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Old 24th June 2009, 10:21 PM   #1
Jim McDougall
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I often notice the number of views on threads vs. the number of posts, and that in many cases, posts are placed almost apologetically, as if the information being shared is somehow inadequate.

This is emphatically NOT the case.

As most here know, I have written on these forums for many years, and it is also well known that I am seldom brief. I know that many perceive my writing in different ways, anywhere from erudition (not) to thoughts these are hyperinflated 'pronouncements' , and thankfully to those of you who have kindly acknowledged my work as worthwhile and helpful information. This is how it has always been intended. I enjoy spending hours and often longer in pursuing answers to discussions and questions at hand, not necessarily to prove I am overly knowledgable, but to learn. I typically dont know the material at the outset, but simply use whatever resources I can to put together material which I very much enjoy sharing. I always look forward to being corrected as well, as I know that no matter how intensely I research something, misperception or errors, even inadvertant omissions are inevitable. I cannot possibly describe how much I have learned from the many well supported opposing views and rebuttals to gentle corrections I have experienced through the years.

What I have always considered the wonder of these forums is those who consistantly write and share thier knowledge, mostly from experience in handling actual examples and specializing in certain fields. Many collect and study a number of weapon forms, many are entirely eclectic, but regardless often deeply engage in learning about the items they acquire. Some study esoteric areas that few specialize in, and openly share new arrivals. The postings of various museums and thier holdings are wonderful, as those of us who may never reach those places have the opportunity to enjoy and admire them.

As always, I am so profoundly grateful to all of you here who are constantly on the threads, and sharing your amazing collections and knowledge. For me personally it is fantastic as an expatriate collector to be able to vicariously experience the wonderful arms and armour shared here. As an always obsessed researcher I always look forward to discussions and bringing in new material. My writing consists only of study of information available as I have no weapons or collection at hand, only the books and notes that travel with me.

For those of you out there reading, and I know there are many, as you read the threads and posts, please join in, ask questions, share any information you can, no matter how inconsequential you think it might be. The idea is to share thoughts,ideas, observations, opinions . These forums are entirely global, and we need to know of resources in many languages and countries.

My hope is that this will serve not only as a most sincere thank you to all of the members and staff who have done so much to make our forums successful, but as an invitation for the readers out there to come in with us.
These threads are intended to stand as archived material to benefit collectors, scholars and anyone involved with arms and armour, and to encourage participation in advancing the study of them.

With all very best regards,
Jim

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 25th June 2009 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 25th June 2009, 12:22 AM   #2
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THE KNOWLEGE SHARED HERE IS FOR THE GAIN OF ALL NOT THE GAIN OF THE ONE.
WHEN SOMEONE POSTS AND GETS NO ANSWER VERY SOON HE WILL THINK HE IS ALONE AND NO ONE IS INTERESTED AND MOVE ON. THE NUMBER OF VIEWS DOSEN'T COUNT IT IS THE NUMBER OF REPLYS THAT MATTER. TRY TO BE MORE ORIGINAL THAN =NICE ONE, COOL, NEAT OR PITTIFUL! ONE WORD REPLYS DON'T COUNT. IF YOU CAN'T ADD TO THE INFORMATION OR THINK OF A COMMENT ASK A QUESTION SUCH AS WHAT ARE THE MATERIALS USED OR MEASUREMENTS OR WHERE THEY FOUND IT AND IF THERE WERE ANY STORIES FROM THE SELLER.
JIM IS A DEDICATED SCHOLAR AND CAREFULLY RESEARCHES BEFORE HE POSTS AND CAN BACK UP WHAT HE SAYS WITH REFRENCES.
I ON THE OTHER HAND OFTEN DRAW ON OLD MEMORIES OF THINGS I SAW OR LEARNED FROM THE OLD TIMERS OR BOOKS OR LACKING THAT USE CONJECTURE, LOGIC AND GUESSES OR ASK QUESTIONS JUST TO LET THE POSTER KNOW I WAS THERE. I SELDOM HAVE THE TIME OR INCLINATION TO GO LOOKING FOR THE NEEDLE IN THE HAYSTACK ESPECIALLY WHEN I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE THE HAYSTACK IS. HAYSTACK= REFRENCE
SO FAR I HAVEN'T BEEN BURNED AT THE STAKE
I THINK CONJECTURE AND GUESSES, THOUGH JUST MY OPINION FORMED FROM FACTS I HAVE ENCOUNTERED OVER THE YEARS IS MUCH BETTER THAN NO REPLY. IT OFTEN ELICITS REPLYS FROM OTHERS MORE KNOWLEGABLE.
THESE FORUMS ARE A DATA BASE AND THOSE WHO CHECK IT FOR INFORMATION WILL RETURN REGULARLY IF NEW INFORMATION IS ADDED. IF THEY ALWAYS FIND THE SAME INFORMATION EVERY TIME THEY WILL MOVE ON AND VISIT SELDOM OR NOT AT ALL. IF THAT HAPPENS THE FORUM BECOMES DEAD LIKE A DUSTY REFRENCE BOOK IN A LIBRARY SOMEWHERE.
I PREFER A LIVE AND LIVELY FORUM
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Old 25th June 2009, 12:52 AM   #3
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Useful four word answer:

Question: Is this a [insert name here]?

Answer: No, it's a [insert name here].

To me, this is a discussion. Sometimes you're long-winded, sometimes terse. Either way is okay.

As for page views: I can think of one discussion (not saying which one either!) that I very carefully saved off-line, even though I didn't post on it. The reason was that the pictures were amazing, and were a really good reference.

It's a discussion. Sometimes the people who are lurking are getting more out of it than the ones who are participating. Simply reading these posts is a great way to learn.

That said, I do like the Encyclopaedia McDougalliana, and I always look forward to reading the newest entries.

Best,

F
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Old 25th June 2009, 06:01 AM   #4
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Interesting that this subject should come up now, have been having some email contact with a Forum member over another matter, and the comment was passed about the apparent lack of replies to their posts. Are we becoming too apathetic, or is it just a lack of interest in other members collecting field? Personally I find the "other" interests a great learning experience. In my opinion it can become very boring if one only concentrates on their ones items, and not take an interest in what others collect.
Jim--You could maybe answer to one of the observations made, as I don't know the answer. Does the view count only include members, or does it also include "outside surfers"? If this IS the case, it may explain why the number of views way exceeds the replies.
Regards Stuart
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Old 25th June 2009, 01:13 PM   #5
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This is an interesting point.
Now obviously there are different 'layers' to the posts and threads on this site, there are the academic study of the high end pieces, which is great and for many of us it's nice to dream....
But then there are also the 'masses' myself included who range from those literally just starting out, general collectors, people who want information on a 'single piece' etc...
Speaking for myself, if I post a picture of a new item I've acquired, I want lots of comments! Yes I hope that amongst the replys someone like Jim will post, as his posts are always overflowing with facts, ideas, and enthusiasm for the field. But I do also realise that we can't always expect the scholarly members to reply in every thread and although I consider those members to be the 'cornerstones' of the site, I'd like to think that the rest of 'us' are the mortar that holds it all together.
Collecting shouldn't be a solitary pursuit, sharing a find with ones friends is an important part of it for me.
I for one, am far happier to get a few short replys to a post from my friends on these forums congratulating me for adding to my collection in these hard times, than when I post and see hundreds of views and nobody bothers to even say 'nice find mate'.
By the same token, I hope that when I can't add anything more than my enthusiasm and congratulations to a thread but still want to show solidarity with one of you, I hope you are not offended or thinking 'spam'.
IMHO there are no bad posts that are well intentioned. The only sad thing is seeing a '0' under replies.

Regards
Gene
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Old 25th June 2009, 04:47 PM   #6
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Excellent responses here guys! As always I thank you all for the kindnesses toward my efforts, and recognizing the very deep passion I do have for the study of arms. It has been a lifelong passion that long exceeded my once concurrent passion for collecting. I only gave up the collecting in response to profound life events changing the means required to continue the hobby, not my interest in it. As I mentioned, it is wonderful that all of you so openly share your latest conquests and items in your collections, and I am able to vicariously enjoy them as well as continuing my research, which in kind, I enjoy sharing here.

It is wonderful to see the beautifully crafted responses that you have posted here Vandoo, Fearn, Khanjar and Fearn (I know your real names, but use pen names for the benefit of the readers), and these are well thought out and worded, distinctly reflecting your own styles of writing and your distinct personalities.

Your comments are all well placed, and have genuinely brought to my attention perspective I honestly had not thought of, and very much liked Atlantia's analogy of cornerstones and mortar! I agree that there are many variations to degree of response afforded to various posts, and often in proportion to each individuals familiarity or interest in a piece shared. That is well understood, and I admit that myself I often defer comment on the many topics I have limited resources or knowledge on, a broad range indeed, but honestly try to find something to say by searching as much as I can that I might try to say something.
As noted, I find it very sad to see a post standing with 0 responses.

What always impresses me is that there is indeed a great deal of solidarity here, and it is always a pleasure to see such gentlemanly behaviour even in the presence of obvious disagreement. I do admire the fact that everyone does come in with even kind comments that are 'brief' but complimentary when a new acquisition is posted.

What I am saying is addressed to the many readers out there who are clearly present in considerable numbers and that thier input is welcomed.Despite the amount and depth of knowledge being imparted in these threads, it does not diminish the inclusion of the same kind of pleasant comment noted or well placed questions by newcomers or readers. We know you are out there, and we want to know what you think or what questions you might have.

As I have always emphasized, it is how we all learn..together! We share thoughts , ideas, questions, and observations without reservation.

I would again emphasize my deep gratitude to everyone here who does participate, and in whatever degree, and always admire the contributions in text from which I honestly believe we have all learned a great deal. With reference to the excellent analogy of cornerstones, and mortar....not forgetting the solidarity of the stones, I believe we all stand together as a sort of venerable bastion for the advancement of the study of historic arms and armour.

Thank you again everyone!

All very best regards,
Jim
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Old 25th June 2009, 06:11 PM   #7
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Hi,
This is indeed an interesting and sometime difficult subject. As diverse as the subjects on the Forum so it is with the Members who participate, some may feel comfortable with one kind of approach whilst others do not. The dilemma of being really interested but judging whether to risk putting ones big foot in it while on the other hand not wanting to appear disinterested can be problematic, well, for me at least! Not all members have the same 'drive' or ambitions for their collections and it is important to include the curious as well as the enthusiast. I really feel for members, and it is normally newer ones, who, after putting out their hard earned cash, and it is really hard earned for some these days, on a piece find to their dismay that the 'gold' they have dug up is in actual fact 'mud'. I do think on these occasions that a 'diplomatic' and courteous let down is an absolute positive in getting these newer members to 'post and answer' in future and not to be left intimidated by their confusion or lack of knowledge, we all have lack of knowledge in many other spheres. This 'ignorance' can be the root of an unwillingness to reply to posts but is not to be confused with the 'ignorant', a situation which unfortunately a good member thought himself the subject of recently, re ignore list. I do not know of any members on this Forum who are disposed to be dismissive with regard to others ' buying mistakes' and lack of knowledge, we've all been there, in actual fact I have seen several very tactful let downs and corrections but I have seen the opposite on many other forums, sometimes it is the little green god at work, and it doesn't take too long for a clique to form and ruin it for others. I think proactive tolerance, courtesy and a willingness to illuminate, which I must say is very evident on this Forum and certainly lacking in some others, will go a long way in encouraging the less knowledgeable members, and I include myself in that merry band, joining in discussions. I sincerely hope that no Member will take any of the foregoing personally as this is not my intention it is simply observations I have made when comparing similar forums.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 25th June 2009, 06:19 PM   #8
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I will say that I check who the post is from before I reply. I got a little tired of being asked about a piece and then seeing it put up for sale.
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Old 25th June 2009, 06:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ward
I will say that I check who the post is from before I reply. I got a little tired of being asked about a piece and then seeing it put up for sale.


Hi,
Milking hard earned knowledge under false pretences for commercial gain is certainly not in the 'spirit' of the Forum to my mind. Members obviously do swap or sell on items now and then but that's all part of collecting. This is probably an emotive subject that should be addressed somewhere but possibly not under this heading.
Regards,
Norman.

Last edited by Norman McCormick : 25th June 2009 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 25th June 2009, 07:14 PM   #10
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" I was once told that it was said of Laking (Sir Guy Laking,
British arms historian and collector), that he would always
find something kind to say about a fellow collectors object".

"Arms and Armour Study in Edwardian Britain"
Sid Blair and Michael Lacy, 1999

Excellent points Norman, and this is definitely a point of contention commonly faced here, as the weapons acquired and in private collections are typically the basis for our discussions. As I have noted, the gentlemanly demeanor here is certainly in most cases of highest caliber with regard to comments placed on another members weapons. In most cases where a piece is clearly a 'commercial' (trade or souk type souvenier) it is often hard to comment without the hard truth. In these instances I think the members here typically handle the matter deftly and with courtesy.
I think that we have all learned through the years through the academy of hard knocks, and most of it bear the scars of proof....in a sense I suppose we might consider this a kind of collectors 'patination' .
I believe strongly that the most important weapon an arms collector can possess is knowledge, and to never become complacent, never stop learning. This is the very reason why we are here, and why we all do what we do.

I was once told in my job, in which quick judgement calls were the 'order of the day', to make the call as best as you could with details at hand...if you were right ,it would strengthen your proficiency; if you were wrong, a lesson would be learned, and you would become even stronger. Naturally, in degree these 'calls' would vary with circumstances, but in most these ideas would apply.
A collector is by nature often impulsive, and sometimes an opportunity may be lost if action is not taken, but the more well versed they are in knowing the items they are considering, the less chance of the dreaded sting of error.

I would consider that those selling or trading arms that seek correct and accurate information to properly represent and describe those they intend to sell as prudent individuals. There is a profound difference in the laughable descriptions often with items for sale which are designed to deceive, and the typically more conservative captions which reflect true lack of knowledge.
I would only ask that those dealing with weapons that are for sale simply be straightforward, and channel queries accordingly.

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 25th June 2009, 07:28 PM   #11
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Quote, " I would only ask those dealing with weapons that are for sale simply be straightforward and channel queries accordingly." End Quote.

Hi Jim,
The straightforward solutions are often the best.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 26th June 2009, 01:37 AM   #12
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I've got to say that I don't mind people wanting to correctly ID items in preparation for selling.

Gentlemen, please don't feel like people are just using you (us) for free appraisals!
I think thats an important part of collecting and we none of us keep everything we buy. I believe that there are many reasons why someone might only choose whether they sell or not after they get the correct information about an item.
If this is a 'community of collectors' then clearly members will see possible 'bargains' or ones that they know will appeal to others, and want to acquire them 'on spec' in order to trade with other members for items that suit them better or sell to them to fund more suitable purchases for their own collections.
Why deny your friends on here information simply because it might help them achieve a good price for their items?
IMHO that doesn't exactly fit with the 'spirit' of a collecting group.
While the selling area is available, then it should be fine to ask for a clear ID in preparation for listing items there or anywhere else.

And, I humbly submit that there should be no stipulation on why such information is requested, if for no better reason that the receipt of such information may alter the owners decision to keep or sell!

From my own experience I often ask for help to ID an item BEFORE I decide if I'm going to keep it!
Examples?
Ashanti gold dust pot : Went straight on ebay!
Albacete Dagger : Now a prized exhibit in my collection when I'd thought I might have made a mistake in buying it before my friends here ID'd it for me!

For my own part I look back at 30+ years of collecting and know that I have traded and sold more beautiful pieces than I care to remember A wheel lock pistol that I'll never see the like of again, a wootz Tulwar before I knew what wootz even was literally hundreds of items. Some I needed to sell for financial reasons some I traded to keep one collection or another alive.
One thing I do know is that I could easily (with my first child on its way) find myself needing to sell everything from my many collections again! BUT, I will not mourn because there are always more beautiful things to own, and as with any antiques, we don't own them forever, we hold them briefly for future generations.

Now I do realise that I might be losing friends here, I sincerely hope that will not include those above who'se opinions I seem to be at odds with, as I do regard you as friends and respect your opinions and knowledge greatly.

Regards
Gene
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Old 26th June 2009, 01:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ward
I will say that I check who the post is from before I reply. I got a little tired of being asked about a piece and then seeing it put up for sale.

Yes I do agree, but that is the nature of the beast. There are obviously some more than others who do this, but (and I hasten to add that I have not done this................YET) if I were to list an item for sale about which I knew absolutely nothing, I might also be tempted to obtain some information first.
Just remember that none of us are experts and we are all still learning.
Unfortunately if there was a rule for everything, it would make posting on the Forum very difficult, both for the "Postees" and also the site Moderators!
There is a thing called the K.I.S.S principle, which means keep it simple stupid.
Lets not get over regulated!
Regards Stu
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Old 26th June 2009, 01:42 AM   #14
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" I was once told that it was said of Laking (Sir Guy Laking,
British arms historian and collector), that he would always
find something kind to say about a fellow collectors object".


May I just add...
Could any quote be more apt?
That should be the mantra of everyone using this site!



'Don't Player hate... congratulate'
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Old 26th June 2009, 02:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
" I was once told that it was said of Laking (Sir Guy Laking,
British arms historian and collector), that he would always
find something kind to say about a fellow collectors object".


May I just add...
Could any quote be more apt?
That should be the mantra of everyone using this site!



'Don't Player hate... congratulate'

I heartily agree Gene!
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Old 26th June 2009, 02:26 AM   #16
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Thank you guys, well said, I'll keep it in mind, though being a novice, I am a "little child at the adult table"... I try to be as helpful as possible, but I end up asking questions more than I answer... I think sometimes people with my level of knowledge see how much more knowledgeable others are and are reluctant to speak... as the Chinese say fay hwa show jiang (don't say the obvious things so much).
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Old 26th June 2009, 02:45 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
Gentlemen, please don't feel like people are just using you (us) for free appraisals!


The bottom line here is that we help identify yet do not openly give appraisals .

I would suggest that a reasonable time pass before a forum identified piece would be listed in Swap .

It just seems more right .

Not policy; just my opinion .
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Old 26th June 2009, 04:35 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KuKulzA28
Thank you guys, well said, I'll keep it in mind, though being a novice, I am a "little child at the adult table"... I try to be as helpful as possible, but I end up asking questions more than I answer... I think sometimes people with my level of knowledge see how much more knowledgeable others are and are reluctant to speak... as the Chinese say fay hwa show jiang (don't say the obvious things so much).

As I have said elsewhere in this thread, we are all learners, and always will be!
He who THINKS he is an expert, obviously knows everything, so should have no need for a Forum such as this!
If you have questions, keep asking as it is the way we all learn. Don't be reluctant to say even the obvious things. They might just be less obvious to others!
Regards Stu
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Old 26th June 2009, 06:47 AM   #19
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Thanks for posting this Jim,
I really appreciate your encouragement. I have to admit I "lurked" here for a long time before I created an account; honestly because I wanted to buy something off the swap, but I've grown into it a little and tried to pitch in where I can, and ask questions when curious. I would encourage anyone else out there to do the same. I've made some comments here and there (hopefully without making too many eyes roll ) mainly regarding areas that I feel a little more comfortable in or at least think about more (been doing doing martial arts off and on for over a decade, so that's more my area of study). I have a good deal of reference books on arms (mostly Se Asian), but for me it's more about having the pictorial examples of traditional weaponry - I'm a visual and tactile sorta guy. I've always really appreciated the craft of metal working in regards to arms and armor, but an avid historian and researcher I am not. I use my books more for visual reference and don't recall a lot of the information even when I have made it through the book cover to cover. This forum is great for people like me with a little shorter attention span when it comes to history. I have always felt somewhat intimidated by the forum in general - there are a lot of forum members who do great research and have a lot of historical and general knowledge to share. I really respect your efforts in the scholarly realm and would hate to have you feel your efforts are unappreciated (especially by those who "lurk"), they are most certainly not, so thank you. In regards to friendly comments regarding someone's latest acquisition: I've always felt a little awkward just saying "nice find" etc. when I don't have any real insights on the item or questions to ask, but I really appreciate people sharing their acquisitions (and posts in general) with everyone - for me it's golden. I love seeing all the weapons of the world and the craftsmanship that goes into them and taking in the related discussion; so please, keep sharing and keep the dialog going, it's truly priceless (can you remember/imagine the world before the information age? )

Thanks to all and cheers,
Tom
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Old 26th June 2009, 11:58 AM   #20
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Hi,
I do think there is a definite difference in having an item I.D. and then deciding whether to keep it in your "private" collection, for whatever reason, and information seeking for commercial gain. I don't see any difference in a lawyer charging for his/her time and knowledge and anyone else parting with hard earned and time consuming expertise if the party in receipt of that information is just going to use it for commercial advantage. Perhaps a bit of transparency by those who "INTEND" to seek "ONGOING" financial gain would be to everyones advantage. If you are going to deal I'm sure many would still want to see and voice opinions about pieces but at least if it were known that there was a commercial aspect each member could decide whether to join in or not thereby avoiding any conflict. Just a thought.

Apart from the above digression it would seem clear that any and all information from Members is to be welcomed and 'don't be shy' with questions is to be positively encouraged. With this in mind I look forward to sharing many more hours of convivial banter with you all.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 26th June 2009, 01:44 PM   #21
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It is truly great to see the ongoing dialogue here, and to see the range of perceptions and opinions related to this topic being openly discussed, this is exactly the kind of rapport that makes me feel proud to be a part of this ever growing and amazing group of members.

I think the consensus is generally that courtesy and respect should prevail above all, and common sense should be paramount in handling commercially related situations or selling and trading of weapons. It is important to note that while we are clearly all aware of the importance of establishing proper identification and integrity of weapons that are involved in either live auctions or sales, there is nothing that precludes members handling discussions of these items privately. It is only publicly via internationally published media, such as our forums clearly are, that matters can become problematic.

Tom, I would like to thank you for your very kind words, and am glad that you have joined in. It is clear that your knowledge is more 'hands on' and by the well written post, you express yourself well. This is exactly what my original purpose for beginning this thread, to bring in those like yourself who are out there and have much more to offer than they realize. The study of historical arms is not just taken from published material, but weapons seen and collected in the field; observed in collections and museums; found among heirlooms and estates of individuals who have collected them; from well travelled individuals far and wide.

We are after all internationally well represented here , and it is wonderful and amazing to see the harmony among such diverse cultures, religions, ethnicity and virtually all manner of groups. The input from everyone helps us not only learn about the history of arms, with such direct input, but promotes key understanding between all.

Kukulz, as Kahnjar has noted, beware 'experts', we are all students in varying degree, and are all here to learn together. Participation is key to effective learning, and in my case, I can only truly learn by gathering notes and information, then writing in text what I have found. In sharing that here, I always look forward to information others add, or in many cases corrections where I have erred.

In another thread for example, I made comments in a couple of places, and fortunately members well versed in the material at hand stepped forward to note that my statements were not entirely correct in those particular cases. This is exactly what I hope for..not to be wrong...but to be properly corrected as required, hopefully with substantiated support.

I full believe that here we are working together to study arms, discover and share evidence and resources, and above all to preserve this history as comprehensively as possible. It is our responsibility to accomplish this as thoroughly as we can, and it is not about being right or wrong...it is about being accurate. The more of us that work together in this, the better chance we have of being successful

Thanks very much everyone!
You're the best!

Jim
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Old 27th June 2009, 01:51 AM   #22
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Hi Guys,

First let me acknowledge Jim as the main reason for my participation in this forum. His kindness, patience, courtesy, civility, knowledge and clear English prose have proven to be an attraction impossible to resist.

The cordiality that characterizes this forum is a close second motif, the willingness to share, the enthusiasm. In a way, it reminds me of the general feeling of well being associated to the Boy Clubs of my youth.

As an armchair historian and collector, I have no problems with anyone using the data that I provide, for commercial purposes. As a collector, sometimes I merely buy to eventually sell, and then buy other toys more of my preference. If I can help anyone with that, I'm satisfied.

The way I see it, often times people with interesting pieces for sale can be a source of learning, when their particular wares are discussed. If these are not presented to the forum, then we missed an opportunity to learn.

For me this is a hobby, a pleasure source. OTOH, I fully admit that if I see you in my professional capacity, I do expect reasonable fees to be paid!

Then, that's a job, not a hobby.

Best regards

Manuel Luis

Last edited by celtan : 27th June 2009 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 27th June 2009, 03:50 AM   #23
celtan
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I do believe it was glorious Marlene who said

"If you don't have anything nice
to say about anyone,
please come and sit by my side..."



Just kiddin'..!


Manolo



Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
" I was once told that it was said of Laking (Sir Guy Laking,
British arms historian and collector), that he would always
find something kind to say about a fellow collectors object".


May I just add...
Could any quote be more apt?
That should be the mantra of everyone using this site!



'Don't Player hate... congratulate'
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Old 27th June 2009, 07:22 PM   #24
Jim McDougall
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Celtan, thank you so very much. Those kind words mean more than you can imagine my friend, and the truth is that my manner is only reflective of the gentlemanly company here.
I very much appreciate your contributions, and your genuine comittment not only to learning, but to openly sharing your knowledge here. Very well placed comments, and you have my deepest respect.

Good one on the quote !!

All the best,
Jim
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Old 28th June 2009, 11:33 AM   #25
Gavin Nugent
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Great question Jim;

Well, to learn of course...that is why we are here aren't we, surely it is not just a picture gallery with no intellectual content.
Even the big dealers pop in here to brush up on info even if they do not share what they may or may not know.

I think Celtan said it best Jim ;-). You are the pillar of the community. You are here with more well versed and referenced content than all the community combined and your vigor for these subjects is an inspiration to all concerned.
No discredit to the others of course, I for one know how limited time is....and to quote Barry in some posting a while back..."if I were a rich man"........I know I'd be a lot more active too.

Gene, your comments are perfect :-), though for me, whilst the three word "very Nice ......." reply is all very nice, it would benefit the whole community if a lot more active and probing questions were asked, though some just prefer to sit on the fence and smile.
Kind of reminds me of the old adage, if your not living on the edge your just taking up space...live on the edge guys, throw your thoughts out there to see what bounces back, don't be afraid and there is no such thing as a silly question.

Stu, your comment, I quote, “Just remember that none of us are experts and we are all still learning." It is so very true.

I cannot understand why individuals would not want to comment on a piece or identify a piece based on who posts it, why the secrets. Really, who cares if it sold on next week, one should feel good about doing a little good in the world, it certainly isn't directly impacting anyone surely?? Good people please clarify for me what would be robbed lost or stolen from an individual when this happens?? I can't see the wood for the trees.
Lew made a good comment some time back with regards to asking about something that may be sold in the near future too, say something like I may be passing this on shortly, but I would like to know something about it. A nice phrase I think.

Rick I like the following comment you made; the bottom line here is that we help identify yet do not openly give appraisals.

Jim, you've done it again, everyone is off their seat for a round of applause and you certainly got the brain cells hopping, this time, not hopping about a weapon but hopping about what makes us tick.
Everyone has their own reasons and I have expressed mine and thank to all who have shared theirs too.

Lee thanks for doing what you have done with this site.

Jim, well thanks for being Jim ;-)

I love this place!

Gav
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Old 28th June 2009, 04:41 PM   #26
Jeff D
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Trust Jim to ask a question that I have been pondering for a while now myself.

I know my posting has diminished substantially, as have a number of others who were regulars here, and I have been wondering why?

I have recently read a book by Dan Ariely Predictably irrational , and I think he hints at the solution. He discusses the difference between social norms and market norms. Social norms being the activities we do for free, which are part of normal social behavior. Market norms are what we do for a living or expect to earn money from. To clarify he gives the example of trying to pay your mother-in-law $400.00 for preparing the family thanks-giving dinner (in my house the consequences would be too horrible to even contemplate), and yet a "gift" (wine, flowers, etc.) is quite acceptable.

I think these forums walk a extremely fine line between the two. Normally they are dependent on the social graces of the forumites to research and post information on pieces posted, I know this takes time and energy. The gift in return is the exposure of new pieces that expand all our knowledge. Jim, Jens, RSWORD, VANDOO, Lew, et al are the foundations of these forums. Of course Lee, our host, provides the venue for free. Now Imagine if Lee was to request $1.00 for every new post or tries to make money from the forum, how long would the forumites give free answers? This would rapidly become a ghost forum. I think we all have seen essentially this happen to at least one other forum.

The same applies to forumites who post only to get information to pump up their sales pitches, they have shifted from the social norms to the market norms, and should not be surprised that nobody but Jim (always Jim ) is willing to research their piece for free.

Bad social behavior can also get you ignored (complaining that the turkey is too dry). We all love our pieces (BTW Ariely also has a section on how we naturally over estimate the value of something we own), and all comments here should be politely given, as well as politely taken both good and bad . Do not post your piece if you only want to be told it is excalaber, nobody gains anything if the difference between excalaber and a Toledo wall hanger cannot be explained. Likewise the difference should be handled politely we are not paid appraisers, we would never tell someone that the gift bottle of wine "sucks" we politely take it and use it for cooking.

Sorry I have gone on too long and now I am late for work!

All the best
Jeff
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Old 28th June 2009, 04:48 PM   #27
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I could not have said it better Jeff and I believe you have hit on the reasons why some of the older posters no longer particapate.
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Old 28th June 2009, 08:22 PM   #28
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First of all, thank you so much Gav for the very kind words, and you are exactly right, this discussion is very much about what makes us tick.

I am glad to hear from Jeff, whom I have always deeply respected not only as a friend, but an incredibly knowledgable and discerning collector who has always entered in discussions wonderfully astute observations. His well thought out and beautifully said post here does indeed bring forward an extremely valid point. As the apparantly deeply conflicting perspectives of the commercialized and scholarly investigative factions are becoming more clearly exposed, and everyone is gratefully being quite candid, perhaps I must be as well.

I have collected and studied weapons for most of my life. Although I never had a great deal of money, I used layaway plans to full advantage. I used to joke about having 'sword payments', and the final payment and the arrival of a new treasure was the 'carrot' that kept me going through many difficult times. In order to quell the anxiety of the wait, I used to study all I could find on each new 'adventure' as I called them, and learn as much as I could.
Soon the quest for knowledge on the weapons became the driving force, and I never forgot how hard it was to find information. I did not have dealers or contacts or even other collector friends, and computers had not happened yet. I began buying books, and writing letters, even boldly to the authors who wrote the books, and astounded when they graciously wrote back.
I was amazed that these 'pillars' of the arms and armour world would take the time to write to me, what could I possibly offer in return?

Quite frankly I do what I do here because it is how I learn, just as I did in those early days, when many of the venerable giants of the arms world wrote back to me, unconditionally, and openly shared thier knowledge. I am proud to know them, and they have always been my heroes, I have felt fortunate that they cared enough to consider me worthy of thier thoughtful responses.
Those who have since passed on are often in my thoughts, and I treasure the letters they wrote pressed in the pages of thier oft cited books.

While I am certainly no giant in the arms world, not an expert in any field, nor lettered scholar or author of note, I have learned a great deal, and I am happy to share what I can here. I continue to learn with others. It is my way of returning in kind what has been given to me, and continues to be with the generous sharing of weapons and collections here. While my collecting days are over, it is wonderful to vicariously view and learn from the fantastic items that come up daily, and see artwork and museums that I would otherwise never see.
My goal has always been to advance the study of arms and armour in every way possible, and to preserve what is learned for historians, collectors, and even dealers, where perhaps the knowledge gained will level the playing ground. I can see where this would be a source of dismay for those who seek commercial gain, but as for me, though I am as far from being rich as one can imagine in money, what I have gained here, with all of you, cannot be measured in dollars or cents.
Certainly it is typically necessary to buy or sell to succeed in collecting, but as has been said, how is gaining and sharing knowledge or straightforward action compromising such activity? As for being paid for research, has anyone known of someone paid to research a weapon? Appraisals are quite different as they are legally used usually for insurance as well as sales, and the costs reflect potential liability issues.

I used to always believe that it was a kind thing to do, not to lie or mislead someone in giving them a false compliment, but to compliment them on the outstanding feature that was indeed valid. Instead of calling something 'tourist junk' , say it is a nice commercial representation of a very traditional piece, without unnecessary derision. Sometimes there is no way to avoid calling it as it is, but blunt comments are simply unkind and of little use. Perhaps noting what to watch out for in similar items might help other readers from making such mistakes.

As always, never brief but my perspective,
Jim
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Old 28th June 2009, 11:30 PM   #29
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Thanks Jim and ward for the comments.

As always Jim you underestimate yourself. It is a good thing for us. It reminds me of a story where a famous martial artist was teaching classes for free. When his students pooled some funds together to show their admiration, he steadfastly refused to take it. Eventually he admitted that if he was to be paid for his services there is no way the students would be able to afford it, and continued to teach for free. You were taught by these 'pillars' and now return the favor to us. You clearly feel that it would be wrong to try to profit from their work and that it would be a betrayal of their trust. This is exactly the social norms the 'pillars' have come to expect and trust from you, it is why they 'gave' it to you. Everybody gains from this, the pillars , you, and us. This trust continues on, and is why we hear from the modern pillars, such as Philip, Artzi, ward, ham and the others including yourself. So much for the good.

Now the bad. There are people who profit from other's work. It may be as simple as lifting information from this site without credit to the forumite, or at minimum credit to the site where the information may have had multiple contributors. The information may be used to promote an individual, another forum, a publication, or a sword for sale etc. This doesn't cost the original researcher anything in monetary value, but it clearly breaks the social norms in which the context of the original information was given. Much like pirating a DVD costs the movie makers nothing but breaks the market norms for which it was provided. Once the trust has been broken it is very hard to mend, once burned... and all that.

The Ugly. To me this is when a thread loses any reasonable social conduct. It may be as simple as not acknowledging a post, to the more obvious trolling, baiting and rudeness too often seen in the internet world.

Now for my final word (thank goodness!). I have just reread my post and it it would appear that I am totally pissed with posting, and this forum. In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth. Like my original story, I could not afford to buy the information I have gained from this site. I have made great friends here and look forward to meeting more of you in person. The Bad and the Ugly are the exceptions to the rule here, but, I will admit that when a new name appears I tend to wait to see their pattern of behavior before I take the time to try to answer their post. This is part (not the only reason, work) why my posting has diminished. I wish I could be more like Jim, in-fact I wish we all could be!!!

All the Best
Jeff
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Old 29th June 2009, 03:55 PM   #30
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Jeff, thank you again, and for elaborating more on this perspective, which finally does explain some of the concerns that seem to have been very present, and led to many of the present circumstances existing here.

Actually, your points have been extremely well placed and presented, and I think now I much better understand the position taken by many dealers and those more closely connected commercially. I do know that many of them are reluctant to participate in forum discussions, although some of them still will appear from time to time, but usually only in discussions which involve certain unusual or seldom addressed topics on rare items.
Most of them are extremely busy, and I can well understand them not wanting to get involved in random ebay chatter or simple, laconic notes on commonly seen pieces, however I had not thought of any sort of wrath regarding giving out free information. I was always under the impression that interesting historical information on weapons directly charged interest in that particular form of weapon and would actually promote sales.

I suppose that idea came from times in the past when certain movies often spurred sales, such as if based on Arabia, perhaps like 'Lawrence of Arabia', might have generated more interest in janbiyya's or other Arabian weapons.
Possibly simplistic, but often such is the way of things. I will admit that as a young collector the movie 'King of the Khyber Rifles' fanned the flames of my passion into a quest for Martini-Henry's, Sniders and jezails, and to research for years that had me actually in touch with one of the commanders of this famed unit. You should have seen my wifes face when that letter from Pakistan came in, with an autographed book on the history of the unit!
She exclaimed theres something here with Arabic stuff on it and really strange stamps all over it.

While I have of course often entertained thoughts that one day I might work for a museum, or augment my limited income by appraising, the fact is that it remains an empassioned hobby for me, and I enjoy learning as I help others.
The information I provide is really nothing more than secondary research from books many out there do not have (but I provide the references so they might watch for bargains online) and from notes I have compiled over many decades of joyful adventures.

Retirement can be a lonely thing, especially if you are detached from any core of social life such as friends or neighbors. When we took to 'the road' it is of course enjoyable and exciting at times, but very often in extremely remote locations I am so grateful to have this hobby and the computer.
I can recall how amazing it seemed to be in a Winnebago in the middle of the Sonora desert involved in international three or four way communications investigating a rare 17th century weapon! Incredible! I often wonder if I am perhaps one of the only 'mobile arms research units'

I have no idea what the future will bring, but for now, I truly enjoy what I do, and I certainly dont want to impede on anyones ability to make a living by sharing information and doing research to learn. I honestly believed, and still do, that awareness and knowledge fosters more interest in acquiring weapons, and more importantly, understanding them. As I said before, we are together here, custodians of history, and there is no reason that as collectors or dealers or both, we cannot carry out our interests to the mutual benefit of all.

I have been told that publishing a reference work, such as a monograph on weapons online is ideal because so much exposure is gained, and that it actually generates sales in degree of the actual published work. I know that for many years I often utilized tattered photocopies of books important to my research, but when the opportunity to buy an actual bound copy came up, I bought it instantly. Obviously the situation is now a bit different, as the 'bookmobile' has limited capacity, and the shocks can only take so much!
The point is that information shared online does not necessarily negate enterprise.

I honestly hope yet more of my ramblings in some way illustrate my position on this interesting aspect of writing on the forums, and that again, more out there reading will join us, as well as that those we have lost might consider coming back. What we have all done together over the years I believe stands as important material in these threads, and I know I use the search feature constantly. Lets try to keep it going!

All very best regards,
Jim
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