How rare are the Eastern Swords?

Posted on 18th December 2018

How rare are historical edged weapons when it comes to things we call Middle Eastern, Islamic, Eastern, Caucasian – basically the whole region we attempted to cover in “A study of the Eastern Swords”? I’ve looked through my database of sales, compiled for the past 10 years and calculated the total number of pieces of each type sold during this timeframe. Obviously in quite a few cases those had to be extrapolated (hence the round numbers) since some months were simply missing in the database. The data provided should also be taken as an approximate estimate, if only because my monitoring did not include every single auction in existence. In some cases I preferred to round the totals so to show that the numbers given are approximate. But the trends are interesting nevertheless.

Some of the things here just underline what was a common knowledge long before. No one can reasonably well specialize in collecting Persian and only Persian swords, simply because you have a large number of Assadullah, Qajar and revival (with chiseled lion) blades, that are more or less one like each other, but all other sword types are just too rare to be found in private hands. The things are slightly better with Turkish weapons, but even then collecting “wootz” rather than sword types might be a reasonable alternative.

Anything Khazar or Kipchaq period in dugout condition is worth pursuing only if the condition is absolutely top notch or the piece is decorated. Both are very much rare examples.

Caucasian pieces are highly collectible because by comparison they offer a significant diversity of both styles and rarity – from one of a kind items to hundreds of pieces in private hands.

Mamluk blades, maybe Golden Horde items, remain kind of top notch collectible that is still (at times) accessible, though one does not really see them offered for sale every given year.

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How rare are the Eastern Swords?

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How rare are historical edged weapons when it comes to things we call Middle Eastern, Islamic, Eastern, Caucasian – basically the whole region we attempted to cover in “A study of the Eastern Swords”? I’ve looked through my database of sales, compiled for the past 10 years and calculated the total number...

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