Originally Posted by ariel
Please notice multiple pittings, some of which are quite deep . Thus, perfect polish will remove at least 1-2, maybe more, mm from each side of the entire blade. Whatever “damascus” picture was present, will likely be removed or significantly distorted. No serious Nihonto buff will be impressed by the final result.
We easily accept virtually any “Islamic” blade with superficial defects, patches of discoloration, occasional forging flaws etc, but the attitude of the guy from Lee’s story is typical for serious Nihonto collectors. Their acceptability criteria are just different. They are a breed apart.
The only other type of collectors who are somewhat approaching this level of perfectionism are “ wootz” collectors: witness Fiegel’s sorrowful comments on occasional microscopic slag inclusions:-)
Ariel, this blade is atypical, highly unusual, maybe it was in a fire or??? No one would have this polished without first getting the opinion of an experienced polisher who has trained in Japan and knows the traditional methods passed down from generation to generation. No good polisher would recommend polishing a Japanese blade that they thought should not be polished, the finished work would not reflect well on their reputation.
I am not sure what a "serious nihonto collector" is, there are many types, some are perfectionists some are not, it is not good to over generalize. Many people buy what they like and you can also find polished Japanese swords for a good price, often way less that the price of the polish alone.
I have a few naginata, some polished in varying degrees, some highly flawed....so do you really believe that the ones which are not "perfect" are "worthless"?