Lead Moderator European Armoury
Join Date: Dec 2004
Old 13th December 2007, 06:05 AM
EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Hi Jeff and Fernando,
Its good to have you guys back at it here!!
Jeff, you may have something there. While the 'anchor' seems inclined to the Spanish blades, and as you note, the cross and orb seem aligned with the Solingen blades...what is puzzling is the anchors on the German blades with spurious Spanish signatures and inscriptions. Conversely, I dont think the orb and cross occurs on Spanish or Portuguese blades does it?
Fernando, the phrase/inscription you have keyed in, the EN MENE or IN MENE, or IHN MENE is really a puzzler. As far as I can find, the word 'mene' seems to have connections to a Biblical allegory in the Book of Daniel, and has to do with the foretelling of the fall of Babylon in the appearance of mysterious symbols on the kings wall. The term 'mene' is interpreted by Daniel to mean that God had numbered the days of his kingdom. Is has been discovered that the term also represented a monetary value, but that has been explained allegorically to note the number interpretation.
This story has led to the well known phrase, "the writing is on the wall" and possibly the inscription has some similar meaning i.e. your days are numbered or something on these lines. Perhaps the rather morose theme of the sword with the coffin shaped pommel corresponded with the inscription?
On the one blade it is interesting that the IHN is repeated three times. It seems that often acronyms, symbols or marks are repeated in this manner noting the numeric significance in emphasizing the symbolism. i.e. the kings head mark repeated four times in line; ANDREA FERARA repeated four times in sequence, and these 'X's often occurring in twos punctuating phrases or words. These are the examples that come to mind, but surely there are others.
Thanks for keeping us going guys!!!
All very best regards,