Post by Undead Merchant on Nov 20, 2020 3:31:47 GMT
So if you've ever wanted an actual Nihonto or you're just into militaria this is your lucky thread: I'm selling a Kanbun era blade from the early Edo period (about 1670s) mounted in a custom World War 2 era Type 98 Shin Gunto Koshirae. 3500$ USD 2500$.
Vital Stats are: 67.7cm Nagasa 0.5cm Sori 2.9cm Motohaba 2cm Sakihaba Torokusho Certificate and Japanese Export Approval
Comes with a free sword bag, spare ashi, and free shipment for American buyers if bought at 3500$ 2900$2500$, else they are up to negotiations. I ship from USA and will do international shipment but you're responsible for tariffs and laws; however, I ship under 9706.00.0060 (Antiques Of Age Exceeding One Hundred Years, Others) and have documenting evidence from Japan's Art and Craft Section of the Cultural Agency where this sword is designated a Nihonto and given permission to export so import fees if any should be kept to a minimum.
Post by Undead Merchant on Nov 20, 2020 3:41:51 GMT
As for the details: I'm not as good at Kantei as the professional dealers but it's a very obvious Kanbun Shinto blade shape: little curvature just like the wooden shinae, longish, tapering, very light and quick compared to my cut down early Nanbokucho -which while nice looking would have been unwieldly in a duel- and easy on the hand. The blade has a lot of black Nie crystals, a fine komokume hada, and a konie Suguha Hamon which makes me think it might be from the Hizen school but I can't be certain.
What I can say is it's in a very healthy shape with lots of metal left, unaltered geometry sans a machi-okuri (ha-machi being moved up) when they mounted it in gunto koshirae and still mostly in polish. The main defects are a couple of tiny rust marks, and some scratches -probably because the officer that owned it used Uchiko to keep rust away in wet conditions. Polish is a WWII era Kesho polish, one of the two types of traditional Japanese polishes. I'm personally not a fan of Kesho since it looks less natural but it makes the Hamon ultra prominent, hada dark, and lots of people love that since it's got a bling factor that way. It is certainly much easier on the sword than machine polishes which might change the geometry and take away too much metal, or acid enhanced Hamon which cause coarse grain and little pitted sites for rust formation.
Fittings are also quite good, this is one of the few gunto to still have a leather cover, which by the way apart from the chords, is still supple and in good shape. As I said, it's a WW2 era special order: if you were a commissioned officer you could use a family blade as your sword and have it mounted in custom fittings and even use nonstandard colors. The sheath under the leather cover is green lacquered, most of the fittings are gold plated brass except the habaki, and the top seppa which appear to be silver plated; tassel is the company grade officer blue and red and is in excellent condition. The only significant flaws are a few cracks on the leather near the mouth of the sheath, a weak lock mechanism that opens if you apply too much force, and that the ashi hanger is broken, I have a spare ashi taken from another type 98 Gunto that I can provide. All the gunto fittings have matching serial numbers which means this blade is still in original condition.
This sword has interesting provenance because unlike most gunto it was not seized by the allies but instead stayed in Japan, hidden till it was certified in a Shinsa in 1995, something only traditionally made swords can pass. I bought it from a Japanese dealer I'm friends with and it received export permission from the Japanese government’s Cultural Agency. I thought I'd be keeping this one but my cat's been diagnosed with stage 4 basal carcinoma so I'm going to part with part of my collection to help cover his bills.
I think 3500$ for a 350-year-old blade in good shape and old Japanese fittings is a good deal. Nearly all antique blades start at 4000$ and usually just come in a plain shirsaya but as I mentioned I'm open to reasonable offers.
Post by Undead Merchant on Nov 20, 2020 4:05:51 GMT
Edit: The silk koshirae bag in the picture is what a buyer will get along with the purchase. I'm no expert but I can say its of much better quality than the cheap purple synthetic bags you usually see.
Post by Undead Merchant on Jan 9, 2021 1:12:29 GMT
Update: I’m offering a price cut to 2900$. If that stimulus check is burning a hole in your pocket then this would be a great pick. A fine old, Edo Period sword without significant flaws in good condition war era officer’s koshirae for sub-3000$ is a deal you won’t find often. Questions are welcome.
Would you be open to a trade or partial trade? I have several antique American swords from between 1800-1850 and have been interested in getting a good, authentic katana
Industrial Age swords aren’t exactly my area of expertise but I’m open to offers. That’s said, money would be more desirable given the cat. Don’t get me wrong though, I love European style blades too, especially rapiers and side swords but I’m not near as good at appraising and selling them.
Hi there - I am new to katana purchase. So apologize in advance if I am asking a silly question. With your permission, I'd like to learn how to tell if this sword is truly from the edo period?
Absolutely and sorry about the late reply. In short, you want it to be the right shape like a good straight shinogi and a well defined yokote and kisaki. If those are bad either a terrible polish has caused structural damage or it’s more likely a fake, I stay way from those because even if it’s real it’s a gamble to fix.
Secondly, you want to see activities, nie (those little dark grains on the steel) are a good one since oil tempering and non traditional methods can’t make those in large amounts. If you got the shape and activities, then it’s almost certainly traditionally made. Swords that aren’t super expensive might often be partly out of polish but unless it’s really in need of a polish, activities should be visible on part of the blade.
As for the time period, the easiest way is shape: preferences and needs changed over time, so a Kamakura sword and a Kanbun sword are different in shape and proportions. This sword is from the kanbun time period, the reason I say that is because it’s fairly long, tapers, and has very little curvature compared to say, a Kamakura sword. And yes shortening can obscure the original shape a bit, my Nabokoku cho sword was originally a big tachi, those have a lot of curve at the start and it was cut down to make it useable on foot which makes it look straightish but it’s meatier than kanbun, has a high shinogi and larger kisaki. Markus Sesko has a very good guide on how to use shape to appraise time period markussesko.com/2015/04/03/kantei-1-sugata-6/
Finally you can use the hamon and activities to guess what school made it. In this case I know it’s a kanbun era sword, and it has a suguha hamon with nie, the hada is mostly dense komokume, often with nie inside each wood grain, so knowing that hizen is a reasonable guess. Out of everything, the tradition is the least certain, the shape and time period is unmistakably early Edo, the school less certain since many others made swords with lots of Nie, mokume and suguha.
Anyways, that’s why I can guarantee it’s from the Kanbun era of the Edo period, and think hizen is the likely place of manufacture although it could have been another kanbun period tradition.
Post by Undead Merchant on Apr 12, 2021 20:23:04 GMT
Price Cut to 2700$! Free shipment for American buyers, international I have to charge 100$ USD because I don’t want to send this without full insurance.
2700$ is my final offer and a crazy cheap price for a healthy Edo period sword with good gunto koshirae. I can’t afford to go any lower and might try to sell it through a dealer if this price doesn’t work out.
Post by Undead Merchant on Jun 8, 2021 23:15:02 GMT
Yeah it’s a tough old sword. Polish is pretty good overall but you can see scars from the last war on it. Mostly the shinogi of the monouchi: the soft parts of monouchi have some scratches left from cutting. The edge held good but whatever the officer who owned it did, he left some scars on the softer parts of the metal.
Sure it might not be a sword signed to a famous smith, or in a Juyo polish, but as far as the primary job of a sword goes, it looks like it served the officer and his family well.
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