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Thread: 1897P British Infantry Officer’s Sword by Hawkes?

  1. #1
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    1897P British Infantry Officer’s Sword by Hawkes?

    Hello,

    I’m new to the forum and a novice sword enthusiast. The sword described herein is one I acquired as a youth in England in the early 1960’s. I have recently become interested in its origin. Based on what I have been able to determine thusfar, it appears to be an 1897 infantry officers sword issued to a member of the Northumberland Fusiliers. It was sold by Hawkes who I assume was an outfitter. The number 5584 is stamped on the blade edge. Could this be a Wilkinson-made sword? Is there any way to determine its date of issue and to whom issued?

    I will attempt to attach photos and will be most appreciative of any additional information anyone can provide.

    Thanks all

    Thomas S
    Attached Images Attached Images      

  2. #2
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    Your Hawkes sword would date between 1897 and 1899. Around 1900 the lower metal drag was no longer used and a leather one in its place.

  3. #3
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    Thank you for the info. I'm still hoping someone can provide a clue as to the manufacturer and the recipient or an idea as to how I can further research these.

  4. #4
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    Hi Thomas

    Unless the brass proof thats punched into the ricass0 has HW on it , then I am sorry that isn't a Wilkinson made blade . If that is the case am afraid also the number on the spine will not help . As far as I am aware it is only Wilkinson made blades that there is a log book available for . Hence why the prices for Wilkinson's are as a rule higher than other maker's . Sorry for being so negative on what is a nice 1897 pattern sword. The proof plug may give an idea for which company made the blade as some are very specific to certain manufacturers.So if you can provide a close up of the proof plug it may help .The Harts annuals for 1897 through to 1899 will give you all the officers in the Northumberland Fusiliers for those years but as it was a change of model which needed a change of the guard , the blade may predate 1897 . Also without any initials or family crest on the blade ownership can't be norrowed down as it could if they were present .
    Last edited by Paul Evenden; 02-02-2018 at 07:11 PM.

  5. #5
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    Officers purchased their own swords for the most part, the odd few had them given to them as gifts.
    You cannot find the owner of this sword unless his initials and/or family crest is etched on the blade or engraved on the guard.
    You have the regiment and a small time span when made, 1897-1899 so 3 to 4 years. Hawkes seems to have used only the higher end sword makers, most likely Wilkinsons or Mole.
    The Hawkes number cannot be traced as the records do not exist.

    I didn't see Pauls post so I added this here. Seems my computer does not update so quickly
    Last edited by Will Mathieson; 02-02-2018 at 07:15 PM.

  6. #6
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    Thanks Paul. The proof has a P in the center surrounded by the word “proved” with a dot below the P. (I will attempt to attach a photo). Will also include a photo of what may be a crest or initials (I frankly can not tell). See above the flaming grenade in the second photo.

    Your insight is most helpful and greatly appreciated.

    ThomasName:  D37F463E-3CE9-40FA-8AD2-A74865144173.jpg
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  7. #7
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    Name:  95E6224B-A3FD-448F-97A6-941191F7FA24.jpg
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Size:  96.5 KB Proof photo

  8. #8
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    Thanks Will. Perhaps the proof info provided in the reply to Paul will provide some further clue to maker. Thanks again for your help.

  9. #9
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    I believe the "P" under PROVED makes it a Pillin, who Robert Wilkinson-Latham says made some of their own swords but also bought in from Wilkinson, Mole and maybe Reeves. The grenade badge etched on the blade is the Northumberland Fusilier's regimental device (St. George slaying the dragon) and the V is for the regiment's other name, the 5th Regiment of Foot.

  10. #10
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    I concur with Mark the P more than likely points towards Pillin and the etching on Pillin swords are some of the best in my opinion . That can be seen on this blade ,as for the very stylised letters above the grenade they are VR for Victoria Regina. The initials for owners are usually the same side of the proof slug and placed just above it .

  11. #11
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    Thanks to all who provided this helpful information.

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