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Thread: Pettibone Mfg. Co., Cincinnati OH Knights of Pythias sword?

  1. #1
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    Pettibone Mfg. Co., Cincinnati OH Knights of Pythias sword?

    Hello! I have recently acquired an old sword from a market, what are your thoughts?

    So far I have:

    Pettibone Mfg. Co., Cincinnati OH
    Marked KP = Knights of Pythias
    Knights of Pythias Lion Head Fraternal Sword
    Scarce Cavalry Saber Pattern
    Cavalry type brass hilting
    Lion head pommel
    Brass mounted metal scabbard
    Sword in scabbard is 39 1/2 inches
    c. 1895 - c.1900

    Thanks guys, will upload some pictures soon!
    Regards,
    Z. Coppleman.

  2. #2
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    Hi Zac,

    These are not so scarce. I hesitate to offer much more if this is headed towards auction or sale. Is there a person's name etched on the blade?


    Click for bigger picture

    More than one society adopted these as fairly popular and they are also found as presentation pieces for the military. The basic pattern is of the 1872 cavalry swords. The fellows above seem to have enjoyed them and the timeline is more or less right. One sitting seems unhappy to have his desert interrupted for the photo op.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; Sure, pictures if you have them.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info Glen, and no, I don't intend on selling this sword.

    Very interesting picture, I see what you mean about the guy with his dessert, haha!

    Is there much else you can tell me about it?

  4. #4
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    Is there a person's name etched on the blade?

  5. #5
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    Blade pictures.

    Pictures of the blade, hilt and throat of the scabbard.

    Cheers!
    Attached Images Attached Images      

  6. #6
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    More...

    And some more...
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  7. #7
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    Hi Zac

    This one looks to be in pretty good condition. It can be sad if the blades get much corrosion at all. Looking into the name may put it in the best timeline possible. I can't really see what condition the grip leather is in but I have found Pecard's leather care goop to be better than I expected and I have had good luck with that. All that scabbard decoration could be a real pain to clean and polish, if that is where it is headed. Others may have better advices. German made, I would expect. I have never had a close look at one of these but I have passed by them on show tables. There is a fairly pricy recent title on these books THE AMERICAN FRATERNAL SWORD; An Illustrated Reference Guide
    by John D. Hamilton, Joseph Marino and James Kaplan
    . If the genre of fraternal swords is going to be of interest, probably worth the cost of admission. It is on my list because I am always curious to read more about the business end of the cooperations between the importers and retailers.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; I see some from time to time that look as fresh as the day they were made

  8. #8
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    Thanks for then info, Glen.

    How would I go about researching the name?

    Is there any other information you might be able to add?

    Is there anyone on the forum that specializes in these swords?

    Thanks again!

    P.S: The grip leather i is perfect condition.
    Last edited by Z.Coppleman; 08-10-2010 at 08:21 PM.

  9. #9
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    Google

    Sites such as

    http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/masoni...ns_america.htm

    Your own efforts in looking at family names and individuals. That can be a pretty tedious matter and although I did find one quick page that looked hopeful, simply more association between an area and the social life of many at the time.

    What you posted at the head of this thread is a fairly complete synopsis. What I am familiar with I pass on and I do keep a file of sorts. Ron Ruble's pages will come right up with some more Pettibone information. More of that one could spend some time researching. Thousands of hits for histories the Pythians and family histories. I guess what I am getting at is that you too could be an authority on them Oddly (or not) that one b&w picture is the only example of these sabres I have in my picture files, only because they are generally not too hard to find pictures of.

    Best of luck with it

    Hotspur; some are marked to Ames and I may indeed have a picture stored somewhere of one. That would be the Henderson Ames timeline and also reflect a lot of importing of fraternal swords
    Last edited by Glen C.; 08-10-2010 at 08:42 PM.

  10. #10
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    Thanks again, Glen.

    Can you decipher the name on the blade?

    I am no good with 'Gothic' font.

    Regards,

  11. #11
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    I read it as F.C. Weller

  12. #12
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    Thanks! I thought as much.

    I cant seem to find anything on that name

    I can find a lot of info on the straight sword of the same fraternity, but not on this cavalry type sword. It must be somewhat scarce.
    Last edited by Z.Coppleman; 08-10-2010 at 11:14 PM.

  13. #13
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    As mentioned at the start, not as uncommon as you might think.

  14. #14
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    If this is true that it is a common sword, there is not a lot of information about it out there.

  15. #15
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    There is the $80 book. There are lots of information via searches. Try pythias saber, you will see many several.

    Some names come up quickly, others, not so easily and as mentioned sometimes quite tedious. Have you searched for the name along Pythias? Spent some hours, even days? Noticed a lawsuit between a Weller and the Pythias folk?

    Cheers

    Hotspur; I'm certainly not one in the $75 an hour bracket for doing the legwork for others but do poke around some when I can

  16. #16
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    I can offer what I have, when I have time to. You may have overlooked some basic searches that would point to

    Knights of Pythias The Knights of Pythias organization was founded in 1864. The organization now
    functions as a fraternal society in the United States and Canada. They use swords in their regalia,
    many variations on patterns have been noted. Prior to the late 1880's the KoP dress or parade
    uniform used a variety of styles of fraternal swords. The specific design of these was not defined in
    detail in the regulations and many variations are seen, from simple cruciform militia styles, to
    elaborate fraternal styles also used by other organizations. After the Uniform Rank (UR) was
    instituted as the uniform branch of the KoP in the late 1880s, different swords were associated with
    each specific rank. There were Knights, Sergeants, Field Officers,Staff Officers, and Medical Staff
    with a different pattern for each group. The officers swords were curved 1870 style sabers with lions
    head pommels. All swords from the Uniform Rank have the letters UR somewhere on the hilts.
    Swords from years prior to the development of the Uniform Rank do not have this lettering. For Sir
    Knights, the sword is straight bladed with a cruciform brass hilt. The pommel is a knights head and
    helmet with a lion on the top, and there is a chain knuckleguard. The counterguard has a lily and the
    letters UR on it. The grip is leather wrapped with wire. The sergeants swords have a straight blade,
    a more elaborate brass hilt with a solid knuckleguard with either a leather grip with wire wrapping or
    an ivory grip. Field officers (Lieut. Capt, etc.) used a curved brass mounted cavalry saber similar to
    the US pattern of 1870 cavalry swords. For staff and Field officers (Colonel and above) the swords
    were again straight bladed and had elaborate hilts with ivory grips. Medical staff used swords
    similar to the 1840 Army Medical staff and/or paymasters swords. These had the letters MD for
    Medical Department on them, diffentiating them from military medical swords which have MS for
    Medical Service.

    Knights sword from the Uniform Rank, Cruciform hilt, knights head pommel with lion on helmet,
    gryphon quillon, counterguard with letters "UR" and a lily, brass mountings, leather grip, single twist
    of wire around grip, chain knuckleguard. (Contributed by J&S Surplus, Moss Landing, CA, USA)
    Click on the following link to see detailed photos.

    Knights of Pythias Sword #1

    Got a KoP sword? Click here to get values on Knights of Pythias swords from Ebay!

    Symbology and lettering:

    "UR" - Uniform Rank
    "FCB" - Friendship, Charity, Brotherhood
    Figural lily
    Mounted Knight
    Knights Helmet
    Knights Helmet with shield and battle axe or halberd
    "KP" - Knight of Pythias


    http://www.internetsword.com/fraternalswords.html

    Cheers

    Hotspur; So yes I guess, about as scarce as any of that organization using them. Add a handful for the few in the picture posted at the start. and an unimaginable number more for the entire production to satisfy the other societies using them

  17. #17
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    Wow! You really know how to find good info! I looked everywhere for something like that. Thanks very much, it is of great help.

    I see what you mean, there are probably a lot of these swords still kicking about. But for me, being in Australia, there aren't many like this one at all!

    You have been a great help, sir.

    Cheers to you!

  18. #18
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    Oh, and just one more question: where could I find a sword tassel/knot for one of these swords?

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