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Old 31st January 2017, 01:02 AM   #22
Jim McDougall
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,748

Hi Norman,
While I think we have pretty much resolved this is a very old German blade, the mounts and Masonic symbolism on this piece are fascinating, and even more so with the deep esoterica of these fraternal regalia swords.

I found some interesting information regarding the cross guard on this hilt, which may well be of composite elements, just as the refurbishing of this old blade to the hilt itself. The neo classic pommel of latter 18th may be from a regulation military dress sword, but does not go with the cross guard.

The trilobate quillon terminal shape is termed 'botonee' and a form used on 'Tyler' swords . One of these with these 'cross botonee' pommels and quillon terminals is shown in " Material Culture of the American Freemasons" (John D. Hamilton, 1994, p.155, 4.63) described as a Tylers sword, made by P.Knecht of Solingen, and "...hilted on the Continent for use in a symbolic degree lodge".

While the symbols are different on your sword's guard than those seen on the example in this reference, it does seem important that some of the hilts of this design were produced in Germany. The example in the book is dated c. 1820-35, and the blade notably narrower of course.

In an earlier reference to Tylers swords, Mr. Hamiliton refers to another example of the trilobate pommel and guard decorated with symbols of the symbolic degrees ("Swords of the Masonic Orders", Man at Arms, Vol. 1, #3, May, Jun 1979, p26, John D .Hamilton). The sword described was made by P.Knecht, Solingen sword mfg. 1811-1830 , also very narrow blade.

In Masonic lodges, it was a great honor to have the sword held by the Lodge's Tyler, to have it a venerated battle weapon, or in some cases, the blade of one, remounted in the appropriate regalia hilt. In this case the cross potent, and probably the crown having to do with the Royal Arch (not fully knowing proper symbol for this) likely signify a Templar Lodge.

I would say the hilt crossguard may be from one of the early Knecht hilts, and the blade either trophy or heirloom, put together in the 19th century probably early, and used as a Tyler's sword in a Templar lodge.

Purely speculative deduction, but worth considering.
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