Author Topic: Germanic symbol cheek pieces  (Read 29104 times)

Offline Jim Kibler

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #75 on: January 15, 2014, 04:02:50 AM »
Yeah, and they may have come home from church and threw their wife around.  How would you know any different?

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #76 on: January 15, 2014, 04:05:24 AM »
WHAAAAT??? Downright silly comment!
Dick

Offline Jim Kibler

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #77 on: January 15, 2014, 04:16:19 AM »
Silly?  My point is that we make assumptions about people based on little evidence.  I think this is often self serving in some way.  You think that just because someone went to church on a regular basis, that it was significant to them?  Specific to this discussion, significant in such a way that they would imbed symbolic religious designs in rococo carving and engraving patterns and designs.  Perhaps to some, but certainly not to all.  Like I said, it's possible, but prove it.  Gunsmiths attending church doesn't cut it.  I'm still a skeptic. 
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 04:22:37 AM by Jim Kibler »

Offline JTR

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #78 on: January 15, 2014, 04:21:02 AM »
Yeah, and they may have come home from church and threw their wife around.  How would you know any different?

And they might not have!
How would you know any different?

As for church going gunsmiths, toss in Dickert, and all the Moravains that worked in the church owned and operated gunshops.

Also, religious symbols are more on the rare side, than common, on rifles, and certainly not all decorations are religious. Of the 20 or so guns I have, I don't think a single one has any religious symboligy,,, other one with a possible prayer hole.

I think Gus explained the whole thing pretty well.

Interesting thoughts here,
John

John Robbins

Offline Avlrc

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #79 on: January 15, 2014, 04:25:19 AM »
Jim,

It would seem very reasonable to me , that if a man was a Elder or Preacher and he made guns, he may like to put a symbol or two on a few of his rifles that reminded him of his spirituality.

As for self serving, I don't understand. I don't build guns, never put a religious symbol, or any other symbol on anything I have or ever owned,(that I can remember), & I have not been to church other than funerals/weddings since I was a child. Nothing self serving here on my part.

 I like the discussion though.

Mark

« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 05:11:25 AM by Avlrc »

Offline Jim Kibler

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #80 on: January 15, 2014, 04:34:27 AM »
By self serving I mean that sometimes our perspective and assumptions are self serving when looking back on the past.  Rich, previously brought up this point.  Might refer to his post.  For example, someone disappointed with the state of religion today, might take comfort in viewing the past as a much more pure and religious time.  The problem arises if these self serving aspects interfere in the goal to uncover what really happened or was true.

Offline Avlrc

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #81 on: January 15, 2014, 05:01:24 AM »
By self serving I mean that sometimes our perspective and assumptions are self serving when looking back on the past.  Rich, previously brought up this point.  Might refer to his post.  For example, someone disappointed with the state of religion today, might take comfort in viewing the past as a much more pure and religious time.  The problem arises if these self serving aspects interfere in the goal to uncover what really happened or was true.

Ok, I see. I guess by your definition of self serving,  my sentimentalism for the past could make me somewhat guilty of that crime. However, I don't think I ever let that stand  in the way of trying to search for the truth, when it comes to history.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 07:16:40 AM by Avlrc »

Offline Artificer

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #82 on: January 15, 2014, 05:04:18 AM »
I want to make it clear, and have written it a couple of times at least in this thread, that not all symbols had Christian or Religious meanings.  Reading some posts that seems to be the view some have taken.  However, the opposite side is just as unsupportable, I.E. that all or most symbols were mere decoration and especially when the Longrifle came from a culture where symbolism was important and even used more than in other areas of the country back then.  


Gus,

The difference is that these designs are most often derivations of more academic baroque and rococo designs with plant forms mixed in.  This can easily be defended to the point that I don't think anyone would disagree.  The problem arises when these carving, engraving designs etc. are given further symbolic meaning without support.  If someone can clearly defend something having further meaning then I would gladly accept it.  Are you suggesting I take your word for it?  Are you suggesting that since the longrifle came form a culture where symbolism was important that I should extrapolate this view to the point that I should by default believe that it is contained in otherwise generic floral, scrollwork designs?  I challenge you to give me examples.  Not of the obvioius symbolism that I've mentioned many times (fish, lions etc.), but that which is imbedded in the types of designs I've outlined above.  Next, back up these claims with a solid rational argument that proves your case.  The reason I've been very specific as to narrowing the scope to scroll and floral motifs is that they are seen all over longrifles and this is very pertinent to the designs questioned in this thread.  Could there be symbolism in these sorts of designs?  Sure, lots of things are possible including this.  What i would like, is for something substantial to support these views.  Seems I've been saying this all along and I'm starting to tire.  Maybe a good exercise would be to open up RCA, go through each gun presented and make a case for the symbolism present in the decorative floral scrollwork elements.  

Jim

I don't disagree that Generic Scrolls or Floral Designs might well have been or only were decorative.  I am not suggesting that all decoration was religious or even had special meanings.  That does not mean that some were not, at least in the earliest stages and depending on who originally engraved or marked them.  

If a "Lutheran Rose" is found on a Pennsylvania Deutsch rifle, instead of a stylized rose, then it would be a pretty sure bet the intention of the person who engraved it was religious.

If a Masonic symbol is found on a rifle, it is a pretty safe bet that at least the original engraver OR owner was a Mason. 

The original subject of this thread was on an inlay design that has been found on German Fraktur Art, that I already linked.  That gives evidence showing it was at least cultural, though I agree not necessarily religious, even though it was on a Birth Certificate.  However, the fact it was used on a Birth Certificate merits more investigation by someone more knowledgeable than I as to what, if any meaning it had/has.  The only way to know for sure is further research on the origin of the symbol.

Elegant proof has already been provided earlier in this thread of the Gunsmith who engraved what is known today as "The Baptismal Cross" on the toe plate of one rifle shown and the Gravestone he engraved for his daughter.  Here is one of the few times we actually have proof "chiseled in stone" that to that Gunsmith it most definitely had religious meaning, as it did in his culture and remains today in the Lutheran Church as shown by the links I provided.  
.  
Gus

« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 05:07:27 AM by Artificer »

Offline James Rogers

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #83 on: January 15, 2014, 05:23:13 AM »
When is the origin of this being known as a baptismal cross? The link provided no source and no history and I could not find any credible source to date it's significance. Any futher information is appreciated.
This symbol is a much used design on 18th century English guns. I assume none of those makers were Lutheran.

Offline Jim Kibler

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #84 on: January 15, 2014, 05:25:39 AM »
Artificer,

Yeah!  I think we are coming to more of an agreement in understanding.  Overt symbolism has never been questioned.  Refer to my posts and all the times I've mentioned the fish, lions, masonic symbols etc.  What I have been questioning is symbolism contained in rococo decorative elements.  The reason this is pertinent is because that is EXACTLY what is being questioned with the inlays being presented!  I think it's pretty interesting that a fraktur example was found with very similar features.  But the fact remains, this could merely be a decorative ornamental motif, with no further meaning.  If symbolism was used on the longrifle outside the obvious examples and specifically in rococo decorative designs, all I'm asking for is evidence to support this.  A lot of anecdotal evidence has been presented, but in the end it does little to prove a point.  Further I must say that I have heard arguments for this sort of thing in the past and they always seem week at best, so maybe I come into this with a predisposed opinion.  RCA 126 carving behind the cheek is an example.  It's been suggested by someone, apparently well respected by many, that this is representative of the baby Jesus in the manger.  In all these cases the evidence in my view ends up being scant at best.  If I look at the clouds I can see images as well.   If it's so, that's cool, but I am a logical reasonable person and it takes such to convince me.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 05:29:52 AM by Jim Kibler »

Offline Artificer

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #85 on: January 15, 2014, 05:34:14 AM »
When is the origin of this being known as a baptismal cross? The link provided no source and no history and I could not find any credible source to date it's significance. Any futher information is appreciated.
This symbol is a much used design on 18th century English guns. I assume none of those makers were Lutheran.

How about an example of a Baptismal Cross from 1271, and no it was not just used by Lutherans, but by many Christian sects.

http://www.seiyaku.com/customs/crosses/baptismal.html

Gus

Offline Artificer

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #86 on: January 15, 2014, 06:07:52 AM »
An even earlier example, though not called A Baptismal Cross at this time:
"IX Monogram Christliche Symbolik (Menzel) I 193 4.jpg[edit]

An early form of the monogram of Christ, found in early Christian ossuaries in Palestinia, was formed by superimposing the first (capital) letters of the Greek words for Jesus and Christ, i.e. iota Ι and chi Χ, so that this monogram means "Jesus Christ".[15]:166 Another more complicated explanation of this monogram was given by Ireneaus[18] and Pachomius: because the numeric value of iota is 10 and the chi is the initial of the word "Christ" (Greek: XPEIΣTOΣ) which has 8 letters, these early fathers calculate 888 ((10*8)*10)+((10*8)+8) which was a number already known to represent Jesus, being the sum of the value of the letters of the name "Jesus" (Greek: IHΣΟΥΣ) (10+8+200+70+400+200).[15]:169170"


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_symbolism

Gus
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 06:25:20 AM by Artificer »

Offline Artificer

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #87 on: January 15, 2014, 06:53:26 AM »
Artificer,

Yeah!  I think we are coming to more of an agreement in understanding.  Overt symbolism has never been questioned.  Refer to my posts and all the times I've mentioned the fish, lions, masonic symbols etc.  What I have been questioning is symbolism contained in rococo decorative elements.  The reason this is pertinent is because that is EXACTLY what is being questioned with the inlays being presented!  I think it's pretty interesting that a fraktur example was found with very similar features.  But the fact remains, this could merely be a decorative ornamental motif, with no further meaning.  If symbolism was used on the longrifle outside the obvious examples and specifically in rococo decorative designs, all I'm asking for is evidence to support this.  A lot of anecdotal evidence has been presented, but in the end it does little to prove a point.  Further I must say that I have heard arguments for this sort of thing in the past and they always seem week at best, so maybe I come into this with a predisposed opinion.  RCA 126 carving behind the cheek is an example.  It's been suggested by someone, apparently well respected by many, that this is representative of the baby Jesus in the manger.  In all these cases the evidence in my view ends up being scant at best.  If I look at the clouds I can see images as well.   If it's so, that's cool, but I am a logical reasonable person and it takes such to convince me.

Jim, 
I'm still amazed I so easily found the symbol in the linked Fraktur Art Birth Certificate.  I hope Shreck follows this up and finds out, so he can share it with all of us!
Gus

Offline James Rogers

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #88 on: January 15, 2014, 07:06:11 AM »
Thanks for the additional Gus I wil continue to seek primary documentation on it. It also appears the same symbol was used by earlier pagan cultures as well.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #89 on: January 15, 2014, 08:58:18 AM »
Dan,  I'm thinking no amount of discussion is going to make us interpret what we are seeing here
in a similar light.  You stated the inlays are "STYLIZED decoration, decoration".  My interpretation from that and the remainder of your writing is that you are saying they are devoid of meaning.  You
prefaced that with "Let me clarify".  That makes me think you were not throwing out ideas, but rather
telling me how it is and I've always been somewhat opposed to that.
    Not trying to gore you, only intended to make my point as adamantly as you were making yours.
The more I think about this, the more interested I am in what separates folks into these two different
perspectives about these inlays.  To me, that's more interesting than whether the inlays have meaning or not.

To again clarify.
 (clarify |ˈklarəˌfī| 1 make (a statement or situation) less confused and more clearly comprehensible)
MY statement. "Many" (many a a large number of) does not mean "all" (used to refer to the whole quantity or extent of a particular group or thing)   is a direct answer to you trying to change the meaning of my post by indicating that I had stated  "all" instead of "many".   In this case "many"  means the a goodly number of firearms parts of all kinds were manufactured and sold to gunmakers. Including but not limited to inlays. This is irrefutable. We might argue who did or did not use them at what time etc. but that they were available is a fact.
There were TONS of firearms  hardware and inlays made and marketed by various firms in the US and England and surely on  the Continent as well. I did not make it up to irritate people. If it irritates you you might want to ask why this is the case.

The cheekpiece inlay in your post seems to be a Rococo form.  It could easily be based on a form that came from some 18th c pattern book drawn by some artist in Paris or somewhere else in Europe.  This is very real possibility or the idea may have come from some ornament  on a rifle brought in for repair. This riflemaker did not operate in a vacuum afterall.
I would suggest that rifles by John Armstrong in Kindig  be looked at. Specifically the scroll work cut into a number of his patchbox lids. Same basic layout of the scrolls.
The 4 line engraved feature on the toe plate and head stone is not what a star really looks like, nor is it exactly an 8 point Baptismal cross which it could easily be a stylized version of (look to Lutheran symbols). To a Lutheran the 4 line engraved "star" is a Baptismal cross or the first Greek letter of "Christ" (X) with a cross superimposed. I had to look it up (these discussions are always educational). This would be a appropriate on a headstone. The fish is also a religious symbol to Christianity but making the case that EVERY fish on a gun is intended to be a Christian statement is a stretch. Or every 8 pointed engraving for that matter.
Beck used INRI on his barrels. Its pretty hard to question INRI and he surely knew this. It rises to the level of a statement and is not meant as decoration IMO.
The Eagle with a shield and/or clasping arrows etc found on oval inlays from about the Federal period onward is hard to not attribute to the new country but there does not seem to be a hidden meaning here its kinda in your face. Statements like "We Are One" with a 13 point star is pretty easy to figure too. Its not some oblique hidden reference. It pretty plain spoken. I have no idea what the man in 1/4 or 1/2 moon means other than it looks good as do properly done scrolls.

Dan
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Offline Artificer

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #90 on: January 15, 2014, 09:57:05 AM »
Thanks for the additional Gus I wil continue to seek primary documentation on it. It also appears the same symbol was used by earlier pagan cultures as well.

James,

Pagans and other people always did and continue to claim virtually every Christian symbol is actually pagan.  There are many sects of Christianity today who claim other sects' Christian Symbols are Pagan or signs of the Devil or other things, as well.  Perhaps the ancient Church deliberately "Christianized" some symbols as they did by celebrating the Birth of Christ on 25 December, which was the last day of Saturnalia in Ancient Roman Times.  Many early American Protestant faiths did nothing to celebrate Christmas, though some religiously celebrated Easter.   No wonder we have so many sects of the Christian Church.

In our Presbyterian Church for Adult Sunday School, we had a GREAT discussion on other Christian religions and of course Presbyterianism over a period of many weeks.  We had prior Catholics, Jews, Methodists, etc., etc. etc. including a former Southern Baptist Minister.  The interesting thing was most of us had been well schooled in our earlier Christian Sects, so many beliefs of the other sects could be put forward.  

I will never forget when our Pastor was going over Presbyterianism and he stopped, sighed, wiped his brow and said, "OK, HERE is what normally gets us in trouble with other Christian Sects."  Of course we ALL perked up to hear that. Then he said, "I want to remind you that Presbyterianism does NOT demand you believe any part of our rules and practices that you find fault with from Biblical Study or Enlightenment."  Then he stopped for another pause and said, "What we get into trouble about is that the Presbyterian Church teaches there will only be a finite number of people who will get into heaven."  LONG PAUSE FOLLOWED.  

OK, I'm the "Dumb Marine," so I spoke up first and said, "You said a finite number but are you saying there is a DEFINITE number?"  He looked at me quizzically and replied, "No, there is no definite number, only that it is finite."  I replied, "OK, I have no problem with that as a Million, Trilion, Billion, Googols are incomprehensible to me but is a finite number.  Further, a finite number can be more people who have ever or ever will live on Earth, BUT that is still a finite number.  When Jesus was asked how we get into Heaven, He said, "I am the Way....   So the finite number is up to mankind ourselves, Correct?"   The Pastor replied, "I've been a Presbyterian Pastor for over 40 years and never heard it expressed quite that way, but yes, that is correct."  He looked around all of we "students" were beaming.  That's when he said, "Wow, never got through that point THAT easy before."  Then we all laughed and shortly went on with our studies.  

Gus


Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #91 on: January 15, 2014, 04:06:22 PM »
   This morning I reached out to a professor of American Decorative Arts who works with the Winterthur Museum
and asked him to share the pictures of the inlays on the rifles and the fraktur picture that Gus shared with
us, with his colleagues.  I inquired whether the design was symbolic.  I will share their response when it comes.
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #92 on: January 15, 2014, 04:14:00 PM »
Religion has been defined as man seeking God. That word appears three times in the KJV of the Bible.
It is defined in the short book of James in the New Testament in the first chapter.No more is said or needs to be said.Symbols,Incantations and Hocus Pokus are not needed or mentioned."Religion"has been a scourge to humanity and is the cause of strife and brutal wars and a lot of other problems like broken families.
Jesus Christ paid the price for all who will trust Him.Anything added to that is an insult to the work of Christ when he said,"It is finished".The "IT" is the work of salvation.

Bob Roller

Offline gibster

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #93 on: January 15, 2014, 04:32:47 PM »
Quote
Jesus Christ paid the price for all who will trust Him.Anything added to that is an insult to the work of Christ when he said,"It is finished".The "IT" is the work of salvation.

Well said Bob.


Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #94 on: January 15, 2014, 06:11:10 PM »
 This is a little off subject, but connected. And, I'm sure many of you understand that I have to mention it while I can remember it. The reference to the number, and form, of the number 8 got my curiosity going. Could the significance of the number 8 be in some way the reason for the octagon form of the barrels on muzzleloading guns? Somehow making them the righteous hand of God?
 I also must mention Melchoir Fortney the Lancaster gunsmith, that was murdered for not following the precepts of the church, and living in sin. Might not some  gun building backsliders have invented their own legends to explain stylized inlays that previously were of religious heritage?

                            Hungry Horse

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #95 on: January 15, 2014, 06:15:06 PM »
Ok guys, this has been a long and fairly interesting discussion on Germanic symbol's and has wandered into more religious discussion than is acceptable for this board. If you wish to continue the religious discussions you can do it with PM's or via email but not here.

I am locking this topic.
Dennis
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