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Thread: Is this Latham Wilkinson a bit naughty?!

  1. Cool Is this Latham Wilkinson a bit naughty?!

    OK, so I like punchy headlines.

    I bought an 1853 pattern calvary trooper's sword by Wilkinson, with a numbered spine and a little bit more. The number is 14433 dating the sword to 1866, and next to the serial number is the signature of one Mr. "Latham". Think Japanese Civil War (1863 to 1868) and then apply this to the etching on the blade "Yokohama Mounted Volunteers" and do I detect a bit of British Foreign Policy (meddling where it should not)?

    Robert, Richard, you there? Any comments, insight?
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  2. #2
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    Good afternoon Mark,
    Without further research...10 years before the Act marking the end of the Samouraï...interesting...I am anxious to know more.

    Regards,

    Dan

  3. #3
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    I think the British had a regiment of foot in Yokohama in the late 1860s...

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up

    Very nice sword!

  5. Talking Thanks guys

    I really like the sword.

    RWL sent me a note that he is in Canada for his granddaughters pending birth right now, but he did let me know this;

    "Like the Latham stamp. JL introduced this in 1861 when he bought Wilkinsons to show that he had personally proved or supervised the proving of blade.
    It was only in use for a short time and then discarded."

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Austin View Post
    OK, so I like punchy headlines.

    I bought an 1853 pattern calvary trooper's sword by Wilkinson, with a numbered spine and a little bit more. The number is 14433 dating the sword to 1866, and next to the serial number is the signature of one Mr. "Latham". Think Japanese Civil War (1863 to 1868) and then apply this to the etching on the blade "Yokohama Mounted Volunteers" and do I detect a bit of British Foreign Policy (meddling where it should not)?

    Robert, Richard, you there? Any comments, insight?
    Some details of the Volunteers in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Yokahama.
    Hong Kong
    Danger is always a stimulusto volunteer efforts and the first Volunteers owed their origin toa foreign 'scare' occurring at a time of war with Russia and imagined insecurity in Hong Kong. This led the colonial au-
    thorities in June 1854 to take the initiative in calling for a corps
    of Volunteers for the defence of the lives and properties of
    themselves and their families in the temporary absence of a
    naval force sufficient to deal with an emergency. (It is interesting
    that Government called for an Auxiliary Police Force at the
    same time.) This call lost its magic when the emergency did not
    materialise and naval protection was restored, and for a few
    years there were no Volunteers in being.

    Attempts to form a new Corps in 1857 proved an utter failure',
    the subject was mooted in the press in 1860 without result, and
    the eventual establishment of a new body of Volunteers on 7
    April 1862 can be traced to an enthusiast, Captain Frederick Brine,
    Royal Engineers, a regular officer who had formed the Shanghai
    Volunteers in 1861 and went on to form other corps at Hankow
    and Yokohama.


    From: A SHORT HISTORY OF MILITARY
    VOLUNTEERS IN HONG KONG
    JAMES HAYES
    Could be that if you tracked the Number of the swords it may mention Captain Brine as the man who ordered them! You never know!
    Robert (Now a Grandfather!!)

  7. #7
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    This sword has made some ownership changes since this post and is now in my collection. Has anyone found more information regarding the Yokohama Mounted Volunteers and is the Wilkinson proof page available for this sword?

    some info regarding Capt. F Brine (page 12): http://www.lusitanousa.org/wp-conten...o-Bulletin.pdf
    Last edited by Will Mathieson; 07-01-2017 at 09:05 AM.

  8. #8
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    Hi Will,

    Thought for a minute the original poster was back...nearly s**t myself. But it's an interesting sword despite the provenance! I was doing a bit of research into Captain Brine as one of our neighbours has the same surname and I wondered if there was a connection. There are a lot more hits on Ancestry with the spelling "Frederic" (ie French-style without the "k"), but I guess you've spotted this as a help to narrowing your searches down a bit?

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

  9. #9
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    Fascinating sword and to my eye there is French influence there, with the four-bar hilt and extra fuller. Perhaps due to the popularity of French military design in Japan at the time.

  10. #10
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    Ah! So you are the one who bought this sabre after all! I agree with Matt that there seems to be a French influence with the Montmorency fuller there. It also seems like the main fuller is going way into the tip.

  11. #11
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    Just received the sword. It has a light and lively blade with a 10 1/2" sharpened false edge. The blade flexes as such cavalry officers swords do.
    The scabbard is leather lined as Wilkinson's best swords are and has a German silver throat.
    Other than a similarity to the 1853p cavalry troopers sword patent hilt, it is not at all a trooper sword. Blade measures 34 1/2" long and 5/16" thick and 1 1/4" wide at the ricasso.
    Blade is virtually straight save for the false edge that angles up slightly. Most of the original blade polish remains.
    Interestingly the serial number is stamped opposite the spine, on the bottom where the stopped fuller creates a flat to the guard.
    The blade has a long lasting pleasant ring to it when given a flick with a finger.
    Last edited by Will Mathieson; 07-14-2017 at 02:00 PM.

  12. #12
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    Excellent looking old boy Will, the m1853 is a particular good looking sword and this grandson as well. Very nice indeed. 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

  13. #13
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    The modern black paint should be removed but here are some pics better showing the details.
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  14. #14
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    Hi Will, is it C F Hooper or C F Harper on the ledger entry? Have been watching this Swords progress for ages, glad you now have it!

  15. #15
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    Hi Ben I just got the proof page a couple days ago. Forum size doesn't allow for clear larger pics, it says: C F Hooper Esq, Japan.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Will Mathieson; 07-16-2017 at 08:38 AM.

  16. #16
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    Here is the Yokohama sword compared to a 1864p troopers. The only common part is the patent hilt, the leather grip sides.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  17. #17
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    'P A pattern knife' ? Did Robert W-L ever explain the definition of that anywhere?

  18. #18
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    I have yet to find it in his books. It may explain the tip of the blade with false edge?

  19. #19
    According to The Chronicle & Directory for China, Japan, (etc.), C. F. Hooper was a partner in Hooper Bros., merchants, in Yokohama and Kobe in the 1860s-80s, after which C.F. joined Jardine, Matheson & Co., merchants, in Kobe.

  20. #20
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    I stumbled across this thread and realised that this sword is almost identical to one which I have been trying to identify on and off for many years.. (numbered 14342)

    Here is the original thread from about a thousand years back...

    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...ht=#post346003

    As the original ledger still seems to exist I should bite the bullet and send a request to Wilkinson for a copy (if that is still possible - I haven't done it for many years)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Whittle View Post
    As the original ledger still seems to exist I should bite the bullet and send a request to Wilkinson for a copy (if that is still possible - I haven't done it for many years)
    Hi John,

    You won't get very far writing to Wilkinson, as they gave up the sword business in 2005! However, if you contact Richard at www.armsresearch.co.uk, he can get you a copy of the proof book entry (if one exists) - I think the fee is still £18.

    Keep us posted.

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

  22. #22
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    John, thanks for the link and the information.

    I did say it had been a while... Hehe!

    Cheers

    John

  23. #23
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    Interesting that the serial numbers are almost 100 apart, I'd like to know how many were made, would have to look through the proof pages.
    The current holder of the Wilkinson proof pages is Richard, email: Richard@armsresearch.co.uk
    I find the quality and details are more in line with officers swords, the light Montmorency blade and the leather lined scabbard is more typical of officer swords.
    Had they had wooden liners and a heavier blade then more a troopers sword. Maybe just an upscale troopers sword?
    Latham knowing these went to Japan wanted the best of his work there?

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