For Sale: Howard Clark san mai tanto
This listing is marked SOLD and is no longer available

Hello everyone,

I am relisting this item! $1250 including shipping to CONUS (payment via paypal). In my opinion this is an absolute steal, especially since Mr. Clark currently charges $1200 for an UNPOLISHED, monosteel tanto without habaki or shirasaya.

Howard Clark San-Mai Tanto
Nagasa: 7, Form: hira-zukuri
Hada: 900-layer itame pattern-welded skin steel by Daryl Meier, with some prominent but very tight weld lines.
Hamon: notare, crossing from skin steel to 1086m core steel.
Signature: O-Mimi ("Big Ear," aka Howard Clark).
Construction: san-mai, with 900-layer itame-hada Meier skin steel over hard 1086m core steel.
Condition: full polish with true honoki shirasaya by Keith Larman, moderate marks from uchiko, small superficial scratch on kissaki.
Habaki: copper, by Howard Clark.

This is the top tanto in my avatar image and is pretty special. A really cool feature is that in the spine, you can see the split between core and jacket steel from the way the hamon changes appearance.

It was one of a pair of unusual tanto made by Mr. Clark as an experiment with an especially hard batch of Meier steel, and when Keith Larman sold it to me he reckoned it was one of the toughest tanto Howard had made at that time. Howard Clark no longer offers san mai or even forge folded items on a customer order basis (he sometimes makes and sells them on his own volition). It is wonderfully sharp, with a great feel and lots of interesting activity.

There are a couple of important notes. First, a couple years ago I received a cheap sample of uchiko and used it on this tanto before discovering just how cheap it was. The result is a couple of light, round scuff marks (hard to photograph). It is not usually noticeable without thoroughly cleaning the blade and examination under revealing light. The activity and the hada are still totally clear and visible. Second, there is a small superficial scratch in the kissaki region on one side. I am attaching a photo that shows what I am referring to. Again, this is a purely cosmetic defect and I am considering its effect in my pricing, but I don't feel that it detracts from the many things I enjoy about this blade. You may wish to have the saya cleaned as I suspect there is a foreign element inside it causing this scratch.

I encourage you to check out similar offerings currently on sale by Keith Larman and Ted Tenold at their respective websites. I think you'll agree that my asking price compares favorably taking all variables into account. Likewise, as of this posting Howard Clark charges $1200 for an unpolished tanto in plain 1086. Polishing can cost around $100/inch for many well-known togishi in the US, and that doesn't necessarily take habaki and shirasaya into account.

This would be a great tanto for collection, appreciation, or mounting. Interested parties can contact me via PM or email.
-Gabriel L.

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2009-06-30 hc sanmai tanto 2313.jpg

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2009-06-30 hc sanmai tanto 2318.jpg

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2009-06-30 hc sanmai tanto 2322.jpg
You can see the scratch I refer to in the description.

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Howard Clark did the copper habaki.

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Last edited by Gabriel Lebec on Wed 15 Sep, 2010 3:14 pm; edited 13 times in total
This listing is marked SOLD and is no longer available

I'm adding some old photos that Keith originally took. I think they show off some of this blade's nicer qualities. ;)

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This listing is marked SOLD and is no longer available

Hi everyone, this is now available for $1650 with shipping to the continental US.

Last edited by Gabriel Lebec on Wed 15 Sep, 2010 3:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
This listing is marked SOLD and is no longer available

Bumping this back to the top with an all-time low of $1250 including shipping to CONUS. That is practically giving away the upgrade from monosteel to san mai, the polish, the habaki, the shirasaya! Ive had a lot of interest in this blade since I listed it but several cancellations later it remains available; at this price, I cannot imagine it staying that way for long.

Will also entertain reasonable offers. PM or email me (links below).

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