very thin blade and a weak habaki, as here.  (Though the carving is better than many on this example, at least in the one section we can see.)  Produced to export in the late 19th century and possibly later.  Rarely there are examples with genuine blades in them and also some with superior carving but by and large, and in this case, you can walk away without any regrets.

 

All the best.

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Agreed. Have you invested in a few reference books yet, Mark? It's time.

Hi, yes I did :-)

Needless to see I could not find anything on this one. Weird thing was that I think the seller thought the shirasaya was of most interest and not the blade, the pics of tang and ‘detail’ of boshi were not even in the original ad.

Thanks everyone.

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It’s the sort of blade made for tourist at the end of the 19th century. Most of the time, the blade is of very low quality and not tempered. The mountings (koshirae) are not a Shirasaya (made of wood). Those pieces weren’t even made of ivory, but bone. They can be interesting for the sculpting but of no value for sword collectors, or just maybe as a way to show how low sword forging had sunk before the WW2 revival. 
 

the others are right, we all do the same mistake and buy before reading, but the proper order should be books first, swords second. Of course, the temptation is hard to resist! :)

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the others are right, we all do the same mistake and buy before reading, but the proper order should be books first, swords second. Of course, the temptation is hard to resist! :)

Thank you, interesting. Tourist junk from long ago.

Fortunately I did not actually purchase this thing. I was just having trouble figuring out what it was. I rarely look on ebay and friends, but I’ve not yet seen this kind of fitting.

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