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Ancient Viking swords may cut to the quick in N.Y.

A scarce Ulfberht sword from the 10th century is among the 50 swords, and more than 1,000 lots expected at the Sixth Annual West Point/Garrison, New York Auction, Aug. 8-9. The auction will be presented by Louis J Dianni LLC.
Viking sword

10th century Viking sword, with a blade marked Ulfberht. (All photos courtesy Louis J Dianni)

GARRISON, N.Y. — A 10th century excavated sword with a complete blade marked with Ulfberht is one of 50 swords, dating from the 10th to 20th centuries, heading to auction Aug. 8-9 during the Sixth Annual West Point/Garrison, New York Auction.

The auction presented by Louis J Dianni, LLC, will feature 1,000 lots of antiques, representing a wide variety of categories. A portion of the sale will benefit the Garrison Landing Association and the Garrison Art Center, and the auction will be held at Garrison Landing Park, on the Hudson River waterfront.

Pre-Columbian pottery and stone carvings, fine art, porcelains and china, copper, early 20th century art glass, swords, militaria, and nautical items are some of the feature categories. Among the highlights of the sale is a Pre-Columbian statue of a woman, which is one of 50 pieces of Pre-Columbian pottery included in the collection of a Florida estate. Most of the pieces were purchased in the 1970s from Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

Fine art includes three Old Master works from the 16th and 17th centuries, including a portrait by Palma Vecchio and Giovani Cariani completed between 1538-47, and previously in the hands of the Lord of Donegall. Other artwork of note includes two works by David Burliuk ascribed the position of ‘Father of Russian Modernism,’ two American Clipper ships by Antonio Jacobsen, two Hudson River School paintings, one of “Kaaterskill Falls” by Jerome Johnson and the other by David Johnson titled “Walkill River, Walden, NY.”

Porcelains and china include a collection of 18th and 19th century tea cups and saucers, scarce pieces marked with the logo of the Dutch East India Company, and 30 copper pieces from the mid-19th century. Also, from a Florida estate, bidders will have the opportunity to obtain 150 golfing collectibles, as well as silver pieces from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Military items also slated to cross the auction block include 50 Civil War images and an equal number of swords, including a few Ulfberht swords. Fashioned using a process that would remain unknown to the Vikings’ rivals for centuries, the Ulfberht was a revolutionary high-tech tool as well as a work of art. Considered one of the greatest swords ever made, it remains a fearsome weapon more than a millennium after it last saw battle.

For more information about the auction, which begins at noon EDT both days, visit or call 914-474-7710.

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