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S105. Star Stamped Gendaito by Baba Tsuguhiro.

Price: 
$2,250 + Shipping & Insurance

S105.  Katana, signed, "Tsuguhiro Kore wo Saku" and dated "Showa Ju Hachi Nen San Gatsu Kitsu Jitsu" (A lucky day in March of 1943).  Both the signature and date are topped with a star stamp.

Nagasa:  67.8 cm  (26 3/4")

Sori:  1.95 cm  (3/4")

Nakago nagasa:  22.8 cm  (9")

Overall length in mounts:  100.5 cm  (39 1/2")

The hamon is choji gunome with flat tops to the choji.  In the present polish the boshi is difficult to see clearly but it appears to be a continuation of the hanon.  The hada is very tight, possibly mu-ji.  A proper polish might bring out a more prominent hada.  There are no defects on the blade: no cracks, nicks in the edge, gaps in temper, rust, pitting, openings, bends, wrinkles, anything.  The wartime polish has been lightly scratched in spots and there are a few surface marks, but nothing even close to serious is wrong with the polish (which has the polisher's signature marks under the habaki; unusual for a wartime polish).  The blade has a very pleasing (to my eye) sugata.

If you google Baba Tsuguhiro you will learn more, including a discussion of this exact sword on Nihonto Message Board.  The star stamp signifies that Tsuguhiro was a Rikugun Jumei Tosho: a swordsmith chosen by the Japanese Army, because of his superior skill, to receive tamahagane (traditional steel for sword making) and to make better quality blades.

The mounts are Regulation 1944 Pattern Army Officer's.  The saya is rough textured lacquer over canvas on a wood base.  Some of the lacquer is missing at the bottom of the saya.The tsuka is lacquered ito (handle wrap) over iron menuki and same', and the ito is perfectly intact.  The tsuka is attached with 1 dome head and 1 flat head bolts on opposite sides and at either end of the nakago.  The fittings: kojiri, ashi, koiguchi, fuchi, kashira, and tsuba, are iron and there is some surface rust.  The habaki is silver wash over copper.  There is a double button spring retaining clip and it works properly.  The nakago is very secure inside the tsuka (it doesn't wiggle).  The sword comes with a lined sword bag.

All in all, a very interesting sword in remarkable condition.  Lots of pictures to look at (sorry for the crappy pictures; I'm not very good at it) and I can supply more if needed.  4 pounds.  $2,250.

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