The Old Penitentiary

The bureaucracy that surrounds the modern museum often prevents them from presenting their unique offerings in the best light or to the widest possible audience.  The Old Penitentiary in Boise happens to have one of the best weapons collections in the western United States, including a fine example of swords from the Renaissance and the Early Modern Era, but you would be hard pressed to find out about it from the frankly pathetic space they devote to it on their website.

The J. Curtis Earl Collection, named for the class C weapons dealer who donated it to the museum, contains numerous examples of firearms from America and other locations, but it also contains a longsword which I place in the central Holy Roman Empire circa the mid 1500s, a number o unique backswords, a schiavona, approximately a dozen rapiers in fine condition, and a small collection of polearms in addition you will find a number of swords of middle eastern origin and a small number of smallswords dating to the 1700s or early 1800s.  There isn’t another collection like this open to the public within nearly 1000 miles.  If you are passing through Boise, or if you live in the Treasure Valley and are interested in the Middle Ages, Renaissance, or Early Modern Era, and particularly if you are a sword enthusiast you owe it to yourself to come and see this remarkable collection.

2 comments on “The Old Penitentiary”

  1. Auction Script Reply

    Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Many thanks Nonetheless We are experiencing problem with ur rss . Do not know why Can not sign up for it. Possibly there is anybody finding identical rss issue? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

    • Benjamin Smith Reply

      Sorry I only turn out one article a month at most. I thought that it’s not the sort of thing that an RSS feed really works for. If you really want I can try to make sure it works?

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