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Gernot Pinnow




Location: Germany
Joined: 17 Feb 2016

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat 20 Feb, 2016 7:44 am    Post subject: Help: ebay antiques for dummies         Reply with quote

Hello, first time poster here,
I am in need of a little guidance by you knowledgeable folks Wink
I wanted to own an antique sword for quite a while, and I finally have some money to spare. Besides medieval european swords, which are definitely out of my price range, I've long been fascinated by middle eastern swords (tulwars, pulwars, shamhirs etc.).
So I've browsed numerous online antique sites and found several Items I kind of liked for moderate prices. Then I finally took a look on ebay and found a tulwar that I was instantly smitten with.

[/url]http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Islamic-Mughal-Indian-Sword-Talwar-Tulwar-Shamshir-17th-century-India-/221745324412?hash=item33a10d217c[url]

It is quite pricey compared to the other Tulwars I have seen, but it's also more fancy with the silver hilt decorations, and I'm in love with the overall proportions and aesthetics.

Now I heard quite a few ebay horror stories with fakes and dubious business practices, and wanted to ask if anyone here had any experience with this seller (EclecticMuseum) or if, judging by the pictures, there seems something obviously wrong with the piece.
Any advice would be appreciated.
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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
Joined: 27 Nov 2004

Posts: 669

PostPosted: Sat 20 Feb, 2016 8:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not an expert on Tulwars, but the overall quality of craftsmanship and the very even and slight corrosion on the blade and furniture suggests to me that this might be an antique sword that has been well-maintained. Cheers!

-Gregory
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Matthew Amt




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

Posts: 1,247

PostPosted: Sat 20 Feb, 2016 6:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"All items are guaranteed to be authentic antiques, and not reproductions. All our artifacts are accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity. We provide a full money return guarantee if a state museum judges the artifact to be non-authentic."

As I understand it, this is ebay shorthand for "It's a fake." BUT I don't know anything about tulwars, either!

Matthew
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Tom King




Location: florida
Joined: 11 Sep 2009
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Posts: 417

PostPosted: Sat 20 Feb, 2016 8:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Help: ebay antiques for dummies         Reply with quote

Gernot Pinnow wrote:

It is quite pricey compared to the other Tulwars I have seen, but it's also more fancy with the silver hilt decorations, and I'm in love with the overall proportions and aesthetics.
Any advice would be appreciated.


Crude koftgari, crude imitation of the original* blade* pictured (that isn't that sword, just it's special needs doppleganger) down to the artificial ground in oversharpening, clumsy language in advert saying it's "similar" to the sword it looks like a crude copy of that went for XXXXXX amount twice as high as the "steal" being offered to you, and the seller does not offer returns and accepts bank transfers as payment.

Avoid like the Plague; has all the red flags of an aged modern reproduction sold by an unscrupulous dealer.

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Gernot Pinnow




Location: Germany
Joined: 17 Feb 2016

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat 20 Feb, 2016 9:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aha, seems I dodged a bullet there. I had a slight feeling in my gut, that something wasn't quite right.
Thanks for the warning, guys!

Are there any reputable online dealers out there at all? I've read good things about faganarms.com before, are they still legit?
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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
Joined: 27 Nov 2004

Posts: 669

PostPosted: Sat 20 Feb, 2016 10:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My apologies for the initial vote of confidence. I didn't read the auction description at all - just looked over the pictures and the quality of the sword does not strike me as particularly crude. These other fellows have the right of it, though. Happy hunting!

-Gregory
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,793

PostPosted: Sat 20 Feb, 2016 10:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.antiquesword101.com/about-us.php

Hundred&One has been around forever. Occasionally very interesting items but always priced about double of high retail.

A contemporary American dealer with high prices is Faganarms (actually a few bargains there at times)
https://www.faganarms.com/


Oriental Arms has a better reputation but like many dealears, they are out to make a profit. Honestly, all do.
http://www.oriental-arms.com/

Cheers

GC
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Gernot Pinnow




Location: Germany
Joined: 17 Feb 2016

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat 20 Feb, 2016 11:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gregory J. Liebau wrote:
My apologies for the initial vote of confidence. I didn't read the auction description at all - just looked over the pictures and the quality of the sword does not strike me as particularly crude. These other fellows have the right of it, though. Happy hunting!


No worries Happy

Glen A Cleeton wrote:
http://www.antiquesword101.com/about-us.php

Hundred&One has been around forever. Occasionally very interesting items but always priced about double of high retail.

A contemporary American dealer with high prices is Faganarms (actually a few bargains there at times)
https://www.faganarms.com/


Oriental Arms has a better reputation but like many dealears, they are out to make a profit. Honestly, all do.
http://www.oriental-arms.com/

Cheers

GC


Thanks, I'll look those up, when I have the time.
And I don't mind the dealers trying to make a profit, everybody has to put food on their table somehow Wink


If I find something that catches my interest, I'll put it up here again for "review", if you folks don't mind.

edit:
Oh, look at that!
[url]http://www.antiquesword101.com/islamic-swords.php#!/Antique17th-%E2%80%93-18th-century-Islamic-Mughal-Indian-Sword-Talwar-Tulwar-Shamshir/p/49681787/category=3736928[/url]
It seems there is some crossover there, I also recognize some other pieces from the same ebay seller.

(btw, how do I embed an url, so that you can click the link?)
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,793

PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2016 3:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A fair number of dealers have both web site and Ebay listings

Another would be Michael D Long
https://www.michaeldlong.com/

and Harvey Withers
http://www.antiqueswordsonline.com/harvey-withers-antique-swords/

Both have extensive Ebay listings

I just copy and paste urls (don't add extra tags for urls, the system does that for you), I don't have much trouble.
http://www.antiquesword101.com/islamic-swords...ry=3736928

Cheers

GC
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Harry Marinakis




Location: Kingdom of Ęthelmearc
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PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2016 4:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Why use eBay?
There are so many problems with eBay that I would look elsewhere for anything and everything
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Gernot Pinnow




Location: Germany
Joined: 17 Feb 2016

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2016 7:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen A Cleeton wrote:

I just copy and paste urls (don't add extra tags for urls, the system does that for you), I don't have much trouble.


thanks!

Harry Marinakis wrote:
Why use eBay?
There are so many problems with eBay that I would look elsewhere for anything and everything


Looking for a bargain, I guess... (a fool and his money etc.) But you're right of course, I don't even know when I last used the site, I didn't even have my password anymore.

Anyway, oriental-arms has some really nice pieces (a lot of those in their not-for-sale gallery sadly).


Despite the painful price I really like this one, mostly because of the beautiful blade pattern, does that look like true wootz?

http://www.oriental-arms.com/item.php?id=6909



What I find interesting is the large price difference between those two swords, the first being sold for three times as much as the second. They are both described as authentic 19th century tulwar with similar blade construction.
To my untrained eye the only difference, besides blade geometry, is the much more intricate hilt ornamentation of the first sword (which admittedly is gorgeous and puts the first sword I posted to shame). Does that really justify such a difference or is there something off about the second sword, that's not appearant to me?

http://www.oriental-arms.com/item.php?id=6598

http://www.oriental-arms.com/item.php?id=6585
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,793

PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2016 10:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An advantage of Ebay for the sellers is exposure to a broader market. An advantage of Ebay for knowledgeable buyers are some relative bargains.

A very good sword I recently found was from a typical picker that only had interest in selling, not necessarily what the highest profit might be. Bargained down, realized about 75% of typical street price. I would say 50% of what I buy through Ebay is often a lot less than street price. Those bargains offsetting some of my over priced buys. If I was dealing edged arms for a living, Ebay would be one of my primarty markets but some dealers hate Ebay (just as some buyers hate Ebay).


When seemingly similar items price at what look like extremes,, it may be some significant factors. Other times, especially on Ebay, they may post a ridiculously high price with a best offer option.

Any genre requires some education and there is nothing wrong with window shopping. One can learn a lot. I have certainly learned more than one market and now know I can find bargains for 25% of what I was willing to pay some dealers. In hindsight, I grumble sometimes when tryig to sell close to what I paid but generally have enjoyed those same items I paid a premium for.

I have tried to save those real disappointments in life for movies and restaurants Wink

Knowledge is power.

Cheers

GC
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 289

PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2016 5:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While there are no doubt many good "sleepers" on EBay, you have to be either very knowledgeable about whether or not an item *IS* is what it's advertised as, or be very lucky, especially in the field of antiques.. As a general rule of thumb, always err on the side of caution, always assume everything the seller claims is total bulls**T , designed to trick the gullible into parting with their money. Yes..you *may* miss out on an absolute gem..but you're much more likely to be richer for backing off.
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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 792

PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2016 5:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gernot Pinnow wrote:


Despite the painful price I really like this one, mostly because of the beautiful blade pattern, does that look like true wootz?

http://www.oriental-arms.com/item.php?id=6909



What I find interesting is the large price difference between those two swords, the first being sold for three times as much as the second. They are both described as authentic 19th century tulwar with similar blade construction.
To my untrained eye the only difference, besides blade geometry, is the much more intricate hilt ornamentation of the first sword (which admittedly is gorgeous and puts the first sword I posted to shame). Does that really justify such a difference or is there something off about the second sword, that's not appearant to me?

http://www.oriental-arms.com/item.php?id=6598

http://www.oriental-arms.com/item.php?id=6585


Gernot, Artzi from Oriental arms can be trusted, he knows what is is talking about, the first sword of his that you posted has a beautiful Persian damascus steel blade, it also has a scabbard, and it is not a standard scabbard,

The second and third swords all both have nice Indian wootz blades, both do not have scabbards. The price is the price, Artzi makes a profit, he pays a price and adds a profit and sells it. Sometimes you get a great deal, sometimes you get a really great sword, occasionally you get both.

I can also recommend Runjeet from http://runjeetsingh.com/ Stefan from http://www.ashokaarts.com/ and Gavin from http://www.swordsantiqueweapons.com/

All four of these dealers are extremely well known, knowedgable and they will not rip you off, I have found that they will sometimes take payments which is helpful.


Last edited by Eric S on Sun 21 Feb, 2016 5:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 289

PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2016 5:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While there are no doubt many good "sleepers" on EBay, you have to be either very knowledgeable about whether or not an item *IS* is what it's advertised as, or be very lucky, especially in the field of antiques.. As a general rule of thumb, always err on the side of caution, always assume everything the seller claims is total bulls**T , designed to trick the gullible into parting with their money. Yes..you *may* miss out on an absolute gem..but you're much more likely to be richer for backing off.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2016 6:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This " Youtube " video might be useful, Matt Easton has a site dedicated to HEMA but he also buys and sells swords including late European sabres, swords, Asian swords also. He mostly deals with antiques but he also buys modern reproductions for himself.

This specific Youtube clip by Matt is about where to buy antique swords:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24WoUeSegZw

Matt also has a specific commercial site dedicated to selling antique swords:

http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/antique-swords-uk/

I haven't personally purchased anything from Matt, but he has a good name to preserve as he is well known in HEMA circles so I wouldn't be too worried buying from him.

Oh, and Matt is also a member here on " myArmoury ".

Lots, of interesting content on his site about swordsmanship:

https://www.youtube.com/user/scholagladiatoria

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




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2016 9:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A good rule of thumb is that if it is on ebay then it is either a fake or illegally looted. The chance of it being a genuine antique is so low that it isn't worth the risk. If you make a bid on something then the price shouldn't be any higher than what you would expect to pay for a replica.
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Gernot Pinnow




Location: Germany
Joined: 17 Feb 2016

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2016 10:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

@ Glen A Cleeton & Ralph Grimley
Yeah, that's what I figured, hence my call for help. I guess trustworthy dealers with ebay listings have their own websites additionally anyway.

@ Eric S
That's very good to hear. Thanks for the other recommendations, of those I only had already found Gavin's site, when I was still looking for affordable medieval arming swords (I know, I know...)

@Jean Thibodeau
Oh, I know of Matt. Watching his youtube channel amongst others (Tod, Iain la Spina (sp.?), Roland W. etc.) over the last few years has really increased my interest in both history of arms and also HEMA (I plan to join a group in about a year, when I relocate back to a bigger city).
Matt is a little stingy in his videos with information concerning his go-to dealers, which is understandable as, unlike me, he is "in the business" so to speak.
I also browse his shop semiregularly, but he almost exclusively sells modern period military swords which, for some reason I can't put my finger on, I find totally unappealing aesthetics-wise ( though I really like that fat tulwar he keeps waving around in his videos).

@ Dan Howard
I'll take that to heart.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Mon 22 Feb, 2016 12:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
A good rule of thumb is that if it is on ebay then it is either a fake or illegally looted. The chance of it being a genuine antique is so low that it isn't worth the risk. If you make a bid on something then the price shouldn't be any higher than what you would expect to pay for a replica.




The best opinion you could actually offer is to know exactly what you are looking at before spending one's cash.

Cheers

GC
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Feb, 2016 1:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen A Cleeton wrote:
The best opinion you could actually offer is to know exactly what you are looking at before spending one's cash.

Which is pretty hard to do by looking at an ebay photo. One can't make an informed purchase without personally examining it or getting an expert to personally examine it.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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