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Thread: Military museum. Seville

  1. #1
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    Military museum. Seville

    Dear Colleagues,
    Have you thought about donating your swords?
    Two years ago I went with my sons to pay a visit to the military history museum of the city in which I live, Seville, Spain. It´s placed in a very beatiful site of the city, always full of tourist (perhaps for that reason
    I hadn´t go before, while living her for ten years...). I was astonished because barely there were objects from napoloenic period. It´s dificult to explain why we have so little consideration for military history, but I decided to so something and so, I contacted with Authorities and now, they have a modest collection of artifacts from that period, which we call our "Independece War" or Guerra de la Independencia (from the French, who invaded the country from 1808 to 1814)Name:  20190111_110013.jpg
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    It has been done thanks to a contract: renewable every 5 years, "I owe you nothing, you owe me nothing". "I´m free to take them again, they are free to ask me to do so".
    Now my swords looks much better than in my basement...
    All of you in similar situation...think about it.Name:  20190218_120154.jpg
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    Regards

  2. #2
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    David your swords are very well displayed now. Museums where I am in Canada don't like any "weapons" some sort of political nonsense going on. If it were not the case lending to a museum so youth can see them and become interested is a great idea.

  3. #3
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    Exactly. I think they believe that if they don´t talk about weapons and wars and close the eyes, when they open, wars won´t be there...
    (I´m sorry for having posted so many times same photos)

  4. #4
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    Very neat. This is something I had not really considered. Rather like an extendable loan of your swords instead of an outright gift.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  5. #5
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    I think that's fantastic. What arrangement do you have for maintenance and insurance against loss or damage?

  6. #6
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    David, thanks for sharing.
    It is a great idea to exhibit your swords. Every collector in his heart wants many to see his collection, but is not able to show it for various reasons. And this is despite the fact that private collections have many items that many museums cannot even dream of for certain reasons.
    I also often think about exhibiting items from my collection in one of the museums in my city, but I haven’t set any further thoughts about it. For me, the difficulty lies in the fact that the demonstration of old weapons requires a special license, issued by the police.
    But this is a great way to show your items to many than to store them in chests or basements of houses.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by james.elstob View Post
    I think that's fantastic. What arrangement do you have for maintenance and insurance against loss or damage?
    The pieces rest in the Museum under same conditions of Museum own collection. I must admit that probably is insufficient to cover real valor of all pieces. But remember..."free for me, free for you". So, no money for aditional insurance. Climate conditions are good there, about humidity, but if I see rust or so, I can take the sword for repairing. They have some sort of conservator (... but I prefer to harm them by myself).

    Which makes me happy is that formerly, just some friends and relatives knew about these items, now they form a complete collection, exhibited in a public store, open to everybody. My son and daughter are still very young, but they can read their surname written down in a little plate in a museum. Not many boys can say the same (as well, they played in the rooms, running between the big guns and flags while displaying the pieces... that memory for ever)

  8. #8
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    That museum has also a nice collection of XVIIth century swords and rapiers. There is a published catalog. In Seville, there is a second nice collection at the ethnographical museum.
    La vida amable, el enemigo hombre fuerte, ordinario el peligro, natural la defensa, la Ciencia para conseguirla infalible, su estudio forçoso, y el exercicio necessario conviene al que huviere de ser Diestro, no ignore la teorica, para que en la practica, el cuerpo, el braço, y los instrumentos obren lo conveniente a su perfeccion. --Don Luis Pacheco de Narvaez.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Mathieson View Post
    David your swords are very well displayed now. Museums where I am in Canada don't like any "weapons" some sort of political nonsense going on. If it were not the case lending to a museum so youth can see them and become interested is a great idea.
    I agree Will. I was at the War Museum in Ottawa a few years ago and was disappointed to see only about ten swords on display.

    I displayed a majority of my collection (about 60 pieces) at the local museum here in town last summer for two months and it was quite well received. I built most of the displays, organized the layout and created a legend and write ups on pieces. It was great fun to do, so much so that I am now investigating going back to school for museum studies and making a career change. But it is somewhat tricky figuring out where to get started - I already have a degree and don’t really want to start from scratch again...

    And David - great job! I couldn’t do five years as I like to go back continuously to study them when I learn something new, but shorter periods, for sure.

    Matt

  10. #10
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    David, I admire your decision, but I doubt I would have done the same, nor that I will do it in the future.

    Honestly, I do not trust public Museums, or better said, the politicians that rule them. Here in Spain, as you surely know, we have witnessed the closure of the Barcelona Military Museum in Montjuic Castle, some years ago. The only reason argued then was that the lefty municipal council simply disliked it and its 'not peaceful' meaning. As if closing our eyes to History would prevent war to happen again... forgetting errors is the best way to repeat them.

    The Museum in Montjuic consisted of several collections, most from private origin. Some of them were donated perpetually to Barcelona, but most of them were still property of the Ministry of Defense, important contributor, or private collectors. When closure came, they made no effort to locate private collectors to help recover their belongings. Word spred among us (at the time I was living in Barcelona, no longer now) and so most owners knew of the political movement and could recover their pieces (not without some hassle and reluctance from the city council), but other did not show (nobody officially summoned them, on the other hand) and their collections are now scattered in some other museums, stored in an unknown location, or simply lost.

    Sorry for ranting a bit, but I think that this sad story perfectly exemplifies my position about museums. Of course private ones may be different, but I do not trust public ones any longer.

    Best,
    JJ
    SI, SI
    NO, NON

  11. #11
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    Possibly short term loans with defined removal date is required? David is lucky his museum has the display cases available for use. Deaccessions are quietly done without public or donator knowledge. My view is the private individual can be a better caretaker of many artifacts.
    You now (for decades) are looking at modern and massive graphic art promoting every diverse group that can vote. The graphic art costing much more than the artifacts themselves, a true industry created for us to pay to view. This is why I enjoy arms fairs etc. much more, and these do not have exorbitant entrance fees attached. You can handle the items and not strain to peer through reflecting glass in a dim lit room. I find learning is hands on, just viewing lacks texture. weight and odours.

  12. #12
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    Part of my collection is currently on exhibit at the Pointe à Callières Museum in Montreal. A very positive experience so far.

    As a museum professional, I will only say one thing: If you want your museums to show more, to care for artifacts better and to to have enough time to answer research requests then pressure your elected representatives to do something about it. We are doing the best we can in an understaffed field that has seen countless cuts in the past decades. Don't complain to us, we know the issues, but we do not have the power to solve all of them. Cultural heritage budgets are peanuts for governments, but they won't move unless there seems to be pressure to do so.

  13. #13
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    Hi Max do you know the story about the ROM? When I was young the main hall had arms, armour and horse with armour and full suits sitting on them. Hard to find a Lee Enfield rifle now tucked far away. Where did these beautiful arms and armour disappear to? It "was" a stunning collection.

  14. #14
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    I have been in this "narrative" "new wave" museum discussion a couple other times in various media. In both their arguments for rebuttals to my remarks were "your dumb, your stupid and you can't spell" but being museums or rather good displays are near and dear to my heart, especially ones with swords. I will chime in. Our museums run by The National Park Service or any government agency up to and including Smithsonian are junk. You can find more artefacts in antique stores and better information on line, in two minutes. I went to the Tredegar Iron Works museum which has at least 6 artefacts including a scrap of paper and a shirt, on display grouped with walls of writing, facsimiles, copies and reproductions. I ask a question about The Virginia Manufactory of Arms and they did not know anything about it. I said being that it was next door and Tredegar was started using VMA equipment thats odd. Are you sure you have never heard of it? They became angry and refused to speak to me. The Horse Soldier militaria in Gettysburg has a far better display and way more information on their sales floor than any National Park Service museum in the States. Eric
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Mathieson View Post
    Hi Max do you know the story about the ROM? When I was young the main hall had arms, armour and horse with armour and full suits sitting on them. Hard to find a Lee Enfield rifle now tucked far away. Where did these beautiful arms and armour disappear to? It "was" a stunning collection.
    Hi Will- no idea as I never worked with them. I won't deny that the interest over Arms and Armour in non specialized museums has been rather dilluted, but I will answer to this: so has the visitors'! We have a fairly niche interest, and so of course when we go into a museum we find that there is never enough swords, but your average museum visitor doesn't have the same endurance we have to seeing walls and walls of sharpened steel bars. My friends and partners are always bored to tears that we have to stop by the Arms and Armour section of the ROM everytime we go there, but even I have an indigestion when I visit a place like the Musée de l'Armée.

    The fact is, History museums were increasingly deserted when all they presented was rows and rows of variations on a theme. Very nice for connaisseurs like us, but you can't sustain a Museum only with people like us. If you can't find enough swords in a museum, it might be because you are not the intended target audience. And you know what? that's fine! Because as Eric said, we get our kick elsewhere in places that the public can't or won't appreciate.

    As far as Museums not having enough knowleageble experts, you can again blaim cuts to public funds. A certain institution that I won't name, here in Canada, had weapon experts and military curators a plenty, until the previous government axed them. You can't expect a tiny team of curators to be experts on every single objects in a collection that was built by many more.

  16. #16
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    Axing curators is a sad commentary on what the govt. believes is important. As taxes rise we get less and the $$ is frivolously given away to foreign countries (some Opec) that don't need it.
    If we can't get the youth interested using museum content (when it's not even fully there) we are all lose. Militaria shows in Toronto cannot draw .01% of the population of over 3 million

  17. #17
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    Four Museums I would recommend in the US. All four have some swords and all of them have many different types original artefacts on display. All of them are a tad crowded so may be some waiting.
    The Confederate Musem in Charlston S.C, the Art Institute and Chicago History Museum in Chicago, Ill. and the Governor's Palace in Santa Fe, N.M.
    Eric
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

  18. #18
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    Eric the US has some amazing museums due to strong patriotism and $$. In Canada we can barely sing our anthem to be heard aloud. More pride in country and things would change.

  19. #19
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    Maybe the subject of size matters...

    I was recently at a relatively small but variate weaponry museum at Vitoria, and it was full of enthusiastic children.

    https://apps.euskadi.eus/emsime/cole...alava/museo-15

    On the other hand, my visits to the Tojhusmuseet in Copenhague, have always been almost mystical, because I was the only one in the whole huge corridors. I believe so many aligned weapons blow up the attention of visitors.
    Last edited by Javier Ramos; 04-17-2019 at 02:55 AM.
    La vida amable, el enemigo hombre fuerte, ordinario el peligro, natural la defensa, la Ciencia para conseguirla infalible, su estudio forçoso, y el exercicio necessario conviene al que huviere de ser Diestro, no ignore la teorica, para que en la practica, el cuerpo, el braço, y los instrumentos obren lo conveniente a su perfeccion. --Don Luis Pacheco de Narvaez.

  20. #20
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    Exactly. This is what people realized a few decades back and why these types of displays are rarely seen today. There are no boring stories, just boring ways to tell them. This is the same reason why you cannot find a good copy of Robson in most libraries, but you can certainly find a copy of one of those "Visual history of weapons" anywhere.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max C. View Post
    Exactly. This is what people realized a few decades back and why these types of displays are rarely seen today. There are no boring stories, just boring ways to tell them. This is the same reason why you cannot find a good copy of Robson in most libraries, but you can certainly find a copy of one of those "Visual history of weapons" anywhere.
    You´re right. When exposing only one tipe of artifact, public become bored inmediatly. The Museum must give pieces a good script, must "teach" people. This is a sword forum, For that reason, I only talked about swords, but my collection goes a little bit further away. Is consist also in military buttons and plenty of documents. Perhaps for that reason they were interested. As Javier said, this Museum has a very good collection in rapier swords. I was sure, that only swords were not interesting enough for them. It´s sad, but we must reckon as well that were are really very freak.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Herrador View Post
    You´re right. When exposing only one tipe of artifact, public become bored inmediatly. The Museum must give pieces a good script, must "teach" people. This is a sword forum, For that reason, I only talked about swords, but my collection goes a little bit further away. Is consist also in military buttons and plenty of documents. Perhaps for that reason they were interested. As Javier said, this Museum has a very good collection in rapier swords. I was sure, that only swords were not interesting enough for them. It´s sad, but we must reckon as well that were are really very freak.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Herrador View Post
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Herrador View Post
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    Perhaps we could see some photos from the Seville rapier collection as well?

  25. #25
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    I find this all very interesting!

    I’ve had a brainstorm going around in my head for the last few months of wanting to start (here in the little sleepy resort town of Saint Andrews, New Brunswick) the Royal New Brunswick Antique Arms & Research Centre. Complete with exhibits, research library and restoration/conservation areas and perhaps a little shop where you can purchase all those hard to find collectors reference books.

    In a perfect world, there is a nice historic home here in town it would reside within, while outside the building would sit the cannons which are currently located in the town square. I figure between my collection and the number of pieces that reside in the New Brunswick archives (if they would lone them) and another gentleman in the area with a nice pre 1898 firearm collection, it might be off to a nice start. Plus the town is walkable enough, that our significant others could be off shopping while we are drool... I mean researching! But alas...I would need to win the lottery. So it is all just a dream.

    But it has got me thinking. In our current world of museums that offer such a broad range of topics in a single building, are we trying to do to much in one space? Do museums need to become more focused on specific areas in order to target specific audiences? Perhaps more dedicated audiences? So that the museum itself becomes a destination as opposed to being “something to do while we’re here“? Just curious...

    I agree also with making the topics interesting. While I could walk through an exhibit and view all the different progressions the infantry sword made from 1800 to 1900, my wife would be tired after 1822. When I put together my exhibit, I did it from the perspective of a collector; how I got into collecting and some of the bungles I made along the way. Humour went a long way in lightening the mood and opened up people to taking time to read the more serious anecdotes as well. People like a story...

    My apologies David for butting into your thread, I debated on just keeping this to myself, and well... perhaps I should have...

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