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Dominik F




Location: Czech Republic
Joined: 29 Oct 2014

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2014 6:06 am    Post subject: Real 1655 Katana?         Reply with quote

Hi,

there is an offer of an interesting sword - see images at http://imgur.com/a/GBRlB . The mei, according to the seller, should date it to 1655. Can you say whether it is a fake or give some better information?

Thank you Happy



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Last edited by Dominik F on Wed 29 Oct, 2014 10:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
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Posts: 1,265

PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2014 6:21 am    Post subject: Real 1655 Katana?         Reply with quote


I think this katana is modern, not from 1655. Guardless katanas were not yet made at that time.

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
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Dominik F




Location: Czech Republic
Joined: 29 Oct 2014

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2014 6:25 am    Post subject: Re: Real 1655 Katana?         Reply with quote

Shahril Dzulkifli wrote:

I think this katana is modern, not from 1655. Guardless katanas were not yet made at that time.


It is of course only a blade in a wooden cover, not a complete sword.
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2014 10:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, it is only a shira-saya mounting. Japanese swords are very different from European swords in that they are designed to be dismounted and re-mounted as the owner pleases, much more easily. Shirasaya are used to store the blade in the interim.

That said, there are a number of nihonto forums online that you may be better served inquiring at. Your imgur link is not functioning.

What is of real concern is the tang and any possible inscriptions to be seen there. The blade and shirasaya could be from basically any period from the look of it, although my guess is the shirasaya is probably modern. It is a nice simple form and has a simple straight hamon. Hard to really date by that.
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Dominik F




Location: Czech Republic
Joined: 29 Oct 2014

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2014 10:28 am    Post subject: Updated link         Reply with quote

The link included the dot behind it, corrected it now. http://imgur.com/a/GBRlB
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Jussi Ekholm




Location: Tampere, Finland
Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Reading list: 38 books

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2014 1:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Based on those pictures I think I would skip it fast. The condition does not seem very good, and I think the signature is highly questionable based on those pics.

I think omote side could start with Higo 肥後, I can't really see the rest due to angle & lighting, and I really didn't bother to look closely. If the owner says it dates to 1655, then year would be Meireki 明暦, but I don't see a real date on the ura side.

Of course everyone looks different things when they are looking for a sword, and price is always a big factor. But I would not recommend buying that sword, there are plenty of affordable swords around that are in my opinion better buys.

Jussi Ekholm
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2014 10:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It also does not help that the small diamond-shaped inserts around the mekugi-ana appear almost like square metal nuts, which obviously would be a very modern contrivance and highly out of place on an authentic shirasaya fitting...
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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2014 10:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Real 1655 Katana?         Reply with quote

Shahril Dzulkifli wrote:

I think this katana is modern, not from 1655. Guardless katanas were not yet made at that time.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_sword_mountings

Shihril, here is a link to a very good Wikipedia article which explains Japanese sword mountings. The plain wood storage fittings (shirasaya) are made without a guard (tsuba). The shirasaya can be old but they can also be newly made, usually when a Japanese sword has been polished it will be stored in a new plain wooden shirsaya, this protects the finish from any contaminants and small particles that may ruin the newly polished surface. The more ornate fittings that the sword would have been mounted in when being worn will be kept with the blade but not used again for holding the sword. Polishing a Japanese sword is extremely expensive and the finish can easily be scratched, stained etc.


Last edited by Eric S on Thu 30 Oct, 2014 12:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2014 11:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

another way to check the age is the condition of the nakago, nakago were left unpolished as the buildup of rust and patination helped indicate the age, that along with the signature, but thats something done by specialist appraisers
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 321

PostPosted: Thu 30 Oct, 2014 10:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Certainly no expert on Japanese blades. But as a word of caution - I've heard it's VERY hard to judge the authenticity ( or otherwise) of Japanese blades without actually having the blade PHYSICALLY checked over by a RECOGNISED expert on Japanese blades. From what I've gathered, Japanese blades are amongst the most faked blades around Sad A photograph can only give an indication - some 'fakes" can be picked simply from looking at a photo - but GOOD fakes are a lot harder to judge without a detailed physical examination of lots of pretty subtle signs.
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David Cooper




Location: UK
Joined: 27 Apr 2008
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Posts: 110

PostPosted: Fri 31 Oct, 2014 1:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not really a lot to add. As has been said the modern shirasaya is not relevant to the swords authenticity. Faked Japanese swords range from obvious Chinese horrors ( which this is not), through to modern made good quality fakes. What is often the case is that you may have a genuine old blade but the signature (mei) is not genuine. It may have been added later or a lesser quality smith may have put the name of a better smith on the blade way back in the past. A word of warning the nakago (tang) does look very clean. This can make expert valuation very difficult and would reduce the value of the blade.
The journey not the destination
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Dominik F




Location: Czech Republic
Joined: 29 Oct 2014

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri 31 Oct, 2014 1:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The seller sais he has /somewhere/ some sort of japanese export permit.

If assumed the blade is genuine, what would be an appropriate price?
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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Posts: 2,229

PostPosted: Fri 31 Oct, 2014 2:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Reminded me of this:
https://www.aukcije.hr/prodaja/kolekcionarstvo/Militarija/Trofejno-oruzje/278/oglas/WAKIZASHI-katana-stara-oko-450-godina-sablja-IETADA/2693657/

It's a Croatian site for selling antiques. The seller also claims he has a Japanese export papers, but proof of authenticity supposedly had to stay in Japan. The sword is similar to the one you posted...
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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Fri 31 Oct, 2014 5:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dominik F wrote:
The seller sais he has /somewhere/ some sort of japanese export permit.


If someone in Japan has a sword to sell overseas they must get an export permit, this takes some additional time to obtain.
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David Lewis Smith




Location: NC
Joined: 26 Aug 2003
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 484

PostPosted: Fri 31 Oct, 2014 7:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I hate to direct people to another forum but one of the nihinto forums that only talks about nihinto (swords made properly in Japan) might be the best place to go to
David L Smith
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