Nihonto Expertise........Who is an expert.

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I have a sword on ebay at the moment, my opinion is that the blade is Late Koto period. One potential buyer asked if I am an expert as he felt that the sword was of a later period.

No, not an "Expert", have only forty years experience  so that would be a pretty interesting statement..........Let me tell you a story  of a friend, a sword and Japanese papers issued by an 'Expert' of a Japanese sword society.

He bought a very expensive early Koto Tachi blade from a well known and respected dealer. The price related too  a Shinsa paper issued by a respected society in Japan,the paper stated that the sword was of a period and probably by a certain smith but certainly by a well known school.

When the blade arrived it was pretty spectacular and in astounding condition for its great age.    It was suggested that as the Shinsa paper was several years old he should send it back to Japan and to the same society but without mentioning that the sword had already been issued a good paper by them

This minor deception was not to influence the Shinsa team in any way, just allow a new appraisal and hopefully better papers.

Months later he recieved a letter from Japan{& from the same man that had signed the existing paper} stating that the sword was much newer,that it was probably by a lesser smith and was of little quality!!.

They refused to issue a paper at all.............So as expertise goes where exactly do we Geigin stand in all this?.

I like the way that I have always worked untill I stopped collecting a few years ago. Do I really like it?, can I afford it? buy it?. Collecting with an assurence of profit is a very flawed approach I feel.


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