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Please Email Us with any information on untraced swords. We are also happy to answer questions on care and preservation of these swords and to provide indicative valuations for insurance

About Us

Chris Allen

I purchased my first sword, an 1897 Pattern Infantry Officers sword, in 1966 for the princely sum of £2.00. As my interest in antique arms developed I became particularly attracted to British swords of the Napoleonic War period. The fact that such efficient tools of war could also be works of art drew me to, at first, officers swords and then by natural progression, to presentation swords. My interest flourished and I progressed from collector to dealer. In 1982 I joined Phillips Auctioneers as Head of their Arms and Armour department, becoming a consultant in 1993, a position I still hold with Bonham's.

I first met Sim Comfort in the early seventies and over the years I have watched his collection grow into what must be the biggest and best collection of Naval swords in private hands in the country, if not the world. We have spent many happy hours talking swords and the conversation often turned to those presented by the Patriotic Fund.

A couple of years ago Sim introduced me to Paul and we realized here was another kindred spirit. Paul had also graduated from lesser pieces to presentation swords and had been listing all the Lloyd's swords that he had traced. The three of us decided to join forces and pool our resources without really knowing where our research might lead. Being the least computer literate of the team, a website had never occurred to me, but seeing the wonderful job that Mark has done has been a real eye-opener for me and makes me feel particularly proud to be associated with this project.


Mark Cloke

  I'm a collector and researcher of Antique swords. Specialising in the Birmingham sword cutlers. I wrote an article on the 'Gill' family of sword cutlers published in the Journal of the Royal Armouries. I am always interested to hear from anyone with information on the Birmingham trade or from any descendents. There is a link between Birmingham and the Lloyd's swords as Samual Lines a Birmingham artist applied most of the inscriptions.

In 2000 I created a website to help in the identification of worldwide antique swords. www.OldSwords.com. This has grown in size and is now the largest online source of information on antique swords and is published in four different languages. I joined the team to provide technical assistance in creating the website.

Sim Comfort

Sim Comfort grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri. He joined the USN in 1960 and served four years as part of the Naval Security Group. His last posting was Grosvenor Square where he met his English bride, Mary. The two of them decided to try their luck by living in London instead of Missouri and thanks to a very busy career in the computer industry, it worked out all right.

Sim had been a collector from an early age and became fascinated by the rich naval history of Great Britain. What was even better was that relics from this history were available in antique shops and the auction rooms. Over time, he built an extensive collection of naval small arms which became the focus of his authored study of 'Naval Swords and Dirks'. He and Mary established a small publishing company in the mid 1970s and their published titles may be found at the Sim Comfort Associates website.


Paul Willcocks


My entry into the world of arms and armour was forty five years ago when my parents tolerated me buying a German 'Butcher' bayonet from a junk shop for ten shillings.  The collecting bug had taken hold and the collection expanded with a donated pickelhaube and buying an Aircrew Europe Star for three shillings and sixpence (17.5p).  I was probably the only 16 year old to have a Nazi naval dagger awarded to an officer on the Prinz Eugen as a Christmas present. Through university and later once a family appeared, swords were smuggled past an unsuspecting wife. By now the focus was limited to European swords; this subsequently narrowed to British and then just Georgian and finally Georgian presentation swords.

My interest in Lloyd's swords was heightened by a visit to Lloyd's of London in 2004 (sadly now limited to a Nelson showcase) and by the auction activity in 2005 with the bi-centenary. I realized a life long dream of owning a Patriotic Fund sword in 2009. In the previous year I had started to compile the data I had amassed on these swords from auctions, books, journals and through visits to collections. Once I had exhausted my initial efforts I was delighted that Sim and Chris agreed to join me to widen the net and through Mark’s efforts in developing this website. When not collecting or researching, my day job is in the world of oil and gas, an industry that has kept me employed for thirty five years and funded my passion.

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