Page 2 of 17 FirstFirst 123412 ... LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 417

Thread: Wilkinson Sword Characteristics

  1. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    2,691
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Clarke View Post
    Hi All

    Slight tangent (sorry) but is there any way of identifying Wilkinson cavalry lances? I have a lance that has a bamboo shaft and comes in two parts connected by a brass screw fixing/handle in the centre. According to Skennerton I assume that this is the 1868 pattern. Both the tip and the shoe are marked to Wilkinson but I have got no further as there doesn't seem to be an other markings. Does the pattern ever denote regiment etc?
    I do not think this was a Military Lance coming in two parts-not the safest way to construct a lance with the strain and force the 'pole' has to take in action. I would think, if anything, it a hunting lance/spear - Wilkinsons made a number of these with different heads hunting, tent pegging etc.
    Any Military lance could be marked on the metal butt with regimental markings.
    Or it could be made in two parts for transportation and be purely a display item.
    I can find no record in catalogues etc for the period for a lance pole in two parts and as I said, I can only see the joint as a weak point in use.
    All mention of shafts say they are selected Male bamboo.
    By the way pig sticking lances for Bengal Presidency were 6ft 6in to 7 ft and for Bombay 7ft to 8 ft and came with or without butts.

  2. #27
    Male bamboo is signficant as its much stronger than female bamboo. Lances made from female bamboo tend to shatter in use, and bamboo splinters are very bad for horses.

    For that reason i suspect that a two piece lance is for display and not functional use.
    Last edited by R. Lowe; 01-11-2008 at 06:11 AM.

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Sidmouth, in the South-West of the UK
    Posts
    2,287
    Quote Originally Posted by R. Lowe View Post
    For that reason i suspect that a two piece lance is for display and not functional use.
    May even have been sawn in half to make it easier to transport then rejoined for display purposes (stranger things have happened!).

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

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    2,691
    Quote Originally Posted by John Hart View Post
    May even have been sawn in half to make it easier to transport then rejoined for display purposes (stranger things have happened!).

    John
    You can say that again!
    I remember in the late 1960's walking from Wilkinsons in Pall Mall to Hyde Park Barracks to deliver 3 lances to the Household Cavalry- couldn't do it today I should think without attracting a SWAT team!

  5. #30
    Oh i don't know. I used to use the tube to deliver swords to the various london district regiments. As long as they were in sword bags, no one would have a clue what i was carrying.

  6. #31
    I must admit, getting it down from Scotland was a bit of an effort with the courier

  7. #32
    I thought it might be helpful to post pics of the various proof discs and maker etchings found on Wilkinson swords. I have attached photos of these features that are found on a Scots Guards sword sold in 1898. Please upload your own examples!

    Jonathan


    Last edited by J.G. Hopkins; 02-07-2008 at 03:46 PM.

  8. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Durham, UK
    Posts
    95

    A question on Wilkinson proof slugs

    Hi,

    I hope someone knowledgeable may be able to help me. I have just been looking at a Victorian 1897 pattern infantry officer’s sword (steel guard with VR cypher) with the Wilkinson maker details on the ricasso and the serial number 32029. The sword is complete with leather field service scabbard (with elongated steel drag) and is marked to the Royal Engineers on the blade; the blade is the standard H section (?) which is current today.

    The proof slug however reads 'Proved' above 'T.' rather than the Wilkinson initials. My question: is there a reason for this other than the sword being made by someone other than Wilkinson (and at some time later than 1897)?

    There is no sign that the sword is a assemblage of parts, the slug looks like it has not been tampered with and the pommel does not have an hexagonal nut (there is a ball finial).

    Please pardon the rambling but other than the proof slug query I would have bought it today!

  9. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    2,691
    Quote Originally Posted by IMoran View Post
    Hi,

    I hope someone knowledgeable may be able to help me. I have just been looking at a Victorian 1897 pattern infantry officer’s sword (steel guard with VR cypher) with the Wilkinson maker details on the ricasso and the serial number 32029. The sword is complete with leather field service scabbard (with elongated steel drag) and is marked to the Royal Engineers on the blade; the blade is the standard H section (?) which is current today.

    The proof slug however reads 'Proved' above 'T.' rather than the Wilkinson initials. My question: is there a reason for this other than the sword being made by someone other than Wilkinson (and at some time later than 1897)?

    There is no sign that the sword is a assemblage of parts, the slug looks like it has not been tampered with and the pommel does not have an hexagonal nut (there is a ball finial).

    Please pardon the rambling but other than the proof slug query I would have bought it today!
    Your sword 32029 dates from 1893 so was probably an 1892 pattern which was then re-hilted according to regulations in 1897.
    The slug is correct as the sword would be:
    PROVED - OUTFITTER'S QUALITY @ £2-2-0
    rather than BEST PROVED @ £3-15-0
    The OUTFITTERS QUALITY which were used for colonial contract swords as well as Outfitters who who wouldn't pay the BEST PROOF price used a variety of slugs including
    PROVED over a Crown -
    PROVED over a Fleur de Lys
    as well as
    PROVED T

    Hope that helps.
    Robert
    Last edited by Robert Wilkinson-Latham; 02-14-2008 at 10:33 AM.

  10. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Durham, UK
    Posts
    95
    Thanks for the very quick reply!
    So it looks like the sword is correct. Pardon my ignorance on this but what is the significance of the 'Outfitters Quality'? Would this have been a sword sold through a tailor? I ask as the blade had the initials of what I presume to be the Engineer office who originally owned it.
    Regards
    Ian

  11. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Durham, UK
    Posts
    95
    Thanks Robert, I am starting to get it clearer in my head now.

    I do however still have a couple of questions; regarding blade being etched with the owners initials and Royal Engineers name and insignia, is it usual to get this combination of 'extras' on the lower priced blade? Also in your experience would the entry in the proof book (if there was one) be made out to the officer or the outfitter?

    Thanks again for your help.

    Ian

  12. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    2,691
    Quote Originally Posted by IMoran View Post
    Thanks Robert, I am starting to get it clearer in my head now.

    I do however still have a couple of questions; regarding blade being etched with the owners initials and Royal Engineers name and insignia, is it usual to get this combination of 'extras' on the lower priced blade? Also in your experience would the entry in the proof book (if there was one) be made out to the officer or the outfitter?

    Thanks again for your help.

    Ian
    Owners name, initials were extra cost. From the Wilkinson catalogue of the period of your sword it states:
    Embossing Initials, Monogram, Crest etc/, on blade 3/6 and yes this could certainly be supplied on a Outfitters Quality sword. Like all Wilkinson blades, ALL had passed stringent proof, the Tailors sword being finished with less embossing on blade.
    The entry in the Proof Book would probably give the Outfitters name if that is etched on the blade. It was perfectly possible to buy Outfitters quality direct from Wilkinsons so if there is no name of any Outfitter chances are you will find the name of the purchaser in the Proof Book.
    If it did come through a tailor and initials have been pout on you may find the Proof Book will say "Jones & Co for Capt xxxxxxx"

    Finally you will find that the Proof Book will give you details of the 'original' sword from 1893 with no mention of the conversion to 1897 hilt but you never know!
    Hope all that helps.
    Robert

  13. #38
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    2,691
    Quote Originally Posted by IMoran View Post
    Thanks Robert, I am starting to get it clearer in my head now.

    I do however still have a couple of questions; regarding blade being etched with the owners initials and Royal Engineers name and insignia, is it usual to get this combination of 'extras' on the lower priced blade? Also in your experience would the entry in the proof book (if there was one) be made out to the officer or the outfitter?

    Thanks again for your help.

    Ian
    Ian
    Could be either - see my other reply
    Robert

  14. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    2,691
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Wilkinson-Latham View Post
    Your sword 32029 dates from 1893 so was probably an 1892 pattern which was then re-hilted according to regulations in 1897.
    The slug is correct as the sword would be:
    PROVED - OUTFITTER'S QUALITY @ £2-2-0
    rather than BEST PROVED @ £3-15-0
    The OUTFITTERS QUALITY which were used for colonial contract swords as well as Outfitters who who wouldn't pay the BEST PROOF price used a variety of slugs including
    PROVED over a Crown -
    PROVED over a Fleur de Lys
    as well as
    PROVED T

    Hope that helps.
    Robert
    Just found in the Wilkinson Pattern book that all the above PROOF slugs (except for the HW slug) were referred to as 'Common Proof' marks.
    Except for the above 3 which I have observed from examples dating from the 1860's and onward, I don't think there are any more - You all may prove me wrong!!!

  15. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Durham, UK
    Posts
    95
    Thanks for all your help.

    Do you consider the "Proved T." slug in a Wilkinson marked blade to be of concern due to the amount it appears on modern reproductions/fakes?

    Thanks again

    Ian

  16. #41
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    2,691
    Quote Originally Posted by IMoran View Post
    Thanks for all your help.

    Do you consider the "Proved T." slug in a Wilkinson marked blade to be of concern due to the amount it appears on modern reproductions/fakes?

    Thanks again

    Ian
    Not at all BUT make sure that the Wilkinson quality in manufacture, blade etching and finish is there. The blade etching would be the 'acid' test if you pardon the pun.
    Look for the correct grip covering and wire binding, the top nut, the fit of blade to hilt etc, in fact all the usual checks we all, hopefully make.

  17. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Durham, UK
    Posts
    95
    Thanks for reply.

    I think that I will head back for another look. The price quoted was reasonable for an 1897 never mind a Wilkinson and there were several other 1897 infantry swords for immediate comparison; I have been re-reading the guide on fake 1897's and as I mentioned the etching looked good (more than comparable to a Guthrie and Valantine retailed sword also for sale), including the monogram/regimental marking. I also thought the 'top nut' (the name escapes me!) is not a hexagonal nut but a proper ball finial.

    The main thing that threw me was the blade being marked 'Wilkinson' in the usual fashion but containing the 'Proved T.' slug.

    If it turns out not to be dress sword (outside my collecting theme) and to look and feel correct on second viewing, I may well be in a position to post pictures later.

    Thanks again for the help.

    Ian

  18. #43
    Where can I find the guide to fake 1897s?

    Thanks,
    Jonathan

  19. #44
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Durham, UK
    Posts
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    Where can I find the guide to fake 1897s?

    Thanks,
    Jonathan
    The guide is in the 'Resources' Section of www.oldswords.com.

    There is I think most of the guide on an old thread in this forum (although it is difficult to find); I searched for threads containg 'Fake' '1897' and 'Proof'.

  20. #45
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Durham, UK
    Posts
    95

    Possible Fake Wilkinson

    I have been back to look at the sword discussed above and think that it may well not be original. I will try and post a picture but it is not very good (from my girlfriend's 'phone!).

    The sword is 'tight' together but the etching is just not there in terms of quality; there in fact looks to be two distinct styles and qualities evident (the better quality being shown in the picture). The fish skin on the grip is black and differs from several other 1897's in the shop; it also doesn't feel quite as rough.

    All in the all there was just a feel of something not quite right about the sword in the hand although if it is indeed fake it is a very good one, scarily good. The proof slug ('PROVED' above T - no dot after the T) seemed to be the same size as other I have seen though.

    Oddly enough the more information I had on the sword (thanks Robert!), the more the dealer voiced concern he and a previous viewer of the sword had over the authenticity of the etching.

    It may well be real; but there is more than sufficient doubt in my mind to save £200 for another day!

    Once again, thanks for the help.

    Ian
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  21. #46
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    2,691
    Quote Originally Posted by IMoran View Post
    I have been back to look at the sword discussed above and think that it may well not be original. I will try and post a picture but it is not very good (from my girlfriend's 'phone!).

    The sword is 'tight' together but the etching is just not there in terms of quality; there in fact looks to be two distinct styles and qualities evident (the better quality being shown in the picture). The fish skin on the grip is black and differs from several other 1897's in the shop; it also doesn't feel quite as rough.

    All in the all there was just a feel of something not quite right about the sword in the hand although if it is indeed fake it is a very good one, scarily good. The proof slug ('PROVED' above T - no dot after the T) seemed to be the same size as other I have seen though.

    Oddly enough the more information I had on the sword (thanks Robert!), the more the dealer voiced concern he and a previous viewer of the sword had over the authenticity of the etching.

    It may well be real; but there is more than sufficient doubt in my mind to save £200 for another day!

    Once again, thanks for the help.

    Ian
    Ian
    Thanks. I DO NOT like the grip covering which appears from the photo to be a leather of sorts. Your description of the etching is certainly not right.
    Robert

  22. #47
    That grip shape does look wrong, as does the shape of the shoe on the scabbard.

    I don't remember seeing proof slugs being marked 'wonky' either.

  23. #48
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    2,691

    Wilkinson Blades And Swords

    I appear to have somewhat confused people about Wilkinson Swords with with retailers name on.
    Wilkinsons NEVER sold finished or unfinished blades on their own to anyone. They DID sell completed swords with tailors, outfitters names on in addition to their name and/or logo. BUT Wilkinsons sold ONLY a WHOLE sword and scabbard.
    Sorry about that.
    Here is a scan of some of the RETAILERS Wilkinson supplied. They most times carry the Wilkinson logo as well and a sword number on the spine and maybe HW proof mark (If BEST PROVED as ordered) or one of the other slugs if Outfitter's quality.

    BEST PROVED @ £3-15-0
    PROVED - OUTFITTER'S QUALITY @ £2-2-0
    The OUTFITTERS QUALITY which were used for colonial contract swords as well as Outfitters who who wouldn't pay the BEST PROOF price used a variety of slugs including
    PROVED over a Crown -
    PROVED over a Fleur de Lys
    PROVED T
    And remember it ain't a Wilkinson unless it says so as these retailers ordered from other makers as well!!


  24. #49
    Do all patent tang swords have unstopped fullers at the ricasso? If so was this for structural integrity or for style?

    Thank you,
    Jonathan

    ADDED: Additionally, when a non-Wilkinson marked sword has a patent tang can one assume that the retailer/outfitter was supplied by Wilkinson?
    Last edited by J.G. Hopkins; 04-10-2008 at 01:35 PM. Reason: one more question

  25. #50
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    2,691
    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    Do all patent tang swords have unstopped fullers at the ricasso? If so was this for structural integrity or style?

    Thank you,
    Jonathan

    ADDED: Additionally, when a non-Wilkinson marked sword has a patent tang can one assume that the retailer/outfitter was supplied by Wilkinson?
    Jonathan
    Re fuller, yes I feel your explanation is correct.
    Wilkinson Patent Solid Hilt swords would always be marked as such on the blade together with Wilkinson's name. If supplied to a tailor their name would be IN ADDITION to the WS name.
    Patent Tang was the Reeves name for the hilt he patented and he supplied officers swords of this type from 1853 until he went bankrupt in 1869. It is doubtful if he produced them when he resurrected himself between 1872 and 1883 when Wilkinson bought a controlling share.
    Hope that helps. One just has to be vigilant and look at every aspect of quality, etching style, fit on grips and wire etc etc, the whole picture as I am sure there are some 'wrong'uns' out there.
    Robert

Page 2 of 17 FirstFirst 123412 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •