Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Sword value ??

  1. #1

    Sword value ??

    Hello,

    I am a first time user here, and it looks like the perfect site I was looking for.

    My question is about the value of a Knights of Columbus sword. I have checked the orginal mfg's site and emailed them - with no reply, and have checked all over the internet (including ebay) and ended up here - so anyone's help would be greatly appreciated.

    I'll try to give as good as of a description as I can - it should be a easily identifiable sword, as I have heard from others with the same sword and the same question.

    It is a KOC cerimonial sword, about 36" or so inches long, with a knights helmet (head) turned to the right as you face it. It appears to have a bone handle with a silver cross inlayed into the handle on the front side. It has etched images down both sides of the blade, with the front side being mostly images of knights involved in a holy war, and with the name "W.C. Betts" etched in caligraphy in a spot in the center of the sword's blade. It also on the base of the blade has skull and cross bones with the latain words "memento mori" (token of death (war?)?) above and below them. The back side has etched images of ships and castles and knights on horseback storming the castles, and the company name " McLilley & Co, Columbus , Ohio" on the base of the back side of the blade.

    The sword overall is highly tarished, with some very minimal surface rust on a few spots. The blade is not bent nor chipped either. So - I 'd say "Good" condition overall.

    I was also told it was made around the turn of the century - if that helps. I paid, what I am affraid now was way too much, about $190 - 11 years ago.

    I hope I was detailed enough to help. A rough appraisal or leading me in the right direction would be fantastic. Thank-you very much..

    Andrew

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    730
    Andrew,
    These Masonic swords seem to be increasing interest from primarily a nostalgic perspective as they are elements of costume, not weapons. While you will find that these forums defer from appraisals (a function that is reserved for people who do this professionally as there are considerable legal issues involved), there is a lot of information available. Usually you can use the search feature to find specific data.

    As you are aware this is a Knights of Columbus sword, which is a Catholic organization that has been encompassed loosely within the scope of Freemasonry I believe. The 'memento mori' and the skull and crossbones are Masonic symbolism which notes ' remember you too shall die', and applies in the complexities of Masonic ritual and philosophy. This symbolism does attract a certain macabre appeal to many, I have even seen a rather far fetched, if not bizarre suggestion that the pirates might have had association to Freemasonry and cited the cliche' jolly roger flag!

    The ivory grip on the hilts on these swords usually specify a commander or ranking officer of the organization.

    The maker was actually M.C. Lilley & Co. of Columbus, Ohio, who was a major producer of fraternal swords. This firm absorbed the well known Ames company in 1923, and ceased in 1951 which gives at least some time frame. It would be interesting to see if geneological records could be found for the owner, if so, you could see some increase in value. In any case, I would doubt you have lost any money on your sword ...and as I note, these are increasing in interest, especially since the new publication just published by Stuart C. Mowbray, Man at Arms magazine.
    "The Ames Sword Company Catalog" a reprint of the 19th c. catalog, which is loaded with Masonic swords. It can be ordered through "Man at Arms" magazine, and is an outstanding reference.

    Best regards, Jim

  3. #3
    Hi Andrew,

    I can't add much to what Jim has already stated. The best way to judge the value is to see what they are selling for (capitialism and all that). this site usually have a few for sale, http://www.collectorsfirearms.com/ed...ons.htm#Swords
    there are many more sites out there.

    Jeff

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,166
    "W.C. Betts" sounds familiar for some reason. Have you asked about this sword before Andrew, here or elsewhere? Maybe a year or two back?
    Sikandur~~Aim Small, Miss Small

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    273
    The sword has three values. If it belonged to a relative, it has a personal attachment value. Second, the insurance company will give ithe sword a value if it is stolen and you want to replace it. Finally, what is the someone would actually pay to buy it from you, if you offered it for sale. E-Bay does exactly that, a million people can give you an idea what it would be worth to them, if somebody really wants it that badly. Cheers, George
    George Bolton

  6. #6

    Reply to sword Value

    Thank you for your response. I checked the site and they had one KOC sword for sale - it was not mine however. The one they had posted only was 125 bucks - that is my fear about mine.

    Andrew






    Originally posted by Jeff Demetrick
    Hi Andrew,

    I can't add much to what Jim has already stated. The best way to judge the value is to see what they are selling for (capitialism and all that). this site usually have a few for sale, http://www.collectorsfirearms.com/ed...ons.htm#Swords
    there are many more sites out there.

    Jeff

  7. #7

    Reply to sword value

    Thanks for the reply. I will check out the catalog and see if I can find my sword. I didn't know if anyone here could recognize the description, as I have seen the same question in this site's classifieds. Do you recommend an online appraiser, (cheaper) or a local one in my area?

    Andrew









    QUOTE]Originally posted by Jim McDougall
    Andrew,
    These Masonic swords seem to be increasing interest from primarily a nostalgic perspective as they are elements of costume, not weapons. While you will find that these forums defer from appraisals (a function that is reserved for people who do this professionally as there are considerable legal issues involved), there is a lot of information available. Usually you can use the search feature to find specific data.

    As you are aware this is a Knights of Columbus sword, which is a Catholic organization that has been encompassed loosely within the scope of Freemasonry I believe. The 'memento mori' and the skull and crossbones are Masonic symbolism which notes ' remember you too shall die', and applies in the complexities of Masonic ritual and philosophy. This symbolism does attract a certain macabre appeal to many, I have even seen a rather far fetched, if not bizarre suggestion that the pirates might have had association to Freemasonry and cited the cliche' jolly roger flag!

    The ivory grip on the hilts on these swords usually specify a commander or ranking officer of the organization.

    The maker was actually M.C. Lilley & Co. of Columbus, Ohio, who was a major producer of fraternal swords. This firm absorbed the well known Ames company in 1923, and ceased in 1951 which gives at least some time frame. It would be interesting to see if geneological records could be found for the owner, if so, you could see some increase in value. In any case, I would doubt you have lost any money on your sword ...and as I note, these are increasing in interest, especially since the new publication just published by Stuart C. Mowbray, Man at Arms magazine.
    "The Ames Sword Company Catalog" a reprint of the 19th c. catalog, which is loaded with Masonic swords. It can be ordered through "Man at Arms" magazine, and is an outstanding reference.

    Best regards, Jim
    [/QUOTE]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,166
    Andrew, the Internet Sword Collectors' Association has a good article on fraternal swords.

    I thought to take a look there, and found this:

    Knights of Columbus The Knights of Columbus are a Catholic organization. They are still in existence. They use swords in their regalia, and several patterns have been noted. The earliest pattern is a cruciform style sword with a standing eagle pommel. The second and third patterns have the bust of Columbus as the pommel. In the second pattern Columbus faces forward when the sword is worn, and in the third pattern Columbus faces outward when the sword is worn. ...
    The author makes a point of saying:

    If it doesn't have an eagle or Columbus's head on the pommel it is NOT KoC.
    You didn't say what led you to believe this was a KoC sword.

    Jim: The KoC is a fraternal organization, but I don't believe they would consider themselves masonic. It is of course, a Catholic fraternal organization, and Catholics are, I believe, prohibited from joining masonic groups (though many do). The skull and crossbones is, however, used in some of the Catholic organizations as well as masonic.
    Sikandur~~Aim Small, Miss Small

  9. #9

    KOC Sword

    Hello,

    Thank you for the reply. I have limited access to a computer at a library, so my replys are far and few between.

    I have never heard of it only being a Knights of Columbus sword with the eagle or Columbus on the pommel.

    My sword says Knights of Columbus on the Blade's base near the handle, as well as the company that made it, McLilley, made swords for KOC when they were in business.

    I still have yet to find a value!! Just not enough info out there.

    Is there a big sword value book somewhere??

    Andrew @ drewpilot@yahoo.com














    Originally posted by Scott Bubar
    Andrew, the Internet Sword Collectors' Association has a good article on fraternal swords.

    I thought to take a look there, and found this:



    The author makes a point of saying:



    You didn't say what led you to believe this was a KoC sword.

    Jim: The KoC is a fraternal organization, but I don't believe they would consider themselves masonic. It is of course, a Catholic fraternal organization, and Catholics are, I believe, prohibited from joining masonic groups (though many do). The skull and crossbones is, however, used in some of the Catholic organizations as well as masonic.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •