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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Wed 06 Apr, 2011 6:54 am    Post subject: Absolutely!         Reply with quote

GG Osborne wrote:
By the way, the icon of a cross and an anchor is a very, very old religious emblem, perhaps among the first, going back to the catacombs in Rome c. 50 AD. There are graffiti in the Church of the Holy Sepulchar in Jerusalem from pilgrims c. 300 that show the same anchor/cross, perhaps in thnksgiving for a safe voyage. The iconism of Christ as the New Covenant "Ark" (Noah's, not the Ark of the Covenant), the concept of Christ as the Fisher of souls, and the Gospel accounts of Jesus on the Sea of Galilee all inform this motiff.

Perhaps the same iconism also attached to blade designs and what I am going to suggest as an idea is pretty far fetched, but the outlining of the fuller on which the inscription appears, especially if it is a Christian motto or thought, may just be emblematic of the church. If you look at the blade point up, you get the suggestion of a church building/ark with a cross surmounting as on a steeple. During this period, especially on Catholic blades (remember, this is Counter-Reformation and the 30 Years War/ War of Religion period) the idea of the Church being talismanic would have had very symbolic significance for as Christ protects and nurtures the Church, so the "church" on the blade would protect the bearer.

All this is speculation but it is at least as plausible as Patricia's valuable thoughts.


Glenn's point should be noted as not far fetched at all. I think we can demonstrate this in some earlier blades (see the discussion of this In "Sword in Hand") and while one would not try to draw lines between examples hundreds of years apart, it illustrates a tradition in the use of the symbol and medium over time.

As far as the cross/anchor symbolism the age of this symbol is as Glenn describes. Wether this is the symbol being replicated on the blade is one of the questions that will need answering. I do not feel confident at this point in it being the goal of the decorator of the blade to represent an anchor cross. If you use the tools to hand of a blade engraver of this period you see most shapes can be made with just a few punches and scribes. In the case of the finials or crosses on the roof as this maybe viewed you have the simple addition of two strikes with a curved or half round chisel and two strikes with a straight chisel. These can be embellished with punches round or square.

You see this ending of lines on ricasso's a lot where they end in a half round curve. This may be a hold over from this detail we are looking at but thats tough to say as it is such a simple clean way to detail the piece and as folks have pointed out we can only go so far in finding meaning or lineage of these things from one to another.

Craig


Last edited by Craig Johnson on Fri 15 Apr, 2011 7:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Wed 06 Apr, 2011 7:08 am    Post subject: Almost certainly ture         Reply with quote

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:


One other bit of food for thought for all concerned. It's quite possible that these patterns could have evolved; ie., have symbolized a paternoster in early specimens, but then evolved to simply be decorative. A good example of this may be seen in the 15th c. 'chaperone' style of hat; earlier, these were formed by rolling up a mantled hood, but later they were created with that shape pre-formed - a case of the original functionality having been lost, despite a (largely) consistent outward appearance.


Hi Christian

I think this is almost certainly true. It becomes common enough that I would say there are places where it was done "because thats how you do it" by the later period of this appearing.

What the initial reason for the decorative technique being used, is the toughest and probably most difficult question to answer. It is one of the conundrums of being a historian that we as humnas want there to be a begining and someone some where was the first but, as in most things, that is lost. We can only speak of things in trends and styles and possible motivations. As I am sure you have come across before in devining meaning from the past Happy

Be well my friend
Craig
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Wed 06 Apr, 2011 7:19 am    Post subject: Awesome Art         Reply with quote

Sean

Had to say thank you for the great art finds. as usual your efforts add greatly to the discussion and give excellent food for thought.

Its important for folks that are reading this to keep in mind that we are on a search here for information and evidence. That we are not trying to conform reality to our idea. It is one of the aspects of research that is crucial for a critical mind to approach a subject of inquiry and gain from it as opposed to try to prove ones "right". It is the search, the question and the thoughtful discussion that allows you to find the important answers.

Best
Craig
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Chris Laning




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PostPosted: Wed 06 Apr, 2011 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pamela Muir wrote:
Sean, thank you! Those are terrific. I will be looking at them closely as I am sure they will yield some useful information.

I see you've discovered [url= REALonline, which is a great image source. If you search on "Materielle Objekte", type in "Betschnur" and click "Zeige Bilder" you will see lots and lots of examples. Great source!

____________________________________________________________

O Chris Laning <claning@igc.org> - Davis, California
+ http://paternoster-row.org - http://paternosters.blogspot.com
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 06 Apr, 2011 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Laning wrote:
Pamela Muir wrote:
Sean, thank you! Those are terrific. I will be looking at them closely as I am sure they will yield some useful information.

I see you've discovered [url= REALonline, which is a great image source. If you search on "Materielle Objekte", type in "Betschnur" and click "Zeige Bilder" you will see lots and lots of examples. Great source!


It's an incredible resource, and they've caught on to the fact that many of us are using it for arms and armour research. They've updated the site to include an English option and created some English themes for arms and armour. I think the basic image search function (German only) is still the most useful feature, though.

Those who have used it before should note that it no longer loads all the images on a single page. There's a button at the bottom of each page to advance to the next. Makes load times much better.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Chris Laning




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PostPosted: Wed 06 Apr, 2011 9:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Laning wrote:
I see you've discovered REALonline, which is a great image source. If you search on "Materielle Objekte", type in "Betschnur" and click "Zeige Bilder" you will see lots and lots of examples. Great source!

Oops, sorry, I meant to give the URL for REALonline: http://tethys.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/realonline/

It sounds like you have uncovered some useful questions for further research here. If what's being proposed is something happening with 16th or 17th century swords, then I'd expect it would be fruitful to go looking for earlier examples of this sort of decoration, or for related decoration on other objects besides swords, for instance. Also for any mentions of sword decoration in period literature, to see whether meaningful decorations are a general pattern of which this could be an example.

____________________________________________________________

O Chris Laning <claning@igc.org> - Davis, California
+ http://paternoster-row.org - http://paternosters.blogspot.com
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Apr, 2011 2:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Attached is an exceptional example that shows the dangling "cross" at the end of the incised lines.

The photograph is copyrighted Hermann Historica



Click photo to see a larger version

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Pamela Muir




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Apr, 2011 4:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is a great (and gorgeous) example. We are trying to collect data not just on the number and sequences of dots, but the types of crosses as well. Thank you, Nathan!
Pamela Muir

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Academy of Chivalric Martial Arts


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