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Travis C.




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PostPosted: Thu 21 Aug, 2008 4:32 am    Post subject: sword habit         Reply with quote

I also buy just one a year now - usually in July. Around January I start considering what I want and then start saving for the July purchase.
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Christopher Gregg




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PostPosted: Thu 21 Aug, 2008 7:11 am    Post subject: Sword addition         Reply with quote

My interest in sword collecting began in 1976 when a neighbor gave me a Vietnamese tourist sword (nice carved wood scabbard), but I wasn't able to purchase my first sword until '89 (a Marto from Disney World's Magic Castle). I added another couple of Martos over the next few years, but in '94 a friend gave me my first Museum Replicas catalog, and I discovered "properly-made" swords. Since that time, I suppose I have bought around three or four swords of Del TIn and Windlass class per year, but about eight years ago, I moved up to Arms and Armor, so I only get one per year of these. I currently own about 40 swords, some of which I've had for nearly 15 years. I also try to get a high-end or custom piece every two or three years, but with the economy like it's been lately, this has slowed. This year, I've only purchased one A & A (a Serenissima side sword) and an old Del Tin from our Marketplace page. If things get better, I suppose I'll stick with trying to obtain an Albion or two over the next couple of years. I have to admit, it's been fun!

BTW, with my interest in 18th century reenacting, my collecting is focused on this time period, but I still enjoy medieval and Renaissance edged weaponry. Cool

Christopher Gregg

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 21 Aug, 2008 7:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Goerner wrote:
I to have found myself wondering whether either of my sons will continue in their appreciation of swords, and have tried to add pieces to my collection that can be passed down and enjoyed by future generations.

Chris


I had forgotten another significant development in my collecting until Chris posted. Increasing knowledge of my family's ancestry is now a factor in my collecting. An ancestor killed at Towton backed my interests up to mid-15th c. A German line has stoked interest in that culture. American colonial connections pointed me toward early 17th c. British arms and armour. I think this approach is a great way to focus collecting and give it meaning beyond the collector.

I even want my antiques to have some kind of family connection. My son is named for an ancestor killed at the Battle of Atlanta and for his son, who in the late 19th c. found a cavalry saber near where my family now lives (with the saber). Someday we'll add my father's Lefaucheaux pistol, my father-in-law's Enfield musket, and the knife another Confederate ancestor made from a saw blade. I'll be happy for my son to inherit and maintain that surprisingly complete collection of Civil War arms.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Ed Toton




PostPosted: Thu 21 Aug, 2008 7:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The evolution of my collection and collecting habits has probably proceeded similarly to many here. I started collecting swords over 20 years ago (around the age of 13 or so), starting with a $20 cheap Toledo wall-hanger that I found in an umbrella bin in an antique shop. The second one I bought was more of a "real" sword (based on what I knew at the time), which I bought at the local RenFaire after having saved up for about six months, which was no small feat for me as a young teenager.

After that I had bought some display-only swords, because they looked cool, and I didn't really know much about what the difference was, as a teen. Then I bought the CAS-Iberia Agincourt, which showed me that swords don't need to be heavy, and from then on I wanted all of my swords to be "battle ready" (based on the limited knowledge I had at the time, of course). This resulted in a phase of being embarrassed by my wall-hangers, for a couple of years, locking them away in storage.

Then I decided I wanted at least one of every kind of sword.... rapier, basket-hilt, claymore, scimitar, flamberge, longsword, short sword, cutlass, katana, and anything else I could think of. I never achieved that, though. After a while, I started to realize that some of these held no meaning to me (such as the scimitar I had). During this time I came to the conclusion that any sword, no matter how junky, could have a place if the price is right, so some of these that I obtained weren't very good, but they were cheap enough to justify it. Also during this time, I started referring to something I called "the age rule", where the sword-count should never fall below your age... Happy I only needed to buy one a year to maintain it. I even sold many of them to help pay for some of the new ones, and still kept to the rule. Happy

Then, a few years ago, I decided that I'd rather have a smaller number of high quality swords, than to be swimming in cheap ones. I sold a few more, but not many, but I've been going crazy getting my hands on several Albions and similar pieces each year for the last two years.

But now I'll probably settle back into one sword per year, and continue to try to sell off a lot of my older, junkier pieces.

My collection has been over 40 swords strong for probably nearly 8 years. But it didn't contain an Albion, A&A, ATrim, or CF piece until a couple of years ago.

-Ed T. Toton III
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Jeremy V. Krause




PostPosted: Thu 21 Aug, 2008 7:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi everybody,

Like many my interests in swords first grew out of reading Tolkien's great works and some lesser quality fantasy stuff. As a child I was always very interested in the medieval period and read quite a few book oriented towards kids.

At 16 in 1993 I got my first SLO having almost no knowledge of the real sword and it's place in history. This "Barbarian Sword" was an utter disappointment and sort of turned me off the idea of buying swords as I knew this thing was very badly made.

In my first year in college I did attend a renn faire in Spotslevania VA, and found an A&A booth. There I bought a Medici steletto which I still own. I was struck by A&A's quality and so a little later I purchased an Irish Sword and the High Gothic Mace. In 99 I finished undergrad and bought a Danish War Axe and my wife purchased a custom A&A for me. I also went to Italy and visited Fluvio Del Tin which was really cool- bought a 12. c. model of his.

In 2003 I started with myArmoury and learned SO much more- began collecting books which helped so much. I found Albion and was really impressed by their pieces and havemoved my collecting focus since then to the time of history I have always loved (1066-1300) Since then it's all Albion- and recently a very nice seax made by Leo Todeschini (Tod).

I haven't sold anything but I might over some time. For now my interest still lies in the High Medieval- though I have gone a little bit outside of this.

I am leaning towards custom stuff now but I may still get some repros. if they really get to me. I am not wealthy so I will average a piece every other year or so. I would like to learn more about what I have now that I finally have a yard!

Jeremy
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Russ Thomas




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PostPosted: Thu 21 Aug, 2008 2:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi folks,


In reply to a similar question a while back, I wrote the following:

'I started collecting 'Anything sharp', when I was just six years old. My late parents were very understanding and enthusiastic on my belhalf, with one proviso; "The first time you cut yourself, they all go!" well that taught me to respect my weapons, and I never played with them. In fact I never cut myself on any of them unlti I was twenty three, then I cut myself twice and stabbed myself all in the same day ! Well, you might as well get it all out of the way at the same time Laughing Out Loud
I was exceedingly lucky, and many people where very generous with the odd sword or knife etc. that were lying under beds or gathering dust in attics. As a youngster I had a quite impressive collection.
When I started work I had a little more money available so my collection grew, mostly at that time in the area of collecting bayonets. They were available very reasonably, in the early 70's they were all about 3.50-4.00. Few people collected or wanted them, so that was what I started to specialise in. Nearly every Monday I would find something to add to my collection in Covent Garden antiques market ! Those were the days!
Later, about 1980, I sold my entire collection and started collecting my main area of fascination; Japanese swords. I built up a quite substantial collection of Japanese weapons. I had at one point about sixty swords and a a couple of armours , plus various odd pieces as well. I suppose all in all, I have owned about a hundred Japanese swords , dating from ca. 1350 to 1943, including some really fine blades and even a gold mounted one!
The problem was that as I sold items to buy better quality weapons, I became increasingly uncomfortable with handling any of them in case I damaged them. None of them were ever on show. Leaving the house was always a worry in case of burglars. Holidays were a nightmare ! So gradually they have all gone, and I am much, much happier without the responsibility!
Today I have a few odd reenactment swords hanging around in the workshop, and my 'collection' consists of just a single British 1908 cavalry sword. My collecting interest is the literature on arms and armour these days, and I have built up a reasonable library of books on armour, which continues to expand.
I do not have the collecting 'bug' for weapons anymore, though I have decided that I will collect the British cavalry swords from the 1853 pattern to the 1908, one of which as I have said I already have. There are only five swords in this series, none of them prohibitively expensive, but they will make an interesting little display in the office, when I have one! I will also , at some point, buy a English three bar 'Lobster pot' helmet and a troopers breastplate. Finally, a single representative Japanese sword will complete the list. That is my entire shopping list, and I am in absolutely no hurry to aquire any of them.
Though I do not have any bayonets , Japanese swords or any other weapons anymore, I still have the knowledge that I have amassed over a forty odd year period, and I am still interested in all of them - just not in collecting them! '


As a slight amendment to the above, I am as I said still interested in bayonets, and I might as and when I find examples, buy an 1859 Enfield cutlass bayonet, an 1871 Martini Henry cutlass bayonet, an 1876 pattern artillery saw backed bayonet, and a Jacobs bayonet. But these are really just for the 'office' display, and I have no interest in collecting again as such. Also, they are all items which, with the exception of the English three bar ' Lobster' pot helmet, that I have already owned at some point, so the aquisitive streak just isn't really there.

This is an interesting topic Nathan, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading everyones replies! Big Grin

Regards,

Russ

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero !


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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Aug, 2008 6:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some of you have discussed what was responsible for getting your interest in this stuff started. For me, aside from the typical "boy loves swords" stuff, I can trace ie to the time I dug up a weird thing from the soil under my house. Yes, I literally dug up a package. It was a bundle of stained fabric that held a short sword/long dagger in its scabbard. The blade was black, as if something had decayed on it or was burned and charred. When I was younger, I fancied the fabric to be stained in blood, but it was probably an oil or something else. Either way, it was a creepy discovery and got my attention.

The unearthed kris blade is shown below. I still own it. I still don't know much about it and never found out why it was buried in my basement or who owned it.

Regardless, I suspect this thing is responsible for my fascination with the subject of arms and armour.



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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Fri 22 Aug, 2008 6:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
The blade was black, as if something had decayed on it or was burned and charred. When I was younger, I fancied the fabric to be stained in blood, but it was probably an oil or something else. Either way, it was a creepy discovery and got my attention.

The unearthed kris blade is shown below. I still own it. I still don't know much about it and never found out why it was buried in my basement or who owned it.

Regardless, I suspect this thing is responsible for my fascination with the subject of arms and armour.


Interesting and there has to be a story behind this knife getting buried. Eek! It could be something " banale " like some kid hiding it from his disapproving Mom or something dramatic like a murder mystery weapon. Question Too late to get a CSI type forensic investigation going on that residue !

Identifying it as to origin and age might be something that could become a whole new Topic in itself to not sidetrack this one.

Could be a local knife made for the tourist trade but the blade looks somewhat better than that? More questions than answers. Wink Laughing Out Loud

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Don Stanko




PostPosted: Mon 25 Aug, 2008 7:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The number of swords that I will add to my collection is dependent upon two variables. The first is expendable income, how much I have left over after home projects and bills. Although I strive to be like Chad and run a zero out of pocket hobby, it rarely work out that way. The second variable is availability. Since I collect mostly antique items, the swords I'm looking for may not always be available for sale or the price is beyond my means. As for the future of my collection, I see myself slowing down quite a bit. Not because I've lost interest, but my tastes have refined and the items I'm looking for may not be for sale. In the past I've added as many as five swords in a year, other years I didn't buy a single weapon. Right now I'm hunting for the elusive weapons of the 16th Century (Katzbalger etc...)
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Ed Toton




PostPosted: Tue 26 Aug, 2008 12:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:

The unearthed kris blade is shown below. I still own it. I still don't know much about it and never found out why it was buried in my basement or who owned it.

Regardless, I suspect this thing is responsible for my fascination with the subject of arms and armour.


That's a very interesting way to get started! I'd have loved to have found buried treasure when I was younger, but alas, the house I had been growing up in when I took an interest in swords was relatively new. My parents were the original owners.

The closest thing to buried treasure I found in my early collecting was a photo-copy of a page stuck in an unrelated book in the library. The page showed a complete harness and had all of the parts labeled. I was probably the only 9th grader in my school who knew what "greaves" and "cuisses" were. Actually, I know I was... the school only had five 9th graders at the time. Happy

For me, the fascination started from games and movies, as is probably true for many here. Dungeons and Dragons was a great source of interest, but also the BBC "Robin of Sherwood" series (which made me want a disc-pommel for my first "real" sword). Other films, such as The Princess Bride, and of course Monty Python's Holy Grail, just helped to solidify my desire to pick up fencing and put together a 13th century kit.

-Ed T. Toton III
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J.D. Crawford




PostPosted: Tue 26 Aug, 2008 5:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I suppose I am following a similar curve to Nathan, but got started later. I was too busy raising kids and getting the career going in the 90s to have any hobbies. I have always had a thing about medieval swords, and always had a craving to own one. (For example, when I hit 40 my wife asked me what I wanted, and I said 'a sword!) But I honestly had no idea of the widespread availability of replicas until I blundered into a sword shop in Spain about 5 years ago. Since that revelation, I have been buying several per year. However, I am realizing that most of them do not stand the test of time. It's only certain ones that have a certain personal meaning...in my case often related to my cultural heritage...that seem to stick. As for the rest, I have given some away to friends, and plan to donate some more to a local martial arts club. I have recently decided that it makes more sense for me to occasionally commission a custom job for something I really want, rather than go through scads of commercially available swords to find the right one. I have just placed my first order for a custom job, from a place that won't break the bank. If it works out well, I will report the results here. -JD
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Thu 02 Aug, 2012 5:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan, that's an incredible story! they have basements in California? Laughing Out Loud
"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Ruel A. Macaraeg




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PostPosted: Thu 02 Aug, 2012 9:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Nathan Robinson wrote:
The blade was black, as if something had decayed on it or was burned and charred. When I was younger, I fancied the fabric to be stained in blood, but it was probably an oil or something else. Either way, it was a creepy discovery and got my attention.

The unearthed kris blade is shown below. I still own it. I still don't know much about it and never found out why it was buried in my basement or who owned it.

Regardless, I suspect this thing is responsible for my fascination with the subject of arms and armour.


Interesting and there has to be a story behind this knife getting buried. Eek! It could be something " banale " like some kid hiding it from his disapproving Mom or something dramatic like a murder mystery weapon. Question Too late to get a CSI type forensic investigation going on that residue !

Identifying it as to origin and age might be something that could become a whole new Topic in itself to not sidetrack this one.

Could be a local knife made for the tourist trade but the blade looks somewhat better than that? More questions than answers. Wink Laughing Out Loud


Nathan, Jean,
Identifying it is no problem because the blade itself tells us: Negros is an island in the central Philippines.
Compare with these Tagalog bolos from Luzon, ca. 1900, which also have thick horn hilts and brass ferrules: http://www.forensicfashion.com/1898KatipunanSandatahanSword.html

http://ForensicFashion.com/CostumeStudies.html


Last edited by Ruel A. Macaraeg on Fri 03 Aug, 2012 8:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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D. S. Smith




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PostPosted: Thu 02 Aug, 2012 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting topic. When I became interested in swords (very recently compared to many of you here) I decided that I was not going to repeat my firearm collection practices. I've owned many guns over the years and sold most of them (I have only a very modest collection now). With swords I decided that I was not going to even really have a "collection". I chose the number two (2). Happy

I decided that I was not going to have money be a limiting factor. Everytime I've let cost figure in to a "collection" purchase, I've ended up selling the item down the road. I simply won't be that "I wish I would have gone with ______" guy. Life is too short for that. Better to save or sacrifice and buy what it is you really want.

So i decided that my sword collection would be complete with two swords; one example of a single-hander, and one example of a two hander or bastard. I rode my motorcycle a third of the way across the country and back just to see swords in person before buying my first one. I chose the Albion Crecy as the ultimate example of what I liked in a two hander. That was my first sword. My second will be the single hander and the decision is not quite so easy. I'm "almost" determined to buy an Albion Laird, but the Kingmaker keeps speaking to me as well. If I could combine the blade of the Kingmaker with the cross of the Laird, the decision would have been made a long time ago. I'm just really not a fan of the Kingmaker's cross. Curved crosses have never done anything for me, and the profile of it I like even less (too "blocky" when viewing the cross from behind in my opinion).

The only way I can see myself adding a third sword to the collection would be to buy a duplicate of one of the two I decide on. That way I could actually beat it up a bit without crying. ;-)

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They bid me take my place among them,
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Rune Vildhoj




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PostPosted: Fri 03 Aug, 2012 9:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And interesting topic indeed, so let me join in for once.
Sometime during boyhood, as presumably most in this forum, I also had a fascination with swords and various other weapons. It wasn't a particular strong or resiliant bug - having build a functional crossbow at the age of 10-12 was likely the peak after some years of toying around. Often enjoying the act of hammering a shield into shape or making an elaborate crossguurd more than playing knights with the friends afterwards. I never got into serious collecting, re-enactment WMA or even begged my parent to have a wallhanger - the possibility actually never ocurred to me. That could have been the end of it, had it not been for another factor - my fascination with understanding society, in which the history that has shaped it seems a most important though often overlooked aspect. Knowing who you are seems to require you know not only your heritage in terms of family, but also terms of what defines the world we live in; say what constitutes a family, a household or some other group in first place..
I know, this seems tangential to the subject in question - collecting swords - but mine is a somewhat sideways story compared to what has previously come up in this tread, which is why I choose to bring up; show that many characters are to be found here sharing a common interest or passion. (The good thing about the internet is after all that one can skim through what seems like small-talk without insulting anyone Big Grin ) To cut things short I also had a sort of mental ballast, if you like this term, that most must do without: As a smaller child, my father read me bedtime stories. Regular fictional books for sure, but also all the stories from the old Norse mythology and germanic sagas which are quite exiting in their own right. And the grandparents told not only of the recent past they had lived through themselves, but a lot of what they knew about local history. And fuelled that generic boyish interets with gifts in form of spectacular finds of very fine axeheads and smiliar from various mounds. So I sort of grew with the past quite vivid, in words as well as objects spanning several millinia.
Well, I sort never thought about it, just grew up, discovered girls, went to university, got a job and all the usual stuff, until I had an experience similar to what Nathan had: I literally made a discovery while digging under the house. Well, replace basement under Califonian house with in-between the boulders of a barn to a Swedish homestead (a fomer soldiers lot) used a holiday-retreat, but nonetheless. My find happened to a well-used dagger which, given the age of the building above, must have spend 200 years just waiting to be found between the granite blocks. It was rusty and the wood of the grip seemed very light and yielding, but given some effort I managed to restore it to full working condition and a keen edge. Several other obejcts have come out of the ground since, but basically that was what got me started again. And while chopping firewood with the axe - something I find enjoyable to do, handling the axe with minmum effort for a maximum effect - the thought of it being a sword swung instead was very close at hand. And hey, why not? I was an adult man, so If I wanted wanted to handle a sword, it was just a case of doing so. Aquirering a weapons license (Scandinavia can be somewhat restrictive in that respect), doing a little research and considering what I wanted (a "real" sword, functional and of decent quality and european medeival design).
And that was perhaps my second mistake, at least in terms terms of getting hooked, to make my first buy an Albion - the 'Svante' For those of you who may not have handled it, it is superbly balanced for a hand-and-a-half - obviously it was love at first touch. Having held it just a few times I knew that A: I would definitely aquire more shiny sharp objects, and B: I would never be satisfied with cheaper look-a-likes that lacked in craftmanship, feel or with historical correctness. Though not strapped for cash, that set the parameters of my collection: Relative few but high end swords. Within half a year I had bought what at that time constituted Albions entire Musemline and a few others. The spread in time merely to savor each new aquisition, learning it by heart before devoting the attention on next object. Even if mainly a collector, there is no knowing a sword unless it is motion. Having laid that basis, I will now only add new swords at a slow rate, perhaps one a year or less. Only the best, which I intend to keep for the foreseeable future, or possibly some extras or blunt practize weapons at whatever rate wear dictates it. Definitely limited to a particular scope in culture and history - otherwise it would be so easy to fill up the arms cabinets. Most of you probably know the momentary feeling of 'I want that' once you see some sword, polearm or other, at least I admit having it - but I give it some thought and only respond if it is a true calling. Though swords obviously take up less room than armour (which I'm also guilty of having), one hobby shouldn't take up more space in your home and life than you feel comfortable with. And my my way to manage that has right from the start been by aquiring few pieces rather than trading existing for new, though it obviously limits your ability to lay the hands on any number of different kinds.

But I suppose I also recognize element of what Sean mentions in my own way of collecting; that it has to connect to me in a wider way than the mere appeal of the weapons. Either in terms of cultural heritage, that is belonging to my family sphere and nationality, or in terms of a meaningfull collection to be carried on by inheritance someday.

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Experience causes understanding.
History is the longest experience of life.
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