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Thread: Help with Initials

  1. #1

    Help with Initials

    Recently purchased a Royal Artillery sword with this crest and initials. I think they are a J and S but wanted to ask the experts. Does anyone have any idea about the family crest?

    thanks,

    bill
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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Hi Bill,

    Yes, I'd agree that these are J and S (see reference pics attached). On the crest, Fairbairn's Crests is the go-to guide - copies are available online or via a good second-hand book website such as Abebooks.

    Happy hunting!

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

  3. #3
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    Mar 2016
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    Is that a hand or...

    A mount vert, thereon between two branches of palm ppr a lions gamb erased and erect sa. holding a plume of five ostrich feathers gu.

    Joseph sladen of Kent, royal artillery 1859-1871

  4. #4
    Joseph Sladen would work as the sword is dated to 1859. Now to get the record for a Wilkinson sword and see if it matches.

    Thanks very much.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Armsresearch.co.uk, Richard has the records. So the sword is a Wilkinson, the proof page may well answer and confirm James research. Usually after the Crimea War when not so busy Wilkinson's did a better job at entering the names and info. on the blade proof page.

  6. #6
    Thanks Will. The letter has already been mailed. Now the wait until I hear back and we see if it matches.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Mathieson View Post
    Armsresearch.co.uk, Richard has the records. So the sword is a Wilkinson, the proof page may well answer and confirm James research. Usually after the Crimea War when not so busy Wilkinson's did a better job at entering the names and info. on the blade proof page.
    That's interesting Will. I know that the proof pages are patchy but it never occurred that the glut of work caused by conflicts would have an impact.

    Are you aware of specific research pointing towards that or is it just from experience?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    James it's from experience. I own and have owned swords from different conflict periods and Crimea and WW1 seem to stand out with many swords lacking purchasers info on the blade proof page. India Mutiny did not have an effect. Matt Easton has posted a graph showing quantities made in regards to conflict dates.
    I would assume Wilkinson's had sales records that did have the buyers particulars so repeating the info on other records such as blade proof pages may have seemed redundant.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
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    James it's from experience. I own and have owned swords from different conflict periods and Crimea and WW1 seem to stand out with many swords lacking purchasers info on the blade proof page. India Mutiny did not have an effect. Matt Easton has posted a graph showing quantities made in regards to conflict dates.
    I would assume Wilkinson's had sales records that did have the buyers particulars so repeating the info on other records such as blade proof pages may have seemed redundant.

  10. #10
    Wanted to thank everyone for all their assistance in identifying the initials and family crest. I received the Wilkinson proof page it confirmed the sword was purchased by Joseph Sladen. He was born in 1840, entered the Royal Artillery in 1859 and rose to the rank of Lt-Col. He published a book on gunnery that is still in print. The sword is in great condition but the scabbard is missing all the leather but did protect the sword. Here are pictures. Name:  JS Sword 2.jpg
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Size:  92.7 KBName:  JS Proof Page.jpg
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Size:  93.9 KB

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Western Canada
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    Bill, glad you posted a pic of the proof page as I have your swords "sibling" 9429, a Light Cavalry sword for R. Burdon, 13th Hussars. Proved and Returned on the same days but not embossed and screwed together until January 12th, 1859. Interesting to see that blades proved at the same time worked their way through the factory at different times.
    Cheers,
    Mike

  12. #12
    Mike,
    That is pretty cool to have the next number. I think the etching on my sword is very detailed.Name:  JS sword 4.jpg
Views: 56
Size:  71.6 KB

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Western Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Whitacre View Post
    Mike,
    I think the etching on my sword is very detailed.Name:  JS sword 4.jpg
Views: 56
Size:  71.6 KB
    I agree. I've noticed that the Wilkinson standard etching for Royal Artillery/Engineers officers swords quite often got a little extra compared to the standard infantry/cavalry. Here is one of my Artillery swords that is quite nice in that regard. These early Wilkinson's are interesting in that the etching is a little different from sword to sword.Name:  RA etch.jpg
Views: 37
Size:  98.5 KB

  14. #14
    The other side with the wings.Name:  JS Sword Royal side 2 crop.jpg
Views: 32
Size:  60.7 KB

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