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Thread: Early Wilkinsons

  1. #26
    Wow, Matt! You have an enviable collection of early Wilkinsons! The non-regulation blades and patent hilts are always highlights for me. It looks like the Madras Engineers scroll hilt has traces of gilt(?).

  2. #27
    Here is one I used to own, a P1827/46 RN officer's sword, serial number 5114 (March 1855). Sadly no name in the ledger, but the blade was nice and sharp! I wish I would have kept this one.
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  3. #28
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    Thanks Jonathan - I stopped here at 1861, but I am lucky to have quite a few good examples from later in the 1860s and through to the 1880s. My focus is on the Crimea/Indian Mutiny era as much as possible though.
    Yes, the Engineers sword has traces of gilt remaining in the recesses, which is quite rare for these steel-hilted Scinde pattern hilts. Such a shame that it is so pitted, but at least the blade was protected. The flat solid steel hilted 1854 has lots of gilt remaining (the owner Henry Vicars died not long after buying this sword).
    Regards,
    Matt

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    Here is one I used to own, a P1827/46 RN officer's sword, serial number 5114 (March 1855). Sadly no name in the ledger, but the blade was nice and sharp! I wish I would have kept this one.
    Very nice - early Wilkinson naval swords seem quite rare.

    Incidentally, I think the RHA flat blade I posted above is one of the earliest Wilkinsons that I know of (1846). Wilkinson only seem to have started making swords in 1845 and as far as I can see the examples from the first couple of years are incredibly rare now. Does anyone here know of examples which date to 1845-47?

  5. #30
    Great idea for a thread. Such early (pre serial numbered) Wilkinson swords are certainly thin on the ground, so it's nice to see some splendid examples here.

    On the same theme - Wilkinson were also producing bayonets from this early period, just wondered if anyone has one or has seen one?

    All the best chaps, Roy.

    P.s. just incase anyone was wondering the pistol in my avatar is a Wilkinson!
    Interested in all things Wilkinson: knives, guns, swords, typewriters! yes just about anything Wilkinson interests me.

    www.wilkinsonfscollection.com

  6. #31

    Early Wilkinson

    Hi Matt,

    Very impressive collection of early Wilkinson blades. I only have one which dates to the period you ask about, see attached image.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  7. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by gordon byrne View Post
    Hi Matt,

    Very impressive collection of early Wilkinson blades. I only have one which dates to the period you ask about, see attached image.
    Hi Matt and others concerned,

    Sorry about the attached photo, actually nothing to do with early Wilkinson swords, I just selected the wrong number from my picture index; here is the correct image of my early EIC example.

    PS. So as not to waist the photo of the officer group I posted in error, the group is of the 75th (Stirlingshire) Regiment of Foot, and the officer standing fourth from the left, with his gloves in his left hand is Richard Wadeson VC (Indian Mutiny VC). He rose from the ranks to the position of CO.
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  8. #33
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    Wow, that's a beauty! Is it un-numbered? What's the provenance?

  9. #34
    Hi Matt..

    No number and judging by the hilt, my estimate is circa 1845, but unfortunately no name.

    Gordon

  10. #35
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    It couldn't scream 'Indian service' more loudly .

  11. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Easton View Post
    It couldn't scream 'Indian service' more loudly .
    Yes indeed! It has the East India Company Crest on the blade and Henry Wilkinson name and address in Persian script.

  12. #37
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    It does remind me of one of the Scinde Irregular Cavalry officer's swords I seem to remember seeing with an equally curved blade.

  13. #38
    Can you recall where you saw the other sword, would it have been in article about Jacob's swords? There is one in the Royal Armory which was made by Garden with a patent solid hilt.

  14. #39
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    Yes, I'm sure it was the article from the Royal Armouries journal, but I don't have it to hand at the moment.

  15. #40
    Hi Gordon,

    Just wanted to thank you for sharing, wow! (again) a stunning sword.

    All the best, Roy.
    Interested in all things Wilkinson: knives, guns, swords, typewriters! yes just about anything Wilkinson interests me.

    www.wilkinsonfscollection.com

  16. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Shadbolt View Post
    Hi Gordon,

    Just wanted to thank you for sharing, wow! (again) a stunning sword.

    All the best, Roy.
    This might also be of interest, not a very good photo, but the sword is circa 1847, Wilkinson, East India Company officers sword.
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  17. #42
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    Very nice! It has the outline on a patent hilt, but I guess it can't be if it's that early?

  18. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Easton View Post
    Very nice! It has the outline on a patent hilt, but I guess it can't be if it's that early?
    Did you notice the Indian pattern scabbard with the frog stud on the locket?

  19. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Easton View Post
    1) 8418 - 1845 pattern infantry officer dating to 1857
    2) 8644 - 1821 pattern Bombay Artillery dating to 1858
    Hi Matt,

    As I have it my 1860 EIC Register, A.R.T. Chilton was appointed to the Bengal Artillery in 1857?

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Easton View Post
    1) 8804 - 1845 pattern infantry officer dating to 1858
    2) 6868 - 1821 pattern light cavalry officer, dating to 1855, marked to 13th Light Dragoons and R A Clement, patent hilt (leather)
    3) 9326 - 1854 pattern infantry officer, dating to 1858, 'Flat Solid' blade type, gilt steel hilt, belonged to Major Henry Vicars
    4) 9665 - 1854 pattern infantry officer, dating to 1858/9, Patent Hilt (horn?), unresearched
    Hi Matt,

    Of particular interest is your 13th Light Dragoons solid hilt sword where you state that the grips are leather; I base my interest on the fact that on the majority of solid swords where the grips are leather grips, they are black; whereas the composition grips are generally brown. With a degree of wear, it is often very difficult to tell what they are made of, and as your sword appears (in the photo) to have brown grips, this suggests that they could? be composition. I in fact have a solid hilt sword also proved in 1855, and it has black leather grips, so I am wondering how you decided that the grips are leather. Also based on my study of solid hilt swords, it seems that at one stage both leather or composition grips may have been optional, before the composition type became the norm. I would be very interested to learn if they are in fact 'brown' leather grips.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordon byrne View Post
    As I have it my 1860 EIC Register, A.R.T. Chilton was appointed to the Bengal Artillery in 1857?
    Quite right - Alfred Richard Tickell Chilton, Bengal Artillery 1857. Not Bombay 1858 - was typing too quickly

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordon byrne View Post
    Did you notice the Indian pattern scabbard with the frog stud on the locket?
    I did!

    Of particular interest is your 13th Light Dragoons solid hilt sword where you state that the grips are leather; I base my interest on the fact that on the majority of solid swords where the grips are leather grips, they are black; whereas the composition grips are generally brown. With a degree of wear, it is often very difficult to tell what they are made of, and as your sword appears (in the photo) to have brown grips, this suggests that they could? be composition. I in fact have a solid hilt sword also proved in 1855, and it has black leather grips, so I am wondering how you decided that the grips are leather. Also based on my study of solid hilt swords, it seems that at one stage both leather or composition grips may have been optional, before the composition type became the norm. I would be very interested to learn if they are in fact 'brown' leather grips.
    Well, I am 99% certain that they are leather, from a couple of small scuffs and just because it completely looks and feels like leather, and unlike my 1860 composition-gripped example (or indeed an 1886 composition example I have). Now the funny thing is, that whilst the leather is brown, you can see black paint/laquer in the recesses and in the lines where the chequering was (it is now worn quite smooth from handling). So I would say that whilst it is brown now, it looks like it was probably originally black surfaced. This sword incidentally missed the Charge of the Light Brigade by a matter of months. It has been well and dutifully sharpened.
    Incidentally, I also own an early patent hilt which has grips of wood, with shark skin covering.
    Do you know what the early composition grips were made of? I wondered if the early ones were actually horn rather than pre-plastic.

  23. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Easton View Post
    I did!



    Well, I am 99% certain that they are leather, from a couple of small scuffs and just because it completely looks and feels like leather, and unlike my 1860 composition-gripped example (or indeed an 1886 composition example I have). Now the funny thing is, that whilst the leather is brown, you can see black paint/laquer in the recesses and in the lines where the chequering was (it is now worn quite smooth from handling). So I would say that whilst it is brown now, it looks like it was probably originally black surfaced. This sword incidentally missed the Charge of the Light Brigade by a matter of months. It has been well and dutifully sharpened.
    Incidentally, I also own an early patent hilt which has grips of wood, with shark skin covering.
    Do you know what the early composition grips were made of? I wondered if the early ones were actually horn rather than pre-plastic.
    Matt,

    I have seen a small number of solid hilt swords where the grips have suffered, and the leather is definitely black and not painted, as in some cases the surface of the grip or grips has crumbled, thus exposing more than just the surface. Horn was definitely used for grips, and it seems that it was well liked in Indian service for it's durable qualities. Most of the early solid hilts that I have seen have leather grips, but there appears to be a mix of types around the time of your sword, then the composition grips seem to replace the leather as the preferred substance. As black fish-skin was used on the grips, maybe the grips on your sword were painted so as not to show the brown colour.

  24. #49
    We discussed Patent Solid Hilt grip materials here: http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...t=patent+solid

    This may also be of interest: http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...esource-Thread

  25. #50
    Jonathan,

    Thanks for re-posting, always good to read previous posts just in case further information comes to light; the only thing I would add, is the fact that there was a later and distinct change in the colour of the grip plates on some solid hilt swords in the 1890s and into early 1900s, from 'brown' to 'black'.

    My own opinion is that there would seem to be no good reason for this change in colour other than a change in the type of material, and it is my guess that on-going developments and processes had reached a point where a plastic or vulcanite had been developed and substituted for the earlier material however, without further documentary evidence this remains open to debate.

    I know we are discussing early Wilkinson swords, but as a side subject, it would be interesting to know if any members have solid hilt swords with grip plates that look like black plastic as apposed to black leather?

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