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Matthew R.





Joined: 28 May 2007

Posts: 46

PostPosted: Mon 22 Sep, 2008 11:42 pm    Post subject: How many swords is too many?         Reply with quote

Greetings all,

Having just ordered my first sword ever, an Albion Baron, I find myself perusing the internet considering my next buy. Now, I didn't plan to buy my next sword for another year, thinking one sword a year was plenty, but for some reason I desire the instant gratification of yet another sword.

I also had a conversation with my girlfriend, soon to be fiancee, and she fears that my sword buying habits are, while not necessarily a waste of money, still a hindrance to more important financial matters.

My question then is: How many swords, or any manner of historical weaponry, is too many? At what point do you look at your collection and say "I am satisfied." Is it even possible?

Now, of course I understand that people have different financial incomes and arms prices range drastically between manufacturers, but I am just curious to see what people's personal responses will be. Thanks in advance for participating.

-Matt Resmini
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Stu C




Location: Western Australia
Joined: 11 May 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 1:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For me it wouldn't ever be more than half a dozen, but then I'm not particularly materialistic, and I also think endless displays of stuff - particularly swords - are a bit tacky (no offence intended to anyone whose house is full of swords!!). Also my tastes tend to change over time, so I wouldn't want to end up with a large collection of items that didn't really mean anything to me at the end of it. By keeping the collection small, I think it stops it becoming a pathological obsession and also helps retain the pleasure associated with each individual item, rather than each one just becoming a (potentially expensive) statistic.

Horses for courses, methinks! Happy

Oh, and enjoy the Baron, even if it does become on obsession!

Stu
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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Location: Netherlands
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 1:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I personally make my own swords, so finance isn't an issue. Time is on the other hand. So too many swords in my case is when I don't sleep enough to be able to stay awake at work Happy
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 3:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When you got a feel that there are too many of them and you won't be able to stop buying, you'll have to sell some of the older ones that you think you can part with.
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Jean-Carle Hudon




Location: Montreal,Canada
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 5:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the proper forumite to ask this question to is Jean Thibodeau, I have always liked his balanced approach to acquiring more steel.... and he can be used as a basis for comparison of the '' look , honey, I'm really not that bad, imagine if you were Jean's girlfriend....''
Bon coeur et bon bras
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Chris Goerner




Location: Roanoke, Virginia
Joined: 19 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 5:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Whenever my wife would ask the question, "How many swords do you need?" I would always answer, "Just one more." She doesn't ask me anymore Wink

I believe humans are wired in a way that we will never be satisfied by material things. We'll always want one more, or one better, or one of something else. Knowing this helps me not to be controlled by these impulses, but it doesn't take them away. The key is to possess the things we own rather than being possessed by them.

Having a separate bank account for my hobby and setting specific goals for my collection have also helped me remain in control of my spending habits.

Chris

Sic Semper Tyranus
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 6:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This will obviously vary person to person, but some guidelines might be:

1) if your collecting intereferes will real-life expenses, it's too much.
2) if your collection has grown so much that you're overwhelmed and don't enjoy each individual piece, it's too much.

Collecting should never get in the way of solid financial habits. Pay down debt and make sure your retirement is being funded properly before you start spending money on a hobby. Your collecting shouldn't impoverish you. Owning nice swords is always secondary to having a place to live, electricity, etc. Happy

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Justin King
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 6:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My collection tends to hover at about 10 swords. I always want another one or two or ten but when the total value of my collection is upwards of 5000$ it becomes hard for me to justify getting a new sword without selling another one first.
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Nathan Keysor




Location: WV
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 7:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a question my wife asks me very often.... I would have to agree with the above posts. If you can afford it then the sky is the limit I suppose. Avarice can come into play of course. They way I look at it is that when I was a kid I couldn't wait to be an adult so I could buy everything I wanted. Once I became an adult I realized that you can never have everything you want so it's better to focus on the things you need. Since I'm in a comfortable position I occasionally indulge myself (OK sometimes more than occasionally). Compared to friends of mine that have multiple cars, motorcycles etc...etc.. my collecting is pretty low budget.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,315

PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 7:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have 10 bronze swords and 11 or 12 steel ones, and I don't even really consider myself a collector! (All are modern repros except for one rusty kris blade and a Victorian replica of a 17th century rapier.) So I'm kind of confused by the phrase "too many swords"... But I've also been at this since 1980, so that's less than one sword per year on average, and a few were gifts or gotten very cheaply. I thoroughly agree with Chad that you should never spend money on the hobby unless you can really afford it!

I couldn't imagine living with someone who didn't understand and support my passions. A voice of reason is certainly a good thing, especially in a shared financial situation! And I don't want to suggest that you dump your girlfriend! I know a number of folks whose spouses just aren't into the same hobbies, but it still seems odd to me...

"Too many swords"--Nope, sorry, does not compute!

Matthew
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 8:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maybe your girlfriend would feel better about a case full of books. Books are probably the best investment in this hobby. These will inform wise purchases of arms and armour and hold their own value pretty well, especially if you're willing to reach a little for the most important titles. Some great titles are $150 and up, but some can be had for less than $20. You could build a very nice library for the price of a single fine production sword from A&A or Albion, and although you might not buy as much arms and armour as a result, what you do buy will probably be of better quality and have more meaning to you than it would otherwise.

One could do worse than buying a fine sword (that will hold much of its value) just to satisfy that initial itch and give some physical understanding of the technology, but then build a library of equivalent value before making the next purchase of arms or armour. Or, buy every sword with the intent to learn from it what can be learned and then sell it to fund the purchase of a different sword type for the same purpose and the same fate. Buy pre-owned items. Learn to upgrade, re-hilt, etc. so you can buy low and sell high while learning more about the technology.

-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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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 12:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How many swords are too many?

How ever many you think are too many.

How many are too few?

How ever many you think are too few.

When are you satisfied?

Whenever you stop constructing a sense of self and identity through material objects.

Happy
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 1:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean-Carle Hudon wrote:
I think the proper forumite to ask this question to is Jean Thibodeau, I have always liked his balanced approach to acquiring more steel.... and he can be used as a basis for comparison of the '' look , honey, I'm really not that bad, imagine if you were Jean's girlfriend....''


Well, too many is when I run out of corners to lean stuff on. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud But that just makes me more selective about what I buy and the lower end stuff may end up in less prominent view like in a big cardboard box in the basement ! I do still want to store stuff in a way that they don't damage each other.

Well, nobody but me decides how many swords are too much except for not going too crazy buying more than I can afford.
( Girlfriend would have to have her own swords ! ).

In numbers I don't think I buy more than 1 or 2 high end swords a year and maybe a few of the mid range ones if I like their design. Oh, one can add to that polearms, armour or shields.

Oh, training sword(s), gambison(s), fencing mask have added to the " accumulation " and clutter. Wink Razz

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




Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 3:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:

Well, too many is when I run out of corners to lean stuff on.


This sounds about right for a collector. I friend of mine just had two paintings (old vacation purchases that had sat in a closet for many years) framed for decoration of his apartment. The paintings were worth less than $100. The frames purchased simply to enhance display were over $500. The sort of money required to buy a pretty nice reproduction sword does not go that far towards nice drapery, genuine ceramic tile work, and dozens of other things not essential to finances that the aforementioned fiance will undoubtedly be interested in acquiring.

A sword every year or two is probably manageable as a fair personal discretionary expenditure if what the partners really spent money on is budgeted and tracked/recorded according to categories that really illustrate the degree of individual spending on "non essential" things. It starts to seem particularly reasonable if predicated upon achieving a specific numerical goal of larger net savings.

I currently have three (single hand Albion Knight, hand and a half Albion Sempach, and pretty much two handed Albion Munich sword) swords that satisfy me as far as different types of swords of medieval nature to play with. Since my display agreement is "NO DISPLAY", there is not a lot of point to having multiple examples of the same general functional types. Wood wasters should not be underestimated for providing daily satisfaction in casual practice. There are some pretty nice ones out there, and nothing to stop one from sculpting the hilt, applying leather grip wraps , sculpting fullers and adding pommel weights to make them feel more "real."

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Tim Harris
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 5:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Like Jeroen, I make my own, so there are always new prototypes being added to the ones at home. A quick mental census puts the figure at 20, of which 5 or so are seing active use.

For me, "too many" is when the bag gets too heavy to lug to training.
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D. Austin
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 5:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have a number of types of swords that I'm most interested in and would like to own a good quality version of each of them. So far I have a cutlass, a longsword, a rapier, a katana, a sabre and a longsword training blunt. I would like to add to my collection a falchion, a smallsword and a complex hilt cut and thrust type sword.

Once I have one of each, my collection habits "should" involve upgrading those I'm not completely satisfied with and selling off the old pieces. This limits the size of my collection whilst having one piece to represent each major style that I'm interested in. Unfortunately, the collection can still grow however. I could (and fully intend to) do the same with polearms, daggers and armour, which would significantly increase the number of dangerous metal thingys in my possession. I think I need a modest castle, or at least a dedicated room, if I ever intend to appropriately display them.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 8:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To preserve my own sanity I limit myself to no more than 7 swords at any given time. Oddly enough I don't think I've ever hit that number. I have three at the moment with two on order. I know of one more that I want and then I expect to hold. So I guess I'll end up at six swords when I plan to be done (unless I sell one).

I don't count other odds and ends (2 waters, 1 halberd, 1poleaxe, 1 dagger). I never seem to buy many of them anyway. It's always the swords that drive my collection.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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G. Ghazarian
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 9:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I think, when you start seeing them all alike, like a pointed object with a handle at the other end, then you can be sure you have enough !

Until then just be careful with your money and try to manage your budget.

G. Ghazarian
http://gloryships.com/
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Sep, 2008 5:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A collection is, I feel, something that isn't "finished" while there are still things to collect for it. That's sort of the whole point
with collecting stuff.

That said, I think Chad got it pretty right: the limits to sword collection depends on how many swords your economy actually allow you to aquire and -theoretically- your capacity to store the swords you have.

(IOW, I you own so many swords your options come down to covering the walls of your home with them and turning it into an improvised museeum of reproduction weaponry, or putting them in boxes stacked in storage somewhere, never to see the light of day... you may have gone slightly overboard with it. Razz )

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Jeremy Scott Steimel




Location: Champaign, IL
Joined: 24 Jan 2004

Posts: 105

PostPosted: Wed 24 Sep, 2008 9:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a bit off subject in that it does not directly answer your question, but I do find that attending blade shows, token-kais, hammer-ins (if you're lucky enough to have a good sword smith in your state or a neighboring state), cutting parties, and the like from time to time will do well to curb the desire to own too many swords.

For me, I would not necessarily say I have a desire to own too many swords, 6-7 would be enough for me. However, I have a desire to experience as many swords as possible. Finding venues to do that outside of ownership is key. Happy

Dum spiro, spero
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