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Old 8th January 2007, 05:50 PM   #1
spiral
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Default Satanic dagger, Age & country of Origin?

Picked this up before Christmas.

It has a Bronze cast handle of women,goat,dagger & pan. {tormented faces with skullcaps on ends of crossgaurd, & cast scabbard of cathedral, crosses, alter candals etc.

It is just under 14 inches long. Both sides of scabbard are identical.

I have a few questians about it. Greatfull for any help.

1, Country of Origin? {I understand France & Germany are the commonest?}

2, Age of handle & scabbard?

3, origin, age & type of blade, a collector friend suggested its been cut & reshaped from the center section of 16th centry a Swiss Baslard blade or similar?


It would also be nice to see other exampls of these...


Both the blade & the reworking of it & the scabbard all seem very high quality.

The blade locks by friction in the scabbard in the last mm of movement. The scabbard is lined with what I think is solidified blue velvet.


Hopefully at least some of the questians about it even if not all can be answered here?

All veiws & thoughts welcome.


Thanks.
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Old 8th January 2007, 05:50 PM   #2
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I actuly found this the hardest knife to photo I ever have had....
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Old 8th January 2007, 06:19 PM   #3
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This may be the first non-contemporary Arthame I have ever seen. It is a very interesting piece. I notice there seems to be an upside down cross on the scabbard ( whick would make sense), perhaps an upsidedown church steeple and as you said candles, are there other symbols that I missed or cannot be seen in these pictures. The faces are interesting but on woodcarvings on furniture at least some cherubs from tudor times had tormeted or monstrous faces

could the item in the figures left hand represent a caldron ?
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Old 8th January 2007, 06:33 PM   #4
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Cool

The symbolism is terrific.
The animal seeks the knife stuck in her belt.
She is surely going to make a sacrifice; something to catch the blood in her left hand ?
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Old 8th January 2007, 07:05 PM   #5
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Thanks Guys, it seems an outstanding piece to me.

Rhysmichael the scabbard is a 3 door church or cathedral with as you say altar candals & 3 crucifixes all of which is upside down when the dagger is hilt up.

I rather wonder if it was modeled on an actual church to a degree? There a lots of small crosses alsoon the shuttered windows.

I understand that as Rick says that a pan would be used to capture the blood of the sacrafice

One of the faces when stuided under a lens is also covered in boils. I presume the skull caps represent Catholic clergy? & they are beneath the ground the woman {Lilith perhaps?} stands on.

Seems hard to find much info on these daggers & I am sure thier may be symbolism involved that I am missing. I wonder about the necklace for instance?


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Old 8th January 2007, 07:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RhysMichael
This may be the first non-contemporary Arthame I have ever seen. It is a very interesting piece. I notice there seems to be an upside down cross on the scabbard ( whick would make sense), perhaps an upsidedown church steeple and as you said candles, are there other symbols that I missed or cannot be seen in these pictures. The faces are interesting but on woodcarvings on furniture at least some cherubs from tudor times had tormeted or monstrous faces

could the item in the figures left hand represent a caldron ?


Not an Atheme scabbard. Could the scabbard be a later addition?

An atheme would not have upside-down or rightside-up cross. Christian symbols are not part of Wicca. Probably not Pagan either. Most likely something else.

Maybe satanist or some anti-christian cult.

Cauldrons have three legs and are more spherical.

Blade does look like a reshaped sword blade. Particularly the way the fullers go up into the handle.

I like it.
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Old 8th January 2007, 07:14 PM   #7
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Beautiful dagger. The scabbard does seem to be a representation of a church. I see nothing that would ID the woman as Lilith. I would assume she is more likely a high priestess. I would also stop short of referring to this as a "satanic" dagger, though it is most like to be for pagan purposes. Just because it may not be from a Judeo-Christian tradition doesn't necessarily make it "satanic".
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Old 8th January 2007, 07:45 PM   #8
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Bill I am sure the scabbard & handle were crafted & chased by the same hand at the same time.

I would also say the blade was older than the scabbard & handle were then made for it for its new life for a well to do satanist.

From what i have read it was usual to use older blades.

I totaly agree Athame is not the term i would use.

Thankyou David!

I say Satanic because that is who would use upside down churches & crucifixes, and perhaps the tormented clergy also featured? My understanding of Pagan woudnt include that.

I agree it may not be Lillith & your supposition that its a high priestess could be correct.

It would be usefull if someone had more expierience of these daggers & old satanic symbolism.

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Old 8th January 2007, 08:50 PM   #9
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I agree with David and it seems to be obvious that scabbard is a representation of a church.

But I DON'T AGREE with an upside down theory which is just a wishful thinking here, I suppose, and the result you would like to see it upside down.

First: if the scabbard represents a church why the upside down crosses, or - I'm not familiar with stanic symbolism - but do they ever picture churches upsidedown

Second, and most important, the image with hilt downside is the proper side! Take a look at the most of the European swords, and blades inscriptions, including crosses (i.e. Hungarian ones) - with your theory every one of them would be satanic, upside down!

Regards!
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Old 8th January 2007, 09:00 PM   #10
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I am not at all sure this is "satanic" if you look very closely you will see that the crosses are not upside down. look at the arches and read from there and you will see the crosses are in the correct position. The lady has a tambourine in her hand and I think the goat has a far more philosophical meaning, as in scape goat? very hard to be sure. I cannot see any symbolism that is not of an ordinary Christian sect/brotherhood nature. Nice castings.
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Old 8th January 2007, 09:04 PM   #11
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Agreed. The crosses are upside down because the church is, This is the natural position since the steeple shape follows the scabbard. I reject terms like "satanist" because they are very loaded and inaccurate. Satanism is a modern phenomenon, like the Church of Satan or the Temple of Set. Frankly i find it hard to take these guys too seriously. In the old days anything non-Christian was considered to be of satan, but i think you would be hard pressed to find any actual satanic cults that were organized to the level that they would create such a work as this dagger for their uses. I have quite a bit of experience with old pagan symbols, but would not consider them to be "satanic" in nature...even the ones that feature horned gods and inverted pentagrams. This does appear to be a ritual dagger of some sort and i would image it might be late 19th to early 20th century.
The term athame really doesn'y come into any serious usage until the neo-pagan wicca movement of the 1950s, thougfh many have attempted to present some sort of old etymology. As for tormented figures, you can find such things in many old churches along with images of the green man and othet pagan signs. The church used to love to show torment to scare it's paritioners into being good. Go figure...
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Old 8th January 2007, 09:25 PM   #12
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I agree with Wolviex totally. This is a normal cathedral with its crosses. It has nothing to do with satanic. What is it?

It looked familiar till…

Have you ever read/seen the “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”????

Esmeralda, was a beautiful gypsy woman and she had a goat, Djali, I think. So she plays with her tambourine to tease us

Victor Hugo wrote the story in 1831 and it was best seller soon after that. So why not a “fantasy” knife of mid 19th century?
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Old 8th January 2007, 09:33 PM   #13
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Talking

Ding !
Could be we have a winner.
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Old 8th January 2007, 10:30 PM   #14
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Yannis, I too think you are 'bang on' with your suggestion. The sheath seems to have many similarities to architectural features of Notre Dame.
Is the knife / dagger in her waist band relavent to the story ?
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Old 8th January 2007, 10:47 PM   #15
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Without going into more detail at this point, I am under the impression that artistic scabbard symbolism is intended to be 'viewed' with point upward, and as noted the cross is properly upright.
This is a fascinating knife and I don't believe any sinister connotations are employed in the motif, but it will be interesting to see what develops with further research. The architectural similarities do associate with Notre Dame in the sense that they seem 'Gothic' , which is of course the style, and think Yannis may be right on target. It does seem that daggers, from the time of the distinctive artistic examples that carried the work of Hans Holstein whose painting 'The Dance of Death' is found on early daggers (thus colloquially termed 'Holbein' daggers) may have inspired other 'artistic' theme type items.

Best regards,
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Old 8th January 2007, 11:40 PM   #16
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Thanks for your opinions!

"wolviex quote" Second, and most important, the image with hilt downside is the proper side! Take a look at the most of the European swords, and blades inscriptions, including crosses (i.e. Hungarian ones) - with your theory every one of them would be satanic, upside down!"


Fascinating! I though the referance was which way things were on the scabbard , Ive always seen motifs the opposite way to those on the blade

Jim Can you elucidate why you think the scabbard should be studyed point up? i was thinking of the knife the forumites here would describe as "fantasy" in that it has an exotic cast handle, in the wallace collection that was a gift from Napolean III to the 4th Marques of of Hereford.

As its the nearest knife Ive seen to this design.

mmmm. Normal church representation & a happy maiden or a fantasy knife?

Intriuging opinions from such a learned bunch! Any one got any facts to add?

Perhaps some of you would be kind enough to show example of other such Christian brotherhood fantasy pieces?

& of course examples of real Satanic daggers or do such things not exist?

It would be nice to find an expert on such things.

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Old 9th January 2007, 01:35 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolviex
I agree with David and it seems to be obvious that scabbard is a representation of a church.

But I DON'T AGREE with an upside down theory which is just a wishful thinking here, I suppose, and the result you would like to see it upside down.

First: if the scabbard represents a church why the upside down crosses, or - I'm not familiar with stanic symbolism - but do they ever picture churches upsidedown

Second, and most important, the image with hilt downside is the proper side! Take a look at the most of the European swords, and blades inscriptions, including crosses (i.e. Hungarian ones) - with your theory every one of them would be satanic, upside down!

Regards!


While I am no expert on the subject the upside down crosses were used in satanic rituals during the time when black masses were done. These were even at times done in an actual church with the crucifix turned upside down. There are historical references to the black mass going back into the 1600's, perhaps even before that. Some books on satanism say there is recorded the arrest of a French baron, Gilles de Rais, who was accused of conducting Black Masses in the cellar of his castle. The accusation claimed that he kidnapped, tortured, and murdered more than 140 children as sacrifices. He was executed in 1440. In 1500 some say the cathedral chapter of Cambrai held Black Masses in protest against their bishop. Some references speak of a priest in Orleans, Gentien le Clerc, tried around 1615, confessed to performing the "Devil's mass". In 1647 the nuns of Louviers claimed that they had been bewitched and possessed, and forced by chaplains to participate naked in masses, defiling the cross and trampling the host. It seems most of the accounts come from France. A good bit published on them in the 1800's ( again mostly from France) and a resurgence in published work around 1960. Catherine Monvoisin and the priest Etienne Guibourg were executed for preforming a black mass for the mistress of Louis XIV( Madame de Montespan). In 1891 Joris-Karl Huysmans wrote about French Satanism in a text called La-Bas. So it depends on what you consider modern as to whether satanism is a "a modern phenomenon" It is true La Vey's Church of Satan or Michael Aquino's Temple of Set are very modern and may not have more than a passing connection to the historical examples.

The cross on the blade may fit with what you say in your second point but are crosses on the scabbard upside down ? And if so did they seem to come from a steeple as these do ? I find what Jim says very interesting as I never thought sheaths were looked at tip up and that is something new I have learned.

I do agree that we all see what we expect or want to see sometimes so I may be doing that here


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Marsh
Not an Atheme scabbard. Could the scabbard be a later addition?

An atheme would not have upside-down or rightside-up cross. Christian symbols are not part of Wicca. Probably not Pagan either. Most likely something else.

Maybe satanist or some anti-christian cult.

Cauldrons have three legs and are more spherical.

Blade does look like a reshaped sword blade. Particularly the way the fullers go up into the handle.

I like it.


Bill I know arthames are used in wiccan and some celtic ritual now but was not the dagger used for satanic ritual also called an arthame, but I could be totally wrong on that, again I need to check LaVey or Aleister Crowley. and of course even if they used the term it does not mean they used it correctly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Beautiful dagger. The scabbard does seem to be a representation of a church. I see nothing that would ID the woman as Lilith. I would assume she is more likely a high priestess. I would also stop short of referring to this as a "satanic" dagger, though it is most like to be for pagan purposes. Just because it may not be from a Judeo-Christian tradition doesn't necessarily make it "satanic".


David
I completly agree with you that all that is pagan is not satanic. And this may indeed be a dagger for some other use. Either way the symbolism on it facinates me and makes me want to know more. When I use the term "satanic" I use it in the historical context of above.


Lastly as to the "caldron" I do not believe older caldrons fit the image we think of today. And the caldron is a very old symbol. Here is a link to a picture from a shipwreck dating to 200 BC in the Mediterranean, the picture is identified as a cooking caldron among amphora

http://www.seaword.org/images/caldron.jpg

and a reproduction of a medieval "caldron"
http://www.by-the-sword.com/acatalog/images/cd-1301.jpg

Of course it could just as well be a tambourine as mentioned above

One thing we all agree on is the workmanship and attention to detail is excellent

Last edited by RhysMichael : 9th January 2007 at 02:58 AM.
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Old 9th January 2007, 02:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RhysMichael
Bill I know arthames are used in wiccan and some celtic ritual now but was not the dagger used for satanic ritual also called an arthame, but I could be totally wrong on that, again I need to check LaVey or Aleister Crowley


Despite relishing in being called the "Great Beast" there is nothing in the writings of Crowley which leads me to believe he was in any way a satanist. LaVey was a self-proclaimed modern satanist whose practice was pretty much a modern invention. I doubt you will find much useful info in his writings. His rituals were based on ritual lodge magick of the 19thC (the Golden Dawn) so it is likely you would find the use of a dagger in them, but it hardly points to any satanic origin. The stories of "black masses" mostly come from a Christian perspective, making the stories of these early "satanists" highly suspect. Any claim made by modern satanists to knowledge of practicing the "authentic" black mass is sketchy at best.
The use of a dagger as an item in ritual magick really came into vogue in 19thC lodge magick, where a specific magickal weapon is assigned to each of the 4 elements of fire, water, air and earth, the dagger/sword belonging to the element of air. The Golden Dawn magicians created a magickal philosophy, based on Christianity, Qabalistic thought, Rosicrusian writings from the 17thC and Eastern philosophies. Gerald Gardner (once a member of the G.D. and a student of Crowley), known as the father of modern Wicca (and interestingly the author of The Kris and other Malay Weapons) continued the elemental importance of the dagger when he invented modern Wicca, changing it's attribution to fire instead of air. In all probability his experiences with the keris in Indonesia was important in forming his theories on the athame's importance in the Wiccan religion. I have serious doubts that the dagger had the same kind of intellectual importance in early (pre-Golden Dawn) Western magickal societies. The dagger probably had a more practical purpose, to be used in animal sacrifice. Probably a special dagger was used, but because i don't think it was assigned the same intellectual importance the latter occultists gave it i wonder if anything as specifically designed as the dagger presented here would have been created back in the day for such a purpose. So if there are such things as "satanic" daggers i doubt they are much more than a century old.
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Old 9th January 2007, 03:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RhysMichael
Some books on satanism say there is recorded the arrest of a French baron, Gilles de Rais, who was accused of conducting Black Masses in the cellar of his castle. The accusation claimed that he kidnapped, tortured, and murdered more than 140 children as sacrifices. He was executed in 1440. In 1500 some say the cathedral chapter of Cambrai held Black Masses in protest against their bishop. Some references speak of a priest in Orleans, Gentien le Clerc, tried around 1615, confessed to performing the "Devil's mass". In 1647 the nuns of Louviers claimed that they had been bewitched and possessed, and forced by chaplains to participate naked in masses, defiling the cross and trampling the host. It seems most of the accounts come from France.


Keep in mind that these confessions were obtained by the inquistion through torture. I person might confess to just about anything under those circumstances. BTW, there is a wonderfully interesting film called "The Devils" that gives a very different perspective on the nuns "bewitched" by the priest in Louviers. Likewise it is doubtful that the church executed too many actual witches during the witch hunts.
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Old 9th January 2007, 03:11 AM   #20
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Thanks for the information on the term Arthame. I was mistaken to use that term then.

It is true the writings of the 1800's are said tell vitually nothing of the ritual of the black mass and are totally from the perpective of the church. And yes many of the confessions during this time should be considered suspect or fabrications, I personally however see satanism as a natural course that rebellion to the church could take and the more restrictive the church the more appealing satanism would be to some people.

My comment on the monstrous and tormented faces on cherubs above are also in line with your comment "The church used to love to show torment to scare it's paritioners into being good." There is a tudor home near here that was brought over from england and reassembled here. It has historical furniture and some of the beds have such features right where you would have to look at them as you sleep.

An interesting subject
Thanks
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Old 9th January 2007, 03:25 AM   #21
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Then again, the tormented faces could refer to gargoyles of Notre Dame or to the Hunchback himself.
I dug these images up. sorry they are so small.
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Old 9th January 2007, 03:57 AM   #22
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Thanks David, Rhysmichael interesting points.

I just found this online passage which may be of intrest?

The first satanic cult which possibly existed was operated by Catherine La Voisin at the Court of the French monarch Louis XIV. Although some historians are skeptical, the documents of the inquiry by Nicholas de la Reynie, the Police Chief of the king -- who was not a particularly religious man but a rather cold and stubborn policeman -- published by the 19th century historian François Ravaisson-Mollien, make a persuasive case for the celebration of "Black Masses" (the term was coined by La Voisin herself) at the Court of Louis XIV. "Black Masses" were described as rituals mocking the Roman Catholic Mass, in which Catholic hosts were desecrated through sex rituals and children were occasionally sacrificed to the Devil in order to obtain power and love for the wealthy customers of La Voisin [2]. La Reynie's police effectively destroyed the cult, but the emerging press made the incident infamous for decades in Europe and copycat imitations surfaced during the 18th century and during the French Revolution. These episodes were connected by pious Catholic authors to the Revolution itself, which they believed had been masterminded by anti-Catholic Satanists.


The "gargoyle heads" as called under a lens are clearly not Gargoyles , but human faces one dejected & unhappy the other covered in boils, both wear Jewish or I would say more likely bishops skull caps.

I understand French & German satanist knives are well recorded from at least in the 3rd quarter of the 19th century. But certanly many are later.

Intresting images David, scenes of goat sacrifice with dagger & pan from "the devil rides out" seem more in keeping with such a clearly potentialy lethal design of blade.

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Old 9th January 2007, 04:34 AM   #23
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[QUOTE=spiralI understand French & German satanist knives are well recorded from at least in the 3rd quarter of the 19th century. But certanly many are later.l[/QUOTE]

Spiral, why "certainly"? I am not sure what you are basing this assuption on. Have you seen or do you have any links to photos of "satanic" blades that pre-date the late 19thC.
I am well aware of the stories of Catherine La Voisin, but much of her legend is just that and beyond any definable fact. She apparently claimed to have sacrificed 2500 children, but there was hardly a rash of missing children in her area during her run in France. The 'black mass" is not necessarily a satanic thing, it is just a rebelious anti-Christian thing. It doesn't necessarily require the belief in Satan as one's god nor the evil doings such as child sacrifice that the stories of satanism would have one believe were common practice for these cults. As i stated earlier "satanic" is a loaded term that is probably best left behind.
This could still be meant as a ritual weapon i am leaning more towards the Hunchback attribution.
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Old 9th January 2007, 04:45 AM   #24
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Hi Spiral, cool knife.

I think the "Huntchback of Notre-Dame" link is quite strong. The church is a stylized depiction of Notre-Dame itself if you compare with David's picture and others: Three portals on the first level, one rose window in the central bay flanked by twin towers each with a two-lancet window within a blind arch on the second. The third level features a ballustrade in the central bay and two thin rectangular windows in each adjacent tower. These towers once had peaked roofs if I recall correctly and the tall roof in the middle is actually the spire above the crossing the church as it would be seen from the front. And the figure is the spitting image of Esmeralda, down to the locket with her baby shoe. The figures on the ends of the guard could be the huntchback himself and Dom Frolo, the priest who covetted Esmeralda. I guess a real romantic put the dagger together.

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Old 9th January 2007, 04:48 AM   #25
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Yikes, I had no idea there was such knowledge on the 'black arts' here!!
Scary stuff!!
Actually we have had discussions on these esoteric knives termed 'athame' about seven years ago, and discussions got pretty interesting. The term athame is thought to possibly derive from 'attame' (Fr.=to cut or pierce) and it is noted that 'athe' (Gk.=Godless), however there is no agreed upon etymological reference as far as I know.
Interestingly the variant term 'arthame' seems to derive from the term used to refer to the knife in a 1930's horror movie "The Master of Crabs" !
(I'm still choking on dust from dragging out these old notes from those discussions years ago!

Apparantly the concept of the athame is ceremonial, and supposedly its use is much like that of the Tibetan phurbu in ethereal sense. It is theoretically an extension of self and used to direct the flow of energy or will, to invoke or banish. It is used to guide energy from self to the circle etc. and so on in the complexities of these wiccan ceremonies. Naturally in earlier times there is likely some sacrificial use implicated, but those situations are avoided in most explanatory information.

As mentioned, I had noted that I had thought these decorated scabbards were to be viewed point up, but must admit that although I had seen some reference somewhere with comments to that effect concerning looking at the sword, I honestly cannot relocate that item. Actually, I simply considered the structure of the church and obviously the doors had to be shown at the wider part of the scabbard, while the peak of the church would narrow toward the tip or point. It would seem silly to think that the doors would be seen upside down, on the roof ?(reminds me of the kids game with interlocked fingers about the church and steeple, of course I always got it wrong and my people were on the roof!!
Also, in discussions of the sword, the blade is often termed the 'root' of the blade, thus at the hand, and grows upward. In edged weapon esoterica, the Indian katar is often decorated with the 'kundalini' flame, which originates at the root of the blade, and burns upward, thus the blade would be viewed point upward. I believe these were the basis of my comment.

In finally looking at the Holbein daggers I mentioned, the decoration is shown in linear, that is viewed sideways ,so it would seem there is no set manner in viewing a scabbard as I had suggested. I apologize for my assumption and for the unsupported statement.

Returning to the dagger, it seems that about mid 16th century, decorative sheath designs began to become popular, most notably the Holbein examples I have mentioned. Apparantly Hans Holbein (the younger) published his book "The Dance of Death" in Lyons c.1523, and created scabbards with macabre theme based on his drawings. Later other examples took scenes from Roman and Swiss history as well as Old Testament themes. It would seem that this decorative theme motif on daggers and sheaths extended through Europe, and this example, though certainly much later of course, is carrying out its theme from literary sources in the same manner.

Best regards,
Jim
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Old 9th January 2007, 04:56 AM   #26
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Jim, David and RhysMichael, fantastic posts! You got me reading all about Wiccans now
I wonder how much of the witch craze of the 16th-17th centuries was based on actual witch/satanic convents and how much on poor old women who knew a great deal of botany and medicine.
Regards,
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Old 9th January 2007, 08:03 AM   #27
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I'm not going to claim that we should always look at the scabbard point up, and the blade example was just an example. What we have here is just, let's call it, 'artistic programme' which is intended to be viewed point up. In other case it wouldn't make any sense and, as Jim pointed it out, because you couldn't make a church with doors at narrower point. If someone would like to make any "occultic" upside-down crosses he wouldn't make a case with a church what is a lot of work.
The artistic programme might be different. We can see horizontal ones just like in Holbeins daggers and aswell there are horizontal inscriptions on the blade. Some of scabbards decoration are made point down and are making a whole composition with a handle. So there is no rule but logicality.
In my museum there is similiar in style dagger when you can see Otello with knife killing Desdemona, and it's pure romantic, 19th c. creation and yours looks just like that. It would be interesting to find out more iconographic sources for this lady.
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Old 9th January 2007, 09:45 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Spiral, why "certainly"? I am not sure what you are basing this assuption on. Have you seen or do you have any links to photos of "satanic" blades that pre-date the late 19thC.
As i stated earlier "satanic" is a loaded term that is probably best left behind.
This could still be meant as a ritual weapon i am leaning more towards the Hunchback attribution.



David, In Archaological, calander & historical terms "later" means more recently, not older.

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Old 9th January 2007, 09:51 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manolo
Hi Spiral, cool knife.

I think the "Huntchback of Notre-Dame" link is quite strong. The church is a stylized depiction of Notre-Dame itself if you compare with David's picture and others: Three portals on the first level, one rose window in the central bay flanked by twin towers each with a two-lancet window within a blind arch on the second. The third level features a ballustrade in the central bay and two thin rectangular windows in each adjacent tower. These towers once had peaked roofs if I recall correctly and the tall roof in the middle is actually the spire above the crossing the church as it would be seen from the front. And the figure is the spitting image of Esmeralda, down to the locket with her baby shoe. The figures on the ends of the guard could be the huntchback himself and Dom Frolo, the priest who covetted Esmeralda. I guess a real romantic put the dagger together.

Emanuel


Thankyou Manolo, Having spent days looking at photos of European churches & cathedrals online & having prioviosly visited Notre Damne , I agree the scabbards appearance shows many similarities, but if you compare it to many French & some Scandanavien,German & Swiss churches you will see many other similarities.

For instance Some one spent many hours chasing a particilar tile or shingle shape on the roof of this scabbards, which obviously doesnt match Notre Damn.

When one looks for Similarities in Churches they are easy to find, to be objective one needs to look for the differences as well.

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Old 9th January 2007, 10:21 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Yikes, I had no idea there was such knowledge on the 'black arts' here!!
Scary stuff!!


As mentioned, I had noted that I had thought these decorated scabbards were to be viewed point up, but must admit that although I had seen some reference somewhere with comments to that effect concerning looking at the sword, I honestly cannot relocate that item. Actually, I simply considered the structure of the church and obviously the doors had to be shown at the wider part of the scabbard, while the peak of the church would narrow toward the tip or point. It would seem silly to think that the doors would be seen upside down, on the roof ?(reminds me of the kids game with interlocked fingers about the church and steeple, of course I always got it wrong and my people were on the roof!!
Also, in discussions of the sword, the blade is often termed the 'root' of the blade, thus at the hand, and grows upward. In edged weapon esoterica, the Indian katar is often decorated with the 'kundalini' flame, which originates at the root of the blade, and burns upward, thus the blade would be viewed point upward. I believe these were the basis of my comment.

In finally looking at the Holbein daggers I mentioned, the decoration is shown in linear, that is viewed sideways ,so it would seem there is no set manner in viewing a scabbard as I had suggested. I apologize for my assumption and for the unsupported statement.

Returning to the dagger, it seems that about mid 16th century, decorative sheath designs began to become popular, most notably the Holbein examples I have mentioned. Apparantly Hans Holbein (the younger) published his book "The Dance of Death" in Lyons c.1523, and created scabbards with macabre theme based on his drawings. Later other examples took scenes from Roman and Swiss history as well as Old Testament themes. It would seem that this decorative theme motif on daggers and sheaths extended through Europe, and this example, though certainly much later of course, is carrying out its theme from literary sources in the same manner.

Best regards,
Jim



Thankyou Jim, intresting stuff! Thankyou for taking the time.

Although the blade is liklely to be originaly from The Holbien period, i am sure the scabbord & handle are later.

The closet things I can find {as mentioned} in exotic cast handle pieces, is in the wallace collection that was a gift from Napolean III to the 4th Marques in 1860.

& the of course the 1871 Satanic knife brokered by Bernard Levine some years ago for $10,000.





Which shows the satanic motifs on the scabbard the right way up when the figural handle is upright. {which after all seems the logical way to study a figural piece.} But the signs of Liberty upside down.

Both of which are clearly veiwed handle upright.


For Wolviex & others who clearly havent seen such similar things heres 2 other examples.

Another spiecimien,



From Liongate Arms & armour. http://www.antiqueswords.com/mw57.htm

& a "later" example. {Which means more recently for those who were unaware. }




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