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Thread: Latest sword, an 1897 Infantry officers sword by Wilkinson.

  1. #1
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    Latest sword, an 1897 Infantry officers sword by Wilkinson.

    While doing the last sweep before leaving a local Antique Arms Fair I saw this battered warrior going for a price I could not resist. Tattered but still with all metal, and not as rusty as first look indicates. Geo. V cypher on the guard and on one side etched the word GOOD LUCK FSS and on the other the letters C and S intertwined as a monogram. On the back of the blade the number 49742, a hexagonal proof slug in the base. My guess is a present from friends to a newly commissioned officer. Comments welcome.
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  2. #2
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    The sword dumber dates the sword circa 1916 period.
    (Swords for WW1 were numbered from 4401 (1914 to 5463 (1917)

    As you sat the Hexagon Proof slug denotes a Best Quality Sword

  3. #3
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    Thank you for your prompt response, and this useful information. I was hoping you would be able to give me a date for the swords production and an exact year was more than I hoped for. I gathered from other threads on WWI Wilkinsons that swords of this date are not traceable to a specific order by their number. With the date that you gave me and the etched detail I might be able to track it down further in other sources.
    My job now is to clean and refurbish the blade as best as I can.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    Thank you for your prompt response, and this useful information. I was hoping you would be able to give me a date for the swords production and an exact year was more than I hoped for. I gathered from other threads on WWI Wilkinsons that swords of this date are not traceable to a specific order by their number. With the date that you gave me and the etched detail I might be able to track it down further in other sources.
    My job now is to clean and refurbish the blade as best as I can.
    I have been through the Etcher's Note books and drawings but cannot find anything matching the etched lettering you mention. As this was done by hand I doubt whether a pull of the etch was ever made and certainly has nit survived.
    Robert

    PS Your best bet would the the Army Lists of the WW1 period to see if you can match the initials with an officerr's name
    regards
    Robert

  5. #5
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    I am trying some other avenues and see what I can come up with. I'll let you know
    Robert

  6. #6
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    You are 9in Luck!!!!!!!

    Sword 49742 went to General Electric Co. 4 August 1915.

    So one presumes the recipient worked for GE and was leaving for the Army - Just a guess

    Regards
    Robert

  7. #7
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    Brill'. Many thanks for digging this out, looking at the etched motto I would guess this was a leaving present from his colleagues or from the firm. A bit poignant really, rather like getting a watch on retirement. The date narrows it down a lot, and encourages me to dig further by my own efforts.

  8. #8
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    Managed to dismount the sword prior to working on it. The blade is going to be tricky as I want to keep as much of the original polish and etching as I can, so most if not all "dip" treatments are out as they tend to frost the surface.
    One thing I found interesting is that under the shagreen the grip is wooden cored with another layer of something over it, a sort of fibreboard moulded to give the ridges for the wire binding to fit into. Also the wire fixed at the ends with wooden wedges. My other 1897 had plain wood under the skin and no trace of how the wire was fixed. Perhaps this is the norm, but I have not seen so many in this state to really have an idea.
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  9. #9
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    Hi David,

    The "Your Old Books & Maps" website has Army Lists from the whole WW1 period available to buy or download for a modest fee. And if you find any candidates there are a variety of sources to investigate further, from the CWGC website, "Officers Died" or "De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour" (for casualties), or Ancestry or FindMyPast (for service records and medal entitlements).

    Good luck - should be an interesting search!

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

  10. #10
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    The so called Fibre board is in fact mounded Fish skin which was welted and mounded over the wood grip, tied with cord and left to try and then stuck to the wood grip before being wired and then fitted to the tang with the hilt.

  11. #11
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    Great info on the grip construction. Please post more pics of your disassembly and restoration process.
    Cheers,

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