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Hadrian Coffin
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

Posts: 383

PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2015 8:03 pm    Post subject: Authentic (antique) medieval swords...         Reply with quote

Hello all,

As an academic working in archaeology in the field.. and as a collector... I have amassed a collection of medieval swords, authentic, dating back to the viking period.
Most of my collection (and it is a large collection) is dated to the 12th-14th century.

I am curious, as to the interest people would have in buying medieval 'relics'.. its pretty amazing the condition.. but I admit my lack of knowledge, or the acceptability of just posting random 'for sale' posts in the marketplace.
Bottom line... are people here interested in actual medieval examples? They are valuable, we are talking $4-5k minimums.. but I am curious about selling.

Let me know your thoughts on collecting!

Best,
Hadrian

Historia magistra vitae est
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,838

PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2015 11:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Hadrian

I have more questions than answers to your own question. Why does a collector of antiquity sell their collection of? Secondly, what is the expectation of return?

I have collected several varieties of swords dating back to the 18th century with a focus on eagle pommel swords. If I sell, I hope to at least regain cost on any example and ideally reap a significant profit in order to upgrade (the latter not necessarily regarding arms). I don't know your reason for selling but I have to expect both of those factors are valid to your own sales of goods.

Would I buy into the medieval swords, arms&armour market? Probably not at this time due to my own circumstances. Would I trade straight up to someone for goods of equal value? That might be a possibility but would strip a large sector of my own current collection. I guess I am fairly well suited to my own niche, in that the next I am looking at is an obscure 18th century sword being ignored for all of $75 usd. Wink

Cheers

GC
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E.B. Erickson
Industry Professional



Location: Thailand
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 437

PostPosted: Sat 26 Sep, 2015 3:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Hadrian and Glen,
I would be a bit interested in obtaining a medieval sword, but my main area of collecting is later: mainly 16-1700s English swords.

Reasons for selling items out of one's collection, from my own experience - 1. Upgrade the collection by selling some swords to purchase better or more interesting examples. 2. A need for finances. This is a reason for selling that I'm currently contemplating, as my son is now in university, and his sister will follow in 3 years, so selling off swords can generate $$ for the kid's college fund. I'll probably begin putting items up for sale next June.

If I were just wanting to "test the waters", I'd put up a classified here and a couple of other sites that cater to the arms and armor enthusiasts. And of course, there's always dealers. And arms fairs. And eBay. Where you sell I suppose is determined by how quickly you want to part with your swords!

--ElJay
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Peter Mustonen




Location: Finland
Joined: 01 Jan 2009

Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sat 26 Sep, 2015 3:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Hadrian.
Im collecting early swords until 1650s. Your post mixing professional archeologist, collecting, and selling medieval swords would not really sound like an academic researcher archeologist.
With all respect this sounds more like a trying to find people who would buy good excavated looking copies or would not care about provenance where these swords were coming out.
I just saw an offer from England about 25 early medieval and viking swords mostly with decoration in a price range of 10-25 000. I was interested and the closer look revealed that all were made by the same hand few years ago.

But sure if you have something medieval in good condition 5k prices are not too bad for a real pieces with good pedigree.
Im sorry I sound doubtful but a mass of good medieval swords sounds always strange at least to a guy who has been collecting and dealing with swords for last 20 years.

r. Peter
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Hadrian Coffin
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

Posts: 383

PostPosted: Sat 26 Sep, 2015 7:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My background is counter to a lot of other academics, as I am one of the few that has absolutely no problem with the antiquities market. It funds my subject. As such, I buy and sell this stuff all the time.. and have a collection that I inherited from my father, so it goes back some time.

I can get photos up of some items..

I am just running out of things to display, and they are mostly sitting in storage, so I am looking at unloading a few pieces. I was just more wondering if people here have interest in buying/selling antiquities... or just replicas. The difference lies in interest and price. I have some Viking period swords in a value of excess of $20k. I have sold with Czerneys, Sotheby's, etc. in the past.

Historia magistra vitae est
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Tom Wolfe




Location: East Anglia, England
Joined: 10 Aug 2015

Posts: 77

PostPosted: Wed 30 Sep, 2015 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hadrian

If you look a the sale/market page on this website it is almost exclusively repro stuff. I wouldn't take that as an indication that people don't want to buy the real thing though. Personally, the mainstay of my collection until a few years ago was 18th-19th century European muskets and cavalry swords. With time passing and a better job I have deeper pockets and have moved into 16th-17th century armour collecting, and have sold on a number of guns and swords to finance this. I have one Mediaeval sword (early 15th century) and am keen to expand this. I don't have any interest in buying replicas at any price.

I would be interested in seeing photos of what you are proposing to sell.

Collector of original 16th-17th century European arms and armour. Would like to collect earlier, but budget doesn't allow- yet!
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