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Tatsunoshi
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:48 am    Post subject: Antiques Roadshow Reply with quote
While visiting my mom last night, we watched a bit of Antiques Roadshow-the program where people bring their items into a large hall to be evaluated and priced by experts. One of the items was a pair of matched long/short samurai swords and another long sword-it was established that these were bought in Japan by an American in 1898 (although to my untrained eye they looked like mass produced swords). Some of the wisdom imparted by the 'experts' during the minute they spent on the swords:

1) 1898 was during the Edo Period of Japanese History
2) Only midlevel samurai, not those of high ranking, would wear two swords
3) The blades have nothing to do with the values of the swords-the value is all in the fittings
4) The single sword seemingly had the Tokugawa crest on the grip (they didn't show it, so I can't say)-the expert informed the owner that the Tokugawa were the Imperial family of Japan
5) They didn't want to take the time to disassemble the swords to check for maker/date/signature (probably the single biggest factor in their value) and just gave them ballpark estimates:
6) $3000 for the daisho, $8000 for the Tokugawa sword. Now, I know nothing about sword pricing, and while I could be wrong, an authenticated Tokugawa family owned sword seems like it would be SUBSTANTIALLY higher than $8,000...not to mention highly unlikely to have been sold at a second hand shop.

The moral of our story: don't bring your stuff to Antiques Roadshow!
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
All the more reason to seek out someone at least knowledgeable about specific antiques not generalities. John
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