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Thread: Wilkinson Sword Characteristics

  1. #301
    It is true, I am a cheesehead. I agree with Mark that it is not modern. Based on the proof slug and that is reads Wilkinson Sword Co., I would guess early 20th century. Possibly for an cavalry officer in the Indian Army?

  2. #302
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    This sword was one of a large contract from January 1924 for Persia (In the 1960's a further large order was given to Wilkinsons for the same sword) The later contract swords would Have Wilkinson Sword Ltd as the blade etc. The original blade would of course be etched with Wilkinson Sword Co Ltd.

    Here is a rather faded drawing of the original order.
    Interesting notes are that the cross guard was to be from the old 10th Hussars Levee sword. Grip studs plain brass. Walnut slab grips. Blade was to have a 3/8 ins flat back, They had a wood scabbard covered in leather with three brass mounts, two with suspension rings.
    You can make out the grip top right and the scabbard mounts and sundry bits and pieces.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Robert Wilkinson-Latham; 02-13-2013 at 01:59 AM.

  3. #303
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    Brilliant Robert
    Thank you very much
    So its a British made Iranian WMD !!!
    Martin
    Last edited by Martin R John; 02-13-2013 at 03:40 AM. Reason: addition

  4. #304
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    That sounds about it!!!!!

    I remember in the later order after the Shar of Persia's Visit in 1959 which was a big one. In the 1960's the Carpenters shop workers were going mad with making these grips, with yells of "I never want to see one of these again!!!!! . They were made of Beech.
    The same was said about the scabbard even made from a softer wood.. The fitters were going mad filing the brass hilt fittings and scabbard fittings and everywhere you looked there were bits for this order. The only sane place was the blade forging which sweetly went on as usual!

    Another order from Persia at this time was for the Shar's Bodyguard - So impressed was he with the Household Cavalry he ordered uniforms and from Wilkinsons a quantity of Household Cavalry Trooper's swords with the Persian arms in place of the intertwined HC.


    Just found the Wilkinson Photo of the Persian 'HC' sword which has a different blade to the real HC. (From Wilkinson Museum Photos)
    which sold at Bonhams (April 2006) for £120.00
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Robert Wilkinson-Latham; 02-28-2013 at 01:14 AM.

  5. #305
    Hi all
    I have a George the 5th Artillery sword and I am unable to locate any details on the retailer or maker.
    The name Hawksworth Sheffield is etched on the ricasso. But I am drawing an absolute blank on finding anything out about Hawksworth.
    Who made the blade-is it a Sheffield blade, was Hawksworth a retailer or sword cutler, was the blade made by one of the Birmingham or London makers.
    The blade has a good edge about 75mm from the point and I wonder would the straight blade stand up to combat or is it just a parade ground model.
    Any help would be much appreciated and if you require a photograph i will post one.
    Thanks
    Les

  6. #306
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    Er . . . go to Google. In the search field, put the words "Hawksworth Sheffield" in quotation marks, then add the word sword (without quotation marks). Hit Enter, and prepare to spend an hour or so learning about one of the better Sheffield-based sword cutlers.

  7. #307
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    Another odd Wilkinson purchase of mine

    Just purchased this from Mr Withers and I am very pleased with it.
    But what blade type is it?
    Fort say patent solid hilt but the blade is slab sided with a very narrow fuller at the back.
    Martin
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  8. #308
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    This blade type is often recorded as 'Russian' in the Wilkinson ledger. Clearly it was re-hilted, as it was a Solid Patent Hilt in 1883, when the blade dates to, and was then mounted with an 1897 style hilt (George V?) at a later date - perhaps WW1? I have never personally seen a patent hilt remounted with a conventional hilt before.
    Nice sword though - I considered it myself, but it's a bit late for me.
    Matt

  9. #309
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    Thanks Matt
    Martin

  10. #310
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve oakley View Post
    Robert

    Thank you for the reply. I had the impression that the best proved related to the materials or testing involved. I note now that it relates to the finishing touches to the sword. As my example was for a regiment i would expect that it would have been the basic as the Army would have been paying for it.

    I have attached the sword entry for comparison

    thankyou

    Steve

    Attachment 113994
    the 71st pattern sword was for field officers and bought in at the time of the Crimea. One surfaced a few months agio and i was able to research the batch made by Wilkinsions. As you sword is a later number I would think the opwner was a 'late joiner' to the regiment in the Crimea.
    Robert

    The sword is exactly what it says on the Proof page.
    It is a New Regulation Sword for the 71st

    Wilkinson received the Order in December 1854 for 28 swords of this Pattern. so it appears the swords were a regimental order.

    There is only one Proof stub with a named officer and that was Cowburn for sword No 5659 – but the actual sword which I have seen has a 3 bar hilt.

    Considering your sword and the only other survivor (so far) from this batch I would say that 3 Bar hilts were for the Field officers and the Rifles style hilt for Captains and below

    This would mean there were in this order

    3- 3 bar hilt swords
    25 – HLI (Rifles) swords


    The sword numbers for this order were:-
    5654/5647/5648/5649/5651/5652/5655/5656/5657/5658/5659/5660/5661/5662/5663/5665/5666/5667/5668/5670/5671/5672/5673/5674/5677/5678/5679/5680

    28 Swords in total. By the Proof stubs they

    Blades numbers 5650-5654-5664-5669-5675
    Were noted on the proof stubs as “Defective’ showing that these blades had failed proof or were somehow damaged in manufacture and proofing.

    The quantity of swords ordered (of both types) matches exactly the Officer Strength of the 71st in 1854-
    3 Field Officers
    8 Captains
    16 Subalterns
    1 Quarter Master
    (Total 28)



    The 1st Battalion 71st embarked at Corfu for the Crimea on board the transport Medway on 26th January 1855 and landed at balaclava on May 5th 1855.



  11. #311
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    This is really interesting stuff, Robert. However, what I'm not understanding at the moment is how Steve's sword fits into this, as it has a regular 1845 pattern line infantry hilt?
    Regards,
    Matt

  12. #312
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Easton View Post
    This is really interesting stuff, Robert. However, what I'm not understanding at the moment is how Steve's sword fits into this, as it has a regular 1845 pattern line infantry hilt?
    Matt,

    Page back: I think Robert is replying to an earlier post from Steve - the perils of having a single thread ("Wilkinson sword characteristics") to cover such a wide-ranging subject area!

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

  13. #313
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    Really? Steve's sword on the previous page was recorded as for the 71st. But as far as I can see it is a standard 1845 pattern - I'm just wondering if it is a regimental pattern, ie. different to a standard 1845?

  14. #314
    I suppose it could have been re-hilted, but with the hinged guard that seems unlikely. If it was for the 71st shouldn't it look more like this?

    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...ern-sword-1854

    Did the sword in the thread in the link bear any regimental etching? I can't tell from the photos.

    Are we positive that Steve's sword is not serial number 8119? If it is 6118, could the blade have ended up going to another customer instead of its original recipient in the 71st?
    Last edited by J.G. Hopkins; 05-20-2013 at 05:26 PM.

  15. #315
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    My fault
    I only posted the details of the 71st pattern sword (3 bar hilt) which was a 'Crimean' special order as the Proof dockets for this earlier order was written in the same way as 6119 so assumed it was one of the 3 bar pattern swords made and sold at a later date.
    I stand corrected not having seen the sword. we are now talking about.

    I am still a bit puzzled as if this is an Infantry swords one would have expected 'INF or Infantry written on the Proof stub unless the 71st had a special regimental etching.
    I'll look in the Blade Rubbing Ledgers and see what I can find.

    I am still puzzled about the Proof stub '71st' for what, as you say is a standard Infantry pattern sword????
    The use of 71st on the proof stub seems under these conditions to be superfluous!
    Last edited by Robert Wilkinson-Latham; 05-21-2013 at 05:13 AM.

  16. #316
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    Steve, is there any chance you could post a close-up of the serial number please? Sometimes the numbers can be unclear - I have a couple of swords where one of the numbers was unclear and we worked out what it was by process of elimination with the Wilkinson ledger.
    There is always the chance though that the blade was re-hilted when the officer changed regiment - I have an 1854 hilt mounted on a Rifles blade, dating to the 1860's. How long is your blade? Does it have any unusual etching elements?

  17. #317
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Wilkinson-Latham View Post
    My fault
    I only posted the details of the 71st pattern sword (3 bar hilt) which was a 'Crimean' special order as the Proof dockets for this earlier order was written in the same way as 6119 so assumed it was one of the 3 bar pattern swords made and sold at a later date.
    I stand corrected not having seen the sword. we are now talking about.

    I am still a bit puzzled as if this is an Infantry swords one would have expected 'INF or Infantry written on the Proof stub unless the 71st had a special regimental etching.
    I'll look in the Blade Rubbing Ledgers and see what I can find.

    I am still puzzled about the Proof stub '71st' for what, as you say is a standard Infantry pattern sword????
    The use of 71st on the proof stub seems under these conditions to be superfluous!
    I wonder if this special pattern was still going strong in the early 20th C. I have a Mole GV M9068 with a three bar hilt, cavalry chequered pommel and a strung bugle below the King's crown on a very heavy 1892 type inf blade.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  18. #318
    Quote Originally Posted by Martin R John View Post
    I wonder if this special pattern was still going strong in the early 20th C. I have a Mole GV M9068 with a three bar hilt, cavalry chequered pommel and a strung bugle below the King's crown on a very heavy 1892 type inf blade.
    Could be a chap from a volunteer (Rifles) battalion transferred to the Army Service Corps.

  19. #319
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Wilkinson-Latham View Post
    My fault
    I only posted the details of the 71st pattern sword (3 bar hilt) which was a 'Crimean' special order as the Proof dockets for this earlier order was written in the same way as 6119 so assumed it was one of the 3 bar pattern swords made and sold at a later date.
    I stand corrected not having seen the sword. we are now talking about.

    I am still a bit puzzled as if this is an Infantry swords one would have expected 'INF or Infantry written on the Proof stub unless the 71st had a special regimental etching.
    I'll look in the Blade Rubbing Ledgers and see what I can find.


    I am still puzzled about the Proof stub '71st' for what, as you say is a standard Infantry pattern sword????
    The use of 71st on the proof stub seems under these conditions to be superfluous!
    Robert,

    Just as a matter of interest in relation to the 71st, blade # 6596 or 1855 was etched with the regimental device of the 71st and mounted with a scroll guard.

  20. #320
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Easton View Post
    This blade type is often recorded as 'Russian' in the Wilkinson ledger. Clearly it was re-hilted, as it was a Solid Patent Hilt in 1883, when the blade dates to, and was then mounted with an 1897 style hilt (George V?) at a later date - perhaps WW1? I have never personally seen a patent hilt remounted with a conventional hilt before.
    Nice sword though - I considered it myself, but it's a bit late for me.
    Matt
    Nice sword Martin, also agree on "Russian Pattern".

    Matt, in terms of your comment re a solid hilt being replaced conventional hilt, there is sufficent proof in the Wilkinson/Mole records to cofirm the fact that (in terms of troopers swords) some of the Indian regimental Cavalry patterns were made from British solid tang blades where the flat tangs converted to spike tangs by re-shaping the tang.

    Whilst I do not suggest that Martin's sword is an OR type, we cannot discount the fact that the tang may have been altered for re-hilting however, if the tang remains as the original solid hilt shape?, it may explain the size of the grip which seems to be somewhat larger than standard.

  21. #321
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordon byrne View Post
    Robert,

    Just as a matter of interest in relation to the 71st, blade # 6596 or 1855 was etched with the regimental device of the 71st and mounted with a scroll guard.
    Gordon
    I have looked up another Wilkinson Ledger which mainly gives badges, sabretaches and dress detail which gives details of the 71/74 1882. The Field Officer's hilt circa 1882 being described as a Scroll hilt.
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    Last edited by Robert Wilkinson-Latham; 05-22-2013 at 01:42 AM.

  22. #322
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Wilkinson-Latham View Post
    Gordon
    I have looked up another Wilkinson Ledger which mainly gives badges, sabretaches and dress detail which gives details of the 71/74 1882. The Field Officer's hilt circa 1882 being described as a Scroll hilt.
    Robert,

    Thanks for posting the specific notes, the main point I was getting at with the 71st was the date, and the fact that in Crimea 1854-55, it seems that there could? have been three different hilts in use at the same time, taking into account the possibility of brass infantry guard, the new regimental three-bar and the scroll, with a more formal situation existing some twenty five years later with the reforms of 1881. The officer who purchased the scroll hilted type in 1855 was not the adjutant and not of Field rank.

  23. #323
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordon byrne View Post
    Matt, in terms of your comment re a solid hilt being replaced conventional hilt, there is sufficent proof in the Wilkinson/Mole records to cofirm the fact that (in terms of troopers swords) some of the Indian regimental Cavalry patterns were made from British solid tang blades where the flat tangs converted to spike tangs by re-shaping the tang.
    Thanks Gordon, very interesting!

    Whilst I do not suggest that Martin's sword is an OR type, we cannot discount the fact that the tang may have been altered for re-hilting however, if the tang remains as the original solid hilt shape?, it may explain the size of the grip which seems to be somewhat larger than standard.
    Yes, I assumed the large size of the grip was to accomodate the wider tang.
    regards,
    Matt

  24. #324
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    Wilkinson new regulation swords to the 71st

    Hi All,

    Looking at the evidence so far...

    The sword supplied to the Viscount was proved on 5th Dec 1854 and completed on the 5th May 1855 and was fitted with a three bar hilt.

    Sword 6118 was completed on the 24th April 1855 (so still within the time period to be shipped with the rest), with a hilt unknown, but was fitted with a gilt folding hilt later if not to begin with..

    I own 5652 which was completed on the same dates as the one for the Viscount, but has been etched with an heraldic crest and initials J.H. at some point later. It has an 1827 pattern rifle officer's hilt, either fiitted later or on initial manufacture..

    So of the three swords the one with the three bar hilt is the only one confirmed by fact that was fitted for the Crimea.. Perhaps the remaining two others were fitted with alternative hilts post return in 1856?
    I know the 1854 pattern was the 'in thing' by then, but not all officers preferred this new form, as I also have a General Officer's sword of the 1854 pattern sold to a seasoned veteran staff officer who modified it to remove the solid section were the flap had been on the previous model..

    Bryan

  25. #325
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    Could be a chap from a volunteer (Rifles) battalion transferred to the Army Service Corps.
    Does any one have any idea as to how long the 71st used this special pattern ? Obviously I would prefer my Mole to be a
    71st rather than the more mundane though plausable explanation as supplied by Mr Hopkins !

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