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Sword

Swords and edged weapons are a popular collecting category within the antique arms and armour market.

Dating back to ancient times, swords have a long history of production with fine decorative or ceremonial examples and items linked to notable historical figures and events often commanding the most attention.


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‘Father of the RAF’ swords

05 October 2020

Lawrences’ (25% buyer’s premium) sale in Crewkerne on September 10 featured three swords that came to auction from the family of the ‘Father of the RAF’: Viscount Trenchard GCB, OM, GCVO, DSO (1873-1956).

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Erskine Childers’ sword sells in Irish auction

17 August 2020

This Royal Navy Reserve officer’s sword owned by Robert Erskine Childers was estimated at €3000-5000 in a recent auction by Mullen’s (20/12.5% buyer’s premium) in Bray, Co Dublin. The scabbard throat of the Victorian 1827-pattern sword is engraved 'RE Childers'.

Robert Erskine Childers' sword

Irish writer and nationalist Erskine Childers’ sword stars in our pick of five auction highlights this week

17 July 2020

ATG’s weekly selection of items that caught bidders’ eyes includes a Victorian 1827-pattern officer’s sword owned by Robert Erskine Childers that sold above estimate in Co Dublin.

First Empire small sword

Légion d'honneur sword and early ventriloquist's doll are among five auction highlights that caught bidders’ eyes

08 May 2020

ATG’s selection of hammer highlights this week includes a rare French First Empire sword for a Légion d'honneur recipient that made over 35-times estimate.

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Sharp eyes spot top blade at Grantham auction

27 April 2020

Ken tanto, distinguished by double-edged blades, are one of the rarer styles of Japanese sword. Most were made as Buddhist ritual implements rather than weapons and are decorated accordingly.

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Present arms for an £11,000 result

13 April 2020

Among the highlights of Antony Cribb’s Spring Virtual Arms and Armour sale was a collection of presentation swords.

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Second chance for works from Spetchley Park offered at Chorley’s

02 March 2020

Second-dibs sales at regional salerooms – those that follow after a major London auctioneer has cherry-picked the contents of a stately country house – can sometimes acquire the slighting epithet of ‘crumbs from a rich man’s table’.

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Pick of the week: Rusty Scottish Highland sword makes £30,000

27 January 2020

Claymores (the word comes from the Scottish Gaelic claidheamh-mor meaning ‘great sword’) were the weapon of choice in the ongoing warfare between Highland clans and border skirmishes with the English from c.1400-1700.

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Five examples showing how exotic Eastern blades remain a key fixture at auction

20 January 2020

Edged weapons from the East continue to feature regularly among the top lots in auctions across the world. Awareness of the rich array of culturally-significant weapons to be found in Western collections has grown as internet technology reaches a new international audience.

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Sabres suggest the swashbuckling world of Hornblower

20 January 2020

Two spectacular early-19th century British presentation sabres have turned up in the salerooms recently, one in London and the other in Munich.

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Sikh tulwar in Italian saleroom

12 August 2019

Edged weapons from the East were also an important part of the sale held by Czerny (20% buyer’s premium) in Sarzano, Italy, on June 16.

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Tanto tantalises bidders at Special Auction Services

12 August 2019

Special Auction Services’ (17.5% buyer’s premium) sale in Newbury on July 9 included a wide selection of edged weapons which was topped by a mid-19th century Japanese short sword or tanto estimated at £200-300.

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Scottish swords in battle and play

12 August 2019

A Battle of Culloden period Clan MacTavish silver inlaid basket-hilted back sword sold for £4800, just below top estimate, at the Antony Cribb (22% buyer’s premium) auction on July 30.

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Siamese sword has eastern edge

12 August 2019

The huge variety of exotic arms brought back to Europe from the East during colonial days is becoming an increasingly lucrative area of business for auction houses.

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Household Cavalry blades in demand

12 August 2019

The collecting of English military swords is a science in itself.

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Russian shashka sword emerges in Amersham

12 August 2019

A 19th century Russian shashka sword with fine niello-worked ornament sold for £6700 against an estimate of £250-450 at Amersham Auction Rooms (17.5% buyer’s premium) on August 1.

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Antique weapons will be permitted in the post

27 May 2019

A significant amendment means that the new law governing the sale of bladed items will not impact buyers of antique weapons as once feared.

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Russian sword owned by prince who died in action

20 May 2019

A Russian battle sword is on offer at Morphy Auctions in the June 12 sale in Denver, Pennsylvania, estimated at $50,000-100,000.

Antique weapons laws set for 2019 changes

25 February 2019

Laws relating to antique firearms and bladed weapons are set to change in the UK this year. Dealers, auctioneers and collectors will be affected by both the offensive weapons bill and an amendment to the Policing and Crime Act 2017 which are set to become law in 2019.

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Collection of Tipu Sultan treasure including gold-encrusted sword offered at Antony Cribb sale

28 January 2019

Historical weapons from the personal armoury of Tipu Sultan will be offered for sale in Oxfordshire in the spring.