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Need Help Identifying/Estimating Worth


Stockfball11
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Recently received a sword that to me appears to be from Japan from my grandfather who served in WWII. Looking to find as much about the sword as possible here given I have no background or expertise in the area. The signature on the tang is able to be seen in person but have had near impossible luck getting it to appear in an image. May have to try and hand copy the signature to paper to at least see if someone recognizes my poor attempt at copying it (not sure if that’s something I should try and do). Any and all help is beyond appreciated. 
 

*No responses will be used as info/facts/professional opinions on any kind of listing* 

 

This is just for my own knowledge on what I have. 
 

*Happy to post any additional pictures that may be needed as I’m not sure what pictures are the best to post and didn’t want to inundate the thread with unnecessary photos*

Andrew S. 

 

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Dear Andrew.

 

Nick is right about the koshirae, the mounting, it is a Shingunto mount from WWII.  It looks as though the tsuba, the guard, is pierced and the whole thing is above average.

 

The blade is interesting and seemingly much older than the rest.  This happens but is not all that common. The inscription that you show is a date and looks at first glance like it might be Tenbun period.  I can't be sure from these images but that would place it around 1532.  

 

If you can get a shot of the bare blade, minus all mounts and a shot of the other side of the nakago, the tang, that might help us further.

 

This is a nice thing, don't try to clean anything as anything you do is likely to devalue it, just a little light oil on the blade.

 

Looking forward to seeing more.

 

All the best.

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Well I'm sticking with Tenbun but it hardly matters.  What you have Andrew is a lovely package in this sword.  Good Shingunto mounts in nice condition with a family mon, the silver badge on the hilt fitting.  An earlier blade signed and dated.  There were an awful lot of Bizen Sukesada smiths in this time and pinning it down to one will be almost impossible.  The time frame is fascinating because in most people's eyes it's very early however it corresponds to a time when a lot of swords were being made and not all of great quality.

 

If all this is getting to you then a look here will give you a bit more to go on.  https://www.aoijapan.com/katana-bishu-osafune-sukesada/

 

If one of our members in your area could look at the sword in hand they could tell you  bit more but this is a nice sword.  Congratulations!  Is this your first Japanese sword?  If so most of us would wish that out first sword was as good a find.

 

All the best.

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It is indeed my first sword of any kind! Been passed down to me by my father who received it from his. Appreciate all the help thus far from everyone! Definitely want to try and find someone in my area (on the east coast)  to take an in person look at it and give me as much info as possible as well as a possible appraisal (just for curiosities sake)

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/16/2020 at 2:59 PM, Stockfball11 said:

It is indeed my first sword of any kind! Been passed down to me by my father who received it from his. Appreciate all the help thus far from everyone! Definitely want to try and find someone in my area (on the east coast)  to take an in person look at it and give me as much info as possible as well as a possible appraisal (just for curiosities sake)


Where on the east coast are you? A bit of a moot point with the pandemic, but the New York Token Kai would be a good bet for in person help when the time comes. 
 

As others noted, this sword was likely made during a period of mass production. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – it’s still a traditionally made sword that is nearly 500 years old, and this sword was made to be used and not to be worn on a merchant’s hip. However, the ultimate value will be driven by the quality of the workmanship in the blade itself. You’re safely in the $2000-$6000 ballpark though, I think. 
 

One question: what is the length of the cutting edge (straight line from tip/kissaki to the notch on the tang/nakago)?
 

With an in person evaluation you can figure out if it’s worth making additional investments (polish, shirasaya, etc.). 

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