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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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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.

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Sword presented by grateful passengers saved from pirate attack peril on offer at London auction house Dix Noonan Webb

29 November 2016

Besides the danger of a dog bite, delivering the mail is not generally seen as a perilous business. However, as a presentation sword up at auction in London shows, on occasion it can be a matter of life or death.

Benjamin Franklin sword at Christie's

Benjamin Franklin’s ceremonial sword comes to auction at Christie’s New York

31 August 2016

A sword owned by Benjamin Franklin will be offered at an upcoming Christie’s sale in New York, estimated at $200,000-300,000.

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The sword of Catherine the Great’s bodyguard

30 November 2012

A gold sword that belonged to the bodyguard of Empress Catherine II of Russia is estimated at £40,000-60,000 in Thomas Del Mar’s December 5 Antique Arms, Armour and Militaria sale in West Kensington, London.

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£200,000 bid sets new record for Scottish sword

21 December 2007

At 3ft 21/4in (97cm) long, this exceptionally rare Scottish Highland two-hand sword or claymore dates to the third quarter of the 16th century. So rare is it, in fact, that no other example has appeared on the market in recent years.

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Racoon Finally taken at £73,000

22 August 2006

"They kept their resolution longer than I expected, keeping us in action from 7 in the morning till [?] in the afternoon and to carry the scene on in a military manner they came down upon us, sounding the charge and their army colours flying, and in this manner continued till they were beaten to atoms. "

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Two Japanese swords that have the edge

11 January 2005

IN CONTRAST to Sotheby’s and Christie’s, who usually offer Japanese arms and armour in Japanese works of art sales, Bonhams (19.5/10% buyers premium) include theirs as a section in militaria auctions.

Scots sword trade could face the axe

01 December 2004

BUYING and selling antique swords may soon become illegal in Scotland. As part of proposals to tackle knife crime North of the Border, Scotland’s First Minister, Jack McConnell, announced his intention to ban the sale of swords and introduce a licence for the sale of non-domestic knives.

Rare way to keep a wild boar at arms length

27 August 2002

The schwein-degen, or boar sword, is a rare beast. Good examples can elude collectors for decades, and the cobwebbed halls of schloss- dwelling aristocrats are a favourite hiding place. So there was plenty of excitement when an example broke cover at Sotheby’s sale of arms and armour in London on July 10.