Unidentified Military Association Sword
The following sword is another one that I cannot identify.
It appears to be a Militia or Society Sword, from the period
of about 1870 to 1920.
The hilt crossguard, ferrule, and knight's-head pommel are of brass;
the grip appears to be pewter, shaped in a straight fluted
pattern as with bone-gripped militia swords of the period.
The cross-guard and langet are very similar to Ames-made
militia swords of the 1850-1870 period. The cross-guard
quillons have a framed scroll-like pattern; between the
quillons on the - both sides - is a pattern which looks
like an "eight-spoked wheel" flanked by a pattern resembling
feathers or leaves; The langets are in the pattern of a
shield. The pommel is separate from the grip and is attached
to the blade by method of peening and deforming the blade
tang; the pommel is in the likeness of a "knight's head" or
"helm" with plume, visor, etc.
The blade is 27 1/2" long; blade cross-section is a narrow
diamond shape ~ 1/8" to 3/16" in width. The blade is
un-fullered; doubled edged but edges are flat, not sharpened.
The sword is obviously intended for thrusting purposes as
the tip is narrowed and sharp. Blade is unmarked, so maker
is not immediately apparent.
The scabbard is 29 1/2" long, including drag. It is
black leather over sheet-rolled-steel; brass
throat and drag; The drag is retained by one screw near the
top, obverse. Tip of drag is an "acorn" pattern. Throat has
a single button frog retainer.
Further thoughts -
The "eight-spoked wheel" has significance in most religions;
it is an ancient symbol representing the cycle of life -
often called the "Wheel of Law, Truth, and Life" - each
spoke representing the "Noble Eight-fold Path" (the path
consisting of the "right faith, values, speech, conduct,
livelihood, endeavor, awareness, and meditation).
Wheat because it is sown, grown, and then harvested (reaped)
is used to signify the cycle of "birth, life, and death, as
well as re-birth."
Because of the similarity of these two symbols, I suspect
this is a sword belonging to a secret society initiated
after - possibly as a direct result of - the Civil War.