The annual pre-hunting season Bud Haynes & Co. firearms auction is going medieval this year with a collection of reproduction swords and armour.
The estate of Don Cook, a master warrant officer and a former instructor for the Sky Hawks Canadian Forces parachute team, has left a collection of more than 150 swords, 14 mannequins in suits of armour and Roman gladiators and other weapons and armour for the auction firm to sell.
“This was his collection and we were contacted by the family and they wanted to have it auctioned,” said auctioneer Linda Baggaley. “It’s quite unique, I’ve never seen this many different reproduction medieval swords. A lot of them are just beautiful.”
But the swords are just part of the collection. There are also helmets, chain mail and other armour pieces.
The annual fall hunting firearms auction will be held on Saturday at 9 a.m. by Bud Haynes & Co. at their facility, Bay 4 7429 49th Ave. in Red Deer. Prior to the auction, on Friday from 3 to 8 p.m. a free public viewing will take place.
“We get the odd reproduction sword, but never over 150 and all of them are different,” said Baggaley.
The diversity of the collection has the auction firm interested in attracting a different group of people, who wouldn’t typically be interested in this type of auction.
“There are groups where the guys collect these types of thing,” said Baggaley. “They go out and do presentations, go dressed in armour for different events. It’s another collectors field.”
On top of the reproductions pieces, some more recent history will be a part of the auction, but aren’t a part of the Cook collection.
“We have some really old items going back to the North West Mounted Police,” said Baggaley.
For the auction, they have a fully mechanical mannequin greeter in armour that can speak and talk to people as well as a mechanical fencer.
“We’ve never had 14 mannequins in full uniform and over 150 swords,” said Baggaley. “They were a lot of money to be ordered and made to look like the old swords.”
Cook had the collection mounted in a Quonset he had converted into a house.
“It’s nice the whole collection is together and didn’t get picked over,” said Baggaley. “Some of these helmets retailed for $300 or $400. I know some of the suits of armour, we were looking on the Internet, and some of them are $3,000 and $4,000 to order.”
Retail prices aside, Baggaley said she doesn’t really know how much they will fetch at auction.
“It’s hard to say what the market will do,” said Baggaley. “But with this big a collection, it should bring people that probably normally don’t come to firearms auctions.”
“A lot of people come down just to see some of the things,” said Baggaley. “Most people have never held a reproduction sword in their hands. They have a good weight to them, they’re made to look like the old ones, some are pretty dressed up.”