© Copyright Robert Cole 2015 - No copying or distributing
A pivotal consideration in the pricing of swords is the condition of polish or TOGI, itself a specialized art.
If a sword is to "bring price" it has to be in good polish. This does not necessarily mean the polish has to be new. Swords that have been scrupulously cared for can present an excellent yet older polish.
A sword in "perfect polish" is in new polish, or not differing from new. Seeing a sword said to be in "perfect polish," one expects to find not only a "like new" polish, but a polish of particularly good or better quality.
Another old fact to be remembered: An "in-polish" sword, being without the cumbrance of risk attendant with the polishers' stone, attains its maximum trade potential at market.
A buyer, seeing the necessity of polishing (additional expense aside), faces the possibility of value loss were the stones to reveal hidden flaws (KIZU). Therefore, a sword that is "out of polish" becomes a risk at market and loses 66%, or more, of its figured valuation with additional credits to buyer for polishing.
A drastically reduced asking price offsets risk to regain market potential. This is true for both buyers and sellers.
note on collecting
It is perhaps a partial statement but none the less not far-fetched to say that the sword appraisal agencies and sword clubs in modern Japan have made up and created a mind set for today's collectors and have set them like sheep for the polished, papered "Packaged" sword products. - Little notice has been taken that the real Samurai swords, the swords, the Samurai had and used - are being wholly altered, ground up by polshing and re-constructed, essentially ending their specific histories.
When a Temple or Shrine is completely reconstructed; or moved down the street to make way for a parking garage - is it the same?
So one of the aspects for collectors is certainly polished, papered swords; - the other is original, real Samurai antique swords. The two are not the same.
As mentioned, many of the old Japanese collectors would never bother changing, papering or altering their swords at all - of course, the why of this hasn't been loudly stated.
WARNING: ANY ATTEMPT TO CLEAN OR POLISH A SWORD BY THE UNTRAINED CAN REDUCE THE VALUE TO ZERO
Only an experienced person, very familiar with the sword world can properly decide the course of action with regards to ANY cleaning procedure. Polishing can only be done by personnel actually trained in Japan. THIS CAN NOT BE OVER-STATED: no matter how careful nor well intentioned, THE UNTRAINED CAN RUIN A SWORD.
Important: Value is dependent on preservation of style. If the planes, angles or convexity are violated, the sword is defaced.
Polishing is an art with a ten year Japanese apprenticeship.
DO NOT PINCH PENNIES when polishing.
Your action with these antiques will outlive you.
Important work ORIGAMI
|= KATANA - UBU -
= 1/2 listed price
= 1/3 listed price (read above)
= 100% inflation of individual price
= 1/3 inflation of price
= 1/2 otherwise applicable price
= Value enhancement