Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
I have been in touch with the London Museum of Freemasony and I attach part of their reply.
The crown above the cross is an interesting feature, the English Templar orders almost universally have an Imperial Crown, the style on the sword is only used by Mount Calvary Preceptory. The French however use it much more frequently.
Thanks as usual for your valued input and I hope the above might throw a little more light on this piece. Scottish Freemasonary is of course quite distinct in many respects and I hope to pursue that aspect a little more.
Thank you very much Norman! I really appreciate this information and always enjoy the opportunity to learn more on the esoterica of Freemasonry, especially the Scottish rites. I think that in the historical scope of things, the fiber of Freemasonry is often overlooked somewhat.
What has always been interesting to me is that Masonic brotherhood has often transcended nationality and political persuasions, for example the distinct connections between French Lodges and Scottish, even at times the English.
For example in British officers swords, the notable c. 1780s officers straight sabre (spadroon) with five ball hilt features on the guard. These hilts soon became popular on French officers swords as well, and they termed the swords l'Anglaise which was of course profoundly atypical for the French. They do not seem to have 'copied' the sword hilts of anyone else, especially the British.
In research many years ago, I believed that the five ball feature may have represented that number keenly symbolic in Masonic tradition, and that the sharing of these features may have had joined Masonic convention between the two countries. Naturally, that always remained a matter of contention, and even Brian Robson ("Swords of the British Army" , 1975) disagreed with my suggestion.
The great book by Joe Marino, "The American Fraternal Sword" (2008) as well as the "Man at Arms" article by Hamilton (do not recall cite but think it was 1979) are excellent resources for Masonic sword detail.
We have had some discussions which had some great dialogue despite the usual contentions which inevitably arise in esoteric topics such as Freemasonry over the years.
It remains an intriguing and seldom addressed topic, which is why I always enjoy seeing examples such as yours Norman! Thank you again!