spigots or caudrens
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Writing as Robert Jordan, James Rigney made knowledge his stock in trade. In order to write effectively about men and non-men who fought with swords and lances, he hefted them, he swung them. He studied what life is like for a man who makes his meat and beer with a battle axe. He would hold a spear or sword and contemplate the use of it in combat. Some swords are better in small areas, whereas long swords are better suited for larger space. He'd use them to learn about things like that. Einstein is quoted as saying, "I have no particular talent. I am only passionately curious." RJ, Jim was that, and more.
Jim collected all manner of bladed weapons. In Jason's description of his trip to Charleston for RJ's funeral, he took some photos of the room outside RJ's office which the family lovingly calls "The Armory". Those photos appeared on RJ's blog, but they only gave you a glimpse of the collection. It is immense. The blades were Jim's passion, not Harriet's, so he very generously left them to the three guys close to him: his brother, son and me. The three of us have given many pieces away to others who were also very close to RJ. We invited Brandon Sanderson to wander through and pick something of his liking, something that spoke to him. He sent me the most wonderful thank you note and has placed the sword, a samurai, on the wall above his writing desk. To accompany the sword, Brandon had a plaque engraved with warm words about RJ and looks at it for inspiration as he pens the last of Jim's epic. Some of Jim's blades have been placed in the hands of soldiers, airmen and Marines who will find use of them when they are deployed.
After selecting items for ourselves and sharing many with others, we still find ourselves with a collection that is, well, unmanageable. Each of us would very much like to hang onto ALL the items, but eventually, in the interest of spatial or marital harmony, most of it would have to go. So, we have decided to do that sooner rather than later. We know that Jim would have wanted some of his fans to have the opportunity to own some of his personal items.
The actual mechanics of this will be handled by a close family friend, Greg Kitchens. Greg is a Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserves. He is a military weapons and history expert, though he would humbly deny that fact. Greg spent hours sitting with Jim, discussing the military art, history and the numerous items in both their collections. We are honored that a blade from the collection will be in Greg's boot when he goes to the Sand Box this December. What he doesn't know off hand, he diligently researches himself, or finds an expert in that particular field. Greg is performing exacting research on the pieces and will offer to the best of our ability a description of each item. Every piece will also be accompanied by a letter of authenticity stating that it came from the personal collection of Robert Jordan. This letter will be individually signed by Harriet and Greg, our "Armorer".
RJ's blade collection contains swords, knives, hatchets, and spears. Some are antique, some reproductions, and some are modern. There are blades for hunting, fishing, camping, survival, fighting and everything in between. Most are in excellent or new condition. There are a few custom blades and many good blades from reputable manufacturers. Jim appreciated quality and simple, functional practicality yet had an eye for historical significance. His collection reflects those values. There are very few fancy wall-hangers and a plethora of solidly useful weapons, high-quality practice weapons and tools.
We will be offering the Robert Jordan collection on eBay beginning over the next couple of weeks. Some of the more valuable antiques and custom knives will undoubtedly appeal to collectors, as well as WOT fans.
4th of 3
[Editor's note: We'll post more details and links to the eBay auctions when they come online.]