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Old 6th June 2021, 07:57 PM   #10
Jim McDougall
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
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To my previous post,
I found the reference to the open work guard on a 'spadroon' 1790s with a heart incorporated in the design in the chaos of my notes some years ago.

I had become intrigued by the 'five ball hilts' and one key reference aside from Brian Robson's "Swords of the British Army" was an obscure article by W.E. May, "The Five Ball Type of Sword Hilt", May, 1963, JAAS, Vol. 4, #8.
In it , May described the unique hilt, but having no distinct explanation for the motif, he noted his hope that eventually some viable information on the development of the form would be found.

In studying decoration in motif and designs in swords, I had found many clues which suggested the presence of Masonic and other symbolic detail in these cases. The number five is significant in various occult and arcane areas, one being Masonic.
In communications with Mr. Robson, I suggested that Masonic symbolism might be present in the five ball hilt decoration. He however, did not think so and insisted the motif was purely aesthetic.

In later years I found more information on British sword hilts, indeed especially with these 'spadroons' which noted specifics on possible links to arcane symbolism as well as Masonic and 'secret society' lore.
Apparently, for example, the lozenge (diamond) shape used in the open work guard had possible links to an Irish Protestant group of 1790s. In another reference the shape is noted linked to the British Isles symbolically, and the well known British cutler Francis Thurkle was known to have used it.

With Freemasonry, the lodges of England and France apparently had deep connections which transcended the obvious and constant embattlement between the countries. In the only instance I know of where the a British design was copied by the French, the 1780s spadroon was adopted there as 'the English sword'.
Masonic venue?
There was always the ever present stand of Jacobites who had long been emplaced in France during the Scottish rebellions, and here I would note that the 'HEART' was one of many known Jacobite symbols.

OK, I know, a LOT of stuff but it is given here as food for thought, and nostalgically shared here by me from my fascination with this topic years ago.

In my terribly erratic notes is a lot of minutiae (my apologies, this was YEARS ago) and the saber with 'spadroon' type hilt with the heart is compared to similar style hilt by Tookey c. 1792 (Aylward) but hers does not have the heart shape. The 'spadroon' here I am noting the hilt style. However it seems the spadroon was TYPICALLY a straight, epee, type blade.
The shell guard on Kubur's example does recall the infantry officers dress sword in concept.
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Last edited by Jim McDougall; 6th June 2021 at 08:50 PM.
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