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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr, 2010 7:24 pm    Post subject: Blades inscribed "1441"         Reply with quote

I've seen antique swords with blades marked with 1 4 4 1 or other variations thereof. I didn't know what this meant until recently and now I find it intriguing.

144:1 A Psalm of David. Blessed be the LORD my Rock, who traineth my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.

I was hoping you guys can dig up some examples to share here.

Thanks for playing the 1441 game.

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William Goodwin




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 7:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Royal Armouries IX 2205 mortuary hilt show's an example of this marking.

I've also seen / heard that the "1441" possibly stood for a magic / lucky number sequence of double 7's.

another mortuary hilt from my photo data files that has it




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Bill

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Eric Hejdström




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 10:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is there any reference on how old the idea of writing 1441 in swords is? From the biblical text is would seem proper for a crusader to use it as well as the 17th century soldier etc.
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 11:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

what are your sources?
It seems strange, the old Bible verses did not. The numbering of the verses was adopted after.
From my sources states that those numbers are still unknown.
There are also many other numbers ...



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gutenberglge.jpg


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Maurizio
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 12:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maurizio D'Angelo wrote:

It seems strange, the old Bible verses did not. The numbering of the verses was adopted after.
From my sources states that those numbers are still unknown.
There are also many other numbers ...


That is great observation Maurizio. It does look like this would rule out the theory of early Crusade era swords using the number as a biblical reference. I decided to search on it. The Old Testament was numbered closely to how it remains today near A.D. 1440. Rabbi Isaac Nathan is believed to have been the one who accomplished this and coordinated it to agree with stops in the Hebrew versions. The first translation with numbering is considered very good.

The New Testament was not put into currently accepted chapter and verse numbering until 16th century (the first in English was the Geneva version around 1560.)

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 3:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

photo post above is: Johann Gutenberg Bible - 23 February 1455

For more information:
http://itsee.bham.ac.uk/vetuslatina/manuscripts.htm
http://utu.morganlibrary.org/medren/single_im...A000131769
http://www.malatestiana.it/cgi-bin/wxis.exe/?....1/241-252

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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 5:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think I see your point. The chapter and verse number may not have been printed in many circulated versions yet. None the less, their assignment was officially canonized. 1441 also has other mathematical possibilities in terms of ciphers and summations of original Hebrew chapter numbers. There are several "mystic" possibilities.
Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Glen A Cleeton




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 11:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Worth reading and further considerations of the true meanings of psalms (such as 144).

http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/psalms/psalm144.htm#foot1

I know more than a few like the Luke 22 passage as a signature line but if read in the context of the scripture, it is often used out of context.

I'm not discounting the blade etchings as the intent.

Cheers

GC
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E.B. Erickson
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 3:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've always thought the 1441 and other numerical combinations were cabalistic in nature.
However, when you get to the 1600s the fun begins, as you can find swords with blades whose number could just as well be the date of manufacture!

--ElJay
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 5:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was under the same impression that Mr. Ericson is, that 1414 is one of several combinations of numbers that were of numeroligically or some sort of mystical significance. My journeyman just got a 17th century main gauche in last week with 1406 on the blade which is another of these numbers. I'd be interested to learn more on this subject as it seems there may be several outlooks on what these sets of numbers mean.
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GG Osborne





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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 7:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan....one story that I have read and heard from several sources (but have not been able to verify) is that 1441 was the date of the first Lutheran martyrdom in Germany. Given that Soligen and some of the other blade-making centers were clearly in the Reformation hotbed of Northern Germany (as opposed to the heavily Catholic south along the Austrian and Swiss borders), this isn't improbable. It also would have been an interesting statement in the wars of religion that would be fought for the next 150 years to have a Protestant "logo" on your blade. I also have to echo the views already expressed about the numbering of verses and the divisions of chapters. For the Psalm theory to be right (although it is intriguing), it would have to be from a period at least before the Geneva Bible (the Bible of the Puritans) which is the first English-language Bible, at least, that had anything approximating the Chapter and Verse segmentation of today. In seminary, I heard an interesting folk tale that when the Vulgate (St. Jerome's first translation of the Hebrew and Greek into Latin) was divided into Chapters and Verses, the monk who first did so was riding a donkey. When the donkey stumbled and his pen slipped, he took it as a divine sign and continued to use that method to seperate the text...sort of a modern update on the story of Baalam's ass in the Book of Exodus!)
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 7:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you everybody so far for sharing in this topic. It's already a wealth of good points and has gone to areas I had not expected. Very nice.

I think my assumption that it was related to the Psalm below was premature and frankly shows my ignorance of the subject. I was drawn to the message and hoped for a connection! While a connection might still be possible, it's not as clear-cut as I had hoped. Happy

144:1 A Psalm of David. Blessed be the LORD my Rock, who traineth my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.

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David Rowe




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 11:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

GG Osborne wrote:
Nathan....one story that I have read and heard from several sources (but have not been able to verify) is that 1441 was the date of the first Lutheran martyrdom in Germany. Given that Soligen and some of the other blade-making centers were clearly in the Reformation hotbed of Northern Germany (as opposed to the heavily Catholic south along the Austrian and Swiss borders), this isn't improbable. It also would have been an interesting statement in the wars of religion that would be fought for the next 150 years to have a Protestant "logo" on your blade. I also have to echo the views already expressed about the numbering of verses and the divisions of chapters. For the Psalm theory to be right (although it is intriguing), it would have to be from a period at least before the Geneva Bible (the Bible of the Puritans) which is the first English-language Bible, at least, that had anything approximating the Chapter and Verse segmentation of today. In seminary, I heard an interesting folk tale that when the Vulgate (St. Jerome's first translation of the Hebrew and Greek into Latin) was divided into Chapters and Verses, the monk who first did so was riding a donkey. When the donkey stumbled and his pen slipped, he took it as a divine sign and continued to use that method to seperate the text...sort of a modern update on the story of Baalam's ass in the Book of Exodus!)



Martin Luther wasn't born until 1483; so I doubt very much that any of his followers were martyred that year. Big Grin
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Glen A Cleeton




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 12:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What is Eric (The Bishop) McHugh up to these days? Big Grin

I wish my dad was still with us because he would be fascinated with the religious associations and scripture interpretations. Late Elizabethan to the days of King James might be a real truth to the battles of (all sects) Christian soldiers, ideology and iconography. Have we determined the earliest use of 1441 on a blade?

Cheers

GC
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GG Osborne





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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 12:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay, Glen, you got me! I was dissembling so that I wouldn't be forced to reveal the "true" significance of 1441 to the general uninitiated. But since you forced my hand, I have no choice...and Nathan, you're going to love this one!

After the supression of the Knights Templars in 1310-1314, Masonic tradition holds that many of the Knights migrated to Scotland with a great part of their lore and treasure, making a significant contribution to the army of Robert Bruce at Bannockburn. In recognition of this alliance, James II, King of Scotland, (note: not James VII and II), appointed William St. Clair, Earl of Orkney and Caithness, as first hereditory "Protector and Patron of Masons in Scotland." The date of the appointment? 1441 ! All of the above is true, at least in Masonic tradition and with a liberal sprinkling of historical fact!

So, how better to recognize one of the Brothers in hiding or one of the Cognocenti by having the mystical date of the recognition of Templar Scotland engraved on your sword. A blade all the better to avenge the memory of Jacques deMolay? So in one deft sweep we are able to merge Tempar lore and Stuart mysticism in one symbol.

See, guys, if your try hard enough you can bring the Templars into just about anything!! But seriously, the date 1441 and the appointment of St. Clair is fact and is a great part of the St. Clair (Sinclair) tradition and family inheritance. Kinda makes you think. Sort of, anyway!

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Glen A Cleeton




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, yes...but.......

Edward II was actually a protectorate of the Templars as very few in England and Scotland were prosecuted at all. Funds were simply transfered to his reign and most rolled under the auspices of the Hospitaliers . The encampments and leases of lands and buildings is well noted as to them already being quite ensconced in York (to east and west). All this well before the papal persecution of deMolay and others. It is then later that the rumblings of Richard II being displaced by the supporters of Henry IV and thus truly initiate the roads towards the War Of The Roses, in full bloom after 1441 but the drums truly beating a half century earlier. Border wars during Bolingbroke's days well apparent.

So, as far as migration, they never left Big Grin

I did a brief erstwhile search regarding the date and missed that one, for sure but I'm surely willing to spin it even further in time to other displays during Cromwell's days.

Cheers

GC

PS

To add less exclusivity to the 1441 date consider again what is out there

“It is known that Earl William was appointed Grandmaster of various Orders, the Craftmasons and other hard and soft guilds in Scotland in 1441″
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Apr, 2010 4:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have not my book with me, but I remember more numbers. If I remember: 1417 and others. We find a date or a few verses of the Bible and for those numbers? Razz
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Maurizio
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 22 Aug, 2010 10:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is an example of one marked 1414 instead of 1441.

Hm!! Perhaps an earlier blade on the hilt? I really don't know.


Schiavona, circa 1630-60:


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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Aug, 2010 9:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ewart Oakeshott mentions in European Weapons and Armour: From the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution when discussing swords from the 17th century, "Few actual swords bear dates, and when they do they present problems more often than they offer solutions. Many swords--particularly their blades--of the first half of the seventeenth century bear obviously spurious 'dates', such as 1414, 1444, 1515, which were never intended to be anything other than groups of figures with some significance, cabalistic perhaps, to which at present we do not have the key."
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