Presenting a RARE piece of Militaria, namely a Vintage and RARE KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS HIGH OFFICER DRESS SABER with original scabbard.


This RARE KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS HIGH OFFICER DRESS SABER and scabbard is from circa 1925.

It bears the marks for the Knights of Pythias on the profusely engraved blade.

The handle is made of leather wrapped in gilt metal stringing and is encased in highly elaborate and profusely designed gilt metal hilt, finger guard and retractable hilt guard.

The retractable hilt guard has been ‘personalized’ with the mongrammed initials of “U.R.” .

The blade has a series of symbols engraved on it to include the name “H.B.Basham”.

The quality of the sword clearly shows that it was an High Officers Dress sword.

The Scabbard is the ORIGINAL scabbard and is made of steel and gilt metal reliefs…..these are highly elaborate reliefs featuring various biblical type scenes and hugely impressive.

The sword is fully and properly marked by the Maker. ….. “The Pettibone Bros. MFG of Cincinatti, Ohio”……….a very well known American maker of this type of sword.



The Knights of Pythias is a fraternal organization and secret society [2] founded in Washington, D.C., on 19 February 1864.

Knights of Pythias in a parade in Racine, Wisconsin, circa 1910

The Knights of Pythias was the first fraternal organization to receive a charter under an act of the United States Congress.[3] 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, honor, and friendship that are the center of the order.

The order has over 2,000 lodges in the United States and around the world, with a total membership of over 50,000 in 2003. Some lodges meet in structures referred to as Pythian Castles.

Early in the group's history, when a man was inducted into the Knights of Pythias, he received a ceremonial sword.[4] Such swords might be given to a Pythian by family members, business associates, or others as a token of esteem. In recent decades, rather than require each member to own a sword, the local chapter maintains a collection of swords for use by its members. Long, narrow swords are generally used in public during parades and drills, while short swords are used in displays.

Markings on swords varied widely. Most swords were inscribed with the acronym "FCB", which stands for the Pythian motto ("Friendship, Charity, Benevolence"). Images on swords were also somewhat common, and included: A man, woman and child (symbolic of Pythias saying good-bye to his family); a man looking out of a building, with a group of people below (symbolic of Damon's pending execution); a man between some pillars, pulling them down (similar to Samson destroying his enemy's temple); or various types of weapons (swords, axes, hammers, etc.). A full Knight of the Pythian order often inscribed his sword with the image of a knight's helmet with a lion on the crest. Many also carried the image of a sprig of myrtle (the Pythian symbol of love) or a falcon (the Pythian symbol of vigilance).

The structure of the Knights of Pythias is three-tiered. The local units used to be called "Castles," but over time came to be called "Subordinate Lodges." State and provincial organizations are called "Grand Lodges" and the national structure is called the "Supreme Lodge" and meets in convention biennially. The officers of the Supreme Lodge include the sitting Past Supreme Chancellor, Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Prelate, Secretary, Treasurer, Master at Arms, Inner Guard and Outer Guard.[5]

The order's auxiliaries are the Pythian Sisters, and two youth organizations: the Pythian Sunshine Girls and the Junior Order of Princes of Syracuse for boys.[6]

The Knights of Pythias also has a side degree, the Dramatic Order of the Knights of Khorassan,[7] which itself has a female auxiliary, the Nomads of Avrudaka.[8] Finally, members who have obtained the Knight Degree may join the Uniformed Rank, which participated in parades and other processions.[7] Swords owned by a member of the Uniformed Rank might be inscribed with the acronym, "UR," a dove, or a lily. (The Uniformed Rank was banned in the organization in the 1950s.)

Membership has historically been open to males in good health who believe in a Supreme Being. Maimed individuals were not admitted until 1875. Members are accepted by blackball ballot.[7]

By the end of the so-called "Golden Age of Fraternalism" in the early 1920s, the order had nearly a million members. By 1979, however, this number had declined to fewer than 200,000.

The degrees of Pythian Knighthood in a subordinate lodge (or "Castle") are:

  1. Page
  2. Esquire
  3. Knight

In 1877, the order adopted an optional fourth degree, called the Endowment Rank, which provided fraternal insurance benefits. In 1930, this department split from the Knights of Pythias and became a mutual life insurance company, later known as the American United Insurance Company.[9]

A member must be at least 18 years of age, not be a professional gambler or involved with illegal drugs or alcohol, and he must have a belief in a Supreme Being. The oath taken by members:

I declare upon honor that I believe in a Supreme Being, that I am not a professional gambler, or unlawfully engaged in the wholesale or retail sale of intoxicating liquors or narcotics, and that I believe in the maintenance of the order and the upholding of constituted authority in the government in which I live. Moreover, I declare upon honor that I am not a Communist or Fascist; that I do not advocate nor am I a member of any organization that advocates the overthrow of the Government of the Country of which I am a Citizen, by force or violence or other unlawful means; and that I do not seek by force or violence to deny to other persons their rights under the laws of such country.


Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_of_Pythias




This is an ORIGINAL sword from circa 1920.


The Pettibone Bros MFG of Cincinatti,Ohio

Link: http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/SILNMAHTL_31379



This is your chance to acquire an ORIGINAL piece of Historic Fraternal Militaria

Condition: Overall in GREAT condition. Some slight wear to the handle and some oxidization to the blade and scabbard but otherwise in SUPER ORIGINALCONDITION for its age.

Provenance: From a Private Sword Collection

Dimensions: In Scabbard it is 38.5" Long.

The blade is 30.75" Long.

The Hilt/Handle and knuckle guard are 5" wide.

The handle is 6.25" long.

Price: $650.00  SALE PRICE NOW: $425.00 - SOLD