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Steve1871

When you started collecting

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Steve1871

I think someone must have done a thread like this in the past, hope you gent’s do not mind.

 

    On this Forum (Arm’s) , most collectors are for bayonet’s but many may collect other stuff as well.  There are a lot of areas of collecting in our little corner of GWF,  Bayonets, rifles, hand guns, field gear, head gear, uniforms and unit histories, and many other fields. 
 

What and how did we come to be collectors, from looking at photos in books or a thrift shop to buying that first item? Was it an impulse buy and a slow growing interest or a must have that ignited your passion for it?  Do you remember  how you started, and your first item?? It may not have even started with the Great War.

 

With myself,Steve, I liked military stuff as a kid, was in the (U.S.) Army 1981-1987, In Southern California, We use to have the second largest annual Gun show called the “ Great Western”, it was the 1991 show. Around 2500+ tables, I saw an M71 Mauser Rifle, did not know what it was, but fell in love with it.When the seller told me what it was (type) I saw it as a rifle of 2 lives, old single shot BLACK POWDER rifle owing part of it’s design from Dreyse rifles and another life as the beginning of the famous Mauser rifles and ( German) mass produced metallic cartridge bolt actions, even Springfield and Enfield ( borrowed) on parts of design of some other early mausers The more I learned, history, rifles, carbines, then a large variety of bayonets, and pouches.

After I “HAD” to get the bayonet, then the carbine, I realized I was happily Hooked, I am a collector. 28 years and many other types of guns but that is how I got started

 

How about the rest of you fellow collectors, do you remember your first item and when you considered yourself a collector??  Tell us your story if you will please!

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GWF1967

I grew up near a WW2 USAF base, and B-17 crash site;  I cycled to school across the base and occasionally (often) arrived late, having spent too long field walking 

looking for small items. My first finds were probably brass casings. 

 My first P.1907 bayonet was found in the roof of my parents' pig sty. 

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kmad

As a 12 year old I used to go to my dads place of work and became friends with the cleaner who was an ex Para who landed in Arnhem. His name was Sgt Paul Costello and Paul gave me some items of memorabilia as he had no family. I was given 

a full set of Para insignia, his FS knife, (how my dad persuaded my mum that this was OK I will never know) a german tank identification flag he took off a vehicle in North Africa. A WWI iron cross and  A silk escape map of Europe. This started me off on the collector path.

 I still have this set of items and I will never trade or sell any of the set.   It is the only WWII stuff I have as Iknow collect 19 th century stuff and WWI  bayonets.  It is nice to have a definitive reference as to what started it all off. 38 years later and the interest hasn’t realy wained except for when I was in university and starting my career. 

Regards 

ken

 

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Steve1871

Hey GWF1967

how old were you when you found the bayonet? Did you first hide it from your father as a secret treasure?

Hey Ken, have you posted a display of your veterans collection anywhere, would be great with a photo of him as well

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N White

As a child, I was never allowed toy weapons.  "Toy guns teach that guns are toys".  That being said, I started learning archery at age 5.  My folks had no issue with REAL weapons, treated with the necessary gravitas.  The archery and my interest in history went hand in hand with an interest in historical bladed weapons.

 

It really took off in my teens.  Grandpa was an antiques dealer.  Once he realized you liked or needed something, he would pick it up if he saw it and give it to you the next time he visited.  (My dad has hundreds of ties.  Mom has never bought towels in my lifetime.  You get the idea).  Grandpa realized I liked swords.  Well, swords arent super common at the local auction, but there were lots of bayonets...

 

You never knew what would show up when he visited.  Could be anything, any condition, any era, from a VERY early Vietnam era M16 bayonet, to a relicy brown bess bayonet.  I loved the mystery, bought tons of reference books, and dove deep into learning what I could about all of them.  I started going with him every week to auction, and as the years passed, my future wife came along as well. The supply of bayonets at auction tapered off as ebay and internet sales got bigger, but by then I was addicted, and buying from lots of other places.

 

Some 20+ years later, Grandpa doesn't go to auction anymore, (he's still around!), but he set me on the path that shaped my life, and ultimately influenced my career choices.

 

A bit long winded perhaps, but it was important to me.  I got really lucky with an awesome grandpa.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5thBatt

My dad was a Soldier based at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, i was born in a military hospital in Aldershot & christened at the chapel at Sandhurst but i think my interest in the SMLE came more from watching war movies during the 60s & early 70s as the standard military rifle was the L1A1 or as my dad called it the FN FAL but thats because he was involved with the trials of the FN during his time with the Black Watch. 

 

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Steve1871

Thanks N _WHITE, great story, when he took you to auctions, did he let you pick or bid?

Sadly, my grandfather died before I was born, but did join the Marine’s in 1917

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N White
18 minutes ago, Steve1871 said:

Thanks N _WHITE, great story, when he took you to auctions, did he let you pick or bid?

Sadly, my grandfather died before I was born, but did join the Marine’s in 1917

His focus was glassware, and general antiques.  A fondness for oriental ivory as well.  He did not deal in militaria, and knew little in that area.. part of the reason I started going, was to add my knowledge.

 

My WWI ancestor is the other side of the family, 26th Yankee Division AEF.

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Steve1871

Thank you all for your time and reply’s, hope you have warm thoughts of those memories 

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GWF1967
1 hour ago, Steve1871 said:

Hey GWF1967

how old were you when you found the bayonet? Did you first hide it from your father as a secret treasure?

My father knew what I'd found, and I was allowed to keep it.

As it was the 70's I was also allowed to take it to school for a show and tell WW2 project. My teacher was a little alarmed though when he found out it had no scabbard! :w00t:

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Steve1871

Taking a bayonet to school now a days to show n tell would bring the Bobby brigade in a pandemonium the Luke’s of Benny hill

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trajan

I always had an interest in old weaponry for reasons I don't know, and by the age of 15 had accumulated a couple of what I now think must be Chassepot bayonts, plus a great assortment of WW1 and WW2 stuff, M.1917 helmet, SS rings, EK medals, German cuff badges (including an Afrika Korps one), SA dagger, British army and German army badgs, etc. - the real things: this was the early 1960's. But Mum was a Quaker and disposed of them all one day without telling me...

 

My interest was revived when I found a relic S.98/05m.S in the desert area around Palmyra, Syria, in 2007/2008 or so. On following visits there I found some nice ones and P.1907's in antique shops in Damascus, and the interest grew. And joined GWF in 2011. I went through a manic phase of buying all sorts and kinds of bayonets, but I had a big sort-out a few years back (duplicated specimens) and I have now settled down with German Imperials, although I still have a fair few HQ P.1907's, P.1888's and Swedish M.1896's (simply superb designs), and a few others, including the Ottomans. I'll probably narrow all this lot down to 'best examples' at some point (lack of space!). I also have a substantial collection of British army badges and and a smaller one of British and German WW1 medals and photographs also. All of these things need proper cattalouging - but when?

 

But back to your main point, why collect? Well as an archaeologist I just find the history behind these things fascinating! And I am curating something for the future...

 

Julian

Edited by trajan

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Steve1871

Taking a bayonet to school now a days to show n tell would bring the Bobby brigade in a pandemonium the Likes of Benny hill

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Steve1871

Thanks Julian, I thought you were solely bayonets, did not know about medals, badges and original photo’s as well, a surprise to me, have you done post’s of the other stuff?  Have you ever put up a display at a local event when you were still in England?

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N White
9 hours ago, trajan said:

 

But back to your main point, why collect? Well as an archaeologist I just find the history behind these things fascinating! And I am curating something for the future...

 

 

Yeah, the love of history took me to an Anthropology degree, (the degree says Anthro, but it was mostly Archaeology) but oddly enough it was the firearms which were a direct follow on to all those bayonets that ended up getting me where I am today.  

 

 

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trajan
10 hours ago, Steve1871 said:

Thanks Julian, I thought you were solely bayonets, did not know about medals, badges and original photo’s as well, a surprise to me, have you done post’s of the other stuff?  Have you ever put up a display at a local event when you were still in England?

 

I have posted some of the other stuff on the relevant sub-forums, but I have never displayed my collection publicly, and no plans to do so. Crime is relatively low-level in Turkey (well, except for femicide!), but I don't want to advertise what is in the flat as it is empty most working days...

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Dave66

I suppose I have always been a collector of some sorts and have a fascination with “old tat” as the family regularly puts it.

The bonus with military things for me is the possibility of placing an object, not only at a certain point in our history, but sometimes identifying the owner and tracing his or her life story....the human side of war.

My interests are varied and are not restricted to the Great War, from bayonets and their frogs to clasp knives, whistles, period military manuals and regimental histories....whatever comes my way and is of interest.

I have certainly been a more serious collector in the last 15 years or so, having a little spare money as the kids have grown to invest for the larger items but my pockets have never been that deep compared to others...but I always find the fun can be in the bargain basement rummage.

 

 

 

Dave.

 

 

Edited by Dave66

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MikeyH

I had an interest in things military from an early age, the boys 'comics' in the 1950's were full of stories of

derring-do mainly from WW2.  My parents had a grocery shop, and many customers husbands had served

in either WW1 or 2.  I acquired a number of items, via my dad just asking if they had anything of interest they wanted

to pass on, no money ever changed hands, such things were of little value then.  Any money given as Christmas

or birthday presents would be spent on more 'stuff'.  There were two very interesting shops in Manchester,

actually one was in Salford, adjacent to the Granada T.V. studios, they had the more pricey antique pistols, 

and edged weapons and as a sideline provided T.V. productions with period props.  Another was out at Longsight, the

owner was a Polish wood turner, in his shop/workshop were 2 wooden barrels, one had swords and bayonets, another

muskets and shotguns, all covered in a deep layer of sawdust.  Prices started at as little as £1,

I had my own 'museum' in the under stairs area of the large Victorian house that was our family home.

I also had had a long standing interest in pre-war cars.  My collection was sold on to finance the purchase and

restoration of a couple of 1930's Morris cars in the early 1960's.  I did retain a few odds and ends and

when my son became interested, the whole cycle started again, with visits to antique events and militaria

fairs......

 

Mike.

Edited by MikeyH

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Harper Jackson

Hi all, as a teen i know i have not been collecting anywhere as near as any of you, and can only hope to! i began collecting when i upon a visit to my great uncle's antique shop. I asked to see all his world war 1&2 antiques and upon being shown all his medals and trench art he took me out back. Bearing in mind my great uncle was about 85 at the time, his shop was very old and nothing modern. He opened a broken vintage fridge and pulled out a German WW1 84/89 Sawback bayonet made by Erfurt-Heller. I had to have it and he graciously gave me it! Unfortunately he did not live to see me get into collecting as much as i have now, but the spark he ignited will never go out.I believe my collection to be the best of any teenager in the UK! spanning from a Lewis Gun, painted british helmets from both world wars, a hurricane's roundel and many more!

Thankyou for reading my story.

Harper

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GWF1967
Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, Harper Jackson said:

Hi all, as a teen i know i have not been collecting anywhere as near as any of you, and can only hope to! i began collecting when i upon a visit to my great uncle's antique shop. I asked to see all his world war 1&2 antiques and upon being shown all his medals and trench art he took me out back. Bearing in mind my great uncle was about 85 at the time, his shop was very old and nothing modern. He opened a broken vintage fridge and pulled out a German WW1 84/89 Sawback bayonet made by Erfurt-Heller. I had to have it and he graciously gave me it! Unfortunately he did not live to see me get into collecting as much as i have now, but the spark he ignited will never go out.I believe my collection to be the best of any teenager in the UK! spanning from a Lewis Gun, painted british helmets from both world wars, a hurricane's roundel and many more!

Thankyou for reading my story.

Harper

Hi Harper,

 welcome to the forum, and the wonderful world of collecting.

  It would be great to see some pictures of your 1914-18 war items. 

Edited by GWF1967

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Harper Jackson

Thankyou ever so much! new to this place, so would i post a few pictures in this thread or privately message you?

Many thanks!

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GWF1967
1 hour ago, Harper Jackson said:

Thankyou ever so much! new to this place, so would i post a few pictures in this thread or privately message you?

Many thanks!

Have a look around, you’ll find a place for just about everything. A lot of your collection will already have a sub-thread running, your sawback bayonet for example; many folk will be interested to see your examples.   Whatever you collect you should find some like minds on the forum.

 There are some hugely knowledgable folk on here that can help with rarities and oddities.  

 

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trajan
21 hours ago, Harper Jackson said:

... a German WW1 84/89 Sawback bayonet made by Erfurt-Heller ...

 

Welcome to GWF! I'd certainly like to see that one! I guess you mean an 84/98 though?

 

Trajan

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Steve1871

Welcome HARPER JACKSON

 

My grandfather died before I could meet him. He joined the (U.S.) Marines in 1918, never made it over.I agree with the others, start a thread / post or two showing the collection you are building.Being state side, I can only buy/collect, but you, being  in the U.K., can hop to France on a weekend to visit the actual battlefields, I have seen on YouTube many original fortified ( concrete) areas that you can actually “ walk in the foot steps” of the soldiers of the Great War. Since you are young ( rare for collectors), you can better imagine the soldiers because many many of them were your age,going from school to total war must have been terrifying to a teenager. Courage is born through fear, to be afraid and still march on, knowing you may die anytime, A brave tough man in the trench could look in the mirror and still have that skinny teenager looking back at him. 
Collecting from the Great War helps to bring that history and courage back to life. To actually hold in your hand that bit of history and simply imagine it’s history, where it might have gone, The Somme, or many other places. Hope I did not ramble on too long, you know how us Old folk are, again, welcome and hope to see a photo post in the future😊

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Harper Jackson
On 03/06/2020 at 10:55, trajan said:

 

Welcome to GWF! I'd certainly like to see that one! I guess you mean an 84/98 though?

 

Trajan

 

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