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My personal rule is to never bid more than I'd be prepared to pay for a decent replica. So even if it turns out to be fake, I am never ripped off.
Each to his own. Depends what you mean by ripped off as most replicas second hand will fetch far less than at retail immediately so you are automatically losing money you could argue. And if that replica is not accurate it is not only not assisting your study of the originals but actively misleading it. But equally a fake antique will do the same. So good replica, good, good antique, good.

But hey, in my area the issue of fakes is not anything like what you guys are dealing with in high end ancient or early medieval and we learn through experience to make judgments, right or wrong. As I said I don't trust Viking swords at auctions. I know little about your end save the few pieces I have and the books I study and the museums I visit but it's not my area, and you guys probably know next to nothing about the area I collect in so we are neither of us being constructive.

Just when I see sites selling Japanese swords made in Thailand for prices not a million miles away from ones I have from Japan (not top quality but with NHGTK certificates) or rapiers with the dimensions way short and heavy and I think what's the point. Depends on accuracy I guess. Anyway we all have better to do with our lives so suggest we abandon this debate.
Daniel Parry wrote:
In what area of arms & armour, in what time period, of what type, of what quality ? You need to be specific.

The rule is not consistent for all areas at all, and unproven for many areas, as some people who take the view don't have much experience with the antiques market., some do.

Certainly nowhere near 95% of rapiers are fake, smallswords and Napoleonic even less as examples are plentiful and cheap.

People need to be specific about what it is they are criticising and why.

I agree, Daniel. I collect mostly 19th Century British military swords, and while there are fakes they don't account for anything close to a majority of the market. They are also usually either aged replicas which are very easy to spot, or antiques with spurious inscriptions added with the aim being to increase the value. But these make up a very small percentage of the market for the period (less than 10 percent, I'd guess).
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