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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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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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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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Household Cavalry blades in demand

12 August 2019

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

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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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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.

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Sales by the sword united

21 May 2018

A quartet of weapons with fascinating histories sold recently at regional UK auctions.

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French sabre presented by Lafayette in Pennsylvania sale

19 February 2018

Morphy Auctions’ March 1-2 Premier Firearms Sale in Denver, Pennsylvania, includes various other militaria categories, such as edged weapons.

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The cut and thrust of the market

07 August 2017

As weapons of war, swords have an impressively long history, as demonstrated by recent auctions around the world. From two £11,000 Viking swords at Bonhams in London to General Patton’s 1945 presentation sabre at Hermann Historica (€54,000/£47,370), there were centuries of warfaring history on view, including blades from Japan, Korea and Greece.

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American presentation blades mark contrasting careers

07 August 2017

Two American presentation swords, marking high points in two very different military careers, made their mark in recent sales.

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Death Railway survivor's sword comes to Cornish auction

22 June 2017

The ‘value’ of an auction lot cannot always be summed up by price alone. While not at a high estimate level, a sword coming up in a Cornish saleroom has a fascinating background. And whatever the final result is, the historical value can be viewed as priceless.

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God Bless America (and the US)

22 May 2017

DEAR EDITOR – Without wishing to appear nit-picking (really, I don’t) the article in your militaria special that references the Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund Sword (ATG No 2290) describes Captain Rutherford as US-born, in 1764.

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Travelling from London to honour Trafalgar hero

02 May 2017

A £100 Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund sword, one of 23 awarded to captains who fought at Trafalgar, sold for $235,000 (£173,000), plus 15% buyer’s premium, to one of six phone bidders competing at James D Julia in Fairfield, Maine, on April 11.

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Four-star sword for military showman Patton

10 April 2017

One thing you could never accuse General George S Patton of was being shy. Not that top military men are exactly shrinking violets but even so, Patton is renowned as particularly bombastic. He fits perfectly into the type of American general in the Custer and MacArthur mould, happy to blow their own trumpets.

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International previews: Maine

05 April 2017

A highlight of James D Julia’s latest arms and militaria sale on April 11 is this rare Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund sword, one of 23 awarded to captains who fought in the Battle of Trafalgar.

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The sword with strong connections from the Cotswolds and Sweden to Nepal, India and Australia

01 March 2017

The worldwide reach of UK regional auctions is summed up beautifully by a militaria lot sold in the Cotswolds: a kora fighting sword given by a Nepalese ruler to a British field marshal who commanded in India and was revered by the Australians and Gurkhas.