How to display swords on a wall

Written by daniel r. mueller
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How to display swords on a wall
Wall displays should accent the most ornate part of the sword. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

When displaying a sword on the wall, one of the key factors the sword owner should take into account is the value of the sword being displayed. For example, it would make little sense to display a machine-made costume sword in an elaborate glass display case hanging from the wall, but an exceedingly rare and expensive handcrafted sword may warrant such a lavish display. Another important point for consideration is the cultural influences of the sword being displayed. There are traditions, particularly relating to the Japanese katana, regarding correct display technique: it is considered taboo to arrange the blades facing downward, for instance. The value and age of the piece should also be considered when displaying a sword, since exposing an antique directly to the air may deteriorate the piece and therefore diminish its value.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Sword to display
  • Digital camera
  • Stud finder
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • Drill and screws
  • Drywall screw anchors
  • Bolts and washers
  • Plaque or display case
  • Heavy twine
  • Packing wire

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  1. 1

    Photograph the sword or swords intended for display using a digital camera.

  2. 2

    Travel to the local library with the digital camera and images. Consult with the books at the library on antique swords to determine the cultural background of the swords intended for display.

  3. 3

    Choose the display method for the sword or swords, taking into account the cultural influences of the piece. For example, it would be preferable to display a European or North American sword on a plaque or in a glass display case with the blade drawn, but in a cultural context, it would be more appropriate to display a Japanese samurai sword in its sheath on a simple three tiered rack with the curve of the blade facing upward. Purchase the mounting device; mounting plaques and display cases are generally available at local trophy stores or via special order online.

  4. 4

    Scan for the stud in the wall where the sword is intended for display using the stud finder, as per the instructions located in the stud finder's user manual. Note that it is generally considered most socially appropriate in any culture to display a sword in a private room, such as an office or study, as opposed to an entrance or shared area. Mark the location of the stud with the carpenter's pencil using a small X. Note that larger displays may require the use of two stud and anchor combinations.

  5. 5

    Drill pilot holes into the marked stud location and insert a screw anchor into the drywall for added stability at each anchor screw location. Use the drill to insert the anchoring screws into the pre-drilled holes, thus providing a solid mounting platform for the display.

  6. 6

    Hang the display on the mounting screws using the fixtures included with the display itself. Some display cases or plaques may not come with mounting fixtures, in which case drilling a pilot hole through the plaque or case backing and securing it with a bolt and washer combination may be necessary.

  7. 7

    Place the sword on its display case or plaque. In some cases it may be helpful to fix the sword in place using packing wire or heavy twine in order to ensure that it does not fall from the display case.

Tips and warnings

  • Try to accentuate the best features of the items on display in a way that does not endanger their long-term value. For example, if a sword has a plain-looking blade and an ornate handle, make the sword handle the focal point of the plaque by centring it on the backing.
  • Displaying two swords crossed in front of a shield coat of arms creates a compelling, European visual effect.
  • Avoid mounting exposed sharp blades on the wall directly, as they can present a safety hazard should they fall from the wall.

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