Best Sword Display Cases for Every Collection
What’s in this article?
Swords are lethal weapons, making them challenging to display. Sword display cases let you showcase your live blades safely behind the glass, protecting both swords and any admiring guests. Unlike sword stands and wall racks, these cases have the advantage of protecting your precious blades from dust and damage. Without further ado, here’s our guide on choosing the best sword display case to show off your weapons.
Types of Sword Display Cases
Every sword collection is unique, and the right sword display case can make them museum-worthy items. Most are constructed with form and function in mind, but will sometimes depend on the type of sword youl choose to display.
Solo Sword Display Case Cabinet
If you want to showcase a sword with its bare blade, a sword display case is an ideal choice. Some display cases can accommodate only one sword, making it perfect for a solitary antique sword to show its age or a newly-made sword to keep it in pristine condition. Some also opt for this type of display case to show off an heirloom blade of a family member who went off to war.
A sword display case is also ideal for longswords and great swords, especially the German zweihander or the Scottish claymore. It could also be perfect for unique blade shapes, like a flammard or flame-shaped blade. However, avid collectors with several weapons may find a solo display case impractical.
Cabinet Stand Holder Wall Rack
Sword collectors generally never run out of new weapons to add to their collection, making a sword display case with a built-in wall rack an ideal choice. Since collections may take years to build up, one may start with a two- to four-tier wall rack. However, it does take up more space than traditional wall-mount sword stands.
A cabinet stand holder wall rack is ideal for samurai swords, sabers, hangers, short swords, and ceremonial swords, displaying the blades unsheathed from their scabbards. It could also be perfect for military swords used in battle, from the Napoleonic Wars to the American Civil War, World War I, and World War II.
Military Shadow Box Display Case
Members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Marines, and Air Force often prefer shadow box display cases to showcase not only swords, but also their military uniforms and other memorabilia. It could be perfect for displaying the United States Marine Corps or USMC non commissioned officer’s sword, the U.S. Army NCO sword, and the U.S. Coast Guard officer’s sword. However, a military shadow box tends to be bulkier than the usual sword display cases.
How to Choose the Best Sword Display Case
The type and design of a sword display case depend on personal preferences, but it should be of high quality to withstand the test of time.
Here are the factors to consider when choosing a display case for your swords:
Type of Material
Sword display cases can be handcrafted from wood, glass, metal, or acrylic. Some are made of solid wood like oak or beech hardwood that perfectly matches the other furniture. A glass or acrylic case can make your swords museum-worthy pieces, though the former requires more care when cleaning. There are also metal cases that appear sleeker and more modern.
Size and Length
Sizes of samurai sword display cases vary depending if one would showcase a katana, a wakizashi, or tanto daggers. Generally, sword collectors opt for ones that would accommodate a daisho: a pair of long sword and short sword. A katana usually has an overall length of 85 centimeters (33 inches), and a sword case is ideally around 110 centimeters (43 inches) wide.
Some collectors also opt for custom-made cases for longer swords like the German zweihander and the Scottish claymore. For a vast collection of daggers, many prefer a dagger display case, usually around 55 centimeters (22 inches) wide. A knife display case is often smaller, about 48 centimeters (19 inches).
Like a military shadow box, a sword display case often comes with a lock to prevent accidents. It is ideal for swords and daggers with live blades, including pocket knives. Many collectors prefer a glass door to an acrylic door, which gets scratched over time. Some also come with built-in lights, usually wireless LED lighting bars, transforming your sword collection into museum pieces.
The perfect sword display case can have a stunning design that matches your home décor while putting a spotlight on your collection. Some customizations include the background color including red, blue, black, and green felt fabric. This prevents scratches on the blade and metal fittings. It is best to choose colors that will bring out the best features of the sword mountings and scabbards.
Some service members and veterans prefer military sword display cases that match their shadow box for military medals or medallions. Other designs also look cohesive with a gun display case or a challenge coin display case. Some avid collectors also include a display plaque, a thin plate that has inscribed information about the sword.
Sword Display Case vs. Sword Stand
A sword display case encases the blade and often comes with a lock and UV protection which prevents discoloration of sword mountings and scabbards. Some types also merge the functionality of a display case and a wall rack. Comparatively, a sword stand won’t keep your swords dust-free and UV protected.
For antique swords and replicas with live blades, a sword display case is ideal especially if you have kids or pets in your home. A military sword plaque is similar to a wall-mounted rack but often displays an emblem. However, a sword display case tends to be more expensive than a typical sword stand, so it is recommended to opt for choices that match the value of your collection.
There is no right or wrong way to display your swords. Many collectors prefer display cases to sword stands as they provide more protection while members of the military often favor shadow boxes to showcase their swords with other memorabilia. With several options available, you’ll surely be able to pick the perfect display case for your sword collection.