spigots or caudrens
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The following letter is from Greg Kitchens, the "Armorer" who is facilitating the auction of Robert Jordan's weapon collection on ebay.
I have been planning these auctions for a couple of months now and have some thoughts to share.
- First of all, these are the first of over 100 knives, swords, and various other weaponry owned by RJ. There are plenty more to come so it would be foolish for fans to bid these first blades at astronomical prices. Please, do not go crazy. Also, keep in mind that when Jim Rigney liked something he often bought at least two. Some of his favorites, such as the Nepalese Kukuri, the scimitar, or the traditional Japanese Katana, were highly represented in his collection with multiple variations and examples. If you see something on auction you like, there may be more opportunities to buy something similar. In the listings it will always say that "This is from the personal collection of the late author Robert Jordan whose bestselling Wheel of Time series of books is hugely popular throughout the world". If one goes to ebay and searches "COLLECTION LATE AUTHOR ROBERT JORDAN" and checks the block for "search titles AND descriptions" you will be directed to the blade collection while filtering out the plethora of books and other items out there. Once you find one of the actual listings you may then view the seller's other auctions. One may also subscribe to ebay to get emails when items are newly posted or bid upon. I will make comments on this site and keep you updated.
- Jim Rigney was a friend of mine. For some of us sentimental types it is a great honor to own a personal item that meant something to a friend who passed. When the family so graciously made the offer, I selected a Cold Steel Magnum Tanto and an Applegate-Fairbairn fighter from Jim's collection to go with me to Iraq next year (I likely will need neither for any more than cutting open an MRE, but a good knife does inspire confidence). Later, Wilson later gave me a modernly made katana cane sword that I found in Jim's bucket of staffs. These are now 3 very special blades to me because they were Jim's. The family decided to allow me to auction off these remaining items so that fans and collectors, the VERY people who will appreciate and take care of them, will have a chance to own them. That is really what this blade auction is all about.
- Some of the blades are antiques or highly desirable custom items. I have done thorough research on these blades and will not sell anything unless I am confident that it is what we say it is. There is a "horsehead" saber from the 1830s, a couple of Randall knives, some nice antique Chinese swords, and several others. These items will have value to collectors. If one is a fan AND interested in the particular genre of blade, all the better. ALL items will start at a price that is lower, in some cases MUCH lower, that the flat retail value of the item.
- RJ owned over a dozen Japanese swords, although most were either modern reproductions or Chinese "fakes". The Chinese swords were made to appear to be old, which they are not. There were two authentic Japanese swords (besides a few military and police swords) and they will both stay in the family. There are also a few newly made, high quality katanas and wakizashis by CAS Iberia/Paul Chen Hanwei. These are fully functional warrior quality blades and are worth significantly more than the Chinese reproductions. Japanese swords, Nihon-to, are classic and legendary weapons and certainly interested RJ. Fans will undoubtedly recognize the influence these blades had on the RJ's design of the Heron marked swords. I have spent a great deal of time studying and researching these historic weapons to make sure they are represented accurately.
- Many have asked about charities. These blades were left to some close relatives of RJ and each will get a percentage of the net profit and are, thus, free to do with it what they see fit. I do know that at least one recipient plans to donate a portion of the money to the Mayo Clinic and another has mentioned looking after The Citadel (RJ's school, and mine), but the particulars are not yet decided. Please do not rationalize your decision to bid by telling yourself that "it's for a good cause". Again, our primary objective is to ensure that RJ's collection finds its way into the hands of those who appreciate them. We hope that nobody buys something that they cannot realistically afford. We have also put some items off to the side to be charity auctioned or otherwise given away at the upcoming JordanCon. [Editor Note: Dragonmount.com will be raffling off at least one of these items. More info will be posted in our News section when it gets closer to happening.]
- We have no way of enforcing it but would appreciate it if no one would buy more than two or three blades in total. We hope that several fans get the opportunity to own one of RJ's personal collectibles.
- I just hate to limit the sales to US only but made the decision to do just that. My apologies to our overseas friends but shipping blades internationally can get legally complicated and we just do not have an international lawyer on retainer. A knife or sword that one country may view as a harmless tool yet another country sees as a national threat! Customs and unvested carriers add another dimension of risk in ensuring that these items safely get to the buyers. I am new to ebay. If I did this for a living I'd likely be experienced enough to know the ropes for shipping and customs for any given country. There just is not adequate time to properly work it all out. I decided that I do not want to learn the hard lessons the hard way and, in the process, allow something to happen to one of RJ's blades. If you are overseas and want to bid, perhaps you have a friend in the US to whom we can ship? You would then have the time to thoroughly work out the details in getting it into your particular country. Of course, all buyers are responsible for knowing and complying with their local laws. Again, our international friends have my personal apologies as it was with a heavy heart that I made this difficult decision.
- The letter of authenticity will be sent with each item and I will retain a copy. The letter will include a description of the blade and name the recipient. No copy of these letters will be sent electronically. We ask all buyers to disallow copies or scannings as we do not want these to ever be faked should they fall into the hands of the unscrupulous. I am personally invested in making sure you are satisfied with this sale. Please contact me with any questions or concerns. All sales are guaranteed.
Col G.H. Kitchens