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Tanto ? Poor condition advice please


Haigmcc
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Hi, 

 

Please forgive me for stumbling onto the forum, I have had for many years, a broken Japanese dagger which I think is a tanto ? Which I recovered from my loft recently, After some Googling I removed what was left of the handle (gently) and discovered a makers mark which despite trying to research is illegible to me


the scabbard/sheath is in poor condition as is the handle and the tip is broken, could any member identify this date it or give advice as to what to do with it please

 

Thank you

Haig  

 

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Hello Haig,

Your tantō has the signature of 源信國吉政 Minamoto Nobukuni Yoshimasa.

He was a smith who worked in the mid-1600s. There may have been more than one smith who used this mei, I think you will find more information if you search around on the internet for him. I found a listing for a sword from him (below).

https://www.samuraimuseum.jp/shop/product/antique-Japanese-sword-katana-signed-by-nobukuni-yoshimasa-nbthk-hozon-certificate/

 

As always, there is no guarantee the signature on your sword isn't a forgery. It has been common throughout Japanese history to put signatures on swords in an effort to boost their price/desirability. 

 

Your tantō and the scabbard are indeed in rough shape. I'd take the tantō to someone in the UK who can advise if its salvageable. Well, in general we all would like to see every antique sword restored to its former glory, but in some cases it isn't worth the expense and effort. In some cases, it might even cause more harm than good. Anyway, there should be someone in the UK who can help you sort this out. We have a few posters here from your region that might chime in.  Stay tuned.

 

(PS you can also search this forum for tips on storage and oiling the blade)

 

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1 hour ago, SteveM said:

Hello Haig,

Your tantō has the signature of 源信國吉政 Minamoto Nobukuni Yoshimasa.

He was a smith who worked in the mid-1600s. There may have been more than one smith who used this mei, I think you will find more information if you search around on the internet for him. I found a listing for a sword from him (below).

https://www.samuraimuseum.jp/shop/product/antique-Japanese-sword-katana-signed-by-nobukuni-yoshimasa-nbthk-hozon-certificate/

 

As always, there is no guarantee the signature on your sword isn't a forgery. It has been common throughout Japanese history to put signatures on swords in an effort to boost their price/desirability. 

 

Your tantō and the scabbard are indeed in rough shape. I'd take the tantō to someone in the UK who can advise if its salvageable. Well, in general we all would like to see every antique sword restored to its former glory, but in some cases it isn't worth the expense and effort. In some cases, it might even cause more harm than good. Anyway, there should be someone in the UK who can help you sort this out. We have a few posters here from your region that might chime in.  Stay tuned.

 

(PS you can also search this forum for tips on storage and oiling the blade)

 

 

1 hour ago, SteveM said:

Hello Haig,

Your tantō has the signature of 源信國吉政 Minamoto Nobukuni Yoshimasa.

He was a smith who worked in the mid-1600s. There may have been more than one smith who used this mei, I think you will find more information if you search around on the internet for him. I found a listing for a sword from him (below).

https://www.samuraimuseum.jp/shop/product/antique-Japanese-sword-katana-signed-by-nobukuni-yoshimasa-nbthk-hozon-certificate/

 

As always, there is no guarantee the signature on your sword isn't a forgery. It has been common throughout Japanese history to put signatures on swords in an effort to boost their price/desirability. 

 

Your tantō and the scabbard are indeed in rough shape. I'd take the tantō to someone in the UK who can advise if its salvageable. Well, in general we all would like to see every antique sword restored to its former glory, but in some cases it isn't worth the expense and effort. In some cases, it might even cause more harm than good. Anyway, there should be someone in the UK who can help you sort this out. We have a few posters here from your region that might chime in.  Stay tuned.

 

(PS you can also search this forum for tips on storage and oiling the blade)

 

Hi SteveM thank you for your reply, that is very interesting, hopefully someone in the uk will chip in with ideas

 

Haig

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Hi Haig 

 

what part of Scotland are you from , there is still quite few collectors up here and  there are reginal Token meetings usually held in Glasgow 2/3 times a year .

 

pity about the damaged Kissaki , it needs checked to  see if there is still enough of the boshi left ?

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Hello Haig

Your are correct, you have a Tanto dagger that looks like it was once an attractive example. Don’t know how much you know about Japanese blades…..they have a hardened border of steel along the edge which should curve around to follow the shape of the tip. The tip is called a kissaki. That hardened edge around the tip is called a Boshi. If the tip is badly chipped it is possible that the hardened edge simply disappears off the end of the blade. That is bad news from a value perspective as it cannot be repaired. If however the hardened edge was wide enough to survive the bad chip ie some of it remains then it might be salvageable. As Ray says…..it needs to be looked at.

The saya (sheath or scabbard) and the tsuka (handle) can also be repaired with vary levels of success. It is all highly specialised work. 
can you show any clear closeup images of the tip area….say the last 2 inches?

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Welcome, Haig. Please browse over to http:// http://nbthk-ab.org/cleaning-maintenance.html to start understanding how to handle your blade. Please note that black rust is good, but red rust is active, & is bad.

 

Please be very-careful how you clean the blade. It may be old & damaged, but, it's still a piece of history, & we, as caretakers, are responsible for not making its condition any worse.

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Hi Ray and Matsumoto, I live in Dumfries South West Scotland, thank you both for the information it’s very interesting. I acquired the blade when I was helping clear out a convent around 40 odd years ago (honestly) I think they used it for plays or possibly for art. 
 

I will post a picture of the tip, Matsunoki, I know nothing about Japanese blades but do collect conventional knifes I don’t really know what to do with it to be honest it’s beautiful even in its current state and there is no comparison to my modern knifes

 

I have tried to show the density of the grain I the tip

 

thank you both for taking the time to reply

 

haig

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