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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2011 3:19 pm    Post subject: A big fan of swords         Reply with quote

This collecting hobby of mine has gotten ridiculous. I have a lot of swords. I need help.



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I need my collection to shrink by a large margin. This site is expensive to run. I want to move into a new place. This stuff is valuable and takes up a lot of room. It's not practical. Something has to give.

But what do I sell? Some things are much easier than others. Other things are much more dear to me. How do I decide?

There's far worse problems in this world to have than this, but for anyone who has even a tiny bit of the collector mentality, I'm sure this dilemma sounds familiar!

Is there anyone else out there that has become too big of a fan of this stuff than life will allow them to be? Who else is struggling with letting go? Anyone?

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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2011 3:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't think I've ever struggled over much with letting pieces come and go from the collection as they will over the years. At this point I don't even really have a collection. I have a Marek breast and back. A Matuls arming doublet. An Albion Ringeck, and an A&A Freiderich IV spear. Some odds and ends on order and I'm sure as priorities shift I'll grow the collection or shrink it as whim dictates. At this point they're all just things and most of the fun is in sharing them.

If you're struggling with letting go of some of this stuff go and you know you need to do so, I think the question becomes why? You've created your own community around the hobby so I think that might be a piece of it. Collecting swords seems to be a part of your definition of self. I can say that for me for a time sword collecting was a part off how I identified myself. However, when I take time to think back about it, collecting swords really mattered the most to me when there was a group of us socializing our collecting. I know that when I stopped dabbling in ARMA and when we stopped doing cutting parties in Ohio I unexpectedly found it much less necessary to have more and better swords. I could suddenly let go of pieces that I thought would never transition out of my collection when I brought them in. In many ways I've even let go of the collecting now.

So I'm curious, is it the swords that matter the most, or is the fact that they are part of the connection to what you've created between people here, the people you bring together. What matters most?



Note: I've also been advised by friends that once in a while I'm almost intensely OCD, pouring singular interest and focus into something until I get bored with it and then moving on to the next thing. Perhaps that's really the element giving me more balance in my sword-ing hobby now...its just past its intense interest phase.

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

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy


Last edited by Joe Fults on Sat 02 Jul, 2011 5:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2011 3:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

BTW the photo is very nice! Big Grin

Might even say that its eclectic.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
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Eric G.




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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2011 4:59 pm    Post subject: Re: A big fan of swords         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
This collecting hobby of mine has gotten ridiculous. I have a lot of swords. I need help.

I need my collection to shrink by a large margin. This site is expensive to run. I want to move into a new place. This stuff is expensive and takes up a lot of room. It's not practical. Something has to give.

But what do I sell? Some things are much easier than others. Other things are much more dear to me. How do I decide?


Nathan,

While I don't have the same dilemma that you have, I can sympathize with it.

Because I am a compassionate person, I would be more than happy to store some of your less dear pieces at my house until you need them. Additionally, I am also willing to take any pieces off your hands that you feel just MUST part with. It's a sacrifice on my part to help you, but alas, my compassion gets the best of me every time. Wink

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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2011 5:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't have any advice for you (I don't think you need any, in the end you will know what to do), but I just want to say...what a great photo!
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Eric Meulemans
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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2011 5:59 pm    Post subject: Re: A big fan of swords         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:

But what do I sell? Some things are much easier than others. Other things are much more dear to me. How do I decide?


You could throw them all up into the air at once: whichever lands first, that's the one you sell. Simple, really!
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2011 6:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great pic Nathan! I too struggle with being too obsessive about collecting swords and am at a crossroads myself. What to keep, what to sell is a damn hard question. The short answer for me is keep it all but that just doesn't work. I tend to go through periods of collection in which I aquire a lot of new stuff and then periods of selling in which I shed swords like a snake sheds skin. I guess I'm obsessive about selling when the time is right! I think I'll be selling some stuff soon...sounds like you will be too.
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Karl Knisley




PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2011 7:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello
i`d love to take them, all ,off your hands. But you know what they say "The spirit is willing,but the economy is weak":-)
But I think if you start selling off your collection,you`ll miss them immediately.

BTW is that, hanger/messer, at the top of the pic, an antique?I could swear I`ve seen it somewhere
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2011 7:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Karl Knisley wrote:
BTW is that, hanger/messer, at the top of the pic, an antique?I could swear I`ve seen it somewhere


There are two antiques in there. I'm not certain how old the hunting sword is, but check it out:



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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2011 8:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan,

You don't have a sword problem; you have a money problem. Focus on that, and the problem goes away. Big Grin
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2011 9:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My collection is smaller than that by a lot (I have as many swords as you have examples of schiavone Happy ). Because of the size I try to keep, it means I can't have a bunch of examples of the same kind of thing but go for as much variety as the small number will allow. So, as much as I like baskethilts, I don't have money or room for more than one example of the form.

If I were you (and I'm not). I'd start by seeing if I can thin the herd by eliminating some multiples in terms of form. Maybe instead of 7 schiavone, you keep the best 3 or 4. Do you need (a very hard word to define) 2 Scottish baskethilts or 3 non-Scottish baskethilts?

The modified Mercenary sword must have sentimental value as it seems a bit out of place with the rest. You have some great single-edged swords, so what does the MRL falchion add to a collection that consists of Albion, custom A&A, Eljay, etc.?

As we've discussed in the past, my display cabinet puts limits on my collection, so I have to really focus on what I want to have. I also know most of your swords spend much of their time in quasi-storage, not out where they can be seen. If I were you (and I'm still not Happy ), I'd consider displaying your collection is some way. That might cause you to limit its size or multiples of a form to make a diverse, aesthetically pleasing display. You could still keep more than could be displayed and rotate them off display when you want to.

Happy

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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 1:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

HI Nathan, if I were in your portition I think that I would do one of the following. (A) dont be afraid to ask for more help with financial burden of this site (B) make some hard decisions about where you want your collection to go i.e. do you want a collection of German baskethilts or of schiavone OR do you want a collection with one of each, and if its the latter then pick one sword from each category and sell that.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 1:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Nathan,

You don't have a sword problem; you have a money problem. Focus on that, and the problem goes away. Big Grin


I would say that this is an accurate assessment of the problem, that and storage and display room.

I would certainly be careful of not selling the custom swords that would be hard to impossible to acquire again, not to mention even more expensive than when first bought !

The other problem is " choosing what to keep:

A) In this pile the " KEEPERS ".

B) In this pile the ones I can live without of won't regret too much selling.

The problem is that after a lot of soul searching you may find that the (A) pile is crowded and that the (B) pile is empty ! Wink

You can maybe delays or defer the decision to sell any if you can resist that " New and bright shiny thing that is calling to you " until your cash reserves are replenished.

I would also agree that you shouldn't be too shy to ask for help in financing this site because it means a lot to many people who should have a vested interest in supporting it for their pleasure and continued " sanity ". Wink Laughing Out Loud

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Julien M




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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 2:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Nathan,

That's a nice problem to have really Happy

I don't "collect" myself, as I usually sell a sword before moving on to other purchases, but I got a lot of bare blades now and might potentially have the same issue once I'll get to mount them all...then choosing what to discard will be a headache for sure.

I think Chad nailed it. From what I see from your collection, there are some redundant pieces you could afford to get rid off (yes shiavonas! especially the 2 del tins). I'd get rid of the entry level first: as said the del tin chiavona's would be the obvious choice, the mercenary, the windlass german bastard, the Hanwei Edward III and MRL falchion.

As a second step and if you need to degrease the all thing further, I'd go for the semi production stuff, as you have assembled unique swords with makers (and some of them are not in the business anymore) over the years that are infact unique pieces, these are definitely keepers. So I'll separate myself from the Albions, that you may buy again at some point should you realize that it was a mistake and that you can't live without them Happy. There are many opportunity to get second hand Albion on the marketplace really.

Beside that, the Phoenix Metal Hand-and-a-Half Sword is of less appeal to me than the rest (and early piece maybe). But that's just me really.

Cheers,

J


Last edited by Julien M on Sun 03 Jul, 2011 9:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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Markus A




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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 3:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

well
if you want not fancy with your stuff and your words i need help are not proverbial and are ment as fishing for compliments i would give the advice
sell away the copy stuff you have here,its nothing which will rise in value
and invest money in real items which will rise in worth and value over the years
this stuiff is only replica stuff and will not rise in price for the real collectors,which may here the minority
and if you again feel shocked by this normal oppinion just erase it you are the admin of the board which have the right to do
and to your hanger i do not see why you still get not what its is.i wrote it once to you
its an copy made not to long ago...face the facts.
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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 8:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Markus A wrote:
well
if you want not fancy with your stuff and your words i need help are not proverbial and are ment as fishing for compliments i would give the advice
sell away the copy stuff you have here,its nothing which will rise in value
and invest money in real items which will rise in worth and value over the years
this stuiff is only replica stuff and will not rise in price for the real collectors,which may here the minority
and if you again feel shocked by this normal oppinion just erase it you are the admin of the board which have the right to do
and to your hanger i do not see why you still get not what its is.i wrote it once to you
its an copy made not to long ago...face the facts.


That's simply not true. I have two Albion swords that are worth about 50% more than what I paid for them (new from manufacturer, not used on the classifieds). All of the swords I purchased on the classifieds are also worth more than I paid for them, and I only see their value going up and up. But I don't buy these things to sell them. I plan to keep them until I die because they make me happy.

What's more improtant, however, is the fact that antique swords and high end reproduction swords are two completely different animals. With an antique sword, I can buy it, hang it on a wall, look at it, and keep riminding myself that it's worth all that money that I spent on it. I can't do anything with it for fear of breaking it.

Reprduction swords, on the other hand, I can use every day. I can practice with them, cut with them, experiment with them, and so on. As a martial artist, antique swords are nothing more than a curiosity for me. I appreciate them, I like to play with them, but I could never justify spending the money on them, because they are essentially useless (I am referring to swords of the period in which I am interested, it may be different for later swords, but I wouldn't know).

Unless we're talking Japanese swords, because then you can take an antique of any age, have it polished by a real polisher which only makes it go up in value (the Japanese, unlike the Europeans, do not value rust on their antiques, an attitude I completely agree with), have it mounted in modern or even antique mounts and use it for battodo without any risk of damaging anything more than the polish. I can even cut with it, if I'm feeling brave.

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Michael Curl




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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 9:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You should get rid of the albion dane to me Laughing Out Loud
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Jonathon Janusz





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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 11:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Laughing Out Loud Nice photo, Nathan. Is this an old family picture, or are we looking at the collection as it stands today, including everything hiding in storage?

Not as flush with the custom work, but there was a time a few years back I was in the same boat with mid-high end production pieces. I was doing a wide variety of things involving the hobby, and taking the time/effort/resources to learn from a hands-on perspective how things worked/what I liked/etc. I also was wanting for proper display/storage, and I've told many people on occasion that there have been times I literally couldn't walk through my home without nearly (or actually) tripping across some random sharp and pointed thing (and I've got the nicks in my toes to prove it Wink). . . then life changed a bit and got to having similar thoughts/problems as you've expressed. . .

All that said, I'm basically winding down right now to the other end of the road you are on. I've told a few folks lately that it actually feels a little weird right now having only three sharp blades in the house (not including antiques). I also remember giggling a little when one week I stopped by a friend's house and after being asked how "managing" my collection was going, my first reply was something to the effect of "I can actually see the floor in the dining room now. . ."

I'm not planning a move any time soon, but I've really been on a vibe lately on finishing miscellaneous projects, simplifying the house, and overall getting "my house in order" such that I can get a better focus on finding the goals that matter most to me and getting on to pursuing/achieving/experiencing rather than focusing my attentions most on acquiring/collecting.

So, if you are serious about making a bit of a lifestyle change, but like me a while back are hesitant "just because" (the details of the reasons are yours alone), for what it is worth, here's how I approached taking my collection down from roughly where you're at to where I am today. Call it "Managing a Collection, in Baby Steps":

1) If I haven't seen it/thought about it/used it in six months or more, it goes up on the block to discuss moving on. Anything I've felt the need for more frequently than that is something I actually use, so it stays because it is "needed" in a practical sense. This should get you to two piles - one very tiny one most likely, the other probably pretty big.

2) If I can get another one later if I need it, and don't need it now, it doesn't need to be here. Simple version - when deciding, production pieces are the first and easiest to let go. If they made it past part 1, and they are easily replaced, you are basically tying up cash into something that isn't cash but no more valuable.

So, get cash and space now, get "stuff" back later if/when you actually need it, because the only difference between then and now is whether or not you've paid to store the "stuff" between then and now, or you let somebody else store it. . . and cash is something that doesn't take up space and is useful no matter when you have it.

3) If I got rid of it, how much would it cost me to get another one like it later, could I get another one like it at all, and do I think I will EVER have a need for it? This is where things start to get hairy in regards to custom work or one-off pieces, in particular stuff that was made by folks not making stuff anymore. The thought process here is as close to that to consider with antiques as you can get before approaching the subject of antiques because the rules are the same - what's here is what's here, there will never be any more, and how hard is it to come by later if even though I don't use it right now I might ever have a need to have one of whatever it is again.

This is probably the hardest spot to sort through because this is really the big step only you can make in drawing your personal line between practicality and real life and collecting or hobby endeavor. It gets worse if some of this isn't just a hobby but rather part of your job, which I kind of see where you could feel yourself in that role, so honestly I don't envy you this part. All I can say is take it slow because in a lot of cases at this point you are only going to get one shot at making each decision. Two seemingly contradictory pieces of wisdom that, at least for me, sat on my shoulders throughout this part of the game - One, it is good advice to sleep on any important decision. Two, every important decision in life should be made within the span of seven breaths.

4) Is it an heirloom or a part of who I am? If whatever it is be something you want to will to your grandkids, have laid in your tomb, or will serve you in achieving the most important things in your life, it isn't worth selling at any price. Completely out of left field here, but stuff like this is kind of like pets. When looking to move while renting, some places allow pets, some don't, and some will allow them but it will cost you extra. If you are a "pet person", and love your pets like family, the answer is simple - you make your life decisions to keep your pets in your life. Anything else just isn't an option.

Just keep this last one in perspective, though. Stuff is just stuff, it doesn't define anyone. However, like fine art, it serves to reflect to us whenever we look on it a reminder of who we really are. For others, it elaborates on the description of who we are, and can enrich the picture of their view of us beyond the confines of what we can convey within the confines of our own skin.



Sorry to maybe get a little deep, there, but FWIW, IMHO, and all that other acronym junk. . . Happy Off the cuff, if you can thin the herd off all the production pieces you don't absolutely love and some of the lesser customs you don't really use, you should be able to find a place for the rest without too much trouble.

I've got one other thought that I need to maybe take a day or two to toss around the pub so to speak and put in writing clearly. If the idea makes it past the bottom of a pint, I'll send a message privately.
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Chris Goerner




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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 11:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan,

I actually have gone through something similar lately. The financial resources I have for collecting is pretty static. If I want to buy something new, I have to sell something else to pay for it.

Recently, I decided to cut down on my collection to put some funds back in the coffers. One decision led to another and over a matter of days, I had decided to reduce my collection all the way down to my ElJay basket hilt, one Vince Evans dirk and a Glenn McClain sgian achlias. As I say, I did not come to that decision all at once, but once I started selling, the goal I settled on for my collection became very narrow (mid-18th century Scottish), and selling off items outside of that focus became much easier than I thought it would be.

What suprised me the most is how little I miss the items I sold. It helped to know that all the items I sold went to other forum members, so they remain "in the family" and in good hands with people who will appreciate them and take good care of them.

So, my advice, for what it is worth, is to settle on a specific goal for your collection and sell whatever is outside of that focus. I don't think you will have any regrets with that approach.

Chris

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 12:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Markus A wrote:
well
if you want not fancy with your stuff and your words i need help are not proverbial and are ment as fishing for compliments i would give the advice
sell away the copy stuff you have here,its nothing which will rise in value
and invest money in real items which will rise in worth and value over the years
this stuiff is only replica stuff and will not rise in price for the real collectors,which may here the minority
and if you again feel shocked by this normal oppinion just erase it you are the admin of the board which have the right to do
and to your hanger i do not see why you still get not what its is.i wrote it once to you
its an copy made not to long ago...face the facts.


Way to insult a large portion of this community, not to mention me personally. You'll stop doing this now.

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