Posted: 11/04/17 (14:15pm)
Ok, so I've just looked at the pics of the Iklwa that I put on the website this morning. They really don't do it justice so I will redo them when I get home.
I saw some lovely swords today. At least they would have been when they were new. Unfortunately the years and previous owners have not been kind to them so what I actually saw was 17 relic or near relic condition swords ranging in date from the mid eighteenth to late nineteenth century. It was interesting to see them and Sue suffered in silence while i spent a couple of hours going through them. My interest was of course tempered with disappointment at their condition. Needless to say I didn't buy any.
Next time maybe...
Posted: 11/04/17 (5:56am)
Time is racing by! It always does on holiday. I'm not going to bore you with the details, suffice to say we are having a fantastic time and have toured some awe inspiring palaces/fortresses with edged weaponry collections that leave me drooling and green with envy!
So far my only purchase has been the wonderful Iklwa - Zulu stabbing spear which i have just added to the site. I have to be honest and admit that I thought long and hard before doing so. I love it. I have owned and sold a number of Iklwa in the past but this is the best so far.
High quality, period guaranteed Iklwa are getting increasingly hard to find and I was very tempted to keep his one for myself. Have a look at it in the Spears category and you will understand why.
At the moment we're enjoying a coffee before going to view some swords. I'll let you know if I buy anything...
Posted: 30/03/17 (12:07pm)
So after a little research it turns out that the Finnish M27 bayonet which I bought at auction a few weeks ago is actually a Finnish M28. The differences between the two are slight but to us collectors it's important.
The M27 bayonet was the first bayonet produced by the Fins themselves. Prior to that they used mainly Russian bayonets (to go with their Russian Mosin-Nagant rifles).
Shortly after the M27 went into production the Finnish Civil Guard decided to produce a variant for their M28 rifles and so the M28 bayonet was born.
For all intents and purposes the two bayonets are the same but there are a few differences.
The M27 has raised, domed rivets holding the wooden grip scales in place but the M28 has polished rivets which are flush with the wooden scales.
The M27 and M28 have the same fluted steel scabbard but the M27's is painted black and the M28's is painted dark green.
Finally, the M28 was only produced by Hackman & Co and will bear their name on the ricasso and also the Civil Guard inspection stamp "KE" on the cross piece.
The M27 bayonet was quickly modified - the blade was repointed as well as re-mounted in the hilt. It was then designated the M29 so original M27 bayonets are scarce. So too is the M28.
And now a quick reminder. I am off on an extended working holiday from Monday 3rd April and will be away until the 4th May. I will hopefully be finding and buying lots of exciting items and will add them to the website within a few days of getting them. They and all my items will be for sale while I am away but I will not be able to ship them until I return.
If you want to purchase anything and want it shipped before I go you have just three days left.
It goes without saying that I am quite excited and really looking forward to this working holiday. It has been a while since I've had a holiday and it will be the first time that I have gone abroad to source stock. It is going to be a try it and see experience - will I be able to find anything? Will I manage to buy it? What will the auctions be like? How will I ship my purchases home? There are a number of questions that I won't know the answers to until I'm there.
If all goes well I'll do it again. If it proves to be more hassle than it's worth I'll stick to taking a relaxing fortnight in the sun in future.
Posted: 20/03/17 (12:42pm)
I had a great week last week. I went to a couple of very interesting and enjoyable auctions and I bought some superb items.
Two of my purchases were Japanese non-commissioned officer's Type 95 swords. Both of them are 100% genuine and in honest used condition with wear testifying to their use and service. There are so many fakes of these highly sought after swords that it is quite a rarity for genuine examples to come up at auction - these are the first two I have seen for some time.
Both swords came with their blades caked in hard, dried grease which at first glance resembled rust but with nothing other than hot water and washing-up liquid the blades were revealed to be bright and relatively tarnish and rust free.
I am absolutely thrilled to be the custodian of these swords. These early pattern Type 95 Shin Gunto were carried by career soldiers, Corporals and Sergeants, not conscripts. These were brave men who would not have relinquished their swords or viewed surrender as an option and it is a privilege to add one to my collection and to be able to offer the other for sale on Bygone Blades.
Posted: 10/03/17 (8:27am)
Three weeks and two days before I go on holiday. Why am I telling you this? Well for a number of reasons.
Firstly to give notice that I am going to be away from the 3rd April so that any purchases made on or after that date will not be shipped until I return. And secondly, well, just because I love traveling and I'm excited to be going away. I'm just as passionate about traveling as I am about buying, collecting and selling antique edged weapons so I thought I'd share the buzz😀.
Being self employed means that I don't get paid holidays (I don't get sick pay, parental leave or a number of other benefits afforded to the majority of other workers either - but let's not get political) but I do get to be my own boss and that's not to be underestimated. Along with the pressures and stresses of self employment comes a great sense of empowerment, achievement and freedom and I love it. But I digress...
As I was saying, I don't get paid holidays, so I've decided to try and combine taking a holiday with finding and buying more items for the website. I'm excited to see how it works out. It will be fun and interesting to go to auctions, antique shops and markets in another country and will be a great way to immerse myself in the culture and to meet new contacts - as well as hopefully buying some great new (old) items.
Earlier I mentioned the freedom of self employment and here's a great example. In order to make the most of the possible buying opportunities while still finding time to relax and soak up the culture and history, I'm going to be away for a month.
I'll let you know how it goes...
Posted: 24/02/17 (9:59am)
Well we seem to have escaped the worst that Doris had to offer. It snowed briefly before returning to rain and we never got the strong winds that seem to have affected many other parts of the UK. Quite a relief actually as I really didn't relish the thought of driving home in 80 mile per hour winds and a white-out blizzard.
The auction for me was a resounding success. That is seldom the case. Usually I go to an auction with a long list of items I would like to buy but head home with very few of them. Often I return home empty handed. Coming home with nothing is very frustrating especially when the auction is a long drive from home.
Yesterday I managed to get all the lots I wanted, my star buy being a very rare Finnish M27 bayonet in the early fluted scabbard. Soon I'll get around to photographing it and listing it on the website.
I also bought a curiosity. I was the highest bidder on an unusual French M1866 Chassepot bayonet. What makes it unusual is that it has been nickel plated - completely nickel plated. From brass hilt to blade tip, including the scabbard is plated.
In the past I've seen Chassepots with a plated cross piece and quillion and a plated scabbard and these are nearly always for either police, bandsmen or ceremonial issue. None that I've seen have had the blade and brass hilt plated as well.
Chassepots captured by Prussia during the Franco-Prussian war were sometimes repurposed for the navy by having the quillion and scabbard plated but these were usually stamped with an "N" and also had their scabbards modified with an elongated teardrop frog stud. My scabbard has the standard French bar.
Interestingly, the bayonet itself is actually of Prussian (German) manufacture but I don't think it was ever used by them.
Another interesting point is that French issued bayonets usually had a serial number with a letter prefix. Those without the letter prefix were issued purely as a side arm and not intended for use with a musket. This bayonet's serial number (bayonet and scabbard have matching numbers) lacks the letter prefix and so may point to it being a ceremonial, band or police issue side arm. Before I can say for certain (if indeed I ever can) I will need to do some research. Many countries other than France used the Chassepot bayonet so I'll need to find out what I can about their plating practices. I look forward to doing so and to listing the bayonet in due course.