Patriarchs Militant (Uniformed IOOF)
This sword is a representative example of a
Patriarchs Militant (Uniformed Ranks of the IOOF)
society or lodge sword.
The Patriarchs Militant fraternal order was first established in the United
States circa 1841 and continues to this day. They are a branch of the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) and considered Uniformed Ranks.
This organization is very closely related to the Masons, about as close as
one can get without actually being Masonic.
The most distinctive features on this sword are the "globe-shaped" pommel with
button cap and the very prominent reversed quillons of the crossguard.
The cross-guard has a panel in the center that displays a crown through which
are placed a shepherd's crook and a sword.
The hilts are usually cast brass, and the grip is usually made up of a wood core,
over which is wrapped black leather, which is in is wrapped with a decorated
brass ribbon-wire.. The grip ferrule is in the shape of a a crown.
The scabbards are of tubular sheet-rolled steel, with brass mounts (throat, drag,
hanger bands, etc.); an intertwined PM is usually on the 2nd hanger band.
The words Pax aut Bellum (Peace or War) are usually found on the sword
blade and scabbard.
They are very ornate in appearance and were not intended for combat.
Fraternal, Lodge, or Society swords are relatively inexpensive to own and are
fun to collect.
There are seemingly infinite variations and I have owned many.
Most are marked with a variety of manufacturer's names and are found in
infinite degrees of condition. This example was manufactured by Henderson-Ames
of Kalamazoo, Michigan, circa 1893-1923.