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Thread: Do you own any numbered and dated SJ Pillin swords?

  1. #26
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    I don't know if you can use this link with just initials for a search, but it has some good info in it, if not for this project than something else.
    http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/0...909.005-e.html

  2. #27
    JOHN HART - Numbered Pillin swords
    Sorry I missed this previously, not realising I have what is most probably a S J Pillin sword. The sword in question is a 1827 Pattern Naval Officer's sword apparently previously owned by Captain F W Kennedy who commanded HMS Indomitable at Jutland, 1916 (Kennedy 1862-1939). There is no maker marked but the etching is of high quality and the proof slug almost certainly Pillin (see photo), likewise the style of the serial number. There is no Royal Cypher but the Royal Coat of Arms is displayed immediately above the point where the maker name should appear (similar to example on the Old Swords data base). A detailed King's Crown is etched on the blade above the usual Fouled Anchor consistent with Edward VII and therefore post 1901. Serial Number is 99871, close to John's sword, and, if my assumptions are correct, this dates his sword as very late Victoria or very early Edward. Unfortunately this conflicts with Martin R John's number of 100614 and I am unsure whether his sword is marked specifically to Victoria or based on Battle Honours. Could it indeed be later? Hope I'm not confusing things, info on the thread has certainly been very useful to me. Happy New Year to all. Still learning, John Sheard Name:  DSCF1040_zps12a35053.jpg
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  3. #28
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    Useful info, John - many thanks for this!

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

  4. #29
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    Hi John
    I have rechecked my sword, it definately has VR etched in the fullers. I would post a pic but due to the depth of the fullers it would not be identifiable.
    Martin

  5. #30
    Hi John and Martin, I think I may have a solution to the anomaly caused by my dating. Whilst the blade has the well defined King's Crown, the guard has what I take to be a Queen's Crown. I had assumed that the guard on the 1827 Pattern was a standard feature on all Naval swords irrespective of age and the crown therefore of no significance. Having now seen other examples, this is clearly not the case. I then assumed that the King's Crown over Fouled Anchor on the blade was the defining factor in the same way as for Royal Cyphers. Victoria was crowned with the 1838 Imperial State Crown and later used her Small Diamond Crown (1870) i.e. symbolically a King's Crown, and this might explain its use on a Victorian blade. If I'm correct, my sword is late Victorian, the serial numbers are sequential, John's sword is dated close to mine and I can stop worrying! Kennedy was commissioned Lieutenant 1886, Commander 1898 and Captain 1904. Hope someone will either confirm or correct my research.
    Still learning, John Sheard
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  6. #31
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    I have extended my list of Pillin swords with numbers when I found some more in the attic.

    96982 - RE Hilt, VR
    97569 - Scottish Field Officer , VR
    97578 - RE retailed by Sandilands , VR - hopefully Marc Cain will provide the date he was commissioned. Marc's research gives it at 1859
    99045 - 1822 Gothic inf hilt with 1845 Wilkinson type blade. -VR
    99886 - 1892 pattern infantry officer's sword - VR
    100614 - Scottish Cross Hilt to Seaforth's - VR, original owner Charles St Clair - from monogram and coat of arms -
    commissioned in 1898 - info thanks to the research of Yahya of New Jersey
    100640 - Royal Marines Artillery - VR
    104956 - 1821 Heavy Cav Officer's sword - E VII.

    One scottish sword has a fixed - 1898 date whilst 99045 and 99886 bridge the change from the 1845 Wilkinson type blade to the current 1892 type infantry blade.
    Last edited by Martin R John; 03-07-2014 at 08:48 AM. Reason: new data

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin R John View Post
    97578 - RE retailed by Sandilands , VR - hopefully Marc Cain will provide the date he was commissioned.
    I'm confident it that Pillin #97578 was the property of William Henry Collins, RE, who was commissioned as a lieutenant on December 21, 1859. If we assume he bought the sword at the time of his commission, I'd say it is likely your FO sword is solidly in the 1859 time frame.

    Other notes of interest re Collins:

    - Apparently was assigned to duties related to the Ordnance Survey in Dublin
    - Served as an instructor in Surveying at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich.
    - "Major W.H. Collins served under the Bhootan campaign of 1864-65 in command of a Company of Sebundy Sappers and as Assistant Field Engineer, and was severely wounded at the assault and capture of Fort Dalimcote. Medal with Clasp." --Army list for 1875
    - Collins authored a very detailed paper about the capture of the stockades at Dhomhonie and Mynagoree during the Bhutan Campaign of 1864-65. The paper can be found via a Google search. It is entitled: NOTES ON THE BHOOTAN STOCKADES OF MYNAGOREE AND DHOMHONIE CAPTURED BY THE FORCE UNDER COMMAND OF MAJOR GOUGH, V.C. November, 1864.
    - In order to provide class rooms for the various schools the Royal Engineer Institute [now the Royal School of Military Engineering] was built [in Chatham] in the year 1872 from the designs of Lieutenant Ommanney RE, the Institute itself occupying a portion of the building. This is under the control and management of a Committee of Engineer Officers of whom eight are ex officio and sixteen elected. The Secretary is elected by the Committee from a list of names previously submitted to and approved by the Commander in Chief. The successful candidate must obtain an actual majority of the votes of the Committee, i.e. at least thirteen out of the twenty four, to secure election. The first Secretary elected in this manner was Major W.H. Collins, appointed in August 1875. He was succeeded by Captain R.H. Vetch in 1877, who held the post until 1884 when his place was taken by the present occupant Major F.J. Day.

  8. #33
    Looking at the numbers and sword types, only 2,308 swords were made between 1859 and ~1892? That seems very low.

  9. #34
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    I do not think that all the swords were numbered. I have an 1895 Infantry pattern sword by Pillin that is not numbered. All of the swords described above have some form of personalisation in the form of complex initial and/or a coat of arms.
    In another thread, I believe that Mr Wilkinson Latham discusses this and feels that numbering in other cutlers may refer to special orders that needed additional workshop attention.
    Martin

  10. #35
    Thanks, Martin. That makes sense.

  11. #36
    97060 P1857 RE officer's sword, VR, SJ Pillin Gerard St Soho London, OldSwords.com #54110
    99045 P1854 infantry officer's sword, VR, SJ Pillin Gerard St Soho London, OldSwords.com #22289
    99649 P1821 RA officer's sword, SJ Pillin 31 Gerrard St Soho London, OldSwords.com #61149
    100246 P1827 RN officer's sword, SJ Pillin 31 Gerrard St Soho London, OldSwords.com #71081
    100381 P1897 infantry officer's sword, ERVII, SJ Pillin Gerard St Soho London, OldSwords.com #23071
    100838 P1897 infantry officer's sword, SJ Pillin Gerard St Soho London, OldSwords.com #124814
    100988 P1854 Guards officer's sword, VR, SJ Pillin Gerard St Soho London, OldSwords.com #109834

    Some of these have to be out of order. The RN sword looks Victorian to me although the photos and description don't show or mention a VR cypher. Also, the Guards sword has a VR cypher whereas one of the P1897s has an ERVII cypher.

  12. #37
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  13. #38
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    100614 - Scottish Cross Hilt to Seaforth's - VR, original owner Charles St Clair - from monogram and coat of arms -
    commissioned in 1898 - info thanks to the research of Yahya of New Jersey


    Correction , Yahya lives in New York and not New Jersey.
    I suspect the difference is of more importance on the west side of the pond than on the east side !!

  14. #39
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    Martin,
    Any chance you could post pics of the St Clair monogram and coat of arms?

    Baz Ford

  15. #40
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    Hi Baz

    Pic as requested. If you need a higher resolution picture, email me and I will send it as an attachment.
    dalstondoc@hotmail.com

    Martin
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  16. #41
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    Thanks for that. It is the same as a coat of arms on one of my swords.

    Baz

  17. #42
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    Hi Baz
    What sort of sword is it? Could you post a picture of the sword? Does the sword have any initials or monogram?
    Martin

  18. #43
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    I have researched my Pillin numberswith help from other forum members and collectors

    I several numbered Pillin swords and have managed to research most of them.
    Here are the results.
    Hopefully this will help others to date their own numbered Pillins more closely.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  19. #44
    A few years on now ?......But if anyone still seeks date & serial # information on Mr Pillin ? I have recently come-by a Pattern 1831 Scottish Infantry Basket Hilt,Name:  084-TM-Sword-Jock-08.jpg
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Size:  110.5 KB with Edward 7th cypher and a presentation date of 1908. The serial # of this sword is 105979. Sadly I cannot figure-out the owner's initials ? or ID the Lion in shield crest seen further up blade :-(

  20. #45
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    Jan 2007
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    Phillip,
    It looks like the letters H.E.S.(not necessarily in that order) The H (the letter with the dots) looks like an older form which looks similar to a lower case 'h'. The S is going through the center of the E. That is my interpretation. The way that everything is sort of hanging on the S could suggest that it is the first letter of the surname.
    Cheers,
    Mike
    Last edited by MikeShowers; 06-09-2015 at 08:41 PM.

  21. #46
    #101687. A presentation sword dated January 11, 1901. Victorian, P1897 Infantry. Picture does not do the sword etchings justice...etchings are crisp and blade is near mint.
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    Last edited by Terry Witiuk; 01-02-2019 at 10:06 AM.

  22. #47
    #103631 - Edward VII, infantry, 1897 pattern.

  23. #48
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    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
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    Just got a 1857p Gordon Highlanders sword # 100619 with VR on the blade. Have yet to find the owner with the initials CMW not necessarily in that order.

  24. #49
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    Only 5 on from one of Martin's swords, which was also a Scottish pattern, and dated to 1898 (see post #43).
    "If I can't be a good example to others, at least let me be a horrible warning".

  25. #50
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    The only officer with initials CMW and became major in 1898, the sword being of field rank is Claude Charles Miller Wallnutt DSO, major 18 May 1898 "The one and a half companies of the Gordons on Wagon Hill saw the loss of their commanding officer early on. Lieut-Col William Dick-Cunyingham VC was shot and died of his wounds the next day. Major Scott took over command and they managed to hold their ground against a determined attack. But when they were beginning to falter and withdraw, Major Miller-Walnutt rallied the men and they temporarily pushed the Boers back, but a counter-attack led by de Villiers reversed the situation and Miller-Wallnut was killed. An Engineers officer, Lt Digby-Jones then came to the fore and led them in a successful advance. The final victory came after a famous charge by the Devons. This was one of the hardest battles of the war that resulted in heavy casualties on both sides. The Gordons lost 2 officers and 17 men killed and 2 officers and 30 men wounded." From: https://www.britishempire.co.uk/forc...ry/gordons.htm

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