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Old 1st May 2012, 08:20 PM   #1
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Default What are you sources to find antique weapons ?( internet, shop, places, etc... )

I know it's very stupid question, since we all have different strange ways to get them, but i'm interested to know how people find them ?
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Old 2nd May 2012, 11:20 AM   #2
David R
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Here in England we have regular antique arms fairs, where dealers and amateurs buy and sell. I have had some surprise bargains at these, from the specialist dealers who have something out of their area on the stall. In one case a nice condition Kurdish ( I think) Khanjar for the price of a double whisky, bought off a dealer in bayonets.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 11:57 AM   #3
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Hi DanielUka

I think it rather depends, each of us probably has their own network and ways to get hold of these things. I guess a lot does depend on where you are situated - e.g. there is a lot of good stuff on ebay, but that may not be much help if you are in the EU and may be subject to all kinds of import restrictions and difficulties. does not even allow antique weapons on the site, and some postal systems will not knowingly carry them (e.g. DK).

Arms fairs are really good if you can get to them, and there are also masses of auctions often catering for international buyers. Often the information supplied here is of poor quality though, so if possible its better to get to the arms fair and actually handle the items before you buy.

For me probably the best way is through network of collectors and sellers who know what kind of thing I'm interested in and will sometimes tip me the wink if they spot anything.

If all that fails, then there is also the swap forum here.

...but I guess the short answer is "anyway we can"

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Old 2nd May 2012, 02:29 PM   #4
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I think it depends, to a certain extent, what you are looking for.
I have found some of my best buys in antique flea markets that don't specialize in arms because the dealers don't really know what they have. I have also found some good stuff at gun shows, maybe because the antique edged weapons are of secondary interest to people there. I also monitor eBay and have had some good luck there. You can still find margins these days, but it is a bit of a crap shoot sometimes. But frankly, the large majority of my purchases come from reputable dealers who do specialize in my particular field of study. Most, in fact, come from a single, trusted dealer.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 02:54 PM   #5
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Ebay used to be a good source. I still find that they let me bid occasionally so I sometimes win something.

Antique fairs are another source and one that I use a lot as I have other areas of antique interests. They also act like museums and are an indicator of prices. Unfortunately weapons are increasingly hard to find at the fairs, but I still get occasional surprises.

Vikingsword has been a good source and so are local auctions if I can be bothered to keep track of what is for sale.
I still occasionally find something at local antique shops and always look at these if I am away from home. Again the days of always finding one spear, one khukuri and one keris in each shop are long gone.
Probably the majority of my buys comes from a small band of collectors that I know who all collect different items but look out for each other when buying.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 03:34 PM   #6
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I live in Belgium, so as far as African weapons are concerned, a lot can still be found at fleamarkets and antique fairs. Problem is that you have to visit them regularly and that you have to go early in the morning. I'm not the only one looking for bargains.
Because the sellers in the Gent weekly antiquemarket know me for years, they sometimes put things aside which they know might interest me. Before putting a certain item up for sale, they show it to me. If I don't have to money to buy something right away, they keep it for some time. Afterwards, I always buy these pieces and pay what I promised. This is based on trust.

From time to time, I get to know a person who sells stuff that came through his family. There, the real bargains can be found. Mostly, these people don't know what they have and only want to get rid of the items. Again, you need to be first

Another good source are secondhand shops. It's the same as above, you have to go there often to find something. My last great find in a secondhand shop was a Mangbetu sickle knife with an ivory handle.

Ebay is also a good source, but most of the time the pieces are too expensive. Add to this the shipping cost.....!
I tried auctions, but these are also very expensive.
It's better to wait and make frequent visits to fleamarkets.

Last and not least is of course this forum. I have found very good pieces through trade with other forum members.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 04:00 PM   #7
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Look under every stone as Freddy says early and often. The internet is the best way to get your fingers burnt never to see a return of your outlay. However Ebay can be surprisingly good if you are prepared to gamble, best on unfashionable pieces. Only buy whats in vogue if you have got deep pockets. Trade on the forum can be very good indeed.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 06:02 PM   #8
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What shall I add, nearly all is written in up. I collect weapons from Indonesia and the Philippines and have visited Indonesia many times and have get many good items there but the time is gone that you can still find bargain items there.


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Old 2nd May 2012, 11:07 PM   #9
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I check the internet a bit, as well as local flea markets, and antique shops.......but I have better luck trading with antique dealers as well as other collectors. By networking and finding pieces that others can use, you can (through a series a trades) eventually end up with the piece or pieces you wanted, but can't afford to buy outright. I did it years ago when I collected old toys and comics, and have found that the logic still applies to ethnographic artifacts and weapons.
I've also found that at times a dealer is the best person to go for information (this does not apply to all dealers by any means), for the simple fact that they are are always hunting for as well as selling certain objects. A lot of specialized dealers also get the chance to see private collections when delivering items to customers or to buy from collectors that are downsizing. As a collector/dealer I must admit that there are a lot of "Snake Oil Salesmen" posing as specialist dealers, so take things that they say with a grain of salt.....and do your own research.
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Old 4th May 2012, 08:07 PM   #10
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Exclamation To Our New Members

For those of you with messages waiting in moderation I would like to say that pieces can be found through networking within this forum and many of the other sources given above .

However, we do not make a practice of touting one dealer or seller or another in our discussion forums .

So, if your post did not clear it is for this reason .

We are here to discuss the items themselves rather than how to acquire them .
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