C17th English Military Broadsword with Coptic Script.

George Woodruff
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:39 pm

Re: C17th English Military Broadsword with Coptic Script.

Post by George Woodruff » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:04 am

Dear Will,

This will appear mad, but I appear to own a Life Guards Sword. I had not seen Charles Martyn's book and needed your help to realise what I had!

Below are a couple of images of my sword which I will take along to St Sebastians.

https://www.visitbruges.be/en/schutters ... hers-guild

Thank you,

George
Screen Shot 2019-04-28 at 10.01.04.png
Screen Shot 2019-04-28 at 10.00.04.png
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Will
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:27 pm

Re: C17th English Military Broadsword with Coptic Script.

Post by Will » Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:58 pm

George congratulations on such an early Lifeguard sword. I missed an opportunity years ago to acquire one.

Will
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:27 pm

Re: C17th English Military Broadsword with Coptic Script.

Post by Will » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:26 am

https://www.rct.uk/collection/search#/2 ... alry-sword

what your sword would have looked like when in service.

Jim McDougall
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:50 pm

Re: C17th English Military Broadsword with Coptic Script.

Post by Jim McDougall » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:38 am

I think Bryce has something there with the 'horizontal square script', as the characters are distinctly in a similar form in degree. However it seems this script was quite arcane and not 'rediscovered' until 1801, when it apparently had to do with writing Tibetan. How long it was used in this manner prior is unclear.
As Richard has noted, these astral symbols were often placed on blades (esp. Solingen made) intended to imbue magical properties/quality to them. These seem to have evolved from certain East European decorative motif, and the popularity of such flamboyance became well known throughout Europe and into England via these imported blades.

In the 18th century the traditions of such popular themes having to do with magic and occult played well with flamboyant fashions with officers and gentry, so it does seem quite likely that a 'mystical' script inscription might be contrived to allude to some talismanic properties in the sword.
This was often seen on sword blades of previous century described as having 'magical' blades.

It is remotely possible that a British officer who was in India could have seen or been somehow exposed to this unusual script, though used in Tibet apparently, there were Buddhist monks in southern India, and Sri Lanka. Perhaps a blessing of some sort might have been afforded him, or perhaps he might have tried to recreate the characters to add 'mystical' character to his sword to herald his Indian service and make it more impressive.

Speculative and admittedly tenuous, but these kinds of 'creative' applications were not unusual in these times. Whatever the case, it makes for a remarkably attractive and intriguing piece!

Jim McDougall
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:50 pm

Re: C17th English Military Broadsword with Coptic Script.

Post by Jim McDougall » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:43 am

In my previous post, by astral symbols, I meant the star and crescent moon with face, not to be confused with this strange script which seems to have been applied later. It was not unusual to have Solingen made blades with such symbols and without makers mark or name as these devices were broadly used and applied by engravers who added them to the blades produced by various makers.

Post Reply