Collecting swords a growing and pricey hobby
Retailers see more buyers, and more of them are willing to pay for quality
Driven by the popularity of movies such as The Last Samurai and The Lord Of The Rings, sword collecting has been forging a growing following in Singapore.
And it is not just the number of collectors which is on the rise but also their willingness to splurge, according to retailers which bring in these items.
Caesars director Diana Phee, whose firm sells Japanese swords, knives and replica guns at its two branches here, said she has seen sword sales go up by 10 to 15 per cent year on year over the last decade. On average, a few thousand swords - ranging from movie replicas to authentic models made by craftsmen - are sold every year.
In the last few years, the retailer has been bringing in hand-crafted swords and those with more elaborate designs. They are worth as much as $15,000. Ten years ago, the most expensive models did not exceed $600, she added.
How swords make the cut
THE import of a samurai sword is governed by The Arms and Explosives Act. It states that:
- Items can be imported through a forwarding agent who must declare it through the Government's online Tradenet System.
- Importers may have to take their swords to a police station for inspection before the licence can be issued
- If the sword is hand carried, it has to be declared to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority at the point of entry.
- Even with a licence, swords must be kept in a residence, and not be carried in public without a "lawful purpose".
Source: Singapore Police Force website