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Ontario_Archaeology

Another copper NCO

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Grossly over-cleaned. The sarute is questionable and an unmatched saya. Not a good sword at all.

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But an interesting one to have in that the serial number puts it toward the end of the copper handle series, and the blade is real good shape.  Plus, it has the Kokura cannon balls with HO stamps!!!

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Not put together but original with unmatched scabbard, maybe blade was cleaned. The fix of the end of the tang is the reason we saw some copper handle NCO and later  NCO added a second mekugi hole on the tang.

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I never saw a unmounted copper NCO blade. But if i would see this on a nihonto i would say that is not Japanese like. What you think?

 

image.thumb.png.11bbf2623e05f0af28ef84ffdc13319f.png

 

The tang looks welded from another sword to fit.

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The tang, especially with the stacked Kokura cannon balls and HO stamp, looks like it’s from a Muratato.  Which could mean this was a for real factory repair job!

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Hmm

I'm not a metal professional. But after welding a nakago you must re hardned a blade. For me it looks like the nakago is from a cut down sword and assembled together. But as i said I'm not a professional. The Tsuka looks nice to me. But as shamsy said not the whole sword looks as it should.

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2 hours ago, Ontario_Archaeology said:

What seemed most off to me was the 2552 stamped on the blade as well, I had not seen that before. 

Matt,there are some blade like that,check these.

 

post-424-0-65902400-1463141026.jpg

010737 Copper Handle NCO 006.jpeg

copper_handle_nco_sword_5737_43.jpeg

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3 hours ago, vajo said:

I never saw a unmounted copper NCO blade. But if i would see this on a nihonto i would say that is not Japanese like. What you think?

 

image.thumb.png.11bbf2623e05f0af28ef84ffdc13319f.png

 

The tang looks welded from another sword to fit.

Tang from another sword with NO mekugi hole?Not likely.

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1 hour ago, Bruce Pennington said:

The tang, especially with the stacked Kokura cannon balls and HO stamp, looks like it’s from a Muratato.  Which could mean this was a for real factory repair job!

Bruce

I agree with you ,this is original copper handle NCO sword tang for sure.Maybe field repair instead of factory repair though, who knows.

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Yep, blade has been heavily cleaned of rust. You can tell by how shallow and indistinct the numbers are. Tang repair is very crude. I think someone has worked to 'restore' a very damaged sword.

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BangBangSan, the observed rework serial range for these is 501 to 2552 and this is based upon eight examples.  They seem to show up in the 5,000 to 6,000 serial number range.  It is my opinion that these swords were reworked by the 1st Factory of Kokura Army Arsenal 小倉陸軍造兵廠第一製造所.  Thank you for pointing out the lack of an original mekugi-ana on the rework.  I had overlooked this important fact and it seems to indicate that the alteration/modification/rework was done at a factory and is not a field repair.

 

Bruce, more likely an arsenal sword 造兵刀 tang was used rather than a Murata-tō 村田刀 tang?

 

Vajo, could we be looking at two different repairs at two different time periods?  That is the original Japanese rework and then a later postwar repair to the rear of the tang?

 

Shamsy, could the scratch marks be caused by the removal of the tsuka and habaki or is it the other way around?  That is, the tang was cleaned so as to allow the removal of the habaki?

 

 

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Not so much the scratches, Thomas. Terrible quality pictures, but they show how indistinct the numbers are. I think the blade has been heavily sanded to make it look better and remove rust or patina. I can't be sure, but that's what I suspect.

 

I assume you've added the 4 sets of rework numbers from Dawson to your sample?

20210106_092336.jpg

20210106_092359.jpg

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39 minutes ago, Shamsy said:

I assume you've added the 4 sets of rework numbers from Dawson to your sample?

 

This is what I have so far.

Serial Number = Rework Number

5809 = ホ2182.

5847 = ホ1792 [A Nice Early Japanese Type 95 Copper Handle NCO Samurai Sword].

5869 = ホ2023 [JM&CS&D].

5875 = ホ1522

5979 = 2363 [unverified]

6320 = 2552 [nakago has a Kokura logo & ホ.]

6444 = ホ1807 [Type 95 Copper Handle NCO Sword].

6561 = 501 [unverified]

Just a note that the ホ stamp and/or serial number is frequently partially covered by the habaki.  This indicates the stamp and/or serial number was applied when the sword was disassembled.  For an example, see BangBangSan's post #10 above, third picture down.

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12 minutes ago, Kiipu said:

 

This is what I have so far.

Serial Number = Rework Number

5809 = ホ2182.

5847 = ホ1792 [A Nice Early Japanese Type 95 Copper Handle NCO Samurai Sword].

5869 = ホ2023 [JM&CS&D].

5875 = ホ1522

5979 = 2363 [unverified]

6320 = 2552 [nakago has a Kokura logo & ホ.]

6444 = ホ1807.

6561 = 501 [unverified]

Just a note that the ホ stamp and/or serial number is frequently partially covered by the habaki.  This indicates the stamp and/or serial number was applied when the sword was disassembled.

Thomas

The rework Number 2308 I posted is from 5737.That made it 9 examples.

copper_handle_nco_sword_5737_40.jpeg

copper_handle_nco_sword_5737_43.jpeg

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Well, i think i entered the twilight zone by reading this thread....

the stamping on the blade is 2532.... not 2552 !!

 

 

The Tang is original, with repaired end.

 

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4 hours ago, Stegel said:

Well, i think i entered the twilight zone by reading this thread....

the stamping on the blade is 2532.... not 2552 !!

 

 

The Tang is original, with repaired end.

 

Good catch on the number, Ernie!

 

And after looking closer, I agree on the nakago as original.  The welding at the jiri is obvious, even showing heat marks.  The "weld" at the habaki-end is some gunk/corrosion, which is often mistaken for weld marks.  There is no heat rainbow, and the edges line up quite perfectly with no break.

Copper repair.jpg

Copper repair2.jpg

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Tang looks completely original, I didn't realise anyone had suggested otherwise. You can see the stamp in your picture, Bruce. Nicely cleaned up pics, but the weld on the end.... horrible, definitely looks like a home job.

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10 hours ago, Stegel said:

The stamping on the blade is 2532.... not 2552 !!

 

The tang is original, with repaired end.

 

Me thinks Stegel has x-ray vision!  The rework number is indeed 2532.  The 3 has that downward turn at the top which can be misleading at first sight.

 

I too am having second thoughts about the tang.  I have noted that some swords have corrosion at this same location.  The habaki area is usually fairly clean followed by staining in the crossguard area.  This is followed by corrosion at the ferrule and tsuka juncture.

 

The lengthwise scratches/serrations seen on the tang could just be part of the production process by the 1st Factory.  This can be seen on the arsenal sword 造兵刀 over at Ohmura's website as well.  Also note the similarity in the markings on the nakago.

造兵刀 Army Arsenal blade

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2 hours ago, BANGBANGSAN said:

Where is the Mekugi hole in the middle if it's 造兵刀 Tang?

No, you're right, and Stegel's right.  It's the original nakago.

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23 hours ago, BANGBANGSAN said:

Where is the mekugi hole in the middle if it's 造兵刀 tang?

 

There was some initial confusion at the beginning of this thread in regards to the blade 刀身.  However, the blade 刀身 and tang 茎 fall within the parameters of an original Type 95 九五式軍刀 blade other than the repair at the end of the tang .  Only the markings, a Kokura logo and ホ inspection mark, are similar to an arsenal sword 造兵刀.  Ohmura sensei has pictures of two copper handle blades that can be seen at his website.  As you can see by comparing the profiles, the sword above is clearly a Type 95 sword blade and not a 造兵刀.  Hence no middle mekugiana 目釘孔 in the tang 茎.

Army sword steel and blade

 

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On 1/6/2021 at 5:39 AM, Kiipu said:

  It is my opinion that these swords were reworked by the 1st Factory of Kokura Army Arsenal 小倉陸軍造兵廠第一製造所. 

 

 

Thomas

I agree with you on this

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2 hours ago, Kiipu said:

Here is the link for serial number 5809.

Japanese NCO Sword found in the TRASH!

 

Just for your info guys.....that particular sword surfaced one day earlier over at Gunboards Forum: https://www.gunboards.com/threads/Japanese-sword-found-in-the-trash.291010/#post-2361496

before showing up at warrelics the next day.  A great find and the fellow was very excited as nearly everyone else was for him too! This was November 2012 !  When found it had NO scabbard as you can read in the links.

 

The next time it made an appearance,  was in a dealers site in March 2019. Here it amazingly now had a matching scabbard, as can be seen here now:

The likely hood of actually HAVING the scabbard and finding the CORRECT sword would HAVE TO BE A VERY LONG SHOT in my opinion.

Looks like a good job ,but the fonts are the give away clues to me.

Here's the sales pitch from back in March 2019:

 

Quote

Home » Catalog » New Items » Japanese » Swords
Japanese Copper Hilt NCO Sword
This is an extremely rare sword, if you look you will find a list of the known ones in existence. I think on the WAF a list was posted in the Japanese section that list the numbers of the known examples, I don't think this one is on that list. In the picture the fit of the tusks looks off but that is not true when you hold it. One of the reasons I think they moved away from the copper hilts is the copper is soft. When something is hit the tusk tends to get a little bend to it, this is really common to see on these. This one if you look closely has a small bend to the hilt, not too noticeable and "just the way most of these are". and why they stopped making them. The hilt has a very pleasing color to the way it patinated over the years. The serrate is also present, just a piece of copper that is functional and also has a nice matching patina tot he rest of the hilt. This one is serial numbered 5809 on the blade and has the matching number on the scabbard throat. This is actually a super rare example because the later numbers have a second serial number in larger numbers on the blade, this one is 2182. The blade has spotting on it but could be cleaned, it would cost hundreds and probably worth it for one of these, I am leaving it alone. The scabbard is also worn but not abused, there is "about" half of the paint is present. The scabbards on these are much more different then the normal NCO swords, they have a brass plug for the drag. I think the highest known serial number of these is "around" 6000 last I knew, they probably made under 7000 of these and the known ones in existence is under 100 so super rare!
Price: $4,650.00
SKU: CopperHiltNCO

 

After 7 years i cannot point fingers at the dealer directly, so have refrained from actually naming him here.

CopperHilt58092.JPG

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CopperHilt58097.JPG

CopperHilt58099.JPG

IMG_4476.JPG

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On 1/7/2021 at 8:05 AM, Kiipu said:

 

Me thinks Stegel has x-ray vision!  The rework number is indeed 2532.  The 3 has that downward turn at the top which can be misleading at first sight.

 

No, not x-ray vision, i wish!

In fact i found the original sellers pictures quite reasonable quality even at the small size of the files. They showed enough to see the details of the whole sword.

Here's the pics to preserve the thread and make it useful for future readers.

You should be able to see 2532 quite clearly.

In my opinion, it is a reasonably good piece, even if it has a mismatched scabbard.

Depending on the price, it could be a good addition to a new collector until something better comes along.

 

 

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