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Old 13th August 2020, 10:33 PM   #1
midelburgo
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Default Masonic hilt with... a French Cuirassier blade?

Somehow I have a tendency to pick weird pieces...

This one seems to be a French Cuirassier blade mounted with a brass masonic hilt and bone grip.
It was rather cheap. It will be interesting to see what is etched on the back.
93cm of the blade and 110cm total length.

I say masonic, but I suspect in Catholic countries some of these swords were originally in the hands of sculptures of Saint George, Santiago, Archangel Gabriel, Saint Katherine... and other weapon carrying saints.
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Last edited by midelburgo : 13th August 2020 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 14th August 2020, 05:48 PM   #2
Jim McDougall
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'Weird' pieces are the most intriguing!
The idea of 'Masonic' in this clearly composed weapon in quite plausible, however not in any of the prescribed forms typically provided by suppliers of the regalia swords used by them.
Members of Masonic lodges often chose to use swords using heirloom or trophy blades in many cases, and I have come across a good number of such instances, especially with the 'Tyler' swords.

The use of a French cuirassier sword blade in such instances, does not limit the sword to French context of course, and as this does not appear to be of a distinct form used by Mason's it is pretty much anybody's guess.

I think looking into references which have comparable hilt components might be revealing, and it seems the curious quillon terminals are of type seen in some of the Masonic forms.

I once had a US Civil War M1840 officers dress sword which had the usual wire wrapped grip replaced with a bone grip, so perhaps something of a clue as far as regulation swords restyled into such use.

The other possibility is this could be a theatrical sword of probably Victorian times, and a surplus French blade would serve well in such purpose. It does seem in many cases theatrical arms and armor would use elements of of such obsolete and surplus weapons.

It will be interesting to see what comes up with others with experience in Masonic arms and regalia. I have some references not at hand at the moment.
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Old 14th August 2020, 06:18 PM   #3
Norman McCormick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
It will be interesting to see what comes up with others with experience in Masonic arms and regalia. I have some references not at hand at the moment.



Hi Jim,
Your wish is my command http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=masonic

A masonic hilt with a late 16thC blade.

My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 14th August 2020, 08:39 PM   #4
Jim McDougall
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Norman, THANK YOU!!! I had forgotten that magnificent example!!!!
The guard with symmetric trefoil quillon terminals in in accord with the fleuret /fluer di lis examples often seen, and on the one you show in this 2017 thread illustrate the conventions seen in many Masonic style hilts.

I got to my references:
"The American Fraternal Sword" , 2008, John D. Hamilton; Joseph Marino and James Kaplan.
"Material Culture of American Freemasons" John D. Hamiliton, 1994

On p.12 (2008) , "...the variety of swords encountered in American lodges in the late 19th c. range from military sabers and cutlasses to Saracen scimitars.
As various sword patterns were adopted and superceded by the military, the discards became readily available to many lodges that welcomed an 'implement of war' for tiling."

The Tyler of the lodge was charged with guarding the meetings from intruders or eavesdroppers, mostly of course in a symbolic manner. The sword held by him, unsheathed (many originally were flamberge or wavy blades) were inspired by the flaming sword guarding the 'Gates of Paradise' in the Bible.
Many swords were gifted to the lodges by war veterans .

In the 1840s, the US began adopting French sword patterns in developing thier own regulation patterns, and it is not surprising that an assortment of French swords became available in America from various circumstances, European immigration not withstanding.

This skull and crossbones hilt sword I had researched many years ago is another example of Masonic symbolism in hilts and mounted here also with a French cuirassier blade (the klingenthal inspector marks visible on the blade).
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Old 15th August 2020, 10:29 AM   #5
fernando
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Midelburgo, will you later contemplate us with larger pictures of your interesting sword ?
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Old 15th August 2020, 03:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Midelburgo, will you later contemplate us with larger pictures of your interesting sword ?


Yes of course. I do not have it yet. The thing was found in Spain.
There is a maker stamp on the brass hilt, that possibly says Ibarzabal, who also cast the hilts for troop swords until the 1830s, when a brass workshop was established at Toledo.

The inscription etched on the back of the blade shall tell year and maker. I do not think it is a French An XI or XIII, the ricasso is different from what I have seen, including 1816 or 1854 models. Actually resembles Prussian... I have not found anything resembling inspector marks. It could be a Spanish 1815 model. Toledo also made etchings on the back between 1815 and c1825.

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Old 15th August 2020, 04:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midelburgo
Yes of course. I do not have it yet. The thing was found in Spain.
There is a maker stamp on the brass hilt, that possibly says Ibarzabal, who also cast the hilts for troop swords until the 1830s, when a brass workshop was established at Toledo.

The inscription etched on the back of the blade shall tell year and maker. I do not think it is a French An XI or XIII, the ricasso is different from what I have seen, including 1816 or 1854 models. Actually resembles Prussian... I have not found anything resembling inspector marks. It could be a Spanish 1815 model. Toledo also made etchings on the back between 1815 and c1825.



Thank you for adding details on markings, always helpful.
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Old 24th August 2020, 05:31 PM   #8
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The sword arrived.

On the spine it is written in cursive:
Real Fabrica de Toledo. Aņo de 1818

On the brass hilt J.VALVANERA. No other markings.


Thus the blade comes from a Spanish cavalry trooper sword model 1815. Not a common one. Good surface condition but blunt point and edges. Awful balance some 19cm from the cross.

The grip I think it is ivory not bone.
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Last edited by midelburgo : 24th August 2020 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 24th August 2020, 05:39 PM   #9
fernando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midelburgo
I am trying to make pictures, but it is not easy...

No camera ? .
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Old 24th August 2020, 06:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
No camera ? .


The PC decided that it needed a new software version and now it is not connecting to the camera...


I will use a different way...
xxxx

No improvements. Maybe after changing light source and some cleaning.
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Old 24th August 2020, 06:44 PM   #11
fernando
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... By inserting the memory card directly in the computer ...
Or if you have a way to send them to me ...
fernandomgviana@gmail.com
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