Lead Moderator European Armoury
Join Date: Dec 2004
Old 6th November 2007, 03:55 PM
EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Excellent observations Jeff! and especially pleased to see that Scottish basket hilt blade, which is a beauty ! I remember that one! This further emphasizes that these Scottish blades were indeed German imports, as the 'Spanish Motto' blades have now been determined to have been produced in variation and number in Solingen. It seems that early Scottish blades bearing patriotic mottos had inscriptions that were noteably Germanic in spelling, such as 'for Schotland and no union'.
As you have noted the application of these astral markings as well as the motto seem to have been applied somewhat in disassociated manner as far as original or presumed symbolism, suggesting of course that such blades were made to appeal to certain markets or consumers without particular consideration or understanding of the markings. It would seem also that blades could have been decorated specifically at the request of the consumer. In such case, the coupling of markings indeed would have been found on varied blades intended commercially.
The suggestion that Solingen produced special order blades is also seen with the sword bearing arm out of the cloud that we are discussing. In one reference to this particular marking it appears along with a 'sacred heart' marking which is typically regarded as a Catholic associated symbol if I am clear, and in such context with presumed Protestant markings such as the arm in the cloud would again suggest production in a more commercial perspective such as the Solingen blades.
It would require a great deal of theological debate to discuss the possible symbolism of most of these allegorical markings, but the general application seems to support the talismanic concept.
It seems that early writers on arms such as DeCosson proposed that in many cases the application of what are perceived as names of makers may have been descriptive terms for types of swords, with of course Andrea Ferrara at the fore. Another familiar example is that of 'SAHAGUM'. While this of course is known as a place in Spain, and possibly a makers name, it occurs on blades in elusive variation, and often spelled differently. I have seen this term applied to allegedly Toledo produced blades and actually spelled differently on each side of the blade. Again,clearly Solingen production though the blade heralded 'EN TOLEDO' as well.
As you have well said.........lots more pondering!!!!!
All very best regards,