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Thread: Bob engnath tanto

  1. #1

    Bob engnath tanto

    hi all

    i have purchaced a large bob engnath tanto recently which is on its way in the mail ,the hilt is signed in japanese but i cant read what it says of coarse so can anyone show any pics of other engnath blades that are signed so that i can compair the signature ,i cant find anything on the internet.
    any help would be appreciated
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  2. #2
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    Bob usually did not sign his peices, but the ones he did, he signed them as "Tall Man". Congrats on the find.

  3. #3
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    can't say whether this is one of bob's. i don't see any characters that would match 'tall' or 'man' though the first (top) two characters are poorly written and i don't quite recognize.

    the last two seem to say "field" and "knife" respectively. so i guess, "field knife"
    Last edited by Joe Pierre; 03-24-2009 at 09:24 PM.

  4. #4
    ok thanks Joe and Tom for taking a look for me,is there any way or do you folks know any blade dealers who are familiar with engnaths work so i can have them check if the knife is an authentic Engnath knife any chance? the guy i bought it from said it was purchaced in 1989 for $900 usd from bob .

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuart simpson View Post
    ok thanks Joe and Tom for taking a look for me,is there any way or do you folks know any blade dealers who are familiar with engnaths work so i can have them check if the knife is an authentic Engnath knife any chance? the guy i bought it from said it was purchaced in 1989 for $900 usd from bob .
    once you get it, post some good pictures of the naked blade, with clear detail of the hamon and tang. then the folks here can chime in for "kantei." there are several owners of bob's work (do a search -- some nice pictures were posted not too long ago) that should be able to help.
    Last edited by Joe Pierre; 03-25-2009 at 08:09 AM.

  6. #6
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    Bob Engnath tanto

    Something I traded a small Wak for in probobly close to 20 yrs ago,I remember seeing a price list of his swords,tanto and daggers back then,I dont remember anything being over a few hundred dollars.
    Greg
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  7. #7
    From what I know is, is that bob never made any type of markings on the tang of his blades. I had a katana and tanto that I bought from him at a knife show in 96

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by stuart simpson View Post
    ok thanks Joe and Tom for taking a look for me,is there any way or do you folks know any blade dealers who are familiar with engnaths work so i can have them check if the knife is an authentic Engnath knife any chance? the guy i bought it from said it was purchaced in 1989 for $900 usd from bob .
    I had three custom katanas made by Bob between 1988 and 1990, he charged $350 for each. $900 would have been out of his price range at the time, I think.

  9. #9
    yea 900 sounds too expensinve ,well i tried to post some better pics but the forum says that the file size is to big ,any chance i can send someone the pics so they can take a look for me please,its just that if its not an engnath tanto i gota send it back pretty soon to the seller.

  10. #10
    managed to upload this one

  11. #11
    There are only three characters there, as far as I can tell. In Chinese, the top one is "Gao" (first tone), it means tall or high. I can only assume it means the same in Japanese. Your interpretation of the last two seems correct. So we have "tall field knife" as a signature.

    Edit: They are certainly crudely written characters.
    Last edited by Isaac M.S.; 03-31-2009 at 11:55 AM. Reason: appended comment

  12. #12
    Stuart,

    Got your e-mail but noticed this thread as well. So I'll respond here.

    Hard to say exactly what you have. Bob didn't sign his blades that I know of. If he did, I've never seen it (edited to add: that doesn't mean he didn't -- he very well might have, I just haven't seen it). The nakago looks somewhat like his style of finishing nakago. The blade shape is somewhat reminiscent of his work. The hamon, however, is not typical for Bob's work. But... That said sometimes Bob did different things. And it depends on when he made it too. He was influenced at one point by some advice he received from a famous Japanese smith and that changed how he did some things. That change resulted in a change in the look of his hamon. If this was done before that time, I suppose it is possibly his work.

    Now on the prices quoted... Folk are remember what Bob charged per inch for bare, unfinished blades. They were just in rough grind. Bob did occasionally finish one and mount them up rudimentarily. They would have cost more. So don't go by what Bob charged per inch for unpolished blades. This one has been polished of sorts and has a mounting. So the old prices aren't accurate. And honestly I cannot for the life of me remember what he got for things he finished -- he rarely did that.

    So possibilities are...

    Rare early Bob Engnath tanto that is also signed in a manner (which I've never seen). Polished and mounted by Bob himself.

    Rare Bob blade polished and fitted up by someone else.

    Non-Bob E. blade across the board.

    All that said it doesn't look like his work to me, but most of his I've seen or worked on were done *after* his meeting with the Japanese smith. I remember him telling me he did a lot of things very differently before.

    Difficult to say. Bob put out a *lot* of blades over the years and most have long since vanished. Shrug.
    Last edited by Keith Larman; 03-31-2009 at 12:45 PM.
    Keith Larman
    Summerchild Polishing and Modertosho Modern Japanese Swords
    "They say I have ADD, but ... Hey, look, a chicken!"

  13. #13
    I can't comment on the blade - I never have seen Mr. Engnath's work, and it isn't my field of collecting anyhow - but the (indeed crudely written) characters are : 高男 high/tall + man.

  14. #14
    Here are some close-up´s of this piece. The Menuki were changed to protect the innocent The signature on the blade definitly says Large/Tall Man, my guess from Sept 89?
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Shimko View Post
    Here are some close-up´s of this piece. The Menuki were changed to protect the innocent The signature on the blade definitly says Large/Tall Man, my guess from Sept 89?
    Very interesting. The mei actually has the look of something that was done with an electric "graver," which, from my small knowledge of Bob's work, I wouldn't say he didn't do. Is that a lamination line I see there? There are two men that are involved with SFI that I would leave the id of this to, Keith Larman, and Ben Sweet. Granted I am positive that there are others that have a familiarity with his work as well (Possibly Glen?)

    It *does* look like Mr Engnath's Yasuri-mei, though... Which has always looked to my eye to be a very, very skillful command of a belt grinder/sander that runs perpendicular to any geometric lines....
    Last edited by Jeff Ellis; 10-18-2010 at 01:07 AM.
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  16. #16
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    What made this thread get revived?

    In any case, this thread may be marginally helpful:
    http://199.231.142.3/forums/showthread.php?t=731199
    Last edited by Michael Yong; 10-20-2010 at 07:34 AM.

  17. #17

    Bob Engnath Tanto

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Yong View Post
    What made this thread get revived?

    In any case, this thread may be marginally helpful:
    http://199.231.142.3/forums/showthread.php?t=731199
    Thank you Michael, your link was very enlightening and informative. That blade looks structuraly very similar. Same signature, same wood used. Actually this tanto also had an ivory peg which broke and I replaced with buffalo horn. I appreciate your input.
    Die young as late as possible.

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