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Old 26th May 2009, 05:24 PM   #1
Jim McDougall
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Default Six point star proof slugs on blades

In the interesting British sabre posted by Brian recently, Norman showed some nice illustrations of the six point star used to surround the brass proof plugs placed on blades from the second half 19th century onward.

Was this possibly denoting some Masonic connection?

What do you guys think?
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Old 27th May 2009, 12:32 AM   #2
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Wasn't the six point star once associated with Mars/Ares, God of War?

They also appear on the model 1896 7 mm Mausers made by Loewe, Berlin, and very effectively used by the Spanish in the War of 98'

M

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Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
In the interesting British sabre posted by Brian recently, Norman showed some nice illustrations of the six point star used to surround the brass proof plugs placed on blades from the second half 19th century onward.

Was this possibly denoting some Masonic connection?

What do you guys think?
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Old 28th May 2009, 01:37 AM   #3
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Thanks very much Manuel, I'm not sure on that but will check into it.
I have always sensed a strong Masonic presence in sword symbolism in Great Britain, and I think Mars did have war associations, but I think the numeric was five, which also was a key Masonic symbol.

All the best,
Jim
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Old 28th May 2009, 02:57 PM   #4
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Hi Jim,
Here is a carving from Mary's Chapel No 1 Edinburgh.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 28th May 2009, 03:16 PM   #5
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Hi,
The upward pointing Triangle and the downward pointing Triangle are 'occult' signs for Fire and Water, particularly apt for a swordsmith. They, the Triangles, also symbolise the Male and Female principles.
Regards,
Norman.

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Old 28th May 2009, 10:39 PM   #6
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Hi Jim,
the 'hexagram' has many symbolic uses in many religions including paganism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexagram

Also on this link is this interesting comment


"......A six-point interlocking triangles has been used for thousands of years as an indication a sword was made, and "proved," in the Damascus area of the Middle East. Still today, it is a required "proved" mark on all official UK and U.S. military swords though the blades themselves no longer come from the Middle East......."

So perhaps the 'Mason' connection is unfounded, I am trying to find more references to the use of the hexagram as a proof mark on early swords, if I find any I will add them here.

Regards David
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Old 28th May 2009, 11:10 PM   #7
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In alchemy, the ideas of Aristotle were used by many later generations and civilisations and were included in early Islamic teachings

".......the Quintessence was often symbolized by the hexagram (``Solomon's Seal'') because it unites the signs of the elements....."
(SEE diagram of symbols below)

Quintessence:The pure, highly concentrated essence of a thing.
The purest or most typical instance: the quintessence of evil.
In ancient and medieval philosophy, the fifth and highest essence after the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water, thought to be the substance of the heavenly bodies and latent in all things.

Mystery solved



Regards David
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Old 28th May 2009, 11:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
In alchemy, the ideas of Aristotle were used by many later generations and civilisations and were included in early Islamic teachings

".......the Quintessence was often symbolized by the hexagram (``Solomon's Seal'') because it unites the signs of the elements....."
(SEE diagram of symbols below)

Quintessence:The pure, highly concentrated essence of a thing.
The purest or most typical instance: the quintessence of evil.
In ancient and medieval philosophy, the fifth and highest essence after the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water, thought to be the substance of the heavenly bodies and latent in all things.

Mystery solved



Regards David
Hi,
'The Fifth Element' makes a bit more sense now!
Regards,
Norman
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Old 29th May 2009, 12:47 AM   #9
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David, Norman, Manuel, you guys are good!!!!
The fire & water are indeed apt symbols for a swordsmith, and I had no idea about the six point star and interlocking triangles and the use of this symbol in Damascus. That makes perfect sense, and would explain the presence of this symbol on swords typically thought of as Islamic.
What better surround on a 'proof' mark than that of quintessance as a mark of highest quality!
Mystery indeed solved!!
Thank you so much guys.

All the best,
Jim
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Old 29th May 2009, 10:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
David, Norman, Manuel, you guys are good!!!!
The fire & water are indeed apt symbols for a swordsmith, and I had no idea about the six point star and interlocking triangles and the use of this symbol in Damascus. That makes perfect sense, and would explain the presence of this symbol on swords typically thought of as Islamic.
What better surround on a 'proof' mark than that of quintessance as a mark of highest quality!
Mystery indeed solved!!
Thank you so much guys.

All the best,
Jim
Hi Jim,
I wonder if the original meaning of the symbol on swords made in Damascus .....was adopted later to show the quality of the blade ...but for a different 'understanding' of the meaning of the 'hexagram'.

i.e In Damascus the marking could have meant 'quintessance' ....but the later 'adoption' of the symbol could have been (assumed) to be the elements of fire/water. Both 'interpretations 'work' .........I think we always have to be cautious of the interpretation of symbols. Culture, history, geography etc could totally change the meaning for one individual to another.

Best Regards David
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Old 29th May 2009, 10:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
Hi Jim,
I wonder if the original meaning of the symbol on swords made in Damascus .....was adopted later to show the quality of the blade ...but for a different 'understanding' of the meaning of the 'hexagram'.

i.e In Damascus the marking could have meant 'quintessance' ....but the later 'adoption' of the symbol could have been (assumed) to be the elements of fire/water. Both 'interpretations 'work' .........I think we always have to be cautious of the interpretation of symbols. Culture, history, geography etc could totally change the meaning for one individual to another.

Best Regards David

Extremely well put David. The interpretation of symbols definitely is interpreted differently as it is transferred crossculturally and even over time by subsequent generations. In language, even the words in our language have either fallen out of common use, or sometimes acquired entirely different meanings. Good examples of this are found in a book I have someplace in the 'archives' called "Johnsons Dictionary". This is a compendium of words in these categories with the meanings in period of use.

As always, I admire your way of thinking!

All the best,
Jim
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Old 30th May 2009, 04:12 PM   #12
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In Puerto Rico, slave holders used to mockingly address their african slaves as "trigueños" (rye colored hair: blondes). After centuries of being so addressed, the term now actually refers to a dark-skinned individual. If you tell a local that trigueno actually means blonde, they won't believe you. The fact that rye doesn't grow in Puerto Rico may have something to with that.

Another interesting tidbit, there's a spanish dish made with steamed beef which is called "beef cecina". Since colonial times, this has locally evolved into the similar sounding "beef asesina" (assasin beef!). which somehow doesn't stimulate my apettite.

More phylological mysteries:

If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people frommHolland called Holes?

Why do we say something is out of whack? What's a whack?

Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a race car not called a racist?

Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?

Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?

Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?

"I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence?

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?

So if the Jacksonville Jaguars are known as the "Jags" and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are known as the "Bucs", what does that make the Tennessee Titans?

If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea...does that mean that one actually enjoys it?

Words to ponder!

: )



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Extremely well put David. The interpretation of symbols definitely is interpreted differently as it is transferred crossculturally and even over time by subsequent generations. In language, even the words in our language have either fallen out of common use, or sometimes acquired entirely different meanings. Good examples of this are found in a book I have someplace in the 'archives' called "Johnsons Dictionary". This is a compendium of words in these categories with the meanings in period of use.

As always, I admire your way of thinking!

All the best,
Jim

Last edited by celtan; 30th May 2009 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 30th May 2009, 04:54 PM   #13
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LOL! Absolutely outstanding Manuel! It would seem one could write a book on these bizarre twists in the of meanings of words (I'm sure they have actually
Interesting on the Spanish terms, and it does seem that transliteration has played a very large hand in words that have entered languages as pronunciations and inflections are lost in written examples.

This indeed certain applies to non linguistic communication such as symbols and interpretation of them. This is why I find studying the markings on weapons so intriguing.

Wonderful information!!

All the best,
Jim
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