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Old 20th November 2020, 08:56 PM   #8
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 963
Default a rose by any other name

Originally Posted by Ian
Hi Philip,

This information is very helpful too for those who have encountered difficulties shipping weapons in general internationally in recent years. The vagaries of Fedex, DHL, etc. are common, unfortunately, when shipping from Australia also. Accurate (but helpful) descriptions of items have been useful in overcoming some objections. I've found, for example, "Antique Philippine tenegre, cultural artifact made from iron, buffalo horn, and wood," to be more successful than "Philippine sword in sheath." I like your suggestions of flagpole, fishing item, parade item, etc. for spears. Any thoughts for a massive, five foot long panabas?


In the US, the post and couriers like the object to be named in English, and nuance is everything. So "saber" is more subtle than "sword" and just about any dagger or short sword can pass as "cutlery", with the adjectives "antique", "old", "decorated", "ceremonial", or "regalia" added as appropriate. Tenegres would do well posing as "farm tools", and your big panabas can masquerade as an "agricultural implement". "Indigenous" is a good qualifying adjective. I used the latter label in declaring a Vietnamese dao truong falchion that I polished for a Hong Kong client not long ago.
It's a good time to recall that creative writing class you had to take in high school or college!
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