Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Armour with Masonic designs Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Adam D. Kent-Isaac




Location: Indiana
Joined: 21 Apr 2009
Reading list: 2 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Tue 30 Mar, 2010 9:58 pm    Post subject: Armour with Masonic designs         Reply with quote

Does anyone know of, or have pictures of, any etched or engraved armours of the Renaissance featuring Masonic symbols? I would think, out of all the countless decorated armours, there have got to be a few. Many thanks in advance for any pics or information.
Pastime With Good Company
View user's profile Send private message
Craig Johnson
Industry Professional



Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 16 pages
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,375

PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 5:46 am    Post subject: Check the one in the Met         Reply with quote

Hi Adam

There is a pretty impressive piece in the Met a breastplate with all sorts of symbols on it.

Best
Craig
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
GG Osborne





Joined: 21 Mar 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 487

PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 7:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If the common mythology of Freemason origins are accepted - at least those publically promulgated by the Grand Lodge of England - you would be hard pressed to find any armor marked with Masonic symbols except by accident. The common understanding is that Masons only became organized and began using the symbols we see today (the square, compass, and level) until very early in the 18th Century. While guilds of masons undoubtedly existed during the Gothic and Renassiance periods, the speculative form that appealed to the upper class in England (as opposed to operative masons who were actually stonemasons) didn't appear until quite late. I believe any marks that could be interpreted as Masonic on armor are purely coincidental.
"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
View user's profile Send private message
Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,925

PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 8:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, some armor may last into the first century socially accepted as truly (Free) Masonic. Arms are an easier study of such at a compass and squares. I keep losing track of this picture of a rather dandy colichmarde described by another viewer as

Quote:
(jeff of BC Canada)
Interesting Specimen. Gustavus III issued a number of these swords (or very similar) as swords of honour after the war between Russia and Finland (1788-1790). It is rumoured that the masons assisted Gustavus mount a coup d'etat against the Swedish Riksdag (parliament)




I had originally thought that piece a bit earlier as well but the history appears to speak for itself. I've some notes and pictures of a sabre dated in a similar timeline and likely a British yeoman cavalry piece.

Although and all in all, if one looks at the guild structure (particularly in the UK), modern Freemasonry as adopted "publicly" in the 1700s was based on very much the same precepts. An interesting read and pages linked below.
http://www.takver.com/history/benefit/ctormys.htm

Cheers

GC
View user's profile Send private message
Adam D. Kent-Isaac




Location: Indiana
Joined: 21 Apr 2009
Reading list: 2 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 8:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, swords count too, just not swords designed specifically for the Masons. Thanks for that pic.

What inspired me to ask this question was when I read that Thomas Sackville was a Freemason, being made a Grand Master in 1561. Sackville's Greenwich armour can be seen on this site, actually, as well as in person at the Wallace collection or my photo set of it. 1561 was like the peak of armour decoration, and I would think that if there were Freemasons among the aristocracy in England at that time, it would be surprising if there wasn't some armour decorated to reflect that.

Pastime With Good Company
View user's profile Send private message
David McElrea




Location: Canada
Joined: 26 Nov 2003

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 438

PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 8:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would take the Wikipedia article with a grain of salt...
View user's profile Send private message
Adam D. Kent-Isaac




Location: Indiana
Joined: 21 Apr 2009
Reading list: 2 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 9:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Googling Thomas Sackville Freemason brings up quite a bit of stuff; this article from Freemasonry Today suggests that "non-operative Freemasonry in England was in existence from late Elizabethan times." Maybe 1561 is a bit early, though there could have been exceptions. It's conceivable that one aristocrat may have had ties to a stonemason's guild and therefore to Masonic rituals in some form - and later, even after the reign of Elizabeth, they were still richly decorating armour.
Pastime With Good Company
View user's profile Send private message
Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,925

PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 9:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, there are a good many texts and references to Sackville and even much earlier timelines. The Takver link in my last post was an early look by me in searching out some Odd Fellow stuff and grew to a larger interest in reading through some of the texts available through that site. Newton's The Builders is another great read and more older studies are available online every day.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/mas/bui/index.htm

Back to the other link, it was where I had read of Edward III buying into the linen armourers guild. It was exactly that type of connection and guild ownership/patronage that eventually emerges publicly as the modern society more widely known by the 18th century.

As to decoration of armour, there are a great number of opportunities to study them but many I have seen up close (pictorial and at the Higgins) seem less iconic than what might be apparent. I look forward to others that can share such displays and descriptions.

Cheers

GC
View user's profile Send private message
Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,925

PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 10:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is that British yeoman cavalry type sabre from right around the 1800 period +-. I am forgetting the family name exactly but it was big in Edinburgh during that period. the name may come to my mind again if I shake it enough. This was one that got away while I was saving for funds. Another reason to not advertise what one is waiting for. I hope these show up ok. they should zoom alright. An interesting piece I would have researched more for.

Cheers

GC









View user's profile Send private message
GG Osborne





Joined: 21 Mar 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 487

PostPosted: Fri 02 Apr, 2010 8:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as the last post of the sword is concerned, there was a special type of sword called a "Mourning Sword." Best example I know of without research is the one owned by Washington and preserved at Mt. Vernon. These very plain swords often had "memento mori" engraved on the blades. The sword pistured above has some interesting engraving but none are classically Masonic.
"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
View user's profile Send private message
Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,925

PostPosted: Fri 02 Apr, 2010 3:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

GG Osborne wrote:
As far as the last post of the sword is concerned, there was a special type of sword called a "Mourning Sword." Best example I know of without research is the one owned by Washington and preserved at Mt. Vernon. These very plain swords often had "memento mori" engraved on the blades. The sword pistured above has some interesting engraving but none are classically Masonic.


Actually, I see a couple/three quite evident in display compatible with Masonic in general and Scottish Rite more specifically.

Here is another fun site to browse at one's leisure and pages I frequent often.

http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/main/

Washington was given many swords, so a memnto mori example would be quite in keeping with being handed one for social occasions. I should dig back through my muddled mind concerning a few of his swords perishing in a fire and that Washington himself showed up in NY for the inagural proceedings wearing no sword at all and wearing a rather drab travelling suit. Of the pictured sword above, note pentacle, skull & bones an the two small crossed swords, one ending in a Maltese type cross. The sword could absolutely have been made as a memento mori, yet some iconography does seem to allow consideration of Masonic display. In the end, just a sword but one that might be worth more than a sideways glance.

Cheers

GC
View user's profile Send private message
Adam D. Kent-Isaac




Location: Indiana
Joined: 21 Apr 2009
Reading list: 2 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Fri 02 Apr, 2010 5:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow - thanks for all this info and pics! Excellent finds.
Pastime With Good Company
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Armour with Masonic designs
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2020 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum