Japanese Sword Value???

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by smoke, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Lotiki

    Lotiki All that is man

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    Where did you get that load of crap from? A family katana in good condition loses almost ZERO value when they were shortened to be fitted into military mounts.
     
  2. W. Fargo

    W. Fargo

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    Oh and by the way, even a showato ("showa" means the war era, "to" means sword) in good condition mind you, so complete koshirae (mountings) and with blade in normal condition will still have a value of approx. $ 800 - $ 1500

    If it is a true Nihonto then it will all depend on who the smith or school of smiths was, and therefore what period it is from, and of course the quality of the blade.

    If you are then interested in getting it optimal for selling it, you would need to find proper mountings or have a shirasaya (plain wooden scabbard to protect the blade) made. Which will cost + $1000 (if you can find someone to do it...) and if you want to get the blade polished you will probably look at a few years waiting period and approx $ 1500 for the polishing. Then to top it off you could submit it for shinsa who will determine smith, school, era, condition and give a certificate. If you get good papers it will most definately be worth while, but the problem is.. you don't know.

    Let's say you hit the jackpot and you get "Juyo Token" or similar papers and your sword is from a well known smith/school. It might be worth between $ 50.000 and $ 100.000,-

    But now I'm just getting way way way ahead of myself... and that would realy be like hitting the jackpot, with the same very very slim chance....

    So I will stop typing now... before I get you all hyped up about a sword that could just as well be a Chinese copy worth 50 bucks...
     

  3. W. Fargo

    W. Fargo

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    You are right, Lotiki

    Suriage or O-suriage (shortening or greatly shortening a blade) hardly does any damage to the value of a sword.
    A lot of very valuable katana and wakizashi are suriage. (I own a wakizashi attributed to Aizu Michitoki school, Shinto period approx 1780 with "kanteisho"-papers which is also shortened and it is worth approx. US $ 4.000)
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
  4. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    I have what I believe is an army officer's sword. It is in very good to extremely good condition. The only thing missing is the original wooden peg that holds the handle on. But it has a replacement peg in there (maybe carved by my father), and everything is held together nicely and tightly fitted.

    Most of the paint/finish is still on the scabbard. The wrap around the handle is in very good shape, and under the wrap is some kind of shark-skin or stingray-skin. It sort of looks like a pebbled ivory, but I believe is a skin. The fittings appear to be brass. The edge of the sword is sharp enough to cut yourself with, but has some dings. The sides of the blades have very few to none scratches or dings.

    I don't have measurements or pics, but it is what I'd consider full-size. I doubt it pre-dates WWII era. It was probably specifically made in the 1930s for officers. By that, I mean it looks very typical, and nothing unusual about it, other than being in good condition. As I understand it, the NCO swords didn't have a skin in the grip, but were metal there. This has the much more decorative officer's design.

    My father got it when he was a kid. He bought it from a returning GI.

    Any guesses as to the value?

    Looks exactly like this one, which evidentally sold for $897
    http://arms2armor.com/store/product733.html

    I don't know if the tang looks the same, but the rest of the sword's general appearance does.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
  5. hhb

    hhb

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    I have a Samari sword belonging to a Japanese Army Major that my father brought home from the Phillipines at the end of WWII. Father was duty officer one day after the end of the war, and accepted the surrender of the Major and his unit. I still have the cloth bag with the Major's name & address with the sword. I had an expert look at the sword, and the characters under the hilt are in the ancient language, that present day Japanese can't read. I discovered even modern Samari craftsmen before WWII used the ancient language to mark their swords. Tried to return it to the Major's family and was advised that he had died 5 years before, and the family would't accept it because of the bitter memories. I was told that if they would have accepted it, I would have been flown to Narito airport and would be met by a member of the Japanese Antiquities Commission, who would receive the sword, and loan it to the family for life to be displayed on the Shinto Shrine in the home.
    Have the Major's Nambu made in 1934 also.
     
  6. W. Fargo

    W. Fargo

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    @ Ithacadeerslayer

    Unfortunately there is no way of telling what your sword is worth from the present information same as the original poster. The mountings you describe are very common, ofcourse. and these fittings can house a Chinese copy of 50 bucks or, if you are very lucky, a true nihonto worth several thousands...
    Again, I would also strongly advise you to take pictures of the tang and the blade itself, and the point (kissaki) and post these on Nihontomessageboard) There are several "experts" there who can give you honest advice and information. If there is a signature on the tang whichs can still be read, then these guys will tell you in a heartbeat what the name of the smith is, and then you will also know which period it is from and maybe if it is "gimei" (fake signature which also happens a lot)

    by the way, the signatures on Chinese fakes usually are jibberish and make no sense, plus chinese fakes are very easily identified by type of steel (you often see damast-like blades which is absolutely not Japanese) no sharp yokote and shinogi (That small horizontal line at the point and the ridge line) and are usually large and clumsy swords with terrible balance and shape.
     
  7. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Does it look like the one in my above link? Or is it a different style? Maybe your's is in better condition than that one?

    I know with your situation, you had a name and address. But in general, I feel, hey they started and lost the war. So I don't feel bad at all about having the sword.
     
  8. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    When were the Chinese fakes made?

    I know that my sword is at least as old as 1945-6, because that is when my father bought it.

    He and his friend, they were about 10-12 yrs old, bought a lot of the swords from GIs, and then they used to swordfight. One day his friend got cut, so my grandmother made him sell them all expect for 2, and no more sword fighting! He kept the very best from his collection. The other sword was a German dress sword.
     
  9. Squaw Man Wolfer

    Squaw Man Wolfer

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    Worth more if taken off a Jap officer your Uncle Earnie killed in the Big One.
     
  10. hhb

    hhb

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    Mine is in a leather scabbard. I learned the Japanese officers changed the scabard, hilt, and handguard to fit whatever occassion or ceremony like we change pistol grips. I believe my Samari is in battle dress.
     
  11. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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  12. Kozel

    Kozel

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    Can't you read? It was on the TV show called Pawn Stars on History channel. Sword expert was giving price estimate to the pawn shop guy.
    I do not care ether way. Just passing along what was said.
     
  13. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    Actually, that was on American Pickers, not Pawn Stars. ;)
     
  14. DScottHewitt

    DScottHewitt EMT-B

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    I love how Odell is the ultimate professional. He goes on to talk about the sword, while Bony Dude is slowly bleeding out behind the display table.