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Thread: Indian Cavalry Sword by Thurkle, markings??

  1. #76
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    Will these do John? Not sure the front-on is much better than my previous effort but the second picture might help. Quite happy to keep them coming!

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  2. #77
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    Fascinating guard! The pattern of cutouts and engraved scroll decoration visible in your second photo are like nothing I've seen before, quite apart from the branch arrangement...

    John
    PS: Nice prominent "36" amongst others - 36th Jacob's Horse?
    Last edited by John Hart; 11-14-2013 at 04:35 AM. Reason: Added PS.
    "If I can't be a good example to others, at least let me be a horrible warning".

  3. #78
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  4. #79

    Indian Cavalry sword

    Quote Originally Posted by John Hart View Post
    Fascinating guard! The pattern of cutouts and engraved scroll decoration visible in your second photo are like nothing I've seen before, quite apart from the branch arrangement...

    John
    PS: Nice prominent "36" amongst others - 36th Jacob's Horse?
    Hi gentlemen,

    Yes the guard is of a relatively scarce type, and I think I recall seeing three or four in total, and own one myself. All examples I have seen have solid wood grips with no covering or binding, and Matt might be interested to learn that my blade is marked E. THURKLE - SOHO - LONDON, is 33" inches and sharpened to a point a couple of inches short of the guard; whereas I understand that Colin's sword has a blade of 31 1/2".

    In all cases where I've seen the actual sword or decent photos, the guards have fluted bars and some moderate engraving; judging by the fact that in some cases the guards bear numerous marks such as yours Colin. I hold the opinion that they were a special pattern made for Indian officers.

    Gordon

  5. #80
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    Similar scabbard to this one perhaps?
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    "Won't you stop citing laws to us who have our swords by our sides?"

  6. #81

    Indian Cavalry sword

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Kemp-Gee View Post
    Similar scabbard to this one perhaps?
    Hi Robert,

    Assuming that this sword is yours, is there a makers name or any regimental marks, and what might the blade length be?

    Gordon

  7. #82
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    Here is one in the Wilkinson 1912 catalogue
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  8. #83
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    Hi Gordon,

    It is indeed mine, 33" along the curve, made by Cockburn and Co. On one side of the quillon, 4476, on the reverse 3245 (I think!) Below quillon, 8612 - possible date?
    I have a Wilkinson one also, shark grip, no wire, same size blade, fits the pictured scabbard. I have seen a Wilkinson one in a scabbard, last Goodwood fair: - Very thin and tacky, very long chape. Not nice at all.
    Last edited by Robert Kemp-Gee; 11-15-2013 at 01:24 PM.
    "Won't you stop citing laws to us who have our swords by our sides?"

  9. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Kemp-Gee View Post
    Hi Gordon,

    It is indeed mine, 33" along the curve, made by Cockburn and Co. On one side of the quillon, 4476, on the reverse 3245 (I think!) Below quillon, 8612 - possible date?
    I have a Wilkinson one also, shark grip, no wire, same size blade, fits the pictured scabbard. I have seen a Wilkinson one in a scabbard, last Goodwood fair: - Very thin and tacky, very long chape. Not nice at all.
    Robert,

    This is very interesting stuff, and by ' 33" along the curve', do you mean in a straight line from guard to point, or measured following the curve?

    Could you possibly post some comparative images of the Wilkinson and Cockburn & Co. full length side by side; would also be very interested to see comparative front view of the guards; Can you also tell me the length of the grip, back of guard to the base of the pommel, and the knuckle space between the finger side of the grip and the underside of the guard on both swords.

    I notice that your Cockburn example has a broader point, and in terms of the scabbard, the style is fairly common as is the length of chape and the shape of the drag however, your example is the only one I have seen that accepts a 33" inch blade, all others I have seen are for the shorter blade of nominally 30" - 31 1/2", and the only example I'm aware of that was sold by Cockburn & Co.

    As for the Wilkinson example you saw at the fair, can you recall what the chape and drag looked like?

    Gordon

  10. #85
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    I know we're not supposed to talk about active auctions, but this is an interesting/important piece of data: There is a Wilkinson-made sword of the 3-bar Paget-bladed form discussed above coming up for sale at a certain UK East Sussex-based military auction. Intriguingly it was made for Haile Selassie of Ethiopia in George VI's reign! It looks to all intents and purposes like the 3-bar Indian sabres of this thread, but with etched decoration to the blade.

  11. #86
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    Strikes me it's well worth reviving the odd neglected thread, this one certainly took on a new lease of life although I think I've exhausted the possibilities of my own particular sword. Thank you all all who added to my knowledge. I don't have a scabbard so can't add to that line.
    In passing, is there or could we establish a convention for measuring curved blade length? There isn't a vast difference in most cases between curve length and chord length I think. Do you measure the inside or outside of the curve? Not easy in either case whereas a straight edge from guard to tip is.

  12. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Hartwright View Post
    Strikes me it's well worth reviving the odd neglected thread, this one certainly took on a new lease of life although I think I've exhausted the possibilities of my own particular sword. Thank you all all who added to my knowledge. I don't have a scabbard so can't add to that line.
    In passing, is there or could we establish a convention for measuring curved blade length? There isn't a vast difference in most cases between curve length and chord length I think. Do you measure the inside or outside of the curve? Not easy in either case whereas a straight edge from guard to tip is.
    Hi Colin,

    Blade curve is indeed an interesting subject in relation to Indian Cavalry swords, and well worth more attention.

    As far as I'm aware, the curve is measured at the back from a straight line to the deepest part of the curve, the only thing I'm unsure of is how to treat with the straight edge at the point, in particular in the case of a spear point where the straight edge will rest on the curve of the false edge, as apposed to touching the actual point (hatchet point). Maybe someone on the forum has an answer?

    The other suggestion would be to expand this area of discussion to include other merchants and/or makers, such as Bourne & Son who supplied a lot of stuff to Indian regiments; also worth including types with Sialkot markings, and various guard types, such as stirrup hilts, 1853 types, 3-bar guards with a folding section and so on.

    Gordon

  13. #88
    Here is another sword like Colin's which recently ended on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/BRITISH-POSS...vip=true&rt=nc

  14. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    Here is another sword like Colin's which recently ended on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/BRITISH-POSS...vip=true&rt=nc
    Hi Gentlemen,

    Very interesting that you should mention this sword Jonathan, the blade is near identical to Colin's sword however, the guard although very much the same at a glance, is a variation of this type (lacking one bar) which I haven't seen before and very likely one of the guard types that are mentioned in the Mole records, which lack identification up to date.

    Referring to Robert's book "Pictorial History of Swords and Bayonets", we can find the following; ...In the cavalry, the hilts and scabbards varied but the blades were mainly of a standard pattern. Native Bengal cavalry had a 33" blade to their swords while Madras and Bombay had a 31 1/2" blade described in an India Sore Department order of September 1883 for 2304 blades to Robert Mole of Birmingham as 'India Stores Pattern 6480, Native India Cavalry/Madras and Bombay/blades tulwar. Paget pattern'.

    The blade length on some of the earlier 3-bat hilted swords can vary between a nom. 30" up to 31 1/2", and whilst I believe I have identified one particular sword (with a shorter blade ) as Bengal, there is no doubt that Bengal cavalry used swords with 33' blades, and this may explain why they are somewhat rarer then the shorter types, as in general terms there would be a ration of two-to-one with Madras and Bombay grouped together with 31 1/2" blades, and Bengal with 33".

    Based on this analysis, I believe Colin's sword with a 33" blade, and other swords with this length of blade can be categorized as Bengal Cavalry patterns. Although the guards are quite different, they could well have been made in England to a regimental specification, as the back piece and pommel configuration seems very similar between those swords by different makers/merchants.

    Gordon

  15. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by gordon byrne View Post
    Hi Gentlemen,

    Very interesting that you should mention this sword Jonathan, the blade is near identical to Colin's sword however, the guard although very much the same at a glance, is a variation of this type (lacking one bar) which I haven't seen before and very likely one of the guard types that are mentioned in the Mole records, which lack identification up to date.

    Referring to Robert's book "Pictorial History of Swords and Bayonets", we can find the following; ...In the cavalry, the hilts and scabbards varied but the blades were mainly of a standard pattern. Native Bengal cavalry had a 33" blade to their swords while Madras and Bombay had a 31 1/2" blade described in an India Sore Department order of September 1883 for 2304 blades to Robert Mole of Birmingham as 'India Stores Pattern 6480, Native India Cavalry/Madras and Bombay/blades tulwar. Paget pattern'.

    The blade length on some of the earlier 3-bat hilted swords can vary between a nom. 30" up to 31 1/2", and whilst I believe I have identified one particular sword (with a shorter blade ) as Bengal, there is no doubt that Bengal cavalry used swords with 33' blades, and this may explain why they are somewhat rarer then the shorter types, as in general terms there would be a ration of two-to-one with Madras and Bombay grouped together with 31 1/2" blades, and Bengal with 33".

    Based on this analysis, I believe Colin's sword with a 33" blade, and other swords with this length of blade can be categorized as Bengal Cavalry patterns. Although the guards are quite different, they could well have been made in England to a regimental specification, as the back piece and pommel configuration seems very similar between those swords by different makers/merchants.

    Gordon
    I forgot to say something about the markings on the guard of Colin's sword, which are almost certainly the regiment. This does create another confusing situation in respect of blade length however, it is also a fact that 36th Jacobs Horse carried swords with longer blades, which are quoted in Roberts book as 37" inches. Personally I've never seen an example with this length of blade, but this doesn't mean they don't exist.

    The 1888 title of the 2nd Scinde Horse was 6th Bombay Cavalry (Jacob's Horse), and in 1903 the number changed by the addition of thirty, the 6th becoming the 36th which is exactly what we have on Colin's sword with the 6 crossed out and replaced with 36; the 1903 title becoming 36th Jacob's Horse. One step forward and one step back! until someone finds an example with a thirty seven inch (37) blade???

  16. #91
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    Hi Gordon,

    Excuse the monumentally tardy response.

    33" following the curve.

    The scabbard at the fair was thin, very cheap feeling, with an enormous chape, around 10" long I think. Thin metal, very unlike one pictured. The drag was not unusual. I found rthe business card of the chap that had it - i bought a different sword from him. His name is Michael Jolly, I think. If you want to contact him, let me know and I will try to find the card.
    Pictured are both Wilkinson and Cockburn versions, sadly lacking the floral decorations and unusual guards as pictured above.
    Attached Images Attached Images          
    "Won't you stop citing laws to us who have our swords by our sides?"

  17. #92
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Kemp-Gee View Post
    Hi Gordon,

    Excuse the monumentally tardy response.

    33" following the curve.

    The scabbard at the fair was thin, very cheap feeling, with an enormous chape, around 10" long I think. Thin metal, very unlike one pictured. The drag was not unusual. I found rthe business card of the chap that had it - i bought a different sword from him. His name is Michael Jolly, I think. If you want to contact him, let me know and I will try to find the card.
    Pictured are both Wilkinson and Cockburn versions, sadly lacking the floral decorations and unusual guards as pictured above.
    Hi Robert,

    As far as the other sword is concerned, I am mainly interested in the dimensional data, the style of the hilt, blade and chape; if the chap still has it, maybe he could take some photos.

    Your Wilkinson example (with 1915 date) appears to have a shorter blade than the Cockburn, I normally measure them in a straight line from the guard to the point. I believe your Cockburn example is quite a rare type, as it has an earlier and totally different guard type to the Wilkinson and the 33" blades are not common.

    There are a number of different guard types mentioned in the Mole records, and I've been trying to identify the different types and match them to the Mole codes, and this is not an easy task however, I still consider these 33" blades are more likely to be Bengal swords.

  18. #93
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    ref
    Thurkle

    Wikinsons supplied George Thurkle with blade for India Office Orders (as well as others) while Mole is recorded as supplying Pillin with blades. There were also numerous Regimental variations in blades that were supplied either on occasion by the India Office but usually direct to the regiments by the makers of various London and Birmingham merchants such as J Bourne & Son and FP Baker. Others and I have record of direct supply to 16 regiments, all with variation in b lade hilt and scabbard.

  19. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Wilkinson-Latham View Post
    ref
    Thurkle

    Wikinsons supplied George Thurkle with blade for India Office Orders (as well as others) while Mole is recorded as supplying Pillin with blades. There were also numerous Regimental variations in blades that were supplied either on occasion by the India Office but usually direct to the regiments by the makers of various London and Birmingham merchants such as J Bourne & Son and FP Baker. Others and I have record of direct supply to 16 regiments, all with variation in b lade hilt and scabbard.
    Hi all,

    I've attached two images showing the front view first of a Thurkle sword the same at that on page one of this thread, and second is a Mole guard the same as Robert KG's Wilkinson sword; if we include Colin's unusual guard, the sword that Jonathan mentioned and Robert KG's Cockburn retailed sword, we have five (5) distinctly different guard patterns which in my opinion cover a period of circa 1875 - 1918.

    As Robert WL has pointed out, many regiments were supplied direct by makers and merchants, and the Wilkinson/Mole records contain coded descriptions of various guards, I've identified a number from a regimental point of view, with some having regimental markings on the blades or guards, and some with hilt variations. The subject of these Indian Army cavalry patterns is vast and very complicated, and I wonder at times whether we will ever have a complete list of all variations however, his thread is important as a basis for identifying some more of these patterns, which are often overlooked from an individual point of view, and simply grouped together.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  20. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by gordon byrne View Post
    Hi all,

    I've attached two images showing the front view first of a Thurkle sword the same at that on page one of this thread, and second is a Mole guard the same as Robert KG's Wilkinson sword; if we include Colin's unusual guard, the sword that Jonathan mentioned and Robert KG's Cockburn retailed sword, we have five (5) distinctly different guard patterns which in my opinion cover a period of circa 1875 - 1918.

    As Robert WL has pointed out, many regiments were supplied direct by makers and merchants, and the Wilkinson/Mole records contain coded descriptions of various guards, I've identified a number from a regimental point of view, with some having regimental markings on the blades or guards, and some with hilt variations. The subject of these Indian Army cavalry patterns is vast and very complicated, and I wonder at times whether we will ever have a complete list of all variations however, his thread is important as a basis for identifying some more of these patterns, which are often overlooked from an individual point of view, and simply grouped together.
    Follow-up,

    First is the sword with the variant hilt in the last image, second from left is marked to the 18th Bengal, and notice the different style of pommel similar to Colin's sword; third from the left is marked to the 15th Bengal Cavalry and dated 1886; last one is another guard variation. Don't know how well the images will come out, but thought these might be of further interest.
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