Join Date: Apr 2005
I'm with Ian on your 2 acquisitions. From the pics, I might even argue that the lower blade is of better quality. I'd recommend to etch all these blades: While some might be indeed from monosteel, some will probably be laminated and allow a glimpse on the blacksmith's work.
BTW, allowing for plenty of overlap, I'd be tempted to suggest 3 groupings:
19th century (and possibly earlier):
These truly antique pieces really command top prices these days. I still have a status piece waiting for me in the US and haven't seen a bargain in a long while. However, if you look for pieces that are not easy to restore (shattered or missing scabbards, considerably damaged hilts, etc.), you still may be able to grab an affordable oldie!
20th century (pre-WW2):
Mostly usage of quality materials; variable workmanship (quick decline of traditional designs though). These are still undervalued IMHO and with patience & luck you can make good scores, especially in the US. It also stands to reason that some antique "villagers" may hide in this category (i. e. plain user pieces for common folks), some with possibly with replaced fittings...
Modern (WW2 and later):
Very variable workmanship and materials; partly use of modern materials (aluminium, plastic); new designs developing.
I know it's tough to let things pass on ePray. However, I'd suggest to build up funds by letting some modern examples pass and try to wait for pieces from the second category. There may be some gems, especially among the damaged/incomplete ones; and it would be good to rescue them from the dumpster and save them for posterity!