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Dennis Chang





Joined: 13 Feb 2010

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat 13 Feb, 2010 12:40 am    Post subject: Thoughts on whether to SHARPEN collectible swords?         Reply with quote

First post on these boards.

I am not a sword collector at all but have recently come across an opportunity to buy an Albion Conan Barbarian Atlantean. I have a choice between an original unsharpened one and a sharpened one. I am a big Conan fan of both literature and film and this is something I couldn't pass up.

I am interested in opinions by collectors and sword enthusiasts with far more knowledge and experience than myself about whether a collectible like the Conan Atlantean should be sharpened or not?

These Albion blades are battle ready to begin with but sharpening them would really take it to the next level I suppose. It would turn them into legitimate weapons. However I have read arguments (notably by Patrick Kelly in his review of the Conan the Barbarian Atlantean from Albion on this site) that putting an edge on a collectible blade like this would remove the "mint" description and damage long-term value. I am curious about the thinking behind this train of thought.

I also find it interesting that some of Albion's newer film sword replicas now come sharpened as "default" rather than the other way around as was the case with the Conan swords. For example, the Death Dealer axe, the Discerner Blade, and the Alpha Omega Dagger and Sword all come sharpened unless you specifically ask for it not to I suppose.

Personally, as I am not a collector of swords, I am a little leery of buying a sharpened collectible. I understand I will need to clean my sword regularly with oil to keep it from rusting and the prospect of accidentally slicing my finger off on a razor sharp blade is not appealing to me. On top of that I have a 16 month old daughter to think about as well.

On the other hand, having a sword hand-sharpened by the late great Jody Samson would mean a lot to me as well. I understand all Conan blades that needed sharpening were done by him personally and I assume the one offered to me to had been done by him as well. To own an Atlantean worked on by him in some form (even if just sharpened) would be a big deal. I can always mount the sword on a wall well away from my daughter and take extra care cleaning it I suppose. Hopefully, I don't need to oil these swords more than 1-2 times a year? But then what about Patrick's views on future value and collectability?

I'm torn about this and would appreciate comments and perspectives. By the way, price is identical for either choice.

Dennis
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 13 Feb, 2010 12:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Welcome to myArmoury.com. Thank you for taking the time to participate.

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http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=16010

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=2264

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Peter Lyon
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PostPosted: Sat 13 Feb, 2010 12:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Thoughts on whether to SHARPEN collectible swords?         Reply with quote

Dennis Chang wrote:
These Albion blades are battle ready to begin with but sharpening them would really take it to the next level I suppose. It would turn them into legitimate weapons. Dennis


This is the important part to me; as a sword maker I always ask a buyer "Exactly why do you want a sharp sword?". There are reasons for and against, here is a small sample. For: swords were meant to be sharp; the buyer wants to do test cutting with it. Against: unless it is impossible for the blade to be touched, somebody WILL cut themselves on it eventually (if you have kids or kids visit, this is important); it is no longer an art object, it is a weapon.

Still hammering away
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 13 Feb, 2010 9:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Thoughts on whether to SHARPEN collectible swords?         Reply with quote

Peter Lyon wrote:
Dennis Chang wrote:
These Albion blades are battle ready to begin with but sharpening them would really take it to the next level I suppose. It would turn them into legitimate weapons. Dennis


This is the important part to me; as a sword maker I always ask a buyer "Exactly why do you want a sharp sword?". There are reasons for and against, here is a small sample. For: swords were meant to be sharp; the buyer wants to do test cutting with it. Against: unless it is impossible for the blade to be touched, somebody WILL cut themselves on it eventually (if you have kids or kids visit, this is important); it is no longer an art object, it is a weapon.


Having children or uncontrolled visitors is certainly an issue for some but if a sword was normally sharpened it seems better for it to be sharpened if one is collecting weapons and not " near " weapons ( Not saying wall hanger here, just that unsharpened seems like it's once removed from being real ! ).

Sharp weapons do mean being respectful of the potential danger, not being all thumbs or accident prone and controlling access from the incompetent or immature of all ages.

On the other hand I now have a few Del Tins that I know I could sharpen at any time but are safer unsharpened considering that I don't have scabbards for them i.e. I would only sharpen a sword when I have a scabbard for it or a safe storage/display cabinet if left out of it's scabbard.

I think a good case can be made for sharpening or not sharpening.

As far as the Conan sword I would not think it's value would be reduced if it was originally sharpened by Jody Samson or under his approval/supervision by Albion.

Depends a lot on how important you feel that it should be a " usable " weapon in " theory " as I wouldn't do any test cutting with it if I was concerned about keeping it pristine. Wink Even oiling or cleaning should be done with care so as to not cause micro scratches: A too abrasive cloth or cleaning compound can change the finish ..... not important with most of the Albions as one can refinish them using the same type of abrasive used by Albion if done carefully to remove very minor scratches from light use in test cutting.

A highly polished or mirror polished blade/sword furnishings is much easier to damage and much harder to restore to mint quality ...... not really mint if redone and certainly not mint if even a good polishing is different from the level of polishing of the original condition in my opinion.

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




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PostPosted: Sun 14 Feb, 2010 8:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In my opinion, a sword is historically meant to be a weapon. So it had to be sharp.

So a modern-made sword intended to be a recreation of a historical weapon also needs to be sharp in my opinion.

Regarding fantasy weapons, I guess they are also supposed to be weapons and therefore sharp. I mean, I can't imagine Conan, and even less Aragorn, carrying an unsharpened sword.

One also needs to consider that edge geometry involves distribution of metal and therefore weight. An unsharpened version of a sharp sword is not only dull, but also heavier.

So, if I were to commission a custom-made fantasy sword, it would be sharp.

On the other hand, if one has an existing replica which is not sharp, one needs to consider the maker's original intent and also resale value. For instance, a CAS Iberia Lord of the Rings sword is due to material and construction not intended as a real sword, so trying to turn it into a real sword is nonsense. The Albion Conan swords are quite expensive and sharpening it (or modifying it in any other way) would probably strongly decrease it's value as a collectible.

Regarding safety, I believe that one must store any weapon out of the reach of children. An unsharpened sword is still not a toy and may paradoxally actually be more dangerous because it seems less dangerous.
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Zach Gordon




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PostPosted: Sun 14 Feb, 2010 10:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey... I saw the albion conan sword once, and i dont see why you should sharpen it. It felt like it weighed 10lbs, in no way was the sword a weapon. You could not cut with it or anything, it was just to damn heavy. I also got to see on of the originals used in the movie, it wasn't sharpened either. Since its a recreation of a sword used in a movie, shouldn't it match the original? Basically you would just make it more difficult to display, for no reason Confused
so u got my advice Laughing Out Loud
Z
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Sun 14 Feb, 2010 10:43 am    Post subject: Re: Thoughts on whether to SHARPEN collectible swords?         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:


Having children or uncontrolled visitors is certainly an issue for some but if a sword was normally sharpened it seems better for it to be sharpened if one is collecting weapons and not " near " weapons ( Not saying wall hanger here, just that unsharpened seems like it's once removed from being real ! ).

Sharp weapons do mean being respectful of the potential danger, not being all thumbs or accident prone and controlling access from the incompetent or immature of all ages.


I agree Jean. I first taught my children to swing wooden wasters with "o.k. techique" for a few weeks, and then to "test cut" with my adult sized sharp replicas so that they would fully appreciate what my sharp longswords can do. Similarly, they have been to target ranges and been taught to observe fire arm safety rules, cleaning, and safe storage of all these types of items in locations where first time visitors will not just happen to pick up dangerous weapons and "play" with them. As teenagers, they have been entrusted with historically sharp swords, and I expect them to be just as responsible with these items as with other "necessary" and dangerous items that they must use such as automobiles.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Dennis Chang





Joined: 13 Feb 2010

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PostPosted: Sun 14 Feb, 2010 2:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for the replies and insights.

Thanks also to Nathan for the welcome and redirecting me to some old threads that I have read.

Seems to me that in terms of collectability, it is a toss up for the Albion Conan swords since Albion themselves and Jody Samson specifically offered the blades sharpened at the customer's discretion. As such, it can technically be argued that a sharpened Conan Albion is consistent with the original state of the collectible.

In any case, I think I'm going to stick with the blunt versions. The only reason I wanted a sharpened one anyway was the knowledge that Jody Samon hand-sharpened every Conan Albion himself it that was what was requested and I really wanted a sword that was worked on by him.

Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll see if I can post some pics once I get the swords. I'm on a payment plan so it will take awhile but I plan eventually on getting all both Atlantean versions and the Master's as well.

Dennis
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Christopher H





Joined: 06 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Sun 14 Feb, 2010 4:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Zach Gordon wrote:
Hey... I saw the albion conan sword once, and i dont see why you should sharpen it. It felt like it weighed 10lbs, in no way was the sword a weapon. You could not cut with it or anything, it was just to damn heavy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLte01rj0O0
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 14 Feb, 2010 8:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher H wrote:
Zach Gordon wrote:
Hey... I saw the albion conan sword once, and i dont see why you should sharpen it. It felt like it weighed 10lbs, in no way was the sword a weapon. You could not cut with it or anything, it was just to damn heavy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLte01rj0O0


Maybe cutting isn't the problem that actually fighting with it would be as far a swordsmanship is concerned i.e. speed of recovery, how fast one would tire using it ?

At 10 pounds it's just barely usable as a twohander but would be very difficult to use one handed. The handle does seem long enough for two handed use but if one uses the Conan movies as the model of how it would have been used, it seemed like Conan was able to use it mostly one handed with occasional two handed use ? Haven't seen the movie in a long time and the sword used most of the time probably had an aluminium blade while the steel " HERO " version in steel used for close ups i.e. even Arnold would find the steel 10 pound one heavy after a few minutes of use I think.

In test cutting the target is not going to be fighting back. Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool

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