ISSUE # 171, AUGUST 2022
From The Desk of Paul Southren
With the sword industry continuing to spiral downwards in ways I expected it might unfold - 2022 continues to be an increasingly difficult year. New sword releases are few and far between, inflation is rampant, scammers and hucksters are getting desperate for business and legitimate businesses are experiencing a simultaneous downturn in orders with an increase in fraudulent orders, charge-backs and all other kinds of nonsense never seen at such levels before..

In short, it's pretty darned hard to stay upbeat and report on anything but doom and gloom. But there is enough of that stuff in the 'news' (if you can still call it that) - and I would like to think that for some of you, the digest is an oasis of sword sanity in an increasingly fearful and foolish world.

So while we will be minimizing (or skipping entirely) the sword industry news column for a few months (as there are only so many ways to say 'as expected it's bad - and it's getting worse') - we will instead change focus to concentrate on as many sources of sword related goodness from around the web as we can muster..!
Swords in the News
From the personal sword of Ulysses S. Grant ($1.6 million) to Napoleons gold encrusted Saber ($6.5 million) here is a list of some of the most expensive swords extant in 2022 - with a little backstory on their history, when they were last sold and their provenance. Interesting article, though not sure how accurately researched it is.. (I am pretty certain they skipped and missed a LOT of swords in there)..

13th century medieval manuscript, the book of St. Alban is now available to peruse for free online.

Some 'dirt' from Comic-con regarding an incident that occurred when filming the Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon. Apparently Matt Smith (Daemon Targaryen) took a decent blow to the head during production! Ouch..

Some 40 years after the 'Masters of the Universe' movie was released, actor Dolph Lundgren still has the power - and shows that interest in the franchise is still alive and well at Comicon 2022.

Usually these top 10 lists either don't list anything new or make you think whoever cobbled it together did it in 5 minutes tops. And while they are not necessarily in order, I actually agree with most of their selections, including some real classics mixed with modern hits. Not a bad selection.

While John Wick made it into the above mentioned 10 greatest sword fight movies, it looks like the most recent addition to the franchise is taking it to a whole new level of swordy goodness. Something to look forward to in 2023 that is for sure..!

Found just 30cm under the ground at Lewin Klodzki, modern day Poland, a well made 'knightly' sword is found and is currently being CT scanned for any inscriptions to help narrow down its provenance.

When it comes to the world of oversized, crazy big swords - the rouge-like game 'Swordcery' takes the cake. Physics be darned - you really have to see this to believe it..

There are a LOT of swords in that make up the iconic 'Iron throne' - up to around 2500 to be precise. So where did they get them all from in the real world? (and the unanswered question, what happened to all the scabbards?).

After watching over 2 years worth of his owners messing around with foam LARP swords, Dodo the dog decided to try his own hand (or should that be paw) at his own approximation of HEMA and has become so good at it she has her own foam sword and dagger to boot!
Bad Sword of the Month
In a break from previous editions of the occasional 'Bad Sword of the Month' column - instead of looking at an inherently bad or questionable cheap sword, we are taking a look at a sword that looked GREAT in the advertisement, but what was delivered is not even close to what the buyer thought they would be getting..

The sword in question was marketed by Facebook - with the first red flag that after purchase they contacted ALL of the buyers friends trying to solicit additional business.. But the sword that arrived, well - just take a look and you will see why it deserves the title 'bad sword of the month'..
The difference between the scabbards alone is enough - and while they sent something vaguely resembling the ordered sword, all I can say is that it is a good thing that the buyer purchased using PayPal, as they normally will give you a full refund for 'goods significantly not as advertised'..

Be careful out there guys, the scammers are coming out of the woodwork as the sword industry continues to decline, and as we see in recent posts like this one on the SBG forum, even once quite respected eBay and 'China direct' sellers ('Huawei') are starting to become increasingly more unreliable and difficult to deal with than ever before..

We said it before and we will say it again - the motto for 2022 is 'Caveat Emptor'..
Video of the Month
Time and time again, across time periods and cultures, 'choppy short swords' were (and continue to be) a thing. From Falchions to Falcata, Hangers, Barong, Yataghan, Kukri, Chinese Dao, South East Asian Daab and everything in between, 'choppy short swords' keep coming back to dominate the battlefield.

In this video popular YouTuber Matt Easton takes a look at the similarities and differences between this recurring sword design, why it is so effective, how the variants compare and handle and much, much more.
Quite an interesting take on how these sword types are actually interchangeable and the various sub types would likely still feel familiar to someone versed in one style who picks up another.
Best Forum Posts
Many sword collectors enjoy maligning Deepeeka Swords of India's offerings, but recent upgrades seem to suggest that they might be on their way to becoming a serious contender. With rising prices, budget sword makers have become more important then ever before, so let's hope this trend is a real one and keeps moving forward.

It tends to be a seasonal issue, but in the hotter and colder months, receiving a saya that was perfect at the warehouse but arrives falling off or unable to be drawn is not uncommon. So what can be done? From putting swords in your fridge to humidifiers or just waiting for it to settle down, forumites weigh in with their thoughts and solutions..

Awesome post and video by long time SBG member Ray 'Razor' Harrington showing just how important a keen edge is when attempting to cut through clothing - and how to get your swords cutting to the same level.

From the moderator of the FB 'Sword Mounts and Displays' page is a presentation of some very unique and radical, custom sword stands to display your favorite swords. A very underrepresented and under-serviced area of the industry indeed.
That's about it for this month - behind the scenes we ARE still working on some old projects and trying to keep some long term projects alive, so while things are a little bit quiet right now - stay tuned, stay well and in the meantime - Happy Swordening!

  • Paul
From The SBG Sword Store:
Just a handful of new 'sword accessories' from the Accessories section of the store - great as a gift or just something new and interesting.

First sub $1000 L6 Sword - introducing the Hanwei Miao Dao

First applied to swords in the 1990s by the famous US swordmaker Howard Clark, L6 steel soon garnered a reputation as a kind of modern 'super steel' famous for its strength and durability. While many smiths attempted to follow, few were able to...

Read more
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