Gorgeous Wakizashi by Bailey Bradsdhaw (MS.)

Joined
Jun 5, 2002
Messages
2,761
I was fortunate enough to recently acquire a 20" Waki from Bailey. I have collected his knives for a while now, mostly bowies and folders, his sense of style and workmanship are as good as it gets in my opinion, but, I had never had the chance to buy one of his Japanese swords before now, and, I must say, I am VERY pleased with it. :)

20" Waki, forged from 1075, flawless satin finish, revealing a killer Hamon with some Utsuri.

The Habaki is traditional textured bronze, the Tsuba and Fuchi are blued mild steel with intricate 24K gold inlays, the Kashira as well is blued mild steel, with gold borders and some ornate gold inlayed Japanese characters on its end. Bailey's bluing is very unusual and beautiful, it is not simple, monocloric blue, yes, there is a rich blue, but there are also some golds and almost purples in areas, truly eye candy.

The handle is wood covered with undyed ray skin same, the cord is a deep lavender.

The Saya is flawlessly finished, and finely figured mahogany, the fittings are all polished, caramel fossil ivory. This scabbard perfectly compliments the sword.

Look closely at the pics, details and adornments abound, and, this is the type of Waki that could or should sell for $3,000+, I have little doubt if Hartsfield made one of this quality and complexity, it would be at around $8,000-$10,000, I won't quote prices, but sufficed to say, Bailey's price for a sword like this is VERY reasonable.

Now I just need to have him make me a Tanto and Katana in the same style, what a trio it will be. :)

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Joined
Jul 20, 2001
Messages
1,840
WOW!!! congratulations Megalobyte...very nice investment indeed. like you, i am also fortunate to find out that Bailey has been producing excellent Japanese swords. i met Mr. Bradshaw at Chicago Custom Knife Show. he brought my bare blade katana (hira zukuri) and i immediately fell in love with it. after seeing your pictures i have no doubt that my sword would have the same excellent craftsmanship.

hopefully Bailey will post some pictures when it is done...

very nicely done Bailey. i'm with Megalobyte, i think i need to have the whole matching set as well. ;)
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
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738
Chingao!!! Nice nice. Rather exceptional. I am sorry you aren't impressed and don't like it at all.... Contact me off-list and I'll give you my address so you can gift it to me for Yule.... :D :p
 

Bailey Bradshaw

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Sep 13, 2001
Messages
815
Thanks for posting the pics Ari!! And thanks for the compliments from everyone.

SInce a couple of you have asked, I would make a similar piece for $1500-$1800 depending on how it the mounting is embelished.

Thanks again Ari :D
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2001
Messages
1,361
wow, that's a real beauty. not surprising at all, seeing what little I've seen of Bailey's work. :)
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2002
Messages
13,337
Wow. I usually don't comment on price, but that is some kind of raging bargain, IMHO.

Roger
 
Joined
Nov 6, 2004
Messages
117
Thanks for posting the pics Ari!! And thanks for the compliments from everyone.

SInce a couple of you have asked, I would make a similar piece for $1500-$1800 depending on how it the mounting is embelished.

That seems very reasonable. What is your current wait-list time?

:)
 

Triton

Gold Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2000
Messages
34,949
1500 to 1800 mounted and polished with saya? That IS a bargain... I need to get in line...
 

HJK

Moderator
Joined
Jun 30, 1999
Messages
26,870
That really is a beauty! How does it cut? ;)
I certainly would join the lineup!
Lovely.
 

Bailey Bradshaw

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Sep 13, 2001
Messages
815
Thanks again, I am glad you all enjoy the piece.

My wait list is a little over one year currently. In an attempt to build a customer base that collects swords ( love to make them, but not many of my usual customers are interested in them), I am not making my usual rate on these, and thus the lower than usual price.

I have a 30" katana available with bo-hi and unusual hitatsura hamon on half the blade, and gunome on the lower half. The hitatsura covers the monouchi (striking area, roughly the last third of the blade). It is the best cutting katana I have made to date. The blade is forged from 1075. I will post pics when I get it polished.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Messages
3,834
Simply stunning. That is just incredible. I can only hope to get one like it someday.
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2004
Messages
92
Sir,
I am very interested in the 30 inch sword. I am a true novice in this area though. I generally do things in a weird way. In this instance I'd like to purchase a quality sword and then learn everything about the sword, culture, mindset etc. In other words get the sword and use it as a motivation to learn more about it and use it as a center piece of my quest.

The question off the top I have is regarding length due to my height. I am 6 '4 and would like a sword that isn't tiny. I don't plan on ever using it in combat obviously :) I just would like it to "feel" right. So is the 30 inch give or take a couple of inches the appropriate size?

You can email me via jkothanek@paypal.com or post to the board whatever is easiest.
 

Bailey Bradshaw

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Sep 13, 2001
Messages
815
The 30" blade has a tenative owner, but will need to hear from him before it is confimed.

In the instance that he doesn't confirm it, then it will go to your refusal rights.

Anyway, in regards to length. The style of kenjutsu I trained in encouraged us to use as large a blade as we could handle. I trained with a 33" blade for some time and while I could draw and return the blade, it was a stretch and I wasn't as smooth as I wanted to be. 30" is just right for me, and I am 6'2". I would guess that 30" to 31" would work well for you too at 6'4". You don't want the situation I had where the length of my blade took me out of proper posture and mental focus, as it surely would get me killed against an experienced swordsman (it's all about refinement of technique from the theoretical approach of becoming a warrior. I certainly don't expect to duel anytime soon :p )
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2004
Messages
92
Thanks for the response. I looked around and saw a lot of intriguing swords out there from overseas or older swords from auctions etc.. While I may someday decide to collect a old sword for historial purposes I have decided I want to support a "local" maker such as yourself. I am a big beleiver in that kind of support. I have since a child had a fascination with Japanese swords and as a US Marine (no longer active) I love military history and aside from the US, the Japanese have the absolute most fascinating warrior tradition I know of.

I hope the sale goes very well for you or if it falls through I am sure we can make an agreement. As the pictures suggest you make a beautiful sword and I look forward to seeing more. Hopefully up close :)

Cheers
 
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