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Thread: Wilkinson Sword Characteristics

  1. #51
    Thank you, Robert. So the unstopped fuller was more for structural integrity than for style/aesthetics?

    Jonathan

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    Thank you, Robert. So the unstopped fuller was more for structural integrity than for style/aesthetics?

    Jonathan
    Bit of both I should think or at least marketed as such!

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob O'Reilly View Post
    Robert,

    I do not have the records for this sword, only an e-mail for richard Milner telling that sword 8189 is a claymore. I am pretty certain the blade was not re-hilted. The proved disk reads PROVED P, which was another reason for me to believe it not to be a Wilkinson sword.

    Attached is a hilt picture.

    Rob
    Rob
    On reflection, the entry on the blade stub 'Claymore' refers to the blade type and NOT the sword
    Robert

  4. #54
    I have two P1895s that began life as P1854s--that is they were re-hilted with the new steel regulation hilts introduced in 1895. Both swords are Wilkinsons. One sword has a hilt marked "STEEL HILT", which was a term used by Wilkinson and shows that Wilkinson re-hilted the sword. This sword belonged to an officer in the British Army. The second sword's hilt is not marked "STEEL HILT", and the original owner was an officer in the Indian Army. Does the absence of the "STEEL HILT" marking negate Wilkinson as the firm who performed the re-hilt?

    Thank you,
    Jonathan

  5. #55
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    The Shear Joy of Wilkinsons!

    Been meaning to post this for a while - a pair of Wilkinson garden shears seen in an eBay auction in Australia. Sorry for the picture quality, but notice the proof disk to the right of the pivot nut? Never seen that on garden implements before!

    If I had to stick my neck out, I'd say these could well have been carried into action by a member of Gardener's Horse...

    John
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    "If I can't be a good example to others, at least let me be a horrible warning".

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Hart View Post
    Been meaning to post this for a while - a pair of Wilkinson garden shears seen in an eBay auction in Australia. Sorry for the picture quality, but notice the proof disk to the right of the pivot nut? Never seen that on garden implements before!

    If I had to stick my neck out, I'd say these could well have been carried into action by a member of Gardener's Horse...

    John
    As a sales feature the proof mark was put on garden shears made after WW2 until about 1956.

  7. #57
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    Wilkinson Proof 'Double Triangle"

    The Wilkinson double triangle that surrounded the Proof mark first made it's appearance in 1844.

    It has been discussed and dissected over the years and various explanations given from Star of David to other fanciful explanations.

    It was in fact what it was - a double triangle. The triangle is the strongest geometric shape so double that to emphasise Henry Wilkinson 'brutal' blade testing machine built in 1844 and mentioned in the 1st Edition of Observations on Swords.

    Here is a pattern for this mark made to be cast and inlaid in Gold on very expensive presentation swords circa 1860



    From this one can actually see TWO triangles intertwined.

  8. #58
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    So glad to hear Wilkinson discontinued their proof mark in 1956 I thought my garden loppers might be one of those "Chinese Wilkinson's" I've been cleaning the etching on my Wilkinson (sword) with a sharpened point of a brass bolt which I find quite good by holding it in an old but not ancient vice grip I got from my father . But do I have a genuine "Mole" its got "self-grip wrench Birmingham England on the other side?
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    Last edited by Phillip Rodley; 07-17-2008 at 12:46 AM.

  9. #59
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    On This Day in 1898 - a new sword scandal breaks!

    Found this interesting article when browsing an old newspaper archive (thanks, Jonathan!). I've never seen a British P1897 sword with a replacement "Made in Germany" hilt - wonder if it was a true story of sneaky tailors or part of a "Buy British" campaign?

    Also, it was only when I was cropping the image for posting that I realised it's from a newspaper (the Aberdeen Weekly Journal) exactly 111 years old today!

    John
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    Last edited by John Hart; 02-17-2009 at 01:59 AM. Reason: Added newspaper credit
    "If I can't be a good example to others, at least let me be a horrible warning".

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Hart View Post
    Found this interesting article when browsing an old newspaper archive (thanks, Jonathan!). I've never seen a British P1897 sword with a replacement "Made in Germany" hilt - wonder if it was a true story of sneaky tailors or part of a "Buy British" campaign?

    Also, it was only when I was cropping the image for posting that I realised it's from a newspaper exactly 111 years old today!

    John
    John,
    Nice One! (Thanks to you John and Jonathan) This is one of the cuttings I don't have!
    Robert

  11. #61
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    Wilkinson Proof Books

    Collectors may well have come across the description in the Proof entry for a sword which features the words 'Medium Infantry or Medium Artillery Other Proof entries mention Regulation
    Cavalry swords invariably are all 'Regulation'!
    What does it all mean?

    Well, The regulation infantry/rifle blade was 321/2 X 1 1/8 inch with a few specials with blades that were longer at 34 1/2 X 1 1/8 inch and of course 'bespoke' blades..

    If a description stated medium then the blade is always of
    1 inch wide and 32 1/2 inches long, which does of course NOT include the tang.
    I have checked through various years at random and where Medium is mentioned then the blade is invariably 1inch wide.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Wilkinson-Latham View Post
    Collectors may well have come across the description in the Proof entry for a sword which features the words 'Medium Infantry or Medium Artillery Other Proof entries mention Regulation
    Cavalry swords invariably are all 'Regulation'!
    What does it all mean?

    Well, The regulation infantry/rifle blade was 321/2 X 1 1/8 inch with a few specials with blades that were longer at 34 1/2 X 1 1/8 inch and of course 'bespoke' blades..

    If a description stated medium then the blade is always of
    1 inch wide and 32 1/2 inches long, which does of course NOT include the tang.
    I have checked through various years at random and where Medium is mentioned then the blade is invariably 1inch wide.
    Interesting stuff, Robert - and thanks for checking against the archive material too! Do you know if Wilkinson charged extra for "Regulation" over "Medium" blades, or was this just a matter of officer preference?

    it would be interesting too to know if tailors or retailers were aware of this difference, and whether in the absence of a specific request from them they would always get "Regulation" (or "Medium")!

    John
    "If I can't be a good example to others, at least let me be a horrible warning".

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Hart View Post
    Interesting stuff, Robert - and thanks for checking against the archive material too! Do you know if Wilkinson charged extra for "Regulation" over "Medium" blades, or was this just a matter of officer preference?

    it would be interesting too to know if tailors or retailers were aware of this difference, and whether in the absence of a specific request from them they would always get "Regulation" (or "Medium")!

    John
    There was no difference in the cost which I have checked against all the catalogues and Price Lists I have from the 1860's up to 1935. Non of the catalogues and price lists mention this, while there was a price variation for Best Proved, Best Proved with Solid Tang and Proved (Tailor's Quality).

    I am sure that Wilkinsons, eying up the physique of their client, would recommend "Perhaps the Medium for Sir would be more efficient if and when he should use it in anger"
    I am also sure that this information was sent to tailors whom Wilkinson supplied as well. When I have time, I might have a look though the Proof Books and see if any Tailors ordered Medium. I must say, while looking examining the Proof details, I do not remember seeing Military Tailor's names.
    I would suspect that for a standard physique, Regulation would be the order of the day!

    I must add that the measurements I have given in this example are for INFANTRY and RIFLES - For Artillery they would of course be the same as the blade shapes in the 1860's/1870's were the same or similar (Inf 1845 and RA 1822) patterns.
    All these measurements of blade width are at the 'Shoulder' of the blade.
    Footnote:
    It is interesting to note that in the 1912 Catalogue, sword prices are quoted with hilts and scabbard in Polished Steel- Nickel Plating of hilt and scabbard was extra at 15/-. The previous 1902 catalogue priced the sword finished already plated. (The price of sword plated in 1912 was the same as offered in 1902, except you had the choice!)
    Robert
    Last edited by Robert Wilkinson-Latham; 02-24-2009 at 01:22 AM.

  14. #64
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    New Proof mark

    BEST PROOF was obviously HW and Outfitters quality so far identified are"
    PROVED over a Crown
    Crown over PROVED
    PROVED over a Fleur de Lys

    UPDATE March 2009
    I have now discovered another Proof Mark which appears to have been used sparingly in the late 1860's and early 1870's. It has been discovered on sample swords made for Siam in 1870.

    The Proof slug has a Crown over W The sword examined also does not have the double triangle mark but a Mole style burst of rays of differing lengths. The marking is etched Wilkinson Pall Mall London on the other side. The sword is Contract quality.

    Wilkinsons dis use the Crown and W mark later on their cut throat razors where they had a range called the W and Crown where the positio of the crown was beneath the W but also used the crown and W on their bicycles which they made in the 1890's.

    Here is a photograph of the Crown and W Proof slug .
    And details of the later use on bicycles. The 'History' is a bit suspect as this mark was NOT used since 1772 as stated as Wilkinson did not inherit the firm until 1804. It was used on guns about 1840 and revived later as described.
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  15. #65
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    Hello, may I add one more " Toledo" is in the proof book, sword # 6695. I have posted a picture of it and swords on my Photobucket. http://s697.photobucket.com/albums/v...dswords025.jpg

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    Pall Mall Showrooms 1902

    Just because it is Saturday afternoon, I thought I would post this photograph of the sedate Sword Showroom at 27-28 Pall Mall in 1902 where officers and gentlemen came to choose their swords in leisurely surroundings.
    The case on the right contains cutlery and razor sets.

    Last edited by Robert Wilkinson-Latham; 03-28-2009 at 10:57 AM.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Wilkinson-Latham View Post
    Just because it is Saturday afternoon, I thought I would post this photograph of the sedate Sword Showroom at 27-29 Pall Mall in 1902 where officers and gentlemen came to choose their swords in leisurely surroundings.
    Oh for a couple of hundred pounds' worth of gold sovereigns and a workable time machine...!

    John
    "If I can't be a good example to others, at least let me be a horrible warning".

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Hart View Post
    Oh for a couple of hundred pounds' worth of gold sovereigns and a workable time machine...!

    John
    Save me a seat, John.
    mark@swordforum.com

    ~ Hostem Hastarum Cuspidibus Salutemus ~

    "Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who don't."
    Benjamin Franklin

  19. #69
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    mark@swordforum.com

    ~ Hostem Hastarum Cuspidibus Salutemus ~

    "Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who don't."
    Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark McMorrow View Post
    Save me a seat, John.
    So you both know how many sovereigns to take, I have added below the display on the staircase from ground to first floor and the fireplace on the first floor in 1898 prior to the modernisation in 1902.
    Perhaps these items may be for sale too!!!



    By the way, the suit of armour in the right hand picture was known affectionately by the Pall Mall staff as 'Albert'!
    Last edited by Robert Wilkinson-Latham; 03-29-2009 at 01:20 AM.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark McMorrow View Post
    Mark
    Nice razors. the rear one is later and the one in the foreground, which is earlier, shows the use of the Crown and W mark.
    Very nice!
    Robert

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Wilkinson-Latham View Post
    Mark
    Nice razors. the rear one is later and the one in the foreground, which is earlier, shows the use of the Crown and W mark.
    Very nice!
    Robert
    Thanks Robert! I try to obtain Wilkinson straight razors whenever possible. Its amazing how Wilkinson quality is so apparent even in these purely functional, single purpose objects!
    mark@swordforum.com

    ~ Hostem Hastarum Cuspidibus Salutemus ~

    "Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who don't."
    Benjamin Franklin

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark McMorrow View Post
    Thanks Robert! I try to obtain Wilkinson straight razors whenever possible. Its amazing how Wilkinson quality is so apparent even in these purely functional, single purpose objects!
    Mark
    At the risk of slipping 'off message', here is a Wilkinson 'Safety' razor - 7 day set from 1903


    and to show that quality was still Wilkinsons 'watchword', here is a deluxe gold plated set from 1933.



    I promise no more razors but it was interesting that the blades for these razors were forged by the same men in the 'Smithy' that forged the sword, knife and bayonet blades!

  24. #74
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    Robert,

    Somewhat tangential, but just to give us a monetary frame of reference, what would a Sovereign buy you in Wilkinsons in 1902?
    mark@swordforum.com

    ~ Hostem Hastarum Cuspidibus Salutemus ~

    "Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who don't."
    Benjamin Franklin

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark McMorrow View Post
    Robert,

    Somewhat tangential, but just to give us a monetary frame of reference, what would a Sovereign buy you in Wilkinsons in 1902?
    Mark,
    I will have a run through the Wilkinson 1902 catalogue and produce a shopping list!!! You may even get some change!
    Robert

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