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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Tue 16 Jan, 2007 9:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is what one great scholar and collector did with his collection: Oakeshott Institute's New Home.

Last edited by Jonathan Hopkins on Tue 16 Jan, 2007 11:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sam Haverkamp
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Jan, 2007 9:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gentlemen, (didnt see any ladies in the house) Razz
I am very impressed by all the valid answers and responses to my questions.
It seems my reasons although quite important to me, are just that, "My Reasons"
I knew that interest's and the reasons for collecting were different and of course based on one's budget, I just didnt realize many people have no interest in owning Antique swords and there are many valid reasons why. Although this confuses me I do understand...
When I hold pieces from my collection, I feel something. Sometimes awe and wonder, sometimes I even feel repulsed knowing the weapon I hold most likely killed a man, many men... Holding a replica has its merits and none of them involve killing (Not including Pool Noodles, Watermelons, etc.) The craftsmanship is quite amazing, and knowing they very closely replicate important Historic swords (that are not available at realistic prices) is quite compelling.

Something comes to mind that I wanted to share. When my family and I frequent the local renaissance fairs, pretty much everybody is armed .My wife and I always strap an Antique on our sides and the reaction from people is really positive. Most people say they never get to see real antique swords, let alone be able to wear one. They are most often shocked when we tell them what we paid for them and they were fairly easy to aquire.

I would imagine that there are those who collect both Antique and Reproduction swords. I am still tinkering with the idea of purchasing a shiny new sword and with all the valid points raised my decision will be an easier one.
Sam


Last edited by Sam Haverkamp on Tue 16 Jan, 2007 12:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Jan, 2007 12:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Something comes to mind that I wanted to share. When my family and I frequent the local renessance fairs, pretty much everybody is armed .My wife and I always strap an Antique on our sides and the reaction from people is really positive. Most people say they never get to see real swords, let alone be able to wear one. They are most often shocked when we tell them what we paid for them and they were fairly easy to aquire.


This is a fact of nearly every faire I've attended over the years. The majority of attendees and employees are not "sword people" persay and really aren't familiar with anything past Marto or United Cutlery. (two makers of decorative wall-hangers). Most often, when I attend a faire the only quality sword I see is mine, old or new. During a faire last year an employee got into a near argument with me because he assumed my custom sword, made by Peter Johnsson, was a Museum Replicas product. Anyone familiar with either one can tell the difference, but the level of education needed isn't present at a ren faire. My feelings have already been echoed by others: in my periods of interest antiques are simply too expensive and valuable for me to obtain. Even if this was possible I'd feel extremely uncomfortable possessing such a valuable piece of history. I'd much rather see it securely stored in a museum or some kind of conservatory, rather than in my safe or on my wall.

I used to own a fair number of antiques: Indian, Persian, a few 18th and 19th century pieces. I collected them not because those eras really interested me, but rather because they were antiques and they were neat to have for awhile. None of them were particularly expensive in comparison to the higher-end replicas either. In the end, the fact they were old really wasn't that compelling to me and I love antiques in general. There was simply a limited amount I could learn from them and when that was complete I sold them and moved on. People have said: "I'd rather own one antique than several replicas", we've also heard this from collectors of high-end custom work regarding cheaper replicas. While that point of view certainly has merit, it holds small attraction for me personally. That one antique would be great for a while, but sooner or later it would have taught me all it could and it's value would become limited for me. For me personally it's not about amassing a collection of old stuff, or new stuff for that matter. It's about examining the aspects of function, design and evolution, the how and why. The knowledge and education a piece can provide is the real value for me. The satisfaction of being able to say I own a large collection of anything, old or new, really doesn't hold value for me anymore.
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Pamela Muir




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Jan, 2007 3:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam Haverkamp wrote:
Gentlemen, (didnt see any ladies in the house) Razz

Just to narrow the gender gap a touch... Razz

I would certainly love to own an antique sword. I get chills viewing them in a museum and was weak at the knees the too few times that I've had the chance to handle genuine antiques. Yet, being fully aware of my newcomer status, I would have no idea if the sword I was purchasing was "the real thing" or not. Worried

Then there are the budget issues. Since I got into sword purchasing via the martial art aspect, it's much easier to justify purchasing another training sword than something I would not be able to use on a regular basis. As such, I only own 1 sharp! Sad (Though I do have a couple on order.) Wink

Pamela Muir

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Academy of Chivalric Martial Arts


"I need a hero. I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night. He's gotta be strong, And he's gotta be fast, And he's gotta be fresh from the fight." ~Steinman/Pitchford
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Adam Simmonds




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Jan, 2007 7:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi there,

this has been a great read so far and an example of why I love visiting this site. As Chad Arnow so aptly put it: "Vive le difference!" It is of great benefit to my own perspective to hear from so many other alternate viewpoints - really opens one's mind to perspectives, ideas and practices which otherwise would have remained unknown, and, therefore, unexplored.
I also liked Patrick Kelly's point about the functional value of possesing swords - collecting as an educational expedition into the forms and functions of these wonderful artifacts. This is also how I feel about my own sword, which has taught me alot about how to handle and move with it. While I continue learning from this one, I look forward to the time when I am in a position to be able to expand my 'collection' - thereby expanding my educational resources. Ofcourse, hypothetically, I could sell this one and purchase others in its place, but in reality, I could never part with it, my precious. Wink

Cheers, Adam S.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Jan, 2007 9:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One thing I should point out is my viewpoint is undoubtedly influenced by one important thing: limited disposable income. There's certainly nothing wrong with building a large collection of anything and I don't want it to seem as if I'm criticizing those who do. If I could I'd probably never sell anything I've acquired, although I'd need an extra outbuilding to house all of it by now. Unfortunately such is not the case and I often have to sell one thing to get another. So in the end if it's a choice between building a collection and learning new things I'll choose the latter.
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Ed Toton




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jan, 2007 6:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
One thing I should point out is my viewpoint is undoubtedly influenced by one important thing: limited disposable income.


I certainly understand, and agree. I like to play with my toys, and I just can't justify the expense of an antique, and certainly wouldn't want to handle it much. I could see having one really nice antique as a center-piece to the collection. Still, I'd almost feel guilty having a very old sword, when it could be in a museum somewhere for all to enjoy. I'd probably not do as fine of a job maintaining it against the ravages of age either.

Having said that, I have a few "antiques", but they're relatively worthless (in terms of historical or monetary value). Two are family heirloom type items (one of which is more of a bayonet than a sword), and one is a dress sword that was dirt-cheap on ebay a number of years ago.

-Ed T. Toton III
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Steve Fabert





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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jan, 2007 6:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is no existing sword market that would satisfy my own collecting preferences. I like items that are both usable and pedigreed. Not too old and rare to use, but also not too new to be afraid to put a dent in it.

My favorite swords have been out of use in the military world for too long for there to still be a reasonable supply of functional 'real items'. I envy the collectors of the 19th Century, who were close enough in time to see reasonable numbers of items from the centuries of sword supremacy. My own preferences for sword styles tend toward items from the 15th Century and earlier. I am too late to collect the original items while they are still functional, living in the 21st Century. Reproduction swords are the only functional items available to me to fit the niche in my collection.

In the context of my other collection, firearms, my preference means that I don't go for any item that I can't shoot myself without reducing its value, and I also don't buy shiny new limited edition items that would lose substantial value if ever fired. At this moment in the history of cartridge weapons, my preferences permit me to own a large variety of entirely useful but also historically interesting items. My only pre 20th Century firearms are replicas. My 20th Century items have real individual histories, with limited exceptions. My Model 1897 Winchester trench shotgun is a reproduction, not one of the increasingly rare originals, because I want to be able to use it.

In a century or two my collection will be just another roomful of unusable old things that belong in a museum, whether each item is ancient or new today. But while I own these items they are alive and real, neither too old nor too new.
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Sam Haverkamp
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jan, 2007 8:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve,
You raised an interesting point! The arms and armour of the past are kept in museums because they were a way of life. Tools needed for survival, supremacy on the battlefield and even as a show of wealth and artistry. Will the swords made today be in museums in hundreds of years? I somehow think not. I would imagine that militaria will always be interesting to collectors and a point of study, but edge weapons are hardly used for that anymore. In some third world countries perhaps, even they are well armed with automatic weapons and rocket launchers. I guess thats part of the reason I am interested in my own collection of Antique arms and armour. Museums are great and all, but owning important pieces that were a way of life to most parts of the world for centuries holds a unique charm for me personally. As things evolve and the museums are full of machine guns and primitive nuclear missiles the sword may be forgotten as a way of life.
Sam
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Ed Toton




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jan, 2007 10:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam Haverkamp wrote:
The arms and armour of the past are kept in museums because they were a way of life. Tools needed for survival, supremacy on the battlefield and even as a show of wealth and artistry. Will the swords made today be in museums in hundreds of years? I somehow think not.


That's a point I've considered recently as well. My guess is that they won't be historical museum pieces as such, since they're not active military weapons in today's context. But many may still appreciate in value, becoming rare examples of artistry and become valuable collectibles.

Take for example some of Albion's limited edition weapons. I wonder how they will be considered a century from now, as antiques.

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jan, 2007 12:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ed Toton wrote:
Sam Haverkamp wrote:
The arms and armour of the past are kept in museums because they were a way of life. Tools needed for survival, supremacy on the battlefield and even as a show of wealth and artistry. Will the swords made today be in museums in hundreds of years? I somehow think not.


That's a point I've considered recently as well. My guess is that they won't be historical museum pieces as such, since they're not active military weapons in today's context. But many may still appreciate in value, becoming rare examples of artistry and become valuable collectibles.

Take for example some of Albion's limited edition weapons. I wonder how they will be considered a century from now, as antiques.


Also these quality reproductions could become stand-ins for the real thing some time far into the future should the true originals be lost or just turn to dust: Almost like copies or later editions of old books when the first edition no longer exists.

Even today some 19th century reproductions of earlier pieces are collected with the knowledge that they are 19th century works. ( At times they can be mistaken for originals. )

As an example lets say a 19th century armourer made a very high quality copy of some marvellous 15th century sword or armour and that original was destroyed in WWI or WWII due to some artillery bombardment or saturation bombing.
Or simply disappeared from a museum in an occupied country and never to be seen again: Wouldn't a faithful copy deserve to be in a museum?

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jan, 2007 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Wed 17 Jan, 2007 2:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Also these quality reproductions could become stand-ins for the real thing some time far into the future should the true originals be lost or just turn to dust: Almost like copies or later editions of old books when the first edition no longer exists.

Even today some 19th century reproductions of earlier pieces are collected with the knowledge that they are 19th century works. ( At times they can be mistaken for originals. )

As an example lets say a 19th century armourer made a very high quality copy of some marvellous 15th century sword or armour and that original was destroyed in WWI or WWII due to some artillery bombardment or saturation bombing.
Or simply disappeared from a museum in an occupied country and never to be seen again: Wouldn't a faithful copy deserve to be in a museum?


Jean,
Great points that remind me of a few other things. The first is dinosaur bones. Sometimes the "bones" on display at museums are in fact replicas of the originals. These castings make it possible for more people to observe and learn about dinosaurs. Also, many fantastic ancient Greek sculpture would be lost forever if the Romans had not made marble copies for their own enjoyment. Going back to your point about relpica arms and armor, isn't that the role the Albion Tritonia plays?

Jonathan

PS--Great thread everyone. It is always good to stop and think about why we do what we do.
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Martin Wallgren




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jan, 2007 4:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Old Vs New         Reply with quote

Sam Haverkamp wrote:
Hi all,
I understand that there are alot of Martial Arts groups and cutting competitions that may be using these Modern Swords, makes sense, nobody would use a 300 year old sword in this way (at least I wouldnt think so).


Somewhat OT but anyways... http://www.thearma.org/Videos/NTCvids/testing...erials.htm
(scroll down and look for two larger pictures marked "Antique 17th century rapier
slices on raw meat " and "Antique rapier thrusts on
raw fresh pork shoulder" klick on them to see the videos.)

Swordsman, Archer and Dad
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jan, 2007 5:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have been a bit preoccupied the last few days, so may have missed an earlier statement. If so, I apologize. However, it seems to me that there is another reason to purchase a newly-made sword. That is the pure ART – the beauty of the form.

A number of contemporary blade smiths are true artists, and are beginning to be recognized as such. For example, consider the Masters of Fire Exhibition at the Macao Museum of Art, which was held in late-2005/early-2006.

By the way, at least a few of the exhibit pieces were pretty historically correct in form and function. However, one should not necessarily expect to purchase one of those very fine works at a lower price than a similar antique.

"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
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Adam Simmonds




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jan, 2007 8:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi there,

MArtin Wallgren wrote:

Sam Haverkamp wrote:
Hi all,
I understand that there are alot of Martial Arts groups and cutting competitions that may be using these Modern Swords, makes sense, nobody would use a 300 year old sword in this way (at least I wouldnt think so).

Somewhat OT but anyways... http://www.thearma.org/Videos/NTCvids/testing...erials.htm
(scroll down and look for two larger pictures marked "Antique 17th century rapier
slices on raw meat " and "Antique rapier thrusts on
raw fresh pork shoulder" klick on them to see the videos.)


I wasn't going to get started on this, but as the subject has been broached, it becomes hard to resist.
I also use a sword of approx. 350 yrs old for training and test cutting. The sword is solid, with no (structural) damages. I treat it with the utmost care and respect and cut only meat, pumpkins and fruit. Some seem to be of the opinion that this sort of behaviour is inadvisable and even amounts to a sort of "abuse". Firstly, to claim that using a sword is abusing a sword, does, to my mind, evidence a rather confined and contradictory notion of a swords purpose and function. OK - so I understand that people feel an anitique should be preserved at all costs - but - to assume that preservation, in all instances, precludes actual handling of antiques - is a misguided assumption. Whether or not use will compromise a swords longevity depends entirely on the condition of the antique piece itself, together with the type of use to which it is being put. Secondly, for someone who loves to handle a well made sword - handling a well made sword from the rennaiscance etc, is an experience second to none other in this regard. "Abuse" indeed. My almost daily use of this sword (mainly dry-training) for the past two years has left no visible marks on it. Swords were made to be used, and, in all honesty, I pity those glorious pieces abandoned to the dust and perpetual twilight of museum basements, never again to taste the air or flash in the sun. My own sword sustains some light pitting on one side from remaining attached, unused, to cold, damp stone walls for decades at a time. With me, it is kept always clean, oiled and dry. I feel I have awoken it from a long and dusty sleep.

Cheers, Adam


Last edited by Adam Simmonds on Thu 18 Jan, 2007 11:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jan, 2007 9:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Adam;

A very valid rebuttal to the non use of an actual antique but I guess it would depend a lot on the age and rarity of the piece as well as the historic significance of a sword connected to a famous person or event.

As well your use seems to be limited to sensible use on not abuse: Some wear and tear but as you mentioned stuff accumulating dust in the sub sub basement of some museum may be aging faster than a used but carefully cleaned sword.

I'm sure that this would be a case by case thing depending on the sword and a careful user.

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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan, 2007 9:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Going back to an earlier point about feeling a connection with history via the ownership of antiques, I submit this thread I started on SFI: Scots Guards Officer's Sword. Later swords offer the average collector the chance to not only learn about the sword, but occasionally the sword's original owner, as well. It is thrilling to uncover small forgotten pieces of history and biographical tidbits that have long since passed into obscurity.

Jonathan
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Adam Simmonds




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan, 2007 11:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi all,

hope my previous post didn't come across as too much of a rant, it's just something I feel strongly about.
I would like to say that I wholeheartedly agree with many earlier points made about the positive aspects of buying and supporting the manufacture of quality contemporary (replica) swords. As a community of enthusiasts it is of course very much in our interest to encourage the ongoing creation of quality swords and only buying new swords does this. I also sympathise with the conservative views about the use and appropriation of antiques, for they are a very limited and precious resource and need to be treated as such.

Cheers, Adam S.
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Bryce Felperin




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan, 2007 2:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pamela Muir wrote:
Sam Haverkamp wrote:
Gentlemen, (didnt see any ladies in the house) Razz

Just to narrow the gender gap a touch... Razz

I would certainly love to own an antique sword. I get chills viewing them in a museum and was weak at the knees the too few times that I've had the chance to handle genuine antiques. Yet, being fully aware of my newcomer status, I would have no idea if the sword I was purchasing was "the real thing" or not. Worried

Then there are the budget issues. Since I got into sword purchasing via the martial art aspect, it's much easier to justify purchasing another training sword than something I would not be able to use on a regular basis. As such, I only own 1 sharp! Sad (Though I do have a couple on order.) Wink


That's a pretty interesting comment Pamela since I tend to be the opposite: one or couple training swords and the rest sharp. ;-) My training swords, be they wood or steel, are "beaters" while my sharps are the collectables. That being said though, I'm in the process of selling two of my lesser sharps at present and plan on sticking with fewer of each type in the future.

As for antiques, well I have limited room at home and in my safe, so long term storage of something valuable is problematical at best and a bad idea at worst. If I did have one I would probably rather loan it out to an interested museum for display and take the tax credits for that. ;-)
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