Sean Rich is a modern-day treasure hunter on a mission to track down masterpieces of military history. But for him, antique weaponry is more than a passion; it’s his business. New series Lords of War – premiering tonight at 9 p.m. – follows Sean and his team of arms experts as they patrol the country for rare collectibles and auction them off to the highest bidder. They get a piece of the action, and the seller gets the rest. Every auction is battle, but war is in their blood.
Part historians and part detectives, the top-notch team is challenged in each episode to authenticate an item and appraise its value. It’s not always an easy task, even for these experts. Occasionally an item so rare will come across their paths with virtually no frame of reference. One seller claims a “Disney-like” doodle painted on a WWI helmet was drawn by Walt Disney himself, as a young soldier in the war. While the team knows there is some historical truth to the story, they struggle to authenticate it. In addition to weaponry, they also come across an extremely rare sheet of printed money dated just a few months before the Declaration of Independence was signed. The item is outside their normal realm of expertise; and they call in a currency expert to get the full story behind the remarkable piece of history.
The Lords of War guarantee each weapon they auction is in working condition… no matter how old it is. Testing an antique can be the most exciting, and dangerous, part of the job. Follow the excitement both on the auction floor and at the shooting range, using slow motion, high-definition cameras to capture every detail of an antique being fired for the first time in centuries.
From historical gems to just plain junk, there is no telling what, or who will show up at each auction, and occasionally the people are stranger than the items themselves. A family of Viking re-enactors is surprised to learn the value of their family heirloom, a 1000 year-old axe head. But sometimes a seller’s expectations are inflated, as is the case with one seller who expected to buy an island with the money he hoped to make on a German crossbow. Other items turn out to be priceless; a hand-drawn map from an infantryman at the battle of Normandy valued at over $20,000 proves to be too personal for his surviving daughter to sell.
Tune in tonight to the series premiere of Lords of War at 9 and 9:30 p.m.