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Lee Bray

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About Lee Bray

  • Birthday 02/04/1971

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  1. Reading through this, Alan's comment about a 'Swiss army anvil' reminded me of a video I saw about an old Sheffield smith. His anvil incorporated hot cutters, swages and a variety of things that you smiths deem useful in one anvil. Maybe of use... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpeyhC-UIFg
  2. Steve is right. it's referred to as Satsuma age shortening and refers to the period of the Satsuma rebellion where they had to utilise every available weapon and were therefore not too concerned with shape and traditions. Scroll down to the bottom of this link and you'll find some illustrations of the process. http://www.ksky.ne.jp/~sumie99/suriage.html
  3. Not disputing the final answer at all, I agree with it, just posting this here to show that Dan and I aren't completely daft. (note - weeds in the background for authenticity and to show the effectiveness of the pictured tool user...)
  4. I have a similar tool for pulling weeds.
  5. I think it is signed Iyetsugu(Iye Tsugu), which is the name of the smith. In Hawley's reference book, there are at least 50-60 Iyetsugu's dating from the 1200's to the late 1800's and coming from various schools and provinces. The two character signature would suggest earlier as it became more customary later on to sign with longer titles and sometimes a date on the other side but that is not a definite rule. The overall shape and patina on the tang suggest later Koto, maybe 1500-1600's, but that is just my rough opinion based on the pictures and no measurements. In it's current condition it will be difficult to make any conclusive assessment of it. As already said, make no attempts to clean it, just keep the blade lightly oiled and tang dry and start researching sword shows in the states where you can take it for several informed and in hand opinions. Full restoration, if that is an intention, of the sword is possible but it is not cheap so best to have some advice on whether or not it is worth it.
  6. Interesting blade. What is the length from the sharp tip to the notches above the tang? Not sure if we're looking at a katana or long wakizashi. Based on the stout, fairly straight profile of the blade, I'd hazard a wild guess that it is from either two time periods, late 1600's or 1800's. Difficult to judge with these pics and not knowing the length. The fittings are good. Especially the tsuba. The fuchi is nice but not in the same league as the tsuba based on the quality of the nanako pattern(raised dots). The tsuba is made from shakudo, an alloy of copper with a small percentage(generally 2 - 7%) of gold. The ground pattern is nanako, which means fish roe, and is normally done with a single punch per raised dot. The gold symbols are called Kiri-mon, Kiri being the paulownia flower and mon meaning family crest. The Kiri-mon was a governmental seal. I would probably class the tsuba as Kyo-kinko (kinko meaning soft metal) which essentially means it's not attributable to a particular school but was made by a soft metal artist sometime in the Edo period, 1600's -1860's. I'd put it at the later end of that scale. It is possibly Goto school but I don't think the quality is there as their work was superb. The fuchi is in shakudo with a gold/gilt dragon. Good quality but not as good as the tsuba. Hope that helps a little. For the sake of transparency, I will be sending Hloh a message after posting this in order to discuss potentially buying the sword.
  7. Swords get bent when cutting and are often straightened using wood blocks. Do not heat the blade as that will ruin the hamon. Here's a video which demonstrates the method. The sword itself does not look like a WW2 era blade, but more like a Shinto era piece. So 1600's to 1850's and I'd probably go to the earlier end of that time frame. That is based on the tang(nakago) patina and, as you correctly pointed out, the wear underneath the hamachi, which is caused by the tsuba. In its current, unpolished state it is unlikely that you can identify the school or maker of the sword. The measurements make it just shy of katana length, if my math is correct...23 1/2" Katana are 24" and above, measured from the spine(mune) of the hamachi to the tip(kissaki) of the sword. The nakago is on the short side for a katana as well, so this looks to be a long wakizashi. Best not to get too hung up on the classifications...it looks to have been mounted as a katana as the handle(tsuka) looks to be two handed. Regarding the two holes in the nakago, it may have been shortened or the extra hole may have been added for the sake of fitting to a new handle. When these swords were being used and mounted, the Japanese were not so concerned about maintaining the 'pristine' aspect as we are nowadays. From the pics, my judgement would be that it is original. The mounts(koshirae), as Mark said, are Satsuma rebellion mounts. They tended to be nondescript, utilitarian mounts, cobbled together by poor samurai for their last ditch battle against the new government. Nowadays, dealers/sellers cobble together mismatched fittings and call them "Satsuma rebellion" mounts as a sales ploy as they have become desirable in their own right but yours looks to be genuine, going by that 'washer' menuki. The tsuba is nothing special, though perfectly functional, and probably dates from the 1700's to early 1800's.
  8. It is signed Yoshichika and looks to be a match for Noshu Yoshichika. http://home.earthlink.net/~ttstein/yoshchi4.jpg (link from Dr. Richard Stein's excellent resource site - http://home.earthlink.net/~steinrl/nihonto.htm) It is dated 1944 and appears to be in late 1944 pattern mounts. As Mark says, with the stamps, this makes the sword a Showato and non traditionally made. None the less, a genuine Japanese sword and probably in its original mounting from the latter part of the war.
  9. Agreed with Mark. This is a shinogi zukuri blade, not Shobu. Eric, glad we could talk this through. Forget the signature(mei) on the seppa. It maybe an indicator to who owned the blade once but I very much doubt it indicates a maker. Seppa are simple soft metal washers between potentially expensive fuchi and tsuba(guard)and are expendable. The mei on your kogatana(utility blade) is not an indicator of great price or quality. It could be but generally the mei on kogatana are gimei(fake sig). That's not to say faked yesterday but when they were made. Google 'gimei' for the full definition. That said, they are still worth from $75 upwards.
  10. Si, comprende. Not looking for an argument, just making a point. If you don't believe that the kodzuka and kogatana blade are worth the $250, research the names I have given you and see how much they sell for. Here's a pointer - http://www.aoi-art.com/fittings/kozuka/main.html I've seen your style of kodzuka before so it is a copied design but still an Edo/late Edo period antique. I recall exactly what my 'buddies' said (and some on that forum are actual 'buddies') and the ones with half a clue said that the nakago can be repatinated and the blade looks in good enough condition to have a proper polish. The only issue is cost. Not everyone on a forum is an expert. You post your question, you read the replies and you research them. You don't just bite at the first comment. But nevermind. You've formed your opinion and that's the way it is. Good luck with the project. Edit - http://www.aoi-art.com/fittings/kozuka/F09679.html - your exact kodzuka style for 25,000Y or ~ $300.
  11. Really? As a member of NMB, I think you're over reacting. To label them all as "snobs, nobs and purists" is petty. Nobody on that thread gave you a hard time and you were given some good pointers. Yes, there was griping but you committed the ultimate sin as far as they are concerned. Bear in mind that many of these guys have spent many years studying, traveling to and working in Japan for these swords. Let alone the many thousands of dollars spent on swords and restoration. If anyone has a right to be purist, it's them. Ok, one guy offered you $250. If you read the forum with any regularity, you'd know that guy is not the sharpest pencil in the box. So be it. Just so know, the kodzuka and kogatana blade are worth more than that. As for the reaction you got, what did you expect? The internet has been around for long enough. Books even longer. Ignorance about the restoration of any item is not necessary in this day and age. The information is out there. What is needed is the patience to find that out before acting on impulse. You prefaced your entire post on NMB with 'Sorry'. You knew what you were doing. I don't mean this in a bad way but that thread on NMB coupled with the thread you started here on 'Anger'...you may want to stop reacting so quickly and think longer before acting.
  12. Slaine was a character in 2000 AD comic, a Celtic warrior whose body morphed into some freaky proportions when the berserker took him over. Slaine's berserker was more intense than the average warrior and he would experience the 'warp spasm'...which got really freaky... Classic comic and one of its better characters. Cool project, Owen.
  13. For horse bleeding, the Umabari was used. http://www.nihontomessageboard.com/nmb//viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1444&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&sid=1119faf66c60885987a44e3ebe267c8e
  14. Reading up on O-Sa and the Samonji school, your blade certainly shows attributes that corroborate the signature. The pointy boshi and long turn back being the most obvious. The nakago looks a little too 'modern'(though still old, not old enough) but that could just be me. The red rust inside the chisel strokes always makes me suspicious, too. My view would be - possibly, but more than likely gimei. Certain similarities would have me exploring further research, though. It's probably worth taking along to one of the sword shows in the States; google Token kai and it should give you plenty of info. They may have shinsa at some of those events or they'll be able to tell if it's worth sending to shinsa in Japan. Also worth posting your blade here - http://www.nihontomessageboard.com/ - for more and better opinions than mine. I couldn't find the kanji that you've pictured on the menuki(?)in my books - it's probably slightly stylised to suit the artist. The guys at NMB can probably help with that. Good info on O-Sa: http://www.nihonto.com/abtartchikuzensa.html http://www.sho-shin.com/sai2.htm
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