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Douglas Bostrand




Location: Southern California
Joined: 13 Apr 2009

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 13 Apr, 2009 6:01 pm    Post subject: Help Identify Sword         Reply with quote

From my grandfather... detailed etched blade with his name on it (August Mueller) - possibly WWI Germany or US civil war era? I have little else to go on.
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Jimmy Reinstatler




Location: West Carrollton, OH
Joined: 28 Jun 2008

Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon 13 Apr, 2009 6:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It looks like the sword of some fraternal order or another, most closely reminding me of various Masonic swords. Unfortunately, I can't be of any further help then that but maybe that will narrow the search down for you/others?
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,930

PostPosted: Mon 13 Apr, 2009 7:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Douglas,

It does appear to be a Free Masons sword and possibly marked Lilley somewhere on the scabbard or the base of the blade. Any company name or other markings at the base of the blade or on the scabbard would be useful. The individual's name on the sword does indicate it was personal property of a fraternal member.

If you can post more pictures that show the sword's guard on both side, others will be able to confirm a masonic sword or from another organization. Good big bright pictures of the sword and markings can help.

The sword is likely third quatrer 19th century but could be a little later. Swords such as this are still produced today, so any makers or company mark can narrow down the age a bit. It is also possible to track the individual but that can be cumbersom without knowing first that it is a masons sword and second communicating with the order, as they have records somewhere for him.

Cheers

Glen

Edit, in looking a bit at some enhancement, it appears to not be a Free Maaons sword but for some other order. If you can put up better pictures, some can probably figure it out. The emblem on the center of the guard is what may be telling.
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Douglas Bostrand




Location: Southern California
Joined: 13 Apr 2009

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 13 Apr, 2009 8:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was weary of doing anything that would jeopardize the finish but I took a pencil eraser and discovered "The Pettibone Mfg. Co." on the blade near the hilt. Also the scabbard has an M and K (see below):
Sorry for the limited resolution pics; it's the best I can do right now Happy


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Douglas Bostrand




Location: Southern California
Joined: 13 Apr 2009

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 13 Apr, 2009 8:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Googled Pettibone Bros and found this; It's awful close but instead of "MK" this has "SK"... from the 'ancient order of fraternal workman' 1868 - ' -------------> KM' stands for KNIGHTS MILITANT (KKK) -or- Knights of Malta (Masonic) Pettibone manufactured these swords from 1872 to 1890's?
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,930

PostPosted: Mon 13 Apr, 2009 9:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Douglas,

You are definitely on the right track in running searchs. My first impressions are often wrong but this time I was probably right. It is a Freemason Knight's Of Malta sword. The figure in the cross was bugging me but the scabbard is indisputable masonic and the scabbard toe shows a Maltese cross. MK= KM. Is there anything else on the other side of the cross? It appears to be a mail clad night as the figure I was trying to discern. As to value, they accumulate in the hundreds under the tables at arms shows. With a personal research, it might prove to be fun and maybe adding a bit to value.

Pettibone still lives as a company today (iirc).

Cheers

GC
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Jean-Carle Hudon




Location: Montreal,Canada
Joined: 16 Nov 2005
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 450

PostPosted: Mon 13 Apr, 2009 11:16 pm    Post subject: acorn         Reply with quote

There was a nineteenth century order called The Colonial Order of the Acorn in the US, apparently formed of people who claimed to trace their ancestry back to the Colonial period.
I am not sure of the Masonic link being proposed as the sword has none of the more usual symbols of masonry ( except for the Maltese cross).
The sword showing the bold lettering A OU W , is easy, that is the American Order of United Workmen.
If it does turn out to be masonic, I would be curious to hear what the acorn meant in their symbolism.

Bon coeur et bon bras
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Tue 14 Apr, 2009 4:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The first sword pictured is a sword for the Knights Templar (Masonic). KT=Knights Templar. I used to have one of these and it was also made by Pettibone.

Jonathan
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,930

PostPosted: Tue 14 Apr, 2009 5:59 am    Post subject: Re: acorn         Reply with quote

Jean-Carle Hudon wrote:
There was a nineteenth century order called The Colonial Order of the Acorn in the US, apparently formed of people who claimed to trace their ancestry back to the Colonial period.
I am not sure of the Masonic link being proposed as the sword has none of the more usual symbols of masonry ( except for the Maltese cross).
The sword showing the bold lettering A OU W , is easy, that is the American Order of United Workmen.
If it does turn out to be masonic, I would be curious to hear what the acorn meant in their symbolism.


On the scabbard, the crown encircling the cross is absolutely masonic. One problem with a generic look to many can be such a similar look. As both the scabbard and sword have a KM monogram, there it is. The anacronyms are volumous

http://www.exonumia.com/art/society.htm

If the obverse of the gaurd shows something else, I'd be interested.

Anyway, finding notes from your grandfather regarding the sword, or any familial connection to the name might easily turn up more. Some swords will have a lodge number on them as well and that can narrow a search. The MAsons are sticklers for detail, so finding what lodge and name can be put together can then help with a biography.

Cheers

GC
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Jean-Carle Hudon




Location: Montreal,Canada
Joined: 16 Nov 2005
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 450

PostPosted: Tue 14 Apr, 2009 1:44 pm    Post subject: masons         Reply with quote

Glen,
I was not aware of that symbolism, and frankly would be at a loss to explain its' significance to a mason. Religious, certainly, royalist ? Possibly... no compass, no eye in the triangle, no star of david.. Also. I may well be mistaken about the acorn on the guard, is it an acorn or the face of a man with a maille coif ? If the latter, again, what significance to a mason ? Anyway, we do agree it is a fraternal order of some kind, but which one in a sea of such organisations in the North America of the late nineteenth century, early twentieth.
Douglas,
do you know what religion the gentleman subscribed to, and what he did for his livelyhood. These factors often allow one to narrow down the scope of the research. Good luck. I once found my grandfathers silver cane head, and finally found out it had to do with his degree of initiation in the Knights of Columbus. I would scan it, but I have no idea where the darn thing went. Strange how some things so important at some time to one person can be so meaningless to another a hundred years later.

Bon coeur et bon bras
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,930

PostPosted: Tue 14 Apr, 2009 3:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jean,

The Knights Malta are a sect (or grade if you will) of Free Masonry. Whatever the firgure in the cross is had me reguessing in lieu of other information. If you check any Sir Knight Templar swords, you will usually see the crown and cross synbology, often on the obverse of the person's monogram in the grip itself)

Both Pettibone and Liley imported the best amount of their 19th century goods from Germany. There are other traits that brought Liley to mind specifically, as Pettibone is/has been a sutler for many goods, not just fraternal goods. One can often find a German maker's mark hiding under blade washers/buffers and under langets.

A site I have spent way too much time on is
http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/

I have a good bit more information regarding UK activity as the colonies expanded as well. I particulalry enjoy this siite for UK information back to the first crusades and beyond. (I should organize my shelf there in a better effort sometime)
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/

Cheers

GC
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Douglas Bostrand




Location: Southern California
Joined: 13 Apr 2009

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue 14 Apr, 2009 7:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you so much for all the information. What about care and cleaning? What can I do to best preserve the sword without harming the finish or value? I'm not really interested in selling as I have 2 sons that would like to keep it in the family; maybe just a definitive history and family tree to pass on.
The figure in the cross is a crown... or maybe I should say the cross is nestled IN the crown. Above that looks like a coat of arms? Or rather, a shield with weaponry criss-crossing (axes) and a sword centered horizontally. Above that is a solder in mail either lying back (or fallen) next to his sword and shield w/another cross on it. He has his hand to his forehead. The scene is impressive as there are mountains and an image of the sun with emanating rays. There really isn't much on the reverse of the scabbard, just banding with what looks like ribbons tied in a bow. I do see the number 55 on the reverse at the top.

If I clean it, I may find more markings but without knowledge of restoration, I'm hesitant.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,930

PostPosted: Wed 15 Apr, 2009 1:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Douglas,

Aside from tips buond to be found at the front page of myArmoury, there is also and excellent primer for conservation here.
http://swordforum.com/articles/ams/conservation.php

My lists for conservation would fill a page at this point, another site I frequent is here.
http://www.dmoz.org/Reference/Museums/Museum_...servation/

Many that tinker with antiques can do more harm than good. so I am glad you afre taking it slow. Your choice of an eraser is actually pretty good but consider that they too will come in different grits. Generally, I start with just removing grime and I find windex and an electric toothbrush handy. Mark's article referenced above is really a good start for any. I tend to use many things that are simply close to hand at the moment or haven't run out of. I also like the product Liquid Wrench but go easy on scrubbing anything and clean after such applications. Simple conservation tips are well versed on the net.

Timline and history wise, what you are looking for is the fellow's commandery. That may well easily be what the #55 references. While the geneaolgy hunt may seem expansive, I saw some quite possible in a little browsing. It is definitely Knights of Malta, as everything you have described fits.

Company: Pettibone Brothers Mfg Co
Address: 2605 Burnet Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45219-2502 United States
Phone: 513-961-3737
Fax: 513-221-1097

Good luck with it and a Huzzah in preserving something for the family.

GC
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