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Thread: Saddam Hussein Sword To Be Auctioned Off

  1. #1
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    Saddam Hussein Sword To Be Auctioned Off

    Nashua Telegraph - Saddam Hussein Sword To Be Auctioned Off

    By MARYALICE GILL
    Staff Writer

    MANCHESTER – A sword owned by Saddam Hussein could yours, if the price is right.

    The ornate presentation sword is the centerpiece of an auction being held this weekend by Amoskeag Auction Company Inc. in Manchester. The auction will start at 10 a.m. Saturday and will be held at 250 Commercial St. in the Waumbec Mill Building.

    The sword, 43 inches in overall length with a 37-inch straight, single edged blade, was taken from Hussein’s Baghdad office in the military command complex by U.S. military after the city fell to allied forces in 2003, according to the auction company.

    The blade features inlaid gold filigree on both sides with an Arabic presentation, which runs most of the obverse edge, declaring that the sword is a gift to Hussein.

    “This is a very rare and very unique opportunity to own a one-of-a-kind sword documented to the ‘Butcher of Baghdad,’ arguably one of the most important and controversial historical figures of the 21st century,” reads the promotional letter from the auction company.

    Here is a description of the sword, provided by the auction company:

    “The hilt shows sharply pointed langets which featured the Iraqi State Crest, twisted vine-like quillons with teardrop finials and ivory grip panels with brass Islamic eight pointed star rosettes and a stylized Falcon’s head pommel. Included is the sword’s ornate brass scabbard which features engraved panels depicting a hunting falcon on its perch, a Persian Gulf coastal fortification flying a flag, a Bedouin Rider on a camel and date palms. The rosettes between the panels have Persian Gulf pearl cabochons mounted.”

    The consignor was attached to that unit as a combat historian and personally selected items from the office for collection.

    When the U.S. government declared they had no interest in the sword, the consignor requested and was granted permission to take the sword as a souvenir.

    It includes a dated DD form, identifying the sword as property of Hussein.

    Those interested in the item should call Amoskeag’s offices at 627-7383, obtain bid forms and a description of the sword on line at www.amoskeagauction.com, or visit the offices in person at 250 Commercial St. in Manchester.

    Maryalice Gill can be reached at 594-6490 or mgill@nashuatelegraph.com.
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  2. #2
    When the U.S. government declared they had no interest in the sword, the consignor requested and was granted permission to take the sword as a souvenir.

    Do you suppose he asked the Iraqi government if they had any interest in the sword ?.As a 'combat historian' it would seem swords are not his area of study.
    Niall Dignan

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    Quote Originally Posted by niall dignan View Post
    Do you suppose he asked the Iraqi government if they had any interest in the sword ?.
    I would think not, since at the time of the swords acquisition, there was no 'Iraqi government'.
    mark@swordforum.com

    ~ Hostem Hastarum Cuspidibus Salutemus ~

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    I think along the same lines as Niall. Who in the U.S. Government said they don't want it? The President, Congress, the Smithsonian, West Point? And who in the Government said it was permissable for the unit historian to keep it for himself. Looting is the nature of war but I have a difficult time believing that the historian said, in effect, "Here's a gold and ivory adorned sword belonging to one of the most infamous persons of this century, probably worth tens of thousands of dollars." and someone in authority said "Well then, keep it for yourself."
    "Ancora imparo - Michelangelo Buonarotti"

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    It is possible that there are as many swords attributed to Suddam, as there are high end sports cars his sons owned. I would think that culture would promote sword presentations.
    If Suddam wore a sword, photos would help to identify, or you just have one sword from his possibly vast collection.
    I think much research must be done before Suddams previous ownership adds value to the sword.

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    "War trophies aren’t by themselves illegal, and military regulations and U.S. federal law permit some keepsakes. But the rules are vague and often don’t state exactly what’s OK and what’s not; sometimes, interpretations have varied.

    Dirt and rocks are prohibited, as are artwork and rugs taken from a house. Some knives and bayonets are allowed, but not all. Some captured weapons are allowed but must be rendered unserviceable in accordance with federal firearms laws.

    General Order No. 1B, issued by U.S. Central Command on March 13, 2006, spells out the rules for service members in the Middle East. The order prohibits: “Taking or retaining of public or private property of an enemy or former enemy. ... Individual war souvenirs may only be acquired if specifically authorized by USCENTCOM. Absent such express authorization, no weapon, munitions or military article of equipment obtained or acquired by any means other than official issue may be retained for personal use or shipped out of the USCENTCOM [area of operations] for personal retention.”

    Commanders, “when based on military necessity,” can seize private or public property, and “unit retention of historical artifacts must be specifically approved by USCENTCOM,” the order states. It also permits tourist souvenirs that can be legally brought into the U.S. but bans “enemy war material” even if it can be legally bought."


    Source - Marine Corps Times
    mark@swordforum.com

    ~ Hostem Hastarum Cuspidibus Salutemus ~

    "Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who don't."
    Benjamin Franklin

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    any number of things may have happened to make this 'legal' in the eyes of the US Military. As said before there are many swords attributed to Mr Hussein, I doubt he wore this sword ever, he was caught up in the 'militarism' of his appearance and very rarely appeared in clothing that is specific to traditional middle eastern garb. Also he was a bit of a shorty, the blade would have made him look small in stature.

    It includes a dated DD form, identifying the sword as property of Hussein.

    I will check with our JAG officer today about this. My gut instinct finds it odd that the blade is being auctioned in England, though that might be for publicity reasons or rather to fly under the radar of those that object to this sort of thing in the united states.

    Heh, he is not the only one with one of Saddam's swords

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    Just a bit to add to the story

    In the early 1980's a dozen blades, wide and double edged were made by Crown Swords of Wokingham, UK ( now long gone), run by an ex Wilkinson man, and supplied to a London firm of working jewelers/Silver and Goldsmiths to hilt etc. The London firm stated at the time that the swords were intended for Iraq. The blades were plain and polished, no etch, no name etc., no marks at all. Any further adornment was down the the Jeweler.

    Whether these were for presentation gift or to add to Sadam's personal armoury is not clear.

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    David,

    The auction house is in Manchester, New Hampshire.
    mark@swordforum.com

    ~ Hostem Hastarum Cuspidibus Salutemus ~

    "Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who don't."
    Benjamin Franklin

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    LOL,
    dang me for not looking closer Mark,

    I asked for a copy of the DD form by email, just curious

  11. #11
    I agree that something seems not quite right here. Not that Saddam deserves a lot of sympathy, and his heirs, if he has any, may be little better than he was. But anything that gets done in this case is liable to be done to better people. That regulation on souvenirs is pretty obviously expected to be broken quite a bit ("Muzzle not the ox that treadeth out the corn"), but not on the scale of value expected here. Let us hope the intention is to donate the money to some worthy charity, preferably involving innocent Iraqis, of whom there are millions if you can but find them. It isn't so much the souveniring, as the intention to cash in soon afterwards.

    I arrived in Kuwait in 1993, to a safely non-martial occupation, and I used to walk down to some unfinished buildings by the beach, with all the debris of occupation by the Iraqi forces - boots, utensils, mattresses, chemical warfare antidote ampoules, etc., and I used to wonder what those poor men had done to be sent there, while Saddam lived in luxury. Then I picked up a coffee spoon and realised it was German, and silver, better than any I own, and looted from some luckless Kuwaiti.

    The city museum in Glasgow has an Arab sword presented to the Lord Provost by the Mayor of Jeddah. But it is just Arab traditional costume shop style, as worn at weddings etc. The blade being straight is unusual, but early Islamic swords were, and I know of an extremely real one of more recent date. Faisal al-Duweesh, paramount sheikh of the Mutair tribe, was a religious extremist, and a rebel against his former friend, King (or then Sultan) Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia. But the Duweesh did it by raiding into the British protectorate of Iraq, defying Abdul Aziz to either stop him or not. Eventually his less astute subordinates turned on a Saudi tax caravan, the King moved against him, and the Duweesh ended up surrendering his sword to Air Marshal Burnett in Kuwait. I know his daughter had it in Perthshire for many years, and when it was illustrated by Robert Elgood in "Islamic Arms and Armour" (now a viciously expensive second-hand book, which I passed up on buying new), it was described as being in a private collection. The blade is long, straight and tapered, but with an ordinary Arab-style hilt.
    Last edited by John Wallace; 01-07-2012 at 08:24 AM.

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    Hello all,

    Ignoring the moral issue of selling stolen items for now and just focusing on the sword. The blade seems obviously (well kinda..) Syrian and recent, which is ok since blacksmiths in Syria produce fine new blades. The evidence is in the blade decoration. It could be made by an Iraqi blacksmith as there was an Iraqi family dedicated to that. Which in a document I saw ages ago complained about how Saddam forced them to make swords and have stolen most of their antique swords. But I think the decoration is more likely to be Syrian.. Most "recent" Iraqi daggers have a different form of decoration then this.

    The hilt is ugly I must say but has some evidence that it mimicked the badawi style atleast in how the ivory slabs are made and riveted.

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    The practice of acquiring war trophies is as old as the practice of war itself. Without it, I daresay that most of us reading this post would have substantially smaller collections than we currently do have. That said, the function of this forums are to discuss swords. Politically correct moral relativism is best taken elsewhere.
    mark@swordforum.com

    ~ Hostem Hastarum Cuspidibus Salutemus ~

    "Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who don't."
    Benjamin Franklin

  14. #14
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    The auction ended at $17,250 link is here:http://www.amoskeagauction.com/87/104.html
    Possible worth of the sword without Suddam connection??

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