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Thread: Researching a Hebbert 1822

  1. #1
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    Researching a Hebbert 1822

    Hi all,

    I wanted to discuss a sword I've been trying to identify to an officer from researching initials.

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    I am confident, and I really hope you agree, that the initials are LCS. If not, I have wasted a lot of hours on this search!

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    With the 1822 pattern being carried by so many officers for such a long period I have been musing on various means of narrowing down the dating. As always any help on any of my ramblings are much appreciated.

    The sword is an 1822/54 pattern by Hebbert & Co as etched to the ricasso but unfortunately no address is given other than 'London'.

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    I have seen a folding guard Hebbert example using 'Pall Mall London' and know they left Pall Mall in 1864. Did they switch to simply 'London' as soon as they left Pall Mall? Or was there a later demarcation date (or even multiple formats overlapping)

    I cannot find many Hebbert examples online so I'm very interested to know if there are known example out there which use their full addresses of 'New Coventry Street' (from 1865) or 'St James Street' (from 1868).

    If I can identify the demarcation point for when they changed the format of their etched addresses it may help me pinpoint a date.

    Of interest, I notice that the style of the etching used for the 'makers' name is identical to that of examples of Silver & Co (of London not Liverpool). I assume therefore that both are outfitters that are sourcing their swords from the same actual manufacturer at least on one occasion. Does anyone know who this might be?

    The casting of the cartouche is very fine and delicate much more so than other examples which can be a bit 'blobby' especially around the flowers of the union and the body of the letters. This suggests to me a decent manufacturer but to be honest I wouldn't say that the hilt itself is of the same delicate quality.

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    Flowers of the union are included in the cartouche so this is after 1852 but i knew this anyway from the solid guard.

    I have noticed that there tend to be at least 2 different designs of guard used between different sword makers. These are shown in below (the fact that the S type are folding guards and the trigger? types are fixed is just coincidence I think). I wonder whether these designs can also be an indicator of manufacturing date as with the switch to solid hilt?

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    S type

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    Trigger? type

    Another minor observation is the style of the etching of the VR cypher on the blade has the V being much more central over the R than is the norm but I would put this down to the variations of human tolerances of the etcher rather than a deliberate design.

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    The monarch's cypher on blade is noted to be VR not VRI. Does this mean the blade is pre 1876/77 or was this not adopted universally even after Victoria became imperatrix?

    The style of the crown used on the blade cypher differs from some I have seen. I seem to recall a thread on swordforum discussing crown styles used in etching but I can't find it. Does this help date the blade? I feel like the answer is probably no.

    The blade is curved but only slightly and very close to being straight. To me this suggests a later style in the life of this pattern but again my understanding is that this is not definitive.



    Part 2 for those still interested

    THE OFFICERS CANDIDATES


    As there are comparatively few Christian names beginning with "L" I thought it worthwhile to go through the whole of the "S" Index in Harts year by year*checking for a match. It took some time but having searched the available Harts editions from 1854 (when the fixed guard came in) through to1895 (when the blade pattern changed, although I know the blade type changed in 92) I find there are only 5 possible candidates in the regular army with the initial LCS.

    I am still trawling through Hart's Militia officers to rule out further possibilities so a long way to go yet. But I feel like getting to this stage was worthy of a post to*share my findings so far. I dreaded finding a selection of possible officers with short uneventful careers but in fact it’s proven to be mostly the opposite.

    Candidate 1: Loftus Corbet Singleton

    Commissioned into 92nd Gordon Highlanders in 1861.

    As a highlander he should have been carrying the 1828 pattern broadsword so I consider it sensible to rule him out. For the sake of interest he was shot in the knee at the battle of Majuba Hill in the 1st Boer war. He died of his wounds months later. If you Wikipedia the battle he is depicted in the foreground of the print by Richard Caton Woodville shown in the foreground being handed a flask by an orderly after being wounded.

    Candidate 2: Ludovic Charles Stewart.

    He was commissioned Asst Surgeon in 1841, Surgeon in 1852, Surgeon-Major in 1861, Deputy Surgeon General in 1867 and Surgeon-General in 1876. He went on half pay in 1879 and I believed died 1881.

    He served with foot regiments 29th, 94th 61st and 78th.

    His War Records reads: “Mr. Stewart served with the 29th Regiment throughout the Punjaub campaign in 1848-49, including the passage of the Chenab, and the battles of Chillianwallah and Goojerat (Medal with two Clasps).”


    Candidate 3: Lucas Clement Scott

    Commissioned into the 88th Connaught Rangers in 1855.

    Scott saw action in the Crimea, serving at the siege and fall of Sebastapol and was severely wounded at the final attack on the Redan. He later served in suppression of the Indian Mutiny when the regiment arrived for standard relief duty and found the Mutiny in full swing. He served at Cawnpore, Bhognapore and the sieges of Lucknow and Calpee.

    Candidate 4: Leonard Copley Sherer

    Commissioned into 1st foot in August 1880 and transfering a month later to The 17th (Leicestershire) eventually becoming Lieut.-Colonel. He was employed with the Egyptian Constabulary from May-.1892, to March, 1896, and then was on special service in Egypt until the following November, when he “took part in the Dongola Expedition and was mentioned in despatches (British medal and Egyptian medal With clasp). He was in Natal with the 1st Batt. on the outbreak of the South African war, and took part in the operations in Natal, including the actions at Talana and Lombard’s Kop and the Defence of Ladysmith; also the subsequent operations in Natal, including the action at Laing’s Nek‘, the operations in the Transvaal, including the actions at Belfast and Lydenburg; and the operations on the Zululand frontier of Natal. From October to December, 1900, he was in command of a mounted infantry battalion, and then until the following April in command of the Ist Batt. (mentioned in despatches, Queen’s medal with four Clasps, King’s medal with two Clasps).

    Candidate 5: Ludlow Coape-Smith Later (Ludlow Coape Ludlow)


    Commissioned into the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in 1885 before transferring to Bengal Staff Corps. He seems to have had a short career and lots listed as retired in 1893. I later find reference to him being treated for “a Blood poisoning, the result of an illness he had in India” and it seems that he might have retired on medical grounds.

    As if identifying officers from initials is not hard enough this guy changed his name during his army career apparently because Smith was thought to common!*

    So which of these 5 is the most likely?

    I’m ruling out SINGLETON as he should have had a broadsword.

    SCOTT was commissioned in 1855 and therefore purchasing his first sword at a time when the fixed guard pattern was presumably de rigueur for fresh infantry officers.

    Whereas STEWART was commissioned in 1841 when the folding guard was the norm. I understand that from 1822 surgeons carried the correct pattern sword for the regiment to which they were attached (Robson) so with his first commission and posting to 29th foot in 1841 I would expect him to have carried a folding guard pibeback 1822 pattern. So not this sword. STEWART later went on to serve with other foot regiments again requiring an infantry pattern so no overt reason for him to buy a new sword at least not until he joined the 78th seaforth highlanders.

    Of course he could have bought a new sword at a time after the solid guard was introduced due to loss or damage.

    SHERER was commissioned into the 1st, A Scots lowland regiment and moved to an English foot regiment prior to the 1st's adoption of Highland dressed in 1881. So this pattern sword is a fit.

    COAPE-SMITH. I’m at a loss with this one. Did the Inniskiling Fusilier’s carry the standard gothic hilt? I have found nothing to suggest they didn't but They I believe that at other Fusilier regiments had the monarch’s cartouche replaced with something unique to their regiments.

    If anyone can help with dating questions perhaps I can rule out more of these candidates.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Hi James

    You are correct the initials are "L.C.S.".

    I bought the other sword marked to the 10th Hussars which was in the same auction and when I spoke to the auction house, they said that the lots had come from the same vendor and that got me thinking that the swords might be related?

    The owner of my sword was Carleton Salkeld of the 10th Hussars and his father was a chap called Louis Carruthers Salked which I believe equates to L.C.S. on your sword, although as always I stand to be corrected.

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    Wow, Great stuff, thanks for that info, I've found him in Hart's now. The story seems to fit and I better get digging.

    I had given up hope of actually pinning him down. I suppose I would have come across him eventually and listed him as a possible. It never even crossed my mind to consider other items in the same sale. I'll be quizzing all my auctioneers from this point on.

    And it wasn't wasted time either reading into the other L.C.S. Possibilities. Some great stories in there.

    Louis Carruthers Salkeld.

    4th Batt. The Border Regiment formerly The Royal Westmoreland L.I.


    Thank God. I can stop looking at Hart's now... At least for a few days until the next one arrives!

  4. #4
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    Mother Catherine Carruthers. Father John Salkeld.

    On his mother's side it seems he had a great uncle; James Carruthers who died at Waterloo. There are letters held by Cumbria Archive Centre referencing the death written by his great grandfather also James Carruthers.

    Commissioned 10 Oct 1874 as sub lieutenant.

    Retired from Militia 1893 (Hart's page 888).

    Assuming that this is his sword purchased at the time of commission it dates it nicely to 1874.
    Last edited by james.elstob; 04-07-2017 at 07:19 AM. Reason: correction

  5. #5
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    The delicate cartouche with VR etc. is also seen on earlier Wilkinson swords. The VR is correct, only British India swords have VRI on them.
    The rose, shamrock and thistle have been on swords earlier than 1852. I have an 1846 Wilkinson with them in the guard.
    The solid patent hilt was patent in 1853, some swords have this hilt prior to the patent, one I have is made by Reeves the inventor of it and it's marked as "registered".
    More than coincidence finding a name matching the initials related to the other sword in the same auction.
    I think you have your man. What are the odds with only initials on an infantry sword?

  6. #6
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    Great info, thanks Will,

    Just to clarify my reference to "solid" was reference to the "fixed" guard only as opposed to the folding guard. It's definitely not a reeves patent solid tang.

    With the cartouche, i've compared it directly with a Wilkinson and It is of a similar quality but definitely from a different mould. Do the master moulds used by manufacturers for cartouches change over time or would they have more than one in use? Could the differences help identify individual manufacturers?

    This difference between hilt and cartouche is striking. Worlds apart in quality.

  7. #7
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    Some more info on his Great uncle, a lieutenant of the Scots Greys no less.

    From: The Life, Letters and Mysterious Death of Major General Sir William Ponsonby 1772 - 1815

    James Caruthers of Annandale, a lieutenant in the Scots Greys. Dickinson says he saw Caruthers’ body near those of Sir William and Reignolds. Sargeant Johnson of the Scots Greys recorded that the day after the battle he had found Caruthers before he died, Caruthers had told him that he had been brought down by a musket shot and that, lying trapped, he had later been stabbed by a man with a spear., in other words, a lance.
    Last edited by james.elstob; 04-07-2017 at 08:03 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by james.elstob View Post
    Great info, thanks Will,

    Just to clarify my reference to "solid" was reference to the "fixed" guard only as opposed to the folding guard. It's definitely not a reeves patent solid tang.

    With the cartouche, i've compared it directly with a Wilkinson and It is of a similar quality but definitely from a different mould. Do the master moulds used by manufacturers for cartouches change over time or would they have more than one in use? Could the differences help identify individual manufacturers?

    This difference between hilt and cartouche is striking. Worlds apart in quality.
    Different makers different moulds. These somewhat delicate moulds would not have lasted indefinitely and new ones would be made that are not identical.
    No one that I know has researched this, I think just too many variations and with Wilkinsons and other sword manufacturers making swords for many retailers it does get confusing.

  9. #9
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    Most patterns are made from wood with wax fillets for hot spot areas. From time to time those wooden patterns become scared or warped and must be repaired or replaced. The wax fillets that fill holes , fillets and gouges is repaired before each cast. Molders and sand are hard on patterns. Many times the crispness of a poured item can indicate it being early production. Both ram sand, core sand and lost wax have been around for a long time. The vr could be fresh replacement on old hilt pattern. Patterns take much time to make and old ones are repaired or replacing the damaged area is not uncommon. Eric
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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