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started my collection at a garage sale?!


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4 hours ago, Grey Doffin said:

Hi Seth,

You don't really want to get this sword polished; it would be a mistake to do that now (if ever).  Imagine we are talking about poker, not swords.  You have just learned what playing cards are and you're wondering how to sign up for the World Series of Poker.

Read, study, ask questions, but don't be in a hurry.  There is nothing you can do with Japanese swords today that you won't be able to do later and with more knowledge.  If you'd like to ask a bunch of questions feel free to call sometime.  I am not an authority but I have been at it for nearly 40 years and will help where I can.

Grey  218-726-0395 US central time

I really appreciate it!!  Not a poker player LOL!!

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Blazeaglory said:

 

 

Sorry I should have said a PROFESSIONAL polishing/ sharpening Haha

 

150$ is a super deal for that nihonto! I love hearing stories like this! But going forward you need to take good care of it. There is special meaning in nihonto and there are a set of procedures and rules that we need to follow to be caretakers for these hunks of metal.

 

I myself came here thinking that nihonto were like any other sword but boy was I wrong. Everything is different about nihonto from the method of forging to the method of polishing. It truly is an art. 

 

If that's your first find than you're in a good spot. I do see a serious flaw in the kissaki that I think they call a "crows beak"? I don't think it can be fixed with a professional sharpening but maybe it could be adjusted and taken down a bit.  It's not cheap tho. The mei looks like it had gold paint in it but at the same time it looks like someone had tried removing something. Either way, mei aside, the sword looks legit. It's a keeper!

 

That really helps!  I can live with the condition as it is.  Definitely starting a long journey!!!

 

Thanks again.

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8 hours ago, Rivkin said:

Why gimei?

90% of Muromachi Bizen signatures are done in thin script, with pronounced thinning in the middle of most strikes, typically with vertical strikes aligning parallel to the edge, with more or less constant distance towards it.

Here the writing is as broad as a typical shinto style, the angling of strikes is random, the distance is poorly maintained.

Sugata of late Muromachi wakizashi can be a tad straight, but one would hope for more graceful curvature. Maybe photography distorted it.

Maybe I am used to somewhat upper grade Muromachi Bizen, and this one is a really dustbin example, but I doubt that. 

 

Just a personal opinion.

 

 

It seems to be a thing around here.  I've noticed that many members will claim gimei almost instantly. 

 

Personally if a sword comes in signed it'll remain suspect in my eyes but I honestly feel that quite a few are legit. The only way to find out is shinsa. Even then tho the shinsa could be wrong but I don't think they're wrong much and they're right more times than most people here. 

 

Instead of immediately claiming "gimei", unless it's painfully obvious,  maybe we could just say "suspect" Haha

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3 hours ago, Darkcon said:

Gimei is the rule of thumb :)

Then comes kantei. Books.. whatnot ..

 

 

John

 

Detecting a gimei is not astrology

Detecting a gimei is not so easy, it cannot be done without authentic examples, throughout the career of a smith. Recently, I made a mistake on a Masayuki I know well.

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1 hour ago, Jacques D. said:

 

Detecting a gimei is not astrology

Detecting a gimei is not so easy, it cannot be done without authentic examples, throughout the career of a smith. Recently, I made a mistake on a Masayuki I know well.

 

*next song*

More music less Jacques D.

 

 

John

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Well we are in the middle of a heat wave, (for the UK that means the drizzle is slightly warm) so even the prospect of a coat is un bearable.  Don't even think about getting yours John!

 

Kirill's comment, like so many aphorisms, has a great deal of truth in it but we work with what we have got and on a forum that means we are largely at the mercy of photographs and papers. In this case we have an out of polish sword with a mei and we are not even agreed on what the mei says yet.   Sometimes we can help along the way but definitive answers are hard to come by and usually the best results are from some of the swords which have gone on to polish and shinsa.  

 

From time to time a friend will turn up with a sword or two and we look at them together, one spots something the other had not picked up on and vice versa, we throw around some ideas and in the process learn a little from each other, it's not high level kantei but it's fun.  That's pretty much what is going on here though some are able to offer more informed opinions, generally we are tolerant of each other and if someone throws out an idea somebody else is on hand to counter and in the process, hopefully everyone learns a little more.

 

In spit of the heat wave maybe I'd better get my coat now.

 

All the best.

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You're absolutely right Geraint. Joking apart though, I don't see enough swords in hand and so I spend too much time on Swordhub getting off on other people's finds and purchases.

 

It can affect your eyesight can't it? :freak:

 

 

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Funnily enough Geraint I had just that experience a couple of days ago. A friend from over the border was able to visit for the first time in more than a year and we had a great afternoon looking at blades and discussing what we saw. Sad to say he forgot one when he left so I now have the opportunity to study a beautiful ko-wakizashi for an extra couple of weeks. It was great to have that opportunity.

I find I am increasingly caught between the devil and deep blue sea. I understand Kirill's comment (I think) On various platforms focus on papers is largely used as a substitute and shortcut to study. However the counter that are those with their own agenda damning the attribution systems. We send a very confusing message to anyone starting out in this field. 

Sorry I don't want to divert the thread I was just motivated by Geraint's comments about meetings. Sitting with friends studying swords in hand is definitely the best way to go

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10 hours ago, Shugyosha said:

You're absolutely right Geraint. Joking apart though, I don't see enough swords in hand and so I spend too much time on Swordhub getting off on other people's finds and purchases.

 

It can affect your eyesight can't it? :freak:

 

 

 

Yep! We're sword voyeurists Haha

 

I've seen a couple dozen swords in hand and several of them were very high end but my favorite swords to see are the complete/semi complete WW2 bring backs. The military models. 

 

As a collector,  I'm all for koto blades,  preferably early Muromachi and prior but my immediate second are WW2 military swords in full koshirae

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10 hours ago, paulb said:

Funnily enough Geraint I had just that experience a couple of days ago. A friend from over the border was able to visit for the first time in more than a year and we had a great afternoon looking at blades and discussing what we saw. Sad to say he forgot one when he left so I now have the opportunity to study a beautiful ko-wakizashi for an extra couple of weeks. It was great to have that opportunity.

I find I am increasingly caught between the devil and deep blue sea. I understand Kirill's comment (I think) On various platforms focus on papers is largely used as a substitute and shortcut to study. However the counter that are those with their own agenda damning the attribution systems. We send a very confusing message to anyone starting out in this field. 

Sorry I don't want to divert the thread I was just motivated by Geraint's comments about meetings. Sitting with friends studying swords in hand is definitely the best way to go

 

Well it's a very confusing hobby to have lol

 

My connoisseurs guide looks like it's 100 years old and the pages are brown from so much page turning. And still I am at a loss in many cases. But the reward comes from learning what to look for and before we know it we're fairly knowledgeable in regards to basic kantei

 

All the headaches are worth it lol

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I agree with Matt and Ray that the second kanji of the mei looks like Iye, but the references that are easily found don't list such a person.  On the other hand, if it is Mune, as Steve has suggested, there are several men it could be.  As the you can see, Seth, this is a sport with lots of intellectual challenges and a good bit of fun.  I agree with Grey and others that it is unlikely that this sword is worth a polish, but it is most likely worth $150 and you can get your money back, plus extra, on ebay when it comes time to upgrade your nascent collection.  As to the maker, whether it is Iye or Mune, it is written in an iconic way, meaning that if you were to search for Sukemune in the books that have Bizen oshigata, his mei would stand out among the others.  Enjoy!

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On 7/22/2021 at 11:45 AM, Surfson said:

I agree with Matt and Ray that the second kanji of the mei looks like Iye, but the references that are easily found don't list such a person.  On the other hand, if it is Mune, as Steve has suggested, there are several men it could be.  As the you can see, Seth, this is a sport with lots of intellectual challenges and a good bit of fun.  I agree with Grey and others that it is unlikely that this sword is worth a polish, but it is most likely worth $150 and you can get your money back, plus extra, on ebay when it comes time to upgrade your nascent collection.  As to the maker, whether it is Iye or Mune, it is written in an iconic way, meaning that if you were to search for Sukemune in the books that have Bizen oshigata, his mei would stand out among the others.  Enjoy!

 

So far it has been both confusing and challenging!  I will hold on to this one for sentimental purposes- and will continue my hunt for others!

 

Thank you Bob

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Seth, a good rule of thumb is to totally ignore the mai, if any. The blade will identify itself through its other characteristics.

 

Markus Sesko, our most-prolific member, has posted a university-level series of articles, https://markussesko.com/kantei/, which can be used to teach yourself the correct way to evaluate (kantei) Nihonto. Welcome, & enjoy the journey.

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