EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
I have been glancing at this thread occasionally and noting the outstanding observations and assessments on this very attractive and interesting piece. I agree that there is a wonderful warmth to a good story that often accompanies items that are passed on through families in estates and as heirlooms. In many cases, however, the stories have been misconstrued or embellished, which sometimes disappointing, though I personally consider all aspects part of the story, from the original version to the revised.
The idea of this piece being from the Philippines does not seem likely, though it would be wonderful to think of it as a Spanish colonial rapier carried by a Spanish officer there. I would think this piece was likely comingled with what sounds like a number of weapons, some of which were no doubt examples which may have been obtained there. Perhaps the 'wavy' bladed one was a Moro kris. It is quite common to have this occur, even in museums, as sometimes the groupings contain incongruent items and are all assumed from the same location.
I think the assessment of this blade being probably 18th century military is, as shown, correct, and though I do not think this fabrication is the work of Ernst Schmidt's atelier, I do agree it is likely the work of one of his contemporaries to represent an early rapier. It is a charming piece, and the hilt shows considerable skill in ironwork, and though not an authentic early example, has become a distinct antique in its own right, much as Schmidts work has.
Often when I see swords that are reconstructions of the period this piece, and of earlier periods recalling the colorful and chivalrous times of the past, I think of swords that often found use in Masonic lodges as Tylers swords.While it is well known that there were companies that produced regalia swords for the membership and officers, the sword used by the Tyler was profoundly considered more revered in its station. For this reason, I believe that many composite and skillfully fashioned examples became used in this capacity. In earlier research that concerned Masonic symbolism, I have come across numbers of instances of various swords with many degrees of fascinating history in thier eventual arrival in thier use by Tyler's.
While obviously I cannot say that is the case with this sword, it does seem worthy of note for consideration.
All best regards,