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Opinions on some swords
Old 11-17-2017, 03:03 PM   #1
chils123
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Default Opinions on some swords

Hello. I've been looking to buy one nice Japanese military sword to add to my general Arisaka collection and display I do at gun shows in my area.

There are a few swords coming up for sale in my area, and I was hoping I could provide these photos to determine if any of them are worth investigating further or if they are fakes. I can see one looks like an NCO sword, but I'm not sure what the others would be called. I know these photos won't be enough to fully determine value/legitimacy, but I figure it at least will show if they are blatantly fake. If they look legit I can then determine what to look for when I see them in person.

I've been collecting Arisaka rifles for some time, but don't have much experience with the swords, so please pardon my ignorance. I'd just like one nice, legit example to display.

Thank you!

















































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Old 11-17-2017, 07:46 PM   #2
Stu W
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IJA NCO sword is legit out of Nagoya Arsenal. Sword with kanji on scabbard is a Chinese fake.

Regards,
Stu
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Old 11-17-2017, 07:53 PM   #3
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As to the others and value I'd need to see more specific photos. Condition of the blades is 90% of the value in any edged weapon and even then tough to tell when it's a Japanese sword.

What sort of budget are you wishing to stay within? I'm sure members here can assist finding you a nice representative piece. Either an IJA NCO Type 95 or IJA Officer Type 98 would probably be the best from what you've told us.

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Stu
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu W View Post
As to the others and value I'd need to see more specific photos. Condition of the blades is 90% of the value in any edged weapon and even then tough to tell when it's a Japanese sword.

What sort of budget are you wishing to stay within? I'm sure members here can assist finding you a nice representative piece. Either an IJA NCO Type 95 or IJA Officer Type 98 would probably be the best from what you've told us.

Regards,
Stu
Stu,

Thank you for the comments. I've been told by someone else before that a Type 98 can be purchased for around the same price as an NCO sword these days, and that the 98 would be preferable.

I was hoping to keep the budget under $1000 if possible. If I can get a hand made blade under that price, it would be preferable, as I know the NCO's are machine made for the most part. I've been told the Type 98 market is actually down a bit and they are almost around the same range as NCO's these days.
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Old 11-18-2017, 05:20 AM   #5
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The brass scabbard sword with the Chinese writing on is an obvious Chinese fake.
The black shiny scabbard-ed sword is of a type there is a lot of conversation about, the current consensus being that they are post-war assemblies from original parts.
The Sword with a knuckle bow is a parade sword.
The NCO sword looks right, but not my area of expertise, and they are currently at the top of the market.
The 98 Shin Gunto is in shabby condition, but has an interesting piece of shrapnel damage to the saya. This is the one with the most potential, but potential is not always realised. It all depends on price, but in your position I would go for the shrapnel damaged 98 Shin Gunto, and then see what you have as a blade in it. A great WW2 relic with an implied story in its current state, and the possibility of it being more. The thicker than usual Tsuba (is it pierced) and the reeded Habaki hint at a better than standard piece, as does the silk cord sarute.
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Old 11-18-2017, 01:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sengoku View Post
The brass scabbard sword with the Chinese writing on is an obvious Chinese fake.
The black shiny scabbard-ed sword is of a type there is a lot of conversation about, the current consensus being that they are post-war assemblies from original parts.
The Sword with a knuckle bow is a parade sword.
The NCO sword looks right, but not my area of expertise, and they are currently at the top of the market.
The 98 Shin Gunto is in shabby condition, but has an interesting piece of shrapnel damage to the saya. This is the one with the most potential, but potential is not always realised. It all depends on price, but in your position I would go for the shrapnel damaged 98 Shin Gunto, and then see what you have as a blade in it. A great WW2 relic with an implied story in its current state, and the possibility of it being more. The thicker than usual Tsuba (is it pierced) and the reeded Habaki hint at a better than standard piece, as does the silk cord sarute.
Sengoku,

Thank you for your opinions on these. I haven't seen these swords yet in person, and they are actually coming up at a local auction. If I were to go look at it more closely, what else should I look for when investigating the sword to determine the value of it and maximum bid I would put on it?
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Old 11-18-2017, 04:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chils123 View Post
Sengoku,

Thank you for your opinions on these. I haven't seen these swords yet in person, and they are actually coming up at a local auction. If I were to go look at it more closely, what else should I look for when investigating the sword to determine the value of it and maximum bid I would put on it?

That is impossible to answer based on the current information. It is like saying I want to buy this car but I co not know the age, the make, model, number of miles or condition. Japanese swords are very complicated especially if they have an antique blade.
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Coleman View Post
That is impossible to answer based on the current information. It is like saying I want to buy this car but I co not know the age, the make, model, number of miles or condition. Japanese swords are very complicated especially if they have an antique blade.
Bob, I'm sorry my question came off the wrong way. I was asking more along the lines of what areas on the sword I could look at when I see it in person to report back here so I could get that estimate, not an exact I didn't expect to be able to get that estimate off the pictures I have. I just want to make sure it's a legitimate example and not a fake. That's my biggest concern now. What are some areas of these Type 98's that you would look for to determine a fake?

From what I understand and average, excellent condition Type 98 sells in the $1000+ range. Is that a correct generalization? I would think one in this shape without anything special would sell for less.
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:25 PM   #9
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If they allow you to remove the handle, take and post a picture of the entire tang. If not, check the edge just above the habaki(collar between the blade and tsuba)and see if the first inch is dull. This is called ubu ba and is present on blades that have only had one polish. This is fairly but not completely accurate. I recently bought a Mid-Kamakura era nagamaki that had ubu ba!
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Old 11-20-2017, 01:28 PM   #10
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The officer shingunto sword its a really cool piece has some battle damage that adds character to it!
From what I have seen on these :

The NCO $450
The officer Shingunto $750
The Kaigunto $700 ...
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Old 11-20-2017, 04:18 PM   #11
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Thank you for the help everyone. I called the auction house and unfortunately I won't be able to take them apart. I will be going to look at them in person on Friday morning, so I'll report back with photos hopefully. Any particular areas I should try to photograph on them to help determine legitimacy and value? I think I'll mainly be looking at that NCO and Type 98 with the damage.

Thanks again!
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Old 11-24-2017, 03:16 PM   #12
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Took a look at this possibly battle damaged Type 98 sword today. The blade is toast. Knicks and pitting all over. It does look like it was hit by shrapnel though. All the damage is on the same side. With the blade being wrecked is there any value in the shape it's in? The damage is interesting to me but the blade itself being ruined makes me think it's worthless. The rest of them were all so, so as well. Unless there is some value to this sword due to the damage I think it's going to be a pass.



























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Old 11-24-2017, 03:31 PM   #13
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Some folks really go for the battle damaged items. Wouldn't be surprised if it goes for a decent amount depending on how much interest is present at the auction. Quite a conversation piece!


Tom
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Old 11-24-2017, 03:48 PM   #14
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Thank you for the input. I was thinking of putting down maybe a $300 bid. The outside damage certainly looks like it was done by shrapnel and it's only on one side. The part that would be facing out on the left hand side.
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Old 11-24-2017, 04:49 PM   #15
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Great Gunto. Unmessed with quality early fittings, pierced tsuba, and with shrapnel damage. What's not to love in spite of the toasty blade, it's a story piece battlefield pick up. Much harder to find than a pristine sword. Good luck snagging it for $300, I'd definitely be into it for more (bonus if the blade is traditionally made). Like Tom says some of us are drawn to salty veterans.

Last edited by Rod G; 11-24-2017 at 04:55 PM.
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