Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > How did you become involved with arms and armour? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct, 2006 6:19 pm    Post subject: How did you become involved with arms and armour?         Reply with quote

This topic might be as tired as a samurai vs. knight thread, but I'll go ahead and start it anyhow. I am curious to hear how everyone made the leap into the study and collection of arms and armour. I'll start with my story:

I became a collector quite by accident. The summer after 8th grade, my parents and I visited the UK for 2 weeks. I had decided that since my friends got katanas when they visited Epcot Center in FL, that I would one-up them by finding a knightly sword. I had a whole $120 saved to find such a sword while in England. I did not care if what I found was modern or antique--I just wanted a cruciform sword.

I was not finding anything in my meager price range (what a surprise). The Tower of London gift shop had some neat replicas, but they were made of fiberglass. I held out on spending since we still had a driving tour of the midlands ahead of us. Probably the most educational aspect of the trip A&A-wise, was visiting Warwick Castle. The armoury there was small compared to the Tower or the Victoria and Albert Museum, and I had not yet heard of the Wallace Collection. The armoury at Warwick had some fantastic swords and armour from the English Civil War. Back then it was news to me that the English also had a civil war. I really loved the swords from that era, and I remember picturing myself storming up the spiraling staircases of Warwick with a mortuary sword in hand. There was an elderly man who was seated behind the counter in the armoury room. I am not sure if he was an attendant, or a museum official, but he knew his stuff, and allowed visitors to handle and even wear certain items from the collection. One of my favorite memories from that trip is wearing and authentic troopers lobster pot helmet. It was fantastic!

My dad had a adolescent antiques business that he ran on the side (he was an art teacher), so we took some time to visit antiques shops and malls where ever we went. At the entrance to one of the antiques malls was a small booth that had a lot of Victorian rifles, and two swords. I knew nothing about the swords, but the prices were within my range. One was absolutely brilliant--it had a silver wire wrap on the grip, a beautiful brass shell guard and knuckle guard with scrolling folliage, and a nice clean straight single edged blade. It was 120 pounds, so it was more than I could afford, but not by much. The other was ok. It had a big black bowl guard and a long slender blade that had a small hole in it. it was 80 pounds. I almost bought the latter sword, but my dad encouraged me to go for the other, and I could pay him back with the money I made from lawn mowing and babysitting later in the summer. That British 1796 pattern infantry officer's sword was my first, and still one of the dearest swords in my collection. It fueled my interest in swords and in history, interests with which I am still happily plagued today.

Since graduating from college five and a half years ago, I have not been in a financial position to collect anything--antique or replica. Therefore, no matter how humble the sword, it is likely not affordable. The 8 years I had as an active collector were really great, though. I was really into the Napoleonic period thanks to Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series, and I also had a great interest in 18th century swords thanks to films like "Last of the Mohicans" and "Rob Roy". Without any real world expenses, I could save for a year and afford a $1500 sword. I still have a good deal of interest in 18th and early 19th century swords, but my interests are diversifying, and those 17th century swords are quite expensive! I would love to have a nice mortuary hilted sword (or two or three!), a hounslow hanger, an English rapier, and a schiavona. Those are long term goals for my antiques collection.

Since joining myArmoury and lurking on the WMA forum on SFI, I have gained am interest in learning how to use swords. George Silver's method is attractive to me as it is an English system and it is from a time period of interest to me, and uses swords of interest to me. Once I have raised the funds, I am hoping to get one of Darkwood's English basket hilts, probably II (1580) or III (1600). I would use this to self train until I can hook up with a group.

I am a Wisconsin native, and it pains me to know that I have left a state that has an active WMA, living history, and replica-making community! I hope we move back there someday. I just need to find a great job there so my wife can't argue! That is a few years away, but I can be patient!

Jonathan



 Attachment: 27.24 KB
1796IOS2.jpg
A bad photo of my first sword--the British 1796 Pattern Infantry Officer's Sword.


Last edited by Jonathan Hopkins on Sat 21 Oct, 2006 6:54 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message
Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Cincinnati, OH
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 21 pages
Reading list: 231 books

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 9,135

PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct, 2006 6:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan,
This topics comes up from time to time. Here's a link to some of those older threads:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=5407
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=7367

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct, 2006 7:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, thanks. I'll take a look at them.
View user's profile Send private message
Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Likes: 7 pages
Reading list: 28 books

Posts: 1,809

PostPosted: Sat 21 Oct, 2006 4:11 am    Post subject: Re: How did you become involved with arms and armour?         Reply with quote

J.G. Hopkins wrote:
... One was absolutely brilliant--it had a silver wire wrap on the grip, a beautiful brass shell guard and knuckle guard with scrolling folliage, and a nice clean straight single edged blade. It was 120 pounds, so it was more than I could afford, but not by much... my dad encouraged me ... and I could pay him back with the money I made from lawn mowing and babysitting later in the summer. That British 1796 pattern infantry officer's sword was my first, and still one of the dearest swords in my collection. It fueled my interest in swords and in history, and interest with which I am still happily plagued today ....

That is a great story of your collection beginnings, Jonathan. Thanks for sharing!

"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
View user's profile Send private message
Adam Simmonds




Location: Henley-on-Thames
Joined: 10 Jun 2006

Posts: 137

PostPosted: Sat 21 Oct, 2006 4:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hey j.g

personally, there was never any 'leap' into a love of these things for me, but rather a steady burgeoning of interest. this interest probably began and was fostered by my parents reading many traditional folk stories from celtic, greek, norse sources etc, stories full of warrior heroes and their beautiful, powerful and often magical weapons. my brother and i used to spend hours making and fighting with wooden swords when we were young, though it was sometimes dificult to persuade the poor little dude that it was in fact 'fun', as, being five years younger then i , was usually at some disadvantage.

the sword, in the diverse cultures i have been influenced by, is depicted as an object of honour, power, beauty, adventure, courage, strength and magic etc. how could anyone not love these things?!

nice score for your first sword by the way, 120 quid seems like a good deal as well!

as far as collecting goes - i only have one real sword - a renaissance gem - a 17th C. cut and thrust half basket hilt. as a student, i am also financially impoverished and unable too xpand my 'collection' for now. however, i am more then satisfied with the sword i do possess, and would much rather have one excellent piece then a thousand mediocre ones.

adam
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > How did you become involved with arms and armour?
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum