Mystery Item: Knights Templar or Crusader’s Cross on Livestock Tag at 11″

December 3, 2013 at 4:49 pm  •  Posted in Finds by


I’m going to begin posting some of my mystery finds in hopes that some of the thousands of visitors to this site could help me identify them.   This tag was machine pressed, found at 11″ and is brass.  It was at an 1835 home site in Paris KY.

The stamping on the front is done by hand, and appears to be the Knight’s Templar cross.  I know there are some vague connections to freemasonry with this symbol, but I’d like to figure out why in the world it was put on a tag like this?

Click to zoom – this is a high res photo:


Knight's Templar Cross on Livestock Tag

Click to zoom


Input so far:

Stan Shoemaker says:  This would be a Loraine Cross if it were truly marked by the Knight’s Templars.   The Loraine cross has double crossmembers.

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  1. David Everhart / April 7, 2014 at 12:08 am /

    My family raised cattle for a LONG time. I’ve seen several hand stamped like this. As far as I know, people would stamp an identifiable mark in the metal to let others know the animal belonged to them. It’s kind of like a brand on a cow. According to my late grandfather, it was cheaper and easier to do this than to actually burn a brand into the animal. Just my 2 cents.

    • Scott Clark / April 7, 2014 at 12:55 am /

      Marked with a Crusader’s cross like this?

      • David Everhart / April 8, 2014 at 12:09 pm /

        Not with that exact cross. I’ve seen around two variations of a cross, amoung other interesting designs. Cattle owners had to come up with unique designs to distinguish their cattle from others.

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