Author Topic: What does this symbol mean?  (Read 3337 times)

Offline DCB

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What does this symbol mean?
« on: Wednesday 15 May 13 10:48 BST (UK) »
I have three documents of c1767 which where signed by John Thorpe, the schoolmaster of Market Deeping. Each has a symbol in exactly the same place and I am wondering what it means.

It could be the ancient sign, misused in the 20th century, which has positive meanings including: good luck, prosperity, fertility, inner strength, the Sun God, peace and love.

I have not seen it used elsewhere and am wondering if it may have a special meaning, the same as, or other than, the above.

Regards,
David

Offline Geoff-E

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Re: What does this symbol mean?
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 15 May 13 11:46 BST (UK) »
I think it follows a person's name in a copy of a document to indicate that the original had been "signed and sealed" at that point. :)

The name that it follows will not be a signature of the person, but his name written by someone else.

I have some from different counties -
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Offline DCB

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Re: What does this symbol mean?
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 15 May 13 12:46 BST (UK) »
Thanks Geoff.

In this case, the signatures are by the same hand, and I believe them to be original documents - a marriage bond, a will and an inventory. I have seen copies of inventories where multiple signatures are added in the same hand and match the main body of the document. In these, there are multiple signatures in different hands.

Looking at the full signatures, I can't imagine that they would have been written by anyone other than the witness. The marriage bond also has the signatures of the brides brothers, in their own hands.

David


Offline janan

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Re: What does this symbol mean?
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 15 May 13 12:53 BST (UK) »
The symbol looks to me to be part of J Thorpe's extremely flamboyant signature - perhaps he incorporated the ancient symbol as a good luck sign?

Jan ;)
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bedfordshire - farr, carver,handley, godfrey, newell, bird, emmerton, underwood,ancell
buckinghamshire- pain
cambridgeshire- bird, carver
hertfordshire- conisbee, bean, saunders, quick,godfrey
derbyshire- allsop, noon
devon - griffin, love, rapsey
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Offline Ruskie

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Re: What does this symbol mean?
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 15 May 13 13:00 BST (UK) »
Nothing so exotic I don't think DCB. It's just a decoration/flourish/embellishment to Mr Thorpe's lovely copperplate script as Jan said, but it's not an ancient symbol. ;)

Offline DCB

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Re: What does this symbol mean?
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 18 May 13 12:03 BST (UK) »
Thank you for your observations,

I have carried out some more research and I think Geoff is correct in thinking that it is SS but might stand for Sanctum Santorium, a masonic reference, although I have only found one similar image with this link.

David

Offline Ruskie

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Re: What does this symbol mean?
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 18 May 13 12:10 BST (UK) »
Could you post the whole, or a larger image rather than that small snip please David (trying to see it in context  :))

Offline DCB

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Re: What does this symbol mean?
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 18 May 13 13:19 BST (UK) »
The full text  is on this link

http://at37.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/widukind-wittekind-wedekind/

It is difficult to know if this is the correct meaning but Freemasonry had become fashionable in the 18th century and included this Lincolnshire man - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Stukeley

Alternatively, it could just be a 'Good Luck' sign

http://postcardiva.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/swastika-good-luck-antique-postcards.html

David

Offline Ruskie

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Re: What does this symbol mean?
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 18 May 13 14:12 BST (UK) »
Thanks for the links David,

I was aware of the "good luck" sign.  ;)

I still maintain that you are reading too much into this.

The example of the crossed S's in your link is not the same as what you see on your ancestor's signature. This is a standalone symbol whereas the signature contains some ornamental flourishes underlining the name with a decorative s shaped swirl and a small line or dot on either side. 

Many moons ago I taught myself copperplate and used similar flourishes when underlining words. Everyone develops their own style - there are no rules with copperplate.

A (not particularly good) example in this heading:
http://janefarr.blogspot.com.au/2009/11/flourish-friday-november-20th.html
See how the F is crossed with an s shaped flourish.

I will try to dig out some more examples.

Just my thoughts ....