What’s it worth? Appraisal of Samurai sword

Raymond asks:

Sword # 3 (Unknown Origin):
I don’t have much background on this sword, it appears to be foreign with strange markings on the guard. I can’t find a manufactures marking. The case is made out of leather and has a strap that looks like it was hung on a wall for display. This sword in the case measures 39-1/2, the handle measures 10-3/4” Long with a 36” Long blade and weighs 3lbs 2 oz. It has a very detailed woven handle around what appears to be some kind of bone or coral type material. The guard looks to be hand stamped with a couple of markings. Any information on the origin, age, and value of this sword would be appreciated.

antique samurai swordsamurai sword guardantique samura sword handle

AW says:  That’s an antique Japanese Samurai sword Raymond. The handle is wrapped w/ shark skin cartilage. This are very important piece of weaponry in the Japanese tradition. In the handle, you’ll find a pin that pops out. It will only come out one side so don’t force it.

The idea of this, is that you remove the blade from the handle. Be careful to wrap the blade in something to protect your hand, and the blade. On the tine of the sword, (the part that is hidden in the handle)  you may or may not see a history in Japanese characters. This history, may include the maker of the sword, and family history. Until we see what’s there, I can only guess at an estimate of the sword. This history often has a lot to do with the value.

Once you take good pictures of this tine, w/ or w/out a history, send them to me and I’ll revise this appraisal.


The appraised value so far based on limited knowledge.

Retail value: $1,500

Wholesale value: $650-$1,200