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Tachi Bringback

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5 hours ago, PNSSHOGUN said:

It's there in a few photos, just hard to see.

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Thanks,John, but all I see is masame nagare 

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I maybe should be the one to not speak on this, but could the Tachi be what Markus Sesko calls on his website "itame mixed with masame"? Playing around with the mobile phone I captured the attached shots which should show more details.

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I see no hamon, sorry. Only a rough mokume hada. Hamon line could be etched. 

Take a good light if you find a white line between the hada and that hamon. 

I think the hardned edge is outpolished.

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Have an expert take a good look at it in hand. I think everyone who wanted to share an opinion has done so, and other people can't be bothered because they don't see much in the sword to begin with, or they are basically at the same point we are at ("Could be interesting, could be ho-hum. Too hard to tell"). Right now its a mumei sword with loose hada, and its not going to win any prizes in its current state. 

 

11 hours ago, Promo said:

I don't really think it needs a good polish, most is still visible, a touch up should be fine since it has no rust that goes into the blade

 

Get a professional opinion on this before diving deeper. 

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Steve,

I couldn't of said it better.  "Ho-hum-hum." 

 

 

Tom D.

 

I

 

 

Edited by Tom Darling
corrected denglish

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Disappointing, but understandable. This however means as someone only having limited to no personal contact among Nihonto collectors this basically tells me to put it aside and leave it as it is.

 

Final notice then, just to have it mentioned in here as well: the blade seems to have been polished quite several times since it is much thicker at the rear (7,95mm at the thickest part) than just in front of the habaki (7,24mm). Hope the attached pictures show what I mean. This might also be interesting in context with the picture that I've posted on the previous page. It also has a clear step in the tang looking at it from the side. I'm re-attaching this picture as well.

Thickness2.jpg

Thickness1.jpg

Thickness3.jpg

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Jumping to conclusions isn't useful here. You should send it to a professional for appraisal, just don't expect it to be free like what we do here. 

 

There is no such thing as a "touch-up polish" - the blade either is worth a polish, or it is not. The traditionally-trained polisher will decide the most appropriate course of action, and at the end you get a bill. It's not a menu with options, and those selling menus are not the real thing. 

 

Now that being said, I think your ticket is something like this:

 

0. fatal flaw, no hamon, etc = -1000 EUR

1. shinto kanbun mumei with dressed-up nakago or some Muromachi blade restored with professional polish (~3K) = - ~2000 EUR 

2. Ko-Uda, Naminoara, other "countryside" schools, restored with professional polish (~3K) = + ~0$-1000 EUR 

3. Chikuzen or Etchu, restored with professional polish (~3K) = + ~1000-10000+$ (entering hard segment to sell, good luck). 

4. Chikuzen Sairen, Jitsua, Sa before Masamune, Etchu Norishige, top masters showing O-hada, restored with top polish, new habaki, shirasaya, all the bells and whistle (~6K), pass Juyo, etc = 50'000 EUR+

 

Now you need to add probabilities to each segment. My guess is that we're squarely looking case 1. I do also think the hamon is strange, could be 0. I think, if any upsides, it's going to be 2. 3 is unlikely but you never know. 4 odds are close to zero. At this stage there is considerable uncertainty and the more photos, measurements, opinions, etc, that you can get, the closer you'll converge to the true probability distribution of your lottery ticket. 

 

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What Chris says makes perfect sense. However before getting in to too much soul searching about what t do next  I think the first step that can be done as is and with sword in hand is to answer the question "Is there a hamon?". The images show a very clearly defined area of hadori but I cant see any evidence of a proper hamon ( no obvious nioiguchi). This can be determined in the classic way of pointing it towards a single light source and look along the blade. If it is there it will stand out. If it isn't there then I think all other issues become irrelevant.

 

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Chris and Paul, many thanks for your replies and all the others as well. I already spoke today with a knowledgeable person where I'll send the Tachi to (without having to ship it far away; I somehow do not feel comfortable knowing items of mine on another continent) where I'll hopefully get in-hand expert opinions.

 

In the meantime I'd want to express big thanks to the neverending patience of Kevin who had been so helpful in educating me on all the terms, plus explaining what some in here meant. Based on his feedback I also took the big LED torch from my trunk and played around in a total black room. It seems there is nioi. As well as it looks like the hamon goes into the tang. But who am I to assess, attached some pictorial results of the outcome. Maybe I also recognized it wrong, but to me it appears as if it originally was polished up until at least the first hole, note the smooth surface, no file streaks at all.

 

Please all forgive so much enthusiasm and so many newbie questions!

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Well done George those images help a lot and I can see the hamon is there

Also never worry or apologise for enthusiasm it is much better for the subject than indifference 

Good luck with your project 

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Just to reiterate my advice, Georg; I would submit it to shinsa and get a professional opinion before deciding what to do with it.  If the negativity of some on this board about the blade has put you off on this, please PM me if you would like to sell it.  

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Much better pictures Georg. Yes, the hamon is there.

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Really,  this is a hamon?  I must be going blind!  This is getting serious, am I missing something that is called a hamon?  Whatever,  good luck.  

 

TomD.

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Basic midare hamon, & more nioiguchi than I expected. The thinness of the hamon indicates a lot of earlier polishes, & that's backed up by the kasane photos. This might well mean an older blade.

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Georg, firstly, please do not sell the sword yet. Part of the fun in spending very little for a lottery is winning big later. You already did this with your Masayuki 😃

 

Second, on the hamon, looking at this hamon it seems to clearly end right on the hamachi, if the sword was osuriage then i would not expect that in most cases. I would be interested to hear opinions now that we can see masame, sugu - midare hamon and this sugata, what the consensus is on school? If older i would lean to Naminohira or direct Yamato, but, if shinto onwards, any other opinions?

 

 

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Kawa wrote:

> Second, on the hamon, looking at this hamon it seems to clearly end right on the hamachi, if the sword was osuriage then i would not expect that in most cases.

 

If it ends right on the hamachi then it surely is a re-temper.  The odd-looking hamon tends to suggest that.  The odd little bump at the hamachi is how some smiths end their hamon (my Gassan Sadakatsu, for example). Georg did say that the hamon continued into the nakago and I looked very carefully at this feature at the hamachi.  I cropped the image (attached) and it appears to me to continue into the nakago...

 

Whatever the hamon looks like at present, when a fully trained togishi has finished the blade I'm sure the hamon will look completely different...

 

BaZZa.

IMG_8452_cropped.jpg

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Hi Georg

 

So, we have exchanged a few messages on the Masayuki back then and if you remember I gave you honest opinions and did support the view towards zaimei and a great sword, which I am now happy has been confirmed as such. 
 

Now onto the present sword:

- while there seems to be a hamon, it is long and generally not in a bad state of polish (even though not “in polish”), there are issues which I would like to caution about

- the kissaki is not really ko-kissaki and the hada in the shinogiji is not really mokume, so I would not raise my hopes too much of this being a Koto treasure

- the thickness of almost 7.3mm puts it indeed more in Edo period. It is difficult to generalise and it very much depends on what fate each sword has had, how much battle and abuse one has seen, but if it were older and having seen so many polishes for the hamon to thin down to its current state, its kassane today would probably be closer to 6mm. 
- as mentioned before, here and there there is hamon, but it seems very dim and worn out. Not sure if the term “hajimi” could be applied here (worn down, blurry). Also, look at the nioiguchi line. Nobuo Nakahara, for all his controversial positions, had some very good points in Facts and Fundamentals: the consistency of the nioiguchi is very important - either thick or thin or medium, but consistent and controlled. Here, there are thicker areas and areas where it is as thin as a thread, almost disappearing. Furthermore, look “inside” the hamon, which is colloquial terminology and incorrect and actually means look inside the ha/inside the yakiba (the tempered area between the hassaki/cutting edge and the nioiguchi which outlines the shape we call hamon). There is nothing happening there that I can see - no sunagashi, no kinsuji, no small ashi, no yo, etc. It is all rather dull and empty. From a Koto hamon you would expect some more activity than that. 
- the hada is somewhat cruder than what I would expect from a Shinto sword but it could be that the smith was not too good or the sword was not too good when he forged it (hence unsigned), or plainly worn out from numerous polishes. It could be a combination of all of that. However, I think there are some areas where it shows as tighter jihada, which could be consistent with a Shinto blade. Is there nie or utsuri on the blade? Cannot see ....

- rust in the kissaki is worrying me to be frank. There are some areas where it seems deep 

 

I only wish to focus your mind and not be too negative but realistic here. 

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If a blade has gone through many polishes it loses its ha machi I would guess so machi okuri would at some point be a necessity.... or are my assumptions wildly off? 

Polishing is a matter of necessity in most cases so are we also to assume that a sword with machi okuri has been well used in battle or perhaps abused? 

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Adam

You are right that a blade can indeed lose its hamachi. A machi can be created by chiselling into the nakago and slightly reshaping the nakago. You can see that occasionally. In fact I had a sword that had that

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Another way of maintaining the hamachi is to polish the blade down a little leaving the hamachi intact.  In other words, in-curve the ha in a new polish.  We have seen this feature in a recent thread.  It usually indicates a Koto sword, but I once had a hirazukuri wakizashi signed Bizen Morimitsu and dated to Oei that was a Shinshinto utsushimono.  It had an in-curved ha to make it look old...  And the kasane was also thinned relative to the nakago to make it look old.

 

BaZZa.

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I'm pretty sure even that process has to be done on heated metal that is not Martensite any longer ,but becomes once again Austenite then perhaps Pearlite as martensite could shatter relatively easily.

Interested in knowing how you can perform Machi Okuri without affecting the rest if the ha near the Machi.

If we have Osuriage then a much larger area must be reheated or you will struggle to reshape and file the new nakago.

Interesting.

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Thanks to all who had replied after my post. Attached a picture from above with markup. Note how perfectly smooth the surface in this area is, the first and very few file streaks become visible at height of first hole. Wouldn't this be a sign that it formerly was polished in this area and the blade originally was much longer? Secondly, I marked (or at least tried to mark) the line I was able to see .. it seems to extend back. Or do I see something wrong?

I'll be shipping the blade out for evaluation tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get feedback soon and of course will share it in here.

Finally and just to have it mentioned: it would had been easier if some in here had told me what to do to make a possible hamon visible. If it hadn't been for Kevin who told me what I should do, I would had put the blade aside as it is and made it a time capsule again. A bit frustrating for a beginner to only be told what it could be, but not what is needed to be able to find out more on it. I'm not here to only get opinions for free and sell at a profit (btw just to have it mentioned again and make it very clear: I'll not be selling!) based on the information I was given. I appreciate the opinions, but my goal is to learn based on an own blade, for maybe in a few decades to be able to tell this myself.

 

PS: Tom Darling, while I did understand most of the posts in here, I honestly have no clue at all what you want to tell me (or others) with your single line posts. Maybe you could get a bit more in detail because I'm not a native speaker either and I'm not sure if you sometimes are being sarcastic or if your posts are directed at me or others. Thanks!

Tachi2.jpg

Tachi.jpg

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Hey Georg, what could you do to make the hamon visible: 

 

1) use etchants (from lemon juice all the way to proper acid): in one word, “forbidden”

 

2) use polishing stones: reserved for polishers, so again, for the vast majority of us,  “forbidden”

 

3) use uchiko: for blades out of immaculate or stabilised polish, one can argue, as the one in this topic here, it is OK, if the blade will hit the polishing stones referred to in 2) above anyway. However, plenty of posts on that topic in this forum. So, why do you need to refer to this anonymous “Kevin” is not clear. 

4) oil, wipe, oil, wipe, oil, wipe,oil, wipe, etc. Repeat numerous times. 

Also mentioned on this forum numerous times. Again, no need for Kevin, but thank him anyway. 
 

5) take photos at an angle, with the main light coming from behind you and another light source ahead of you and the sword tip pointing toward that other tip ahead of you. 
 

if there is no hamon (eg blade heated in some way and martensite decomposed back into austenite and pearlite) or the hamon has been polished away, you cannot see it. 

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I think the hamon is there to be seen.  Wait until it is dark outside and just put on one incandescent light across the room.  Point the sword at the light and slightly adjust it until the light bounces off the hamon.  You should be able to see it I would think.   You want to look for a nioiguchi (temper line) that is uninterrupted and goes the length of the sword.

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