View Full Version : Sword appraisel

11-27-2013, 2:08 PM
Hey guys, I thought id turn to Calguns for the wealth of knowledge that's on here. So here it goes:

My mom died about two years ago and left me a Japanese sword. The sword was from my grandfather who died in the 70's. He was a colonel in the airforce and was in WW2. My mom said he got it in Japan back in the day but other than my grandmother telling me the same thing when I was young im not sure about it.

I went online and googled how to see if it was real and all I was was check it with a magnet (the blade is magnetic) and look at it with a magnifying glass.

Does anyone know anywhere in Norcal (Sacramento) that does appraisals on things like this? My google foo is weak. I dont want to sell it but I do know these things are expensive and Id like to know what I have. Thanks Calguns


11-27-2013, 2:10 PM
Yes, I can help give you a general idea if you send over pictures. Also you may want to contact the Nihon Token Kai ( a Japanese sword society) They often have "Shinsa" where masters come in and do written appraisals for a fee of a few hundred dollars. You may want to show it to a few folks first to get a general idea before you spend too much money on nit.

11-27-2013, 3:30 PM
pm me your email or phone number and ill send you text pics or email pics. thanks

11-27-2013, 6:44 PM
While I can't tell you specifics I can tell you my experience with WWII Japanese swords. My father brought 3 back with him after the war, or sent them home during. 2 of them were mass produced swords that while very nice were not too valuable. They had what appeared to be a metal scabbard in a light greenish color. The 3rd one had a wood scabbard wrapped in skin, the appraiser said it was shark skin, the handle on that sword was significantly longer than the other 2. My brothers and I did not even know that he had it until shortly before his passing, needless to say the details of how he got it were a bit fuzzy to him some 60+ years later. It appraised at $8000 and sold at auction for just over $9000. From what I have learned there were a great many mass produced swords later on in the war that were issued to junior officers, many of the senior officers had family heirloom swords that were altered to be more uniform, with the issued swords. The only way to tell for sure is to have it appraised. I wish I could tell you where my brother had it done, it was in SF one of the auction agencies if I remember correctly.

11-28-2013, 6:34 AM
Contact Ted Tenold of Legacy Arts. He is probably one of preeminent experts on antique "Nihonto" (Japanese swords). He is a good personal friend and has mounted several of the japnanese style swords I use to train/compete in the ken jitsu arts I study (Toyama Ryu and Mugai Ryu). He has also helped me buy and sell several antique and gendai blades.


11-29-2013, 10:57 PM
Do the mass produced swords have signatures under the handle? I ask because a really good friend of mine has a sword from his grandfather that resembles the "Yasukuni Yasutoku Gunto". It has the same fitting and red colored rope on the pommel and when we took it apart to check, it did have a signature down the tang under the handle (Im not hip on sword terms so bear with me). Same scabbard and everything. Maybe only subtle differences.

11-29-2013, 11:07 PM
A lot of wwII swords are common low priced bulk blades not particularly valuable,
You might try any aikido dojos in your area and get a reference,
find out if it is a common sword or if your lucky it might be a family heirloom
in which case it will prob be signed under the handle on the tang
Don't pay any money for an estimate UNLESS u find out it is a folded custom signed blade

Doomsday Machine
11-30-2013, 12:43 AM
Don't clean off any rust, and don't use a magnet on it anymore. PM sent.

12-02-2013, 5:14 PM
THanks for all the help guys