Collecting Arms & Armour - Swords


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Chatelaine's Antiques & Appraisals Magazine > Asian Works of Art > Expert Tip: Collecting Arms & Armour - Swords

Authenticating Japanese Samurai Swords

"The market for collectible arms and related material continues to demonstrate outstanding strength."

This sentence could easily have been used at any time during the past century to describe the then-current economic health and popularity of arms collecting. It is interesting to note that if one researches prices back to 1890 when the collecting of arms and armor in America began to evolve into a serious discipline, it will be found that this category has been an excellent store of value. The trend in arms prices has continued to stair upward - rising during prosperous periods and moving sideways as economic downturns occur. To date, there has never been a crash or severe bear market to take this group to new lows. This is why I personally have always been a believer in the "Gun Stock Market" as a collector and investor.

As we embark on the beginning of 2001, I can once again state that the outlook for collectible arms remains robust. Present collecting trends show that a broad interest is also developing into satellite categories such as militaria and Western memorabilia. Our recent Norm Flayderman sale of World War I and Vintage Aviation Material attracted worldwide interest resulting in a resounding success for this esoteric field. Our February 2000 Arms auction of Western artifacts garnered $575,000 for a Wells Fargo Stage Coach - a world record price for any horsedrawn vehicle sold at auction.

Currently, the arms market is especially receptive to pieces of not only the highest quality and historical interest, but to fresh material in general that emanates from collections, estates and private sources that have not previously been offered. Prime examples include the previously unknown gold-inlaid Moore revolver in our August 2000 Arms sale which yielded the record price of $110,000 and the Dr. Samuel Jagoda Collection of 650 arms that had remained in seclusion for over 60 years.

Our February 2001 Arms auction will continue to offer fresh material by presenting the entire arms collection of the Portman Museum of St. Augustine, Florida. This fascinating group comprises more than 600 finely engraved collectible and antique sporting arms, many with rare and unique mechanisms. The John Otteman Collection of Smith & Wesson 2nd Army Revolvers, also in this sale, represents a 40-year collecting effort with the majority of pieces being offered for the first time in many years.

I shall predict once again that the coming year will produce many new exciting discoveries and collections, and that the market for collectible arms and related material will continue to demonstrate outstanding strength.

Decorative replica Samurai Set with wooden scabbard.
Only USD $175.00


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The Japanese Sword:
A Comprehensive Guide

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Sword of the Samurai: The Classical Art of Japanese Swordsmanship
by George Parulski

Giving Up the Gun: Japan's Reversion to the Sword, 1543-1879
by Noel Perrin

Bokken Art of the Japanese Sword
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Legacies of the Sword: The Kashima-Shinryu and Samurai Martial Culture by Karl Friday