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Thread: 1872 Staff Sword or Masonic ?

  1. #1

    1872 Staff Sword or Masonic ?

    Hello
    What are your thoughts on this sword?

    It looks like a military issue sword but I am not familiar with the red scabbard.
    No maker marks.
    It is not brass.
    Thank you very much
    Tony
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kansas City Metro (USA)
    Posts
    1,644
    A mix up of sword and scabbard I think. I am familiar with seeing these black or red colored scabbards on the so-called Militia Sergeant style of knight head pommel swords rather than the S&F type. Of course these pre-Civil War NCO style swords were also used by various fraternal organizations after the Civil War. The scabbard looks to be too short for the sword blade so I suspect this scabbard got added to the sword somewhere along the line.
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    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    3,114
    The sword appears to be French with the eagle and 6 flags. I agree with George that the scabbard does not match.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Annandale, VA
    Posts
    805
    My guess is that it is a fraternal sword since I do not believe the military ever used red leather scabbards. It is possible, however, that it could be a militia NCO sword. The sword itself is basically the so-called staff NCO version of the M1860/72 S&F sword with no rear counterguard, no slot in the knuckle guard for a knot, and with no connecting branch between the front counterguard and the knuckle bow. These never were an official regulation sword, but were offered by most of the sword makers/sellers in the last quarter of the 19th century and were used in some militia elements. Two features of the sword are different than most M1860/72 Staff NCO swords. First, the grip seems to be covered with fish skin vice ordinary leather, and second the design on the knuckle bow features thunderbolts vice the crossed muskets and pikes normally seen on NCO swords. The mounts on the scabbard are appropriate for an NCO, i.e. a single frog stud vice the three carrying rings seen on the officer version. They do seem rather too ornate for an NCO sword, however. I believe, however, that the scabbard is probably contemporary with the sword rather than for an earlier knight's-head sword as suggested by George. I base this on the similarity of the design with those seen on late presentation versions of the officer sword. Note the similarity of the design on the top mount of your sword and that on one of my M1860/72 S&F swords made in Germany, probably by WKC, in the 1890s and sold by M. C. Lilly Company.


    Name:  M1860 1872 S&F Lilley 5.jpg
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    As I said above, I believe this is likely a fraternal sword, primarily because of the scabbard, but also because of thenon-typical features of the hilt, especially the use of fish skin for the grip.
    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 11-16-2018 at 09:37 AM.

  5. #5
    Hello
    Thank you all for the help and information.
    Always learning something here.
    Thanks again
    Tony

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Hudson OH
    Posts
    680
    Let's boil this down. The "red sword" is Odd Fellows and was mounted up by M C Lilley, Columbus, OH. The "1860" sword is a low end Ames Sword Co. no. 500 with a cast brass grip. Both are ca 1900.
    The Ames sword and its many variants have been discussed here. http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...60-style-hilts
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