Antique sword auctions
The rise of antique sword auctions and popularity of collectible swords
The famous Christie’s auction house holds interesting items to be sold out. A 17th century gold small-sword of Prince William Frederick has a price tag of 62,400 dollars.
Elsewhere in its Antique Arms and Armour, a rare Italian rapier costs around 20,000-25,000 dollars. The cheapest sword, a dagger forged in 19th century, sells around 100-150 dollars. Those three are only part of about seventy arms and armor items part of a recent auction.
Indeed, the market for antique swords has never been this brisk and fast-paced. Anywhere in the world, they are traded and auctioned on the internet, on auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s, and among private collectors.
Auctions: Good place to buy collectible swords
Antique sword auctions are considered to be the largest source of authentic swords from the past, next to barter and direct selling. Auction houses therefore play an important role in determining the ancient sword prices. They also determine the ancient sword value in the future. They also allow access to never-been-seen artifacts of ancient kingdoms and civilizations.
About fifty years ago, this was not the case.
Auction was limited and scarce at the time of Dr. Walter Ames Compton, a passionate collector of ancient Japanese swords. Collectible swords were not openly traded. He started collecting swords on the heels of the war and had to rummage through Chinatowns to get what he searched for. When his estate was put into auction in 1992, his Japanese swords and fittings amounted to staggering 15million dollars.
Ancient sword auctions: When, where, and from whom
Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Stockholms Auktionsverk conduct auctions only twice a year. Christie’s and Sotheby’s hold auctions every December 17 and May 21 each year. The number of times they auction is well compensated by the choice of artifacts they put on sale. This will also allow bidders to review the items and have enough time to think before buying.
On the other hand, online sites like eBay trade antique swords like commodities. Auctions are conducted 24/7. Private collectors like Darcy Brockbank are also dealing artifacts among themselves. Either they exchange their collection with another, or they sell off their collection in order to acquire collectible swords for sale.
Important things to remember about ancient sword auctions
Online auction is good because it saves money and time. However, the internet has also provided an easy tool for shady dealers to dupe and cheat. Remember the following items before bidding for an ancient sword, especially if it comes with a heavy price.
1.) Choose a reputable auction site.
2.) Always demand a provenance or marks or any distinctions that prove the item’s identity. Confusing a fake from the genuine would be costly.
3.) Rare swords carry a rich story, and it is this story that makes them expensive. So it does not harm you if you research. Arm yourself with information. If possible, double check the claims of the auctioneer. Verify the provenance, and then decide whether you want to proceed or not the antique swords for sale.
4.) If you do bid, make a mental dollar cap on the item. For instance, estimate the maximum price of antique Polish army sword. And stick to it.
5.) If you weren’t able to get what you wanted, you can always look for other items like ancient sword canes, ancient Japanese swords, and Renaissance French officer swords.
Notable Ancient Sword Auctions
Napoleon Bonaparte’s sword, The most expensive sword ever sold on auction was a 38-inch, curved ancient Arab sword belonging to Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. He once remarked that it would make a good job of beheading if used.
Because it is the only sword of Bonaparte that has not yet been entrusted to a museum, Christie’s pegged its price tag at 1.6million. After an intense bidding, the antique sword went home to another owner (reportedly, to a family of Napoleon Bonaparte’s ancestry). The final price? It was worth 6.4million dollars.
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s sword
The sword of General-in-Chief of Union forces, and later on the president of United States of America, was given to him by the people of Kentucky in 1864 at the height of Civil War. The Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas sold the sword at a price of 1.6 million dollars.
18th Century Chinese sword
Bidders have never shifted their sight away from white and blue porcelain jars of Chinese antiquity. That’s why it was a surprise that in a Sotheby’s auction in 2006, an 18th century Chinese sword fetched 5.93million dollars. The sword was called Baoteng Saber and is only one of the 90 recorded swords commissioned by Qianlong emperor.