UNITED STATES FRATERNITY SOCIETY SWORD – 19th CENTURY

Stock Ref: AST 1839

An unusual highly decorated Fraternity or Society sword probably to the Knights of Pythias or a similar Knightly Order

71cm (28”) straight double edged diamond profile blade with needle point. The blade is frost etched for 1/2 of its length on both sides with scrolling foliate designs. On one side is the owners name I M O’Brien the initial KP and FCB and on the reverse the motto ‘In esto perpetua’ (Let it be perpetual – the State motto of Idaho)

Cast metal cross guard ending in Phoenix’s, and a central cartouche with a figure of a knight bearing a sword and shield. The shield emblazoned with the initials FCB (which stands for the Pythian motto ("Friendship, Charity, Benevolence). To the rear the initials FCB, leather covered wooden grip with a pommel in the design of a helmet surmounted by a lion (This may indicate that this sword was owned by a knight in the order.. Chain guard from the pommel to the crosspiece.

Maker: Not known

Dated: 1864 - 1890

Steel scabbard with cast steel top and middle mounts. The upper bearing the initials FCB and the figure of Solomon breaking down the temple, and two loose rings. The central with the initials KPI between two stars and one loose ring, and a stylized chape

The sword and scabbard are in reasonable condition. The sword blade is in very good condition although it has suffered some earlier staining near the crossguard which has left a grey patina. The etchings remain very clear and the steel remains flexible. The guard is generally in good order with a grey patina to the metal parts, there is slight movement on the tang. The grip has lost its original wire binding but is otherwise in good condition. The chain extending from the pommel to the cross guard has been replaced. The scabbard is in good condition with an overall grey patina.The seam is good and the mounts and rings are intact.

The Knights of Pythias is a fraternal organization and secret society founded in Washington, D.C., on 19 February 1864.

The Knights of Pythias was the first fraternal organization to receive a charter under an act of the United States Congress. It was founded by Justus H. Rathbone, who had been inspired by a play by the Irish poet John Banim about the legend of Damon and Pythias. This legend illustrates the ideals of loyalty, honour, and friendship that are the centre of the order.

The order has over 2,000 lodges in the United States and around the world, with a total membership of over 200,000 in 2003.

The use of the Idaho motto suggests that this sword may have be owned by a Knight who belonged to the Idaho Lodge.

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£295.00