Our Particular Style and Reason of Personal Collection
My collection goal is primarily to represent some of the various cultures of Europe but also other diverse cultures such as Japan, China, India, Middle East, etc.
I have no particular time period that I am focused on, however I do have a fancy for hand and a half swords, single edge one handed swords but I also like single handed double edged swords a lot too! Viking swords really grab me, I especially love their artistic pommels and fullered blades! Axes of various sizes and cultures are another big attraction to me as are bludgeon style weapons. I only have one rapier right now, the Three Ring Italian Rapier from Arms & Armor, but another rapier sometime in the future would be nice. Somewhere down the road I'd like to have a katana such as in the price range of the Paul Chen Hanwei Tiger Elite Katana. There is just no way I could ever afford a sensational katana made by a Japanese master swordsmith unless I play and win the lottery. :lol:
Though I've only started collecting seriously in the summer of 2005, I do have a rather large collection, 12 premium swords and 6 midrange swords such as from Windlass Steelcraft and Paul Chen Hanwei.
A few daggers are nice to have and my dagger area could never be complete for me without a rondel dagger which I now have.
From what I understand through my observations it's a very popular concept to occasionally sell one or a few items from one's collection so as to replace it or them with other acquisitions. For me, at least thus far I just cannot fathom the idea of selling any piece from my collection, especially any of my premium swords, polearms or other items. Not even one of my daggers! So if I have no money to acquire something I'd really like to have, I just go without and hope that one day I will be able to purchase that sword or other arms replica.
But to sell an existing sword or other item, especially those in my premium pieces? No way can I part with them. Besides, although I take absolutely excellent care of my collection, everything has been used to some extent, such as cutting water jugs, cardboard boxes or other items that would not cause a nick or any other damage to my premium pieces. In other words, nothing that I have is in pristine never been used condition but everything is cared for with the love of it's precious meaning to me. For instance, all pommels and crossguards (except the Arms & Armor Edward III Sword) have been carefully sanded from 220 grit up to at least 1,500 grit and in most cases 2,000 grit. Even the rapier and all the rings of it's quillon, and inside the holes of the clovers on the crossguard of my Arms & Armor Highland Claymore have been polished. I spent a week and a half working on that rapier and my fingers were quite sore for days afterwards.
I like using my swords and arms on safe targets to see and feel how they perform and how well I execute my strikes.
These are all my particular likes and agendas for my obsessive love in collecting and I especially like to hear other comrades styles and reasons of this very special and dear to the heart and spirit hobby. What interests them the most in types of swords and arms, time periods, cultures, how they like to collect. The whole sphere of their personal passion in their selections, the how's and why's. These are things I am fascinated with in talking to and learning from other collectors when a couple or a lot of collectors are together in an event or gathering!
I was wondering if others would like to share their purpose and styles?



Last edited by Bob Burns on Fri 11 May, 2007 5:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
It's also a struggle to buy one high-quality piece rather than two or three pieces of lesser quality. Fortunately, I can't really afford to do either so my task is to identify the best of the best in the low-cost category and wait for closeouts and used items. I'm finding that MRL pieces based on items in the Wallace Collection or other prominent collections are the best of that lot. Upgrading those myself increases accuracy and adds value. Research, patience and hand-work has become part of the fun of this hobby.

The further complication is that I don't want just everything I deem good and cheap. To stay focused I restrict myself to a given historical period (1500-1650) and culture (German/British) and don't stray from those bounds without arguing with myself about the justification. I leave lots of stuff on the shelf and even buy stuff in my time interest but later pass it on to make room for something more accurate or of greater interest to me. My general goal is to have a small collection of the best pieces I can afford. I just bought an MRL German Bastard Sword. Maybe someday I'll replace it with an A&A German Bastard Sword.

I'm also concerned with display--I don't want my thoughtful collection to be so big that I have to stuff it in a closet. That generally means one in, one out. I just sold a sword in order to balance my new purchase.
Cool thread. :) My own thoughts and a few other people's has been covered a little bit in my thread Latest Additions to my Collection.

I'm one of those who has bought and sold a great deal of items, including custom daggers and high-end production pieces. For me it's an issue of cost and space. I limit the size of my collection so it doesn't take over the house. But, my budget is limited, too. If I have to thin the herd to get something I want, so be it. I've gotten pretty good at it. :) Since late 2006, I have purchased (or arranged to purchase) a custom Scottish dirk, A&A mace, custom rondel dagger, and some rare/expensive books while having enough to get my Edward III touched up. That's almost $1500 worth of stuff. My net out of pocket has been $0 (actually less; I have about $30 still to spend) since I've applied gift money, sold a few things from my library and collection, etc. I would never have been able to afford the new stuff without sacrificing something else.

I can appreciate your sentiments about not selling stuff, but it just doesn't work for me. :)

I went through a phase where I just wanted a big collection. Now, I'm at a point where I want certain things and the best of those things that I can afford. I've sacrificed size for focus/quality and haven't really regretted it. I used to have as many as 9 swords. Now I have 7 and don't see it getting any higher for a long time (out of space). I'm also at the point where I don't see myself selling one of those 7 unless there's a once in a lifetime chance to acquire something really fantastic.

I feel the need to honor my Scottish heritage (one part of my diverse family tree) so I've always tried to have a baskethilt, dirk, and knife of some sort. I feel I have a baskethilt that is as good as I'm going to get in the production world (Armour Class). To get anything better, I'd have to go custom, which I can't afford. I'm on my 6th Scottish dirk (5 custom) and the last one for a good long while. It fits the time period I want and is all I need for now. It's a great piece. I've had sgian dubhs and a sgian achles. I sold the dubhs and kept the achles because it fit better with the other stuff in terms of time period.

Beyond that, I like the Crusade era up through the 15th century, so that is the rest of my collection. The unintentional diversity has been nice, leaving we with a good variety of blades shapes, sizes, and fitting types. In terms of swords, I have representatives of the 12th century (1), 13th century (1), 14th century (3), and 15th century (1).

I like to have daggers and other accessories that match up in time period with the swords, and I'm pretty much good to go there. The only potential changes might be to sell my ballock dagger and get something a little different, more representative of a 15th century piece. I have a couple of pieces of armour and that's enough for now, too. :)

If I hit the lottery, I'd have a bigger house, so the collection would enlarge and get more diverse. Until then, I'm happy with a mid-size collection that is just about exactly what I want.

I like Eastern and Middle Eastern weapons, too. I had a lot of fun cutting with a Chen PPK katana. That said, there's just no room in the collection or budget. Again, with the lotto would come an expansion in cultures covered. Before I'd buy a katana, though, I'd want to do more homework to know what to look for and what to call all the parts. :)
Very good thread. :-)

I too have gone from the "lets collect everything I can get" phase to the "lets focus on what I really need and want" point. I recently "divested" myself of a 1st gen Albion Crecy for a good pair of gauntlets and gave away my Hanwei bastard sword since I no longer needed it. I recently gained a nice rapier/dagger set though, and my favorite longsword (my Tinker) is out at Christian Fletcher getting a new scabbard and grip. So my full collection now consists of a rapier, two longswords, two daggers that are sharp and one Lutel longsword that isn't (my beater). Knives I have a lot of, both modern and Medieval patterns.

My big limitation is that I can't manage to fit too much in my gun safe, and maybe will have to sell some guns next in order to fit more swords inside it. ;-)

I do have a strict "you must use it" policy though. This means that if I have a weapon I must be trained in its use, and use it regularly in practice. Otherwise its a wall hanger, and I have too small an apartment to mount too many of those. ;-) So no gun, sword, knife or other weapon resides in my home unless I have some basic proficiency and knowledge of its use. Nothing stays in the safe without being pulled out and "exercised" on occasion.

I also have another policy that I adhere to...I don't sell/give away/gift to anyone any weapon I own unless I am sure they will give it a good home (take good care of it), and be competent in its safe use. I like sleeping at night. :-)

So now I'm going to have to restart some rapier lessons...
Against my better judgment, I just made a list of everything I've ever had in my collection since I got int it about 10 years ago. If I'd never sold anything, the collection would number 54-55 pieces instead of 16. My total cash outlay would have been thousands higher. My homeowner's insurance premiums would be higher. I'd have had to buy more safes/cabinets, etc. to safely store the collection. I'd also likely be single, as I'm not sure I could find someone who would want a collection that large laying around the house. :)

So buying and selling has been necessary. :)
I keep about 3-4 pieces at a time, and have probably owned about 20-30 pieces. They range from UC pieces to Albions and custom makers like Tinker. I have gotten to the point where I have 2 swords I train with, and like to have another two that I can own long enough to understand and appreciate how they are different. Eventually as money frees up I plan to increase my collection, but its very nice to trade around and always be trying new pieces out, especially since I do not live near any makers or stores where I can walk in and see things in person.
Mike Arledge wrote:
its very nice to trade around and always be trying new pieces out, especially since I do not live near any makers or stores where I can walk in and see things in person.

You should come over to Cincy when we have gatherings. I'm about 90 minutes from Indy. We usually have a bunch of Albions, A&A, and other things laying around. :)
Yeah, I would like to do that, I couldn't make the one you just had, but I am all for future engagements.

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