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Old 3rd December 2011, 02:38 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Nipmuc USA
Posts: 353

Thanks Jeff and JIm

Yes, the Thurkle plate is well known to me and the Woolley marked spadroon as well as the Thurkle shown are in hand here. Since we do see anchors and even American eagles in these counterguards, there are also a good number with no addition at all with just free air in the bow. Other fretwork in more complex forms do often repeat the artillery, grenadier and naval motifs. Those are pretty cclar to define as having a true meaning.

If it were a true square, I might certainly entertain something Masonic but these are not squares. Rather these look more like heraldic mullets (aka stars).

We see hearts as addition as well and that is probably another whole can of wax ro open but do relate some to this as some of what I study on swords and armour are the heart as religion, pentacles/stars as commerce/industry/wealth (ya, I know five vs four Spades/swords the military and clubs/wands as the working class.

A winged hussar helmet pierced with dozens of hearts makes perfect Catholic sense to me in the time of the Holy Roman Empire and in my own mind probably do dismiss all heart adoration as associated with Catholic vs Protestant. What makes me think of that recently is a sword looking all the world like a hybrid between a British heavy cavalry dress sword with a heart as the strap ring on a boat shell and an American general officer sword of the 1830s. Anyway, a whole different observation but in my mind perhaps connected to modernism of tarot talisman/lore/belief carrying over to arms and armour.

Could the design be a mullet, could the mullet then be a trade mark, even local guild mark of commerce or other thoughts of material goodness? Here are some more and some complimentary more easily defined.

Is this other spadroon a heart or a spade (hard to show that one unless enlarged)? The one with the pie crusted crinkle bow,

Obviously there are also fretwork and scrolling that is purely decorative and some none at all The British 1803 hilts were especially suited to lots of meaningful fretwork but we see none of these diamonds/squares/mullets but rather curlies, cannon and anchors. I've more pictures on other examples and the predominance is on spadroon blades, while the Thurkle sabres almost seem to stand alone. Before Mowbray, Peterson acually lists the big bird of Thurkle as likely American but we know better know.

That charred and blackened mess got cleaned up a bit and is hard gilt on the pommel and guard.


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