Copyright Robert Cole 2014 - No copying or distributing


This book will be useful to all, beginner through expert, as an information-source for the ongoing appraisal of Japanese Swords.

A beginner must learn the basics - and the terminology. "One learns to walk before Olympic competition." For this reason thechapter INTRODUCTION TO BASICS has the information anyone with an interest in swords must know.

PREPARATORY NOTES (starts pg ##) explains the fundamentals of the sword world in language and thinking. It covers perspectives of appraisal, sword history and art and the considerations in pricing. One should read the sections on NAKAGO, SIGNATURES, JUDGING QUALITY, PRICING and the Historical Notes introducing each era, KOTO, SHINTO and SHIN-SHINTO.

The tutorial, then following, contains the section titled, MECHANICS OFAPPRAISAL. The method of deciphering origin is clearly explained in its chapter on the APPRAISAL OF BLADES. While the information is instructive, basic and easily absorbed, the section is also a guidebook of appraisal methodology. It should arm those new to appraisal with a solid foundation and working knowledge of the appraisal of Japanese Swords.

There are two steps in the appraisal of any antique:
First - the environment of origin is established by placing age.
Second - actual origin is placed within this known environment.

The technicals provided in THE SCHOOLS and THE SMITHS, an alphabetical cross-index of common reference works, is the appraiser's toolbox - and meat of this book. These two sections include the appraisal-points and smith listing for all Japanese sword schools and will prove to be of continuing value throughout ones' sword career.
Note: The contexture of the technicals are classically oriented, where the art pieces are directly described.

The book, designed as a single-source appraiser's handbook, has also become a manual useful to those wishing to gain masteryof the art of competent appraisal.

  The book is simple:
                             1600 A.D.
             Old Swords         |          New Swords
    Five Schools - Eight Roads  |  Seven Provinces - Eight Roads

The appraiser's path:  - ERA                WHEN
                       - TIME PERIOD  
                       - PROVINCE           WHERE
                       - SCHOOL             
                       - SMITH              WHO 
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