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Mark C

Sword's sale history

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Hi Everyone,

 

Hope you are all well.

 

I was giving my small collection an inspection and clean when a thought crossed my mind. I wondered if I could find the sale history of any of my swords, So I chose a tanto attributed to Aizu Kanetomo.

 

Jumped onto Google and surprise surprise, I found three different sites selling my little tanto.

 

1 – Ebay from a Japanese seller (Dec 2017)

2 – Militaria dealer in the UK (July 2018)

3 – Militaria dealer in the UK (Feb 2020)

4 – Me (Dec 2020)

 

That’s all I can find for the moment and obviously this only covers shop/dealer sales and not personnel sales.

 

I keep a file on each of my swords and this will be an interesting addition to this tanto’s file.

 

Just wondering if anyone else has done the same thing with their swords?

 

All the best

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Dear Mark.

 

All pre internet but I have a tanto which I bought from a dealer in the 1990 and have subsequently found in an auction catalogue from 1977,  can't vouch for the owner in between.

 

All the best.

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Just heard this from a guy who's sending me a sword (which is headed for Australia) - Made in Japan, traveled to New Guinea, then to (Chicago, I think), then to Wabash IN, now heading for Colorado and on to Australia.  Almost made it full circle!

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I've been tracking interesting swords down bit obsessively for the last some years.

 

When your item is really high quality (unfortunately I don't have any of those yet) you can see it appearing on publications etc., if it is for example Jūyō sword by NBTHK it gets pretty easy to track it down if you know some data on it. So I can (relatively easy) track down if/when that same sword has been for sale by online dealers that I am aware of . Sometimes it is possible for other papered items too as they can appear from several different dealers over time.

 

The longest ownership history on a piece that I have personally owned was for a tachi from Nanbokuchō period. The previous owner that I purchased the sword from relayed me info and copies of his purchase from a Japanese dealer that he bought the item from. And I gave those printed pages to the new owner when I sold the sword. So he has documentation for 1 step further down in ownership tree.

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Other than tracking how the price has changed over the years, of what use are these historical data? Not exactly what I would call "provenance."

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You are right Ken, Not provenance and I would never claim that it would be.

 

I personally think it is just interesting info to have.

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The provenance of high quality swords might be easier to follow, I think. But for other items it might be more interesting to see the development of price in it's history. 

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