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Thread: Curious engraving on an early Wilkinson

  1. #76
    Imagine this style D in double reverse:

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    While the Hindi letters may not be WHW and the sword may not be that of Viscount Dangan, I still believe the monogram is a double reverse D as first suggested by Gordon.

  2. #77
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    Well, it may well be a D . It could be a D or a C as far as I can tell. I think those are the only likely letters. What I am not clear on is whether the crossed 'tails' in the centre is supposed to represent a further letter, for example A.
    What I am now certain of is that whoever owned it, it was a Viscount. There is no question on that I think.

    So to revise, these are the Viscounts listed in the Coldstream Guards in 1856 (Hart's) -
    George Frederick Upton, 3rd Viscount Templetown
    William Henry Wellesley, Viscount Dangan
    Henry William John Byng, 4th Earl of Strafford and Viscount Enfield[?]
    James Alfred Caulfield, 7th Viscount Charlemont [only gained the title in 1892...]
    William Archer Amherst, 3rd Earl Amherst [known as Viscount Holmesdale]

    Of those, only Dangan and Charlemont seem to be candidates.
    I'll now have a look at some later lists to see if any other individuals show up.

    On the matter of the Hindi letters, it seems unlikely to me that they relate to a person's inititals. They are I-PH-II(or E). Those are extremely unlikely to relate to initials - but they could relate to the first letters of a Latin motto or suchlike. I note that the Wellesley family, for example, sometimes wrote their family motto in Hindi!

    Cheers,
    Matt

  3. #78
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    I think it should be looked at as a letter and its mirrored image as the mirrored letter does not seem to represent anything unless reversed.
    What I see is a "D", if it is viewed as a "C" the lower tale of the C extends quite high.
    Hopefully the other script may give a clue as Matt says a family motto.

  4. #79
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    Matt,
    A quick look in Fairbairn's Crests, Vol.2, noted Plate 131, crest 26 (towards the bottom right corner) shows a typical arrangement of a coronet and initials. The coronet has seven pearls like yours, albeit with a chapeau shown in the centre. In the description to crest 26 it mentions the initials being reversed and entwined. Such reversing at present I am not sure if this means one before the other or a mirror image. There are also some examples of letters with a similar style in the centre of plates 134 to 139 inclusive, for comparison.

    Will have a more in depth look later in the month when I hopefully will have more time and get back home from work. Particularly interested in the aspect of the letters being reversed as this has implications for other applications of sword collecting.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    Imagine this style D in double reverse:

    Name:  d_monogram_16152007_std.jpg
Views: 36
Size:  35.9 KB

    Name:  picture_532.jpg
Views: 27
Size:  48.6 KB

    While the Hindi letters may not be WHW and the sword may not be that of Viscount Dangan, I still believe the monogram is a double reverse D as first suggested by Gordon.
    With the magic of Photoshop here is it reversed and intertwined.
    Robert
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #81
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    Thanks Robert!
    If it's a D then I can only see it being Viscount Dangan, AKA William Henry Wellesley (later Earl Cowley). Only an actual Viscount would have this coronet on their sword wouldn't they? There are some other contemporary officers who were brothers or sons of Viscounts, but were not Viscounts themselves.

    I can't work out any relation between Viscount Dangan and the Hindi characters, not with family motto, initials, relatives or anything. But it is intriguing that the Wellesley coat of arms sometimes included a motto in Hindi (which I have not been able to find a copy of, only reference to).

    Thanks for all your input, gentlemen.

    Matt

  7. #82
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    Matt, any luck with the Wilkinson proof page?

  8. #83
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    Hi Will, I posted about it further back in the thread - this blade 6900 is unfortunately in one of the lost/destroyed books.

    However, I am starting to feel like I've been over this with a fine toothcomb now... That coronet is definitely for a Viscount. Only one Viscount in the Coldstreams matches a D - Dangan - and only one Viscount matches a C - Charlemont. I can find no other eligible Viscount in the Coldstream Guards, right up to the 1870's (and we know the sword was made in 1855).

  9. #84
    I wonder if there could be any family members of the gentlemen in question who might be able to shed any further light on the sword ? Seeing it seems to have been narrowed down to 2 possibilities..could ? " Burke's Peerage" ? trace the families ?

  10. #85
    The current Viscount Dangan is a direct descendant of William Henry Wellesley.

  11. #86
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    Indeed! I'm not sure he would want to be bothered by a sword collector though . The only conclusive way of being 100% that I can think of would be to find evidence of either of these candidates using the same monogram under a coronet.

  12. #87
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    Matt, on the contrary, I'm sure he would be glad to assist you with this puzzle. I have had great help with family relations in regards to swords.
    They like it when people are interested in their family history and are happy to share what they can.
    I would try, the least they can say is no.

  13. #88
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    Matt, do you know what number range the missing book contained, if the whole book? The books are 250 entries each, 9001-9249 is also missing.
    With your sword number 6900 the book missing should have contained 6751- 7000.

  14. #89
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    Hi Will,
    I think I will contact him.
    I don't know anything about the ledger books I'm afraid, just that Richard Milner let me know that the book that 6900 would have been in is lost/destroyed.
    Cheers,
    Matt

  15. #90
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    Another Cut!!!!!!

    Found the attached in Rowe's early sketch book. While not exactly the same, could this have been the artwork used for the plain engraving on your sword??? (I say engraving and NOT etch) in a planer style????
    There is no identity written unfortunately to identify the customer.
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  16. #91
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    Very nice Robert! So that's a Viscount's coronet (7 pearls shown again) with a double 'E' under? Interesting to note that the letters are facing 'outwards' as in the double CC examples I posted above - was there a convention regarding having doubled letters pointing 'inwards' or 'outwards'?

  17. #92

    Double reverse monograms

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Easton View Post
    Very nice Robert! So that's a Viscount's coronet (7 pearls shown again) with a double 'E' under? Interesting to note that the letters are facing 'outwards' as in the double CC examples I posted above - was there a convention regarding having doubled letters pointing 'inwards' or 'outwards'?
    Hi Matt,

    Purely a suggestion re aisthetics, and owing to the highly stylized nature of some of the letters, the general appearance would be important. The other point is based on matters heraldic, whereby the principal charge is alway displayed on the left side when you are looking at it, therefore the letter on the left should be displayed so as to read it nomally on the left, with the reverse image of the letter on the right (sinister). As I say, just a suggestion, but would make sense.

    Gordon

  18. #93
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    This style of initial etching seems, from the pulls in Rowe's Sketch Book. to have been very popular. Here are some more examples but alas not the one we are looking for.
    Robert
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  19. #94
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  20. #95
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    Just a slight update to this thread. Unfortunately I have not been able to get a response from Viscount Dangan, but the Crimean War Viscount Dangan remains the most likely original owner of the sword, in my mind, given that there was only one Viscount with the letter D prominently in his name in the Coldstream Guards in 1855. The Hindi characters remain a mystery and various sources have now confirmed that they most likely signify the sounds 'I', 'PH' and 'EE'.

    Earlier in the thread I noticed that there seems to be some correlation between these non-regulation straight blades and the Coldstream Guards. Well I have recently discovered that in the letters of Gerald Goodlake VC, who fought with the Coldstream Guards in the Crimea, in 1855 noted to his parents that whilst the sword they had sent him was good, it was not straight and 'un-fluted', as he had requested.... My eyes lit up at this, because of course it suggests that unofficially within the Coldstream Guards there was a fashion at this time for straight un-fullered blades, corresponding to the examples that both Will and I own.

    Matt

  21. #96
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    Hello Matt, the straight unfullered blades may be more than just fashion. Several swords I have seen including a recent acquisition of mine has the unfullered straight blade. Better for penetration and stronger, though a heavier blade.
    I have had the pleasure to acquire a Wilkinson 1854p infantry sword made in 1872, ordered by a Maj. of the 3rd Gurkhas who began his career fighting in the India Mutiny. I find many special order Wilkinsons were ordered due to that conflict. The same may be said for the Crimea and needing to penetrate heavy winter Russian coats.
    A fullered bladed sword if it does not penetrate the object and is thrust with intent of running up to the hilt has a good chance of breaking, the blade is made to withstand the force from edge to spine. The I beam shape is never used on its side as strength is lost. An unfullered blade can be viewed as a flat spring stock, more resilient to bending without breaking.

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