Trying to Identify, Curious Item.

Discussion in 'Metalware' started by Starporium, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. Starporium

    Starporium New Member

    Hi everyone, hoping someone might have seen something similar to this or knows what it is. It appears to be brass, is 8" long, the only marking on it is on the crest on the front, looks like "F.I" or "F.T". The two "legs" at the bottom unscrew. IMG_8290.JPG IMG_8291.JPG IMG_8292.JPG IMG_8293.JPG
    yourturntoloveit likes this.
  2. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Don't know about the object, but the double headed eagle is usually associated with the Austro-Hungarian empire, although it appears a lot in other European heraldry as well.
    There were three Austro-Hungarian emperors who could be "F I": Franz I, Ferdinand I, and Franz Joseph I. They reigned in the 19th century, Franz Joseph till the beginning of the 20th.
  3. yourturntoloveit

    yourturntoloveit Well-Known Member

    Just curious but . . . when it is fully assembled (as in your first photo) and if you hold it by the top does it have a "musical tone" if the bottom metal cylinders are struck lightly with a metal object (try the handle of a metal fork or spoon) or does it have a horrid metal-on-metal sound/ring?

    I'm wondering if it was/is a way to call "staff" into a dining (or other) room.

    Is it heavy? Is there any way to hang it on a wall?

    It is an intriguing piece. ;)
    Starporium likes this.
  4. Starporium

    Starporium New Member

    Its solid and heavy. My first thought was a tuning instrument, but the bars don't make any sound when you strike something, except like you said, metal on metal. The double eagle also got me thinking royalty, will have to check into Austro-Hungarian to see what I can find.

    Also thought of a hair embellishment, but it seems heavy for that. Or some type of royal handheld staff or wand for christening or dedications?
    yourturntoloveit likes this.
  5. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Those would have been made of precious metals.
    The double eagle, crown and FI doesn't mean it was actually owned by royalty, just that it originated in a kingdom or empire.
  6. Starporium

    Starporium New Member

    Good point, its definitely not gold.
  7. coreya

    coreya Well-Known Member

    perhaps a page holder.
    aaroncab likes this.
  8. Shangas

    Shangas Underage Antiques Collector and Historian

    Eagles were very common in heraldry of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia & Poland. I dunno if that helps date/locate it any, though.
  9. Ladybranch

    Ladybranch Well-Known Member

    The roof of St. Stevens cathedral in Vienna has this double eagle design with F.I. mosaic on it with the "F.I." standing for Emperor Franz I whom I believe is Franz Joseph I? What I don't understand is the "I" on his name for there wasn't a Franz Joseph after him. There was only one Austrian-Hungary emperor after him. WWI ended the Hapsburg rule of Austria and ended the Austrian-Hungary empire. The last emperor was Charles or Carl/Karl something or other. Then again, I'm not up on that history.

    --- Susan
    Starporium likes this.
  10. Ladybranch

    Ladybranch Well-Known Member

    I was wrong, there was an Emperor Franz I born 1768 and died 1835.

    He was the last Holy Roman Emperor - Francis II/Franz (1792-1806), and was the 1st Emperor of Austria. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved in 1804 on their defeat by Napoleon. Franz formed the Austrian Empire around 1804 and became it's first emperor, Francis I (Franz I). He is/was known as a double emperor.–-1835/

    The mosaic design on the cathedral roof has the date 1831.

    SOrry, just some of my obsession with obscure historical stuff and such.

    --- Susan

    Edit: the reverse of this seal/coat-of-arms with the block in the middle of the shield is the coat-of-arms of the Hapsburg.,_Commerce,_and_Navigation)
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
    Starporium likes this.
  11. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Eagles were common in heraldry all over Europe and even parts of Asia. Even double eagles were common in several parts of Europe, here are some Dutch town crests:

    Nijmegen (the lions seem to be disgusted at the eagle;)):

    When looking at an item like this, it is best to look at all symbols, not just one very common one.
    My bet is still on the Austro-Hungarian empire, with three emperors eligible for the FI monogram.
    Starporium likes this.

    PACKRAT Well-Known Member

    I think it might be a clock key for a large clock.
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