We seldom auction edged weapons.
We can not begin to tell you how careful you should be if you decide to buy at auction, not least as you have far fewer legal rights and protection than you do if you buy from a known dealer’s web site, like with us of course. Many unscrupulous dealers dump their rubbish on eBay and traditional auctions alike.
If you buy on eBay, despite all the eBay Buyer Protection hype, you are walking into a minefield regarding antique swords. Because no-one can publicly challenge a seller that his item is wrong (not as described), the chances are that you will not find out until it is too late.
Also, we know of a very well known antique sword / militaria company that sells on eBay and claims their eBay items are located in New York, when they are listed on their own sales site as being in the UK. Possible reasons for this? The seller claiming the item is in the USA means that buyers do not benefit from stringent EU regulation protections for buying off the Internet, for example.
In addition, many dealers also sell items on eBay that they do not want to sell on their own web site / under their own name; on eBay they can do this without anyone knowing who they really are, for obvious reasons.
UK Auction Houses
Be warned, auction houses often get their lot descriptions very, very wrong, and sometimes deliberately so. We buy from UK auction houses, but there are some, now, that we never buy from, because of their very bad, even totally dishonest practices. And do not be fooled, one of the top names in International auctions is, we believe, one of the worst offenders.
The problem is often that favoured vendors are allowed to put their less desirable / contentious items into an auction under a questionable or even totally false description, as the auction house can always claim that they had “experts” evaluate the items as authentic / described, so British Trading Standards will do nothing. Selling their rubbish at UK auctions also provides the vendor with anonymity, as the auction house does not reveal their identity, so dodgy dealers can sell their falsely described / less than desirable items at auction without anyone knowing it was them that sold it.
We actually do our bit and let auction houses know if an item they have listed is something it is not. Most auction houses respond positively to this; too many do not.
If you intend buying something at auction, you can always send us the details / photos, as we provide an authentication / identification / valuation service here. Please do not identify the auction house to us.
When you buy at auction, Caveat Emptor (buyer beware). We have been caught out ourselves from time to time as we can not actually physically inspect most items, but have realized once we handled the items. If we can, we return these to the vendor / auction house for a refund; often we can not. In any event, we never sell “rubbish” on Antique Swords .Com; we would rather destroy rubbish and take a loss on it then list it here.