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Thread: Tsuba... maybe antique?? [picture]

  1. #1

    Question Tsuba... maybe antique?? [picture]

    last week a customer of mine brought to me a sword he had bought in Hong Kong (no comments ) some yrs. ago (when he didn't knew anything about swords...)...

    well, he wanted my opinion on the sword...

    It was a rather *heavy* wakizashi with an evil machine polish, nothing worth to be called even an edge and last but not least a very unprofessional made bo-hi (not correctly aligned... looked like some nasty "dremel"-tool work)...
    the steel wasn't really hardened...
    And all the usual chinese *additions* like: very rusty nakago (fe3cl...), chinese-style mei,...
    I've seen worser Chinese copies so far...

    but at least it is pattern welded, though not in japanese tradition... well I made the polish look less evil and the pattern somewhat visible (the pattern is not bad, though)
    and well he got it for really little money...


    But there was one thing which didn't match the rest of the sword (crappy blade, crappy tsuka) the TSUBA... it seemed to me to be 1. older, 2. more detailed, 3. of better quality then the rest...
    Well I've got to mention that It's not my "field of work" (fittings) so I know a little about them, except that I've seen more than I can count

    I've attached an picture (excuse the quality... I just used my scanner....)...
    Maybe one of you can tell me more...




    oh... one remarkable thing is that the right hands of both figures are colored blueish (chemically altered) but only the hands ??!?
    (maybe some chinese "update" on a real tsuba?)

    anyway

    thanks
    Daniel Gentile
    RONIN - Japanese Swords

    http://www.ronin.to
    -------------------------------------
    Open Your Eyes
    Live The Moment
    From Nothing Into Nothing

  2. #2

    I say nay...

    It may be an "antiqued" tsuba but I don't think it'd be a Japanese antique. The hitsu-ana is shaped awkwardly than what I'm accustomed to seeing. It looks like the plate is brass with some serious chemical patination going on. I believe the blued hands you're seeing is someone trying to acheive the rich blue-black patination that shakudo often contains (hence why the gentleman's left hand is still copper toned, while his right is black). The detail just doesn't look clean enough and way too artificially aged. This is just my opinion though...

  3. #3

    Re: I say nay...

    Jesse,

    Thanks...
    well I thoguht that the hitsu-ana maybe was badly "refitted" to fit the oversized wak...

    but the blue-hands stuff... yes.

    Then the one who has made the tsuba was a better worker than the smith I guess

    I was just curious about it... 'cause the blade was so simple to recognise it as chinese (well I understand more of the blades then the fittings)...


    Thanks


    daniel
    Daniel Gentile
    RONIN - Japanese Swords

    http://www.ronin.to
    -------------------------------------
    Open Your Eyes
    Live The Moment
    From Nothing Into Nothing

  4. #4

    Re: Re: I say nay...

    Originally posted by Daniel Gentile
    Jesse,

    Thanks...
    well I thoguht that the hitsu-ana maybe was badly "refitted" to fit the oversized wak...

    but the blue-hands stuff... yes.

    Then the one who has made the tsuba was a better worker than the smith I guess

    I was just curious about it... 'cause the blade was so simple to recognise it as chinese (well I understand more of the blades then the fittings)...


    Thanks
    daniel
    It's just my opinion so take it for what it's worth. As for the aesthetics of it, if it were Japanese, IMHO it'd be crappy Japanese work. There are some out there that are just breathtaking.

    Albeit this isn't one of them, but here's a tsuba with similar multi-metal inlay and similar subject matter. Tsuba taken from sanmei website.


  5. #5
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    Re: Tsuba... maybe antique?? [picture]

    Originally posted by Daniel Gentile
    last week a customer of mine brought to me a sword he had bought in Hong Kong (no comments ) some yrs. ago (when he didn't knew anything about swords...)...

    well, he wanted my opinion on the sword...

    It was a rather *heavy* wakizashi with an evil machine polish, nothing worth to be called even an edge and last but not least a very unprofessional made bo-hi (not correctly aligned... looked like some nasty "dremel"-tool work)...
    the steel wasn't really hardened...
    And all the usual chinese *additions* like: very rusty nakago (fe3cl...), chinese-style mei,...
    I've seen worser Chinese copies so far...

    but at least it is pattern welded, though not in japanese tradition... well I made the polish look less evil and the pattern somewhat visible (the pattern is not bad, though)
    and well he got it for really little money...


    But there was one thing which didn't match the rest of the sword (crappy blade, crappy tsuka) the TSUBA... it seemed to me to be 1. older, 2. more detailed, 3. of better quality then the rest...
    Well I've got to mention that It's not my "field of work" (fittings) so I know a little about them, except that I've seen more than I can count

    I've attached an picture (excuse the quality... I just used my scanner....)...
    Maybe one of you can tell me more...




    oh... one remarkable thing is that the right hands of both figures are colored blueish (chemically altered) but only the hands ??!?
    (maybe some chinese "update" on a real tsuba?)

    anyway

    thanks
    It pretty much Screams Chinese cast brass to me...
    Patrick Hastings
    "A man without patience lives in hell"
    "He o hitte
    shiri Tsubome"

  6. #6

    Re: Re: Tsuba... maybe antique?? [picture]

    Originally posted by Patrick Hastings
    It pretty much Screams Chinese cast brass to me...
    Being much closer to Switzerland, I think I could actually hear that scream!

    Yup, what Jesse and Patrick said - as Chinese as they come (although they're getting "better").

  7. #7

    Re: Re: Re: Tsuba... maybe antique?? [picture]

    @Guido:
    Hey, didn't know anyone from germany was active in the Japanese-forum ... And well, Berlin is quiet a nice city ...
    But still, I guess You've got damn good ears

    Are ya making' blades yourself guido?
    (just curious, as I dinna know too many japanese bladesmiths in the german speaking part of the world ... and am always pleased to add a new entry to THAT addressbook...)

    @everyone:
    well, then at least everything on this sword is CHINESE... I maybe get some pictures just for fun
    I'll get my two 500Watt Lights and my Nikon ready...
    As I wrote... the rest is 100% Chinese...


    @patrick:
    Thank's for confirming what jesse already said...

    btw. patrick, have you ever made a fuchi and a kashira out of wrought iron?




    Daniel
    Daniel Gentile
    RONIN - Japanese Swords

    http://www.ronin.to
    -------------------------------------
    Open Your Eyes
    Live The Moment
    From Nothing Into Nothing

  8. #8
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    Re: Re: Re: Re: Tsuba... maybe antique?? [picture]

    Originally posted by Daniel Gentile

    @patrick:
    Thank's for confirming what jesse already said...

    btw. patrick, have you ever made a fuchi and a kashira out of wrought iron?
    Yes I have made a few now from my Antique wagon stock. So far they have been rather simple using only the character of the metal as decoration.
    Patrick Hastings
    "A man without patience lives in hell"
    "He o hitte
    shiri Tsubome"

  9. #9

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tsuba... maybe antique?? [picture]

    Patrick,

    Can one use high-temp-silver-solder to high-temp solder cast Iron together ?
    or do you need to cast it again?

    To be honest... I have no Idea what working with wrought iron is like (ok, I once put some of this stuff in a damascus blade but that's it )

    But I just would love to have/make some fuchi, kashira and tsuba out of simple textured wrought iron ...


    Daniel
    Daniel Gentile
    RONIN - Japanese Swords

    http://www.ronin.to
    -------------------------------------
    Open Your Eyes
    Live The Moment
    From Nothing Into Nothing

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tsuba... maybe antique?? [picture]

    Originally posted by Daniel Gentile
    Patrick,

    Can one use high-temp-silver-solder to high-temp solder cast Iron together ?
    or do you need to cast it again?

    To be honest... I have no Idea what working with wrought iron is like (ok, I once put some of this stuff in a damascus blade but that's it )

    But I just would love to have/make some fuchi, kashira and tsuba out of simple textured wrought iron ...


    Daniel
    To me Cast Iron and Wrought iron are two very different things. Im working with wrought iron It has varyinglevels of carbon from low too rather like a high carbon steel. Cast Iron has an over abundance of carbon like 4 percent and up and does not forge worth a damn. It also does not have the Slag inclusions or the character of the wrought. If you melt the wrought iron and cast it you will erase all the character that was forged into it during its creation.
    The Wrought iron I have solders and brazes just fine. I have been using a hot salt bath to put a nice coppery colored Oxide on them and they look great. If you can Forge weld the belts or silver solder(braze) them you should get nice results. These were nearly polished then given a heavy etch to bring out the grain.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Patrick Hastings; 02-13-2003 at 05:00 PM.
    Patrick Hastings
    "A man without patience lives in hell"
    "He o hitte
    shiri Tsubome"

  11. #11

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Tsuba... maybe antique?? [picture]

    Originally posted by Daniel Gentile
    @Guido:
    Hey, didn't know anyone from germany was active in the Japanese-forum ... And well, Berlin is quiet a nice city ...
    But still, I guess You've got damn good ears

    Are ya making' blades yourself guido?
    (just curious, as I dinna know too many japanese bladesmiths in the german speaking part of the world ... and am always pleased to add a new entry to THAT addressbook...)
    Daniel,

    I'm not a bladesmith, I just abused my moderator's privileges to post on this forum ...

    Anyhow, some time ago I forged a Kogatana under the supervision of Takano Yukimitsu (who's a student of Ôno Yoshimitsu who's a student of Yoshihara Yoshindo [see page 208 of "Modern Japanese Swords and Swordsmiths]). Unfortunately I only have a pic of the blade in its Shiage stage (see below) (I gave it a Sugu-ha later); I left it in Japan with my in-laws for polishing and Shirasaya. After moving back to Tôkyô in July I hope to work more often with Yukimitsu-san - maybe I then can return to this forum as a "real" member.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  12. #12
    (still doin' some borein' office work .. so swordforum's runnin' in the background )

    patrick,

    very nice fittings, really...

    sorry, I was goin' for wrought iron (... the cast iron, wasn't what I was refering to... forgive my english, please).

    I was askin' 'cause a friend of mine has got a bunch of wrought iron at his shop and it has already good dimensions for making some fittings out of it so if I got some spare time, why not...
    I guess I'll forgeweld it... ('cause I hate those visible solder-lines... I know, with more practice you can get them almost invisible... but till then )

    aye, cast iron will "fall appart" if you forge it ... thogh I've heard of smiths of the old using cast-iron japanese teapot parts forgewelded into their billets of steel... (looks nice from the pattern).


    btw: The tsuba on the picture looks a bit like mokume or at least some folded stuff... is it?
    Daniel Gentile
    RONIN - Japanese Swords

    http://www.ronin.to
    -------------------------------------
    Open Your Eyes
    Live The Moment
    From Nothing Into Nothing

  13. #13

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tsuba... maybe antique?? [picture]

    Guido,

    your first blade?!! well I only have to compliment you on this one (my first blade has not been such a lovely thing ...)

    would be cool to see a pic. when it's finished...


    for how long have ya been in japan? (do you speek japanese anything like fluent?)
    I'm planing on taking classes... as my next long trip will be towards japan... (I'm thinkin' of making my way overland from switzerland... maybe something like 12 to 18months....
    I'm saveing the money so I still have a good ammount of time left before I can go )
    (well, I should not be unhappy.... It's only a year ago when I've returned from my last 6month asia "on the road" trip... but my backpack's calling again )

    I hope that i'll be so fortunate one day to learn from a japanese smith .... most of the stuff i know I've learned by myself... and the basic things have been shown to me by an other smith
    Daniel Gentile
    RONIN - Japanese Swords

    http://www.ronin.to
    -------------------------------------
    Open Your Eyes
    Live The Moment
    From Nothing Into Nothing

  14. #14
    I've been to Japan quite often (at least once a year for the last 20 years); my longest stay was from 1988 to 1993, and I'll go back there this year for at least another four years. I studied Japanese, and my wife is Japanese so my language skills aren't getting rusty .

  15. #15

    P.S.

    I tried to do Ayasugi-hada - the above birds eye pattern is more or less an incident .

  16. #16

    Finally!

    I don't want to go into the long, heartbreaking story why it took so long - but finally (i.e. today) I got my Kogatana back. It's in Shirasaya, with a nice silver Take-no-ko Habaki, and was professionally polished.

    I'll try to write up on the entire "adventure" of forging etc. Today I only tried to get some picturess that show the Hamon, and thought I'd share the one that is kind of half-decent:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  17. #17
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    Re: Finally!

    Originally posted by Guido Schiller
    I don't want to go into the long, heartbreaking story why it took so long - but finally (i.e. today) I got my Kogatana back. It's in Shirasaya, with a nice silver Take-no-ko Habaki, and was professionally polished.

    I'll try to write up on the entire "adventure" of forging etc. Today I only tried to get some picturess that show the Hamon, and thought I'd share the one that is kind of half-decent:
    Wow Guido San. That turned out really nice! Congrats Can I get first dibs on that next one you make?

    Gambatte,

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