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Thread: Possible wilkinson owner

  1. #1

    Possible wilkinson owner

    Morning all

    Another wilkinson of mine with some questions surrounding it.

    The sword is a light cavalry initiated JY and is dated to 1856, number 7692.

    I’ve trawled the army lists for around the dates and the only (to me) possibility seems to be John Yates of the 11th hussars, a man who missed the charge of the light brigade, and is depicted by Roger Fenton. This sword wouldn’t have been used dating to after the Crimean war.

    I haven’t ordered the wilkinson ledger yet, but hoping I might not need to if this is the only real candidate.

    The only information I’m looking for is if would’ve been in Britain to purchase a new sword after his return from the Crimea.

    Would love to hear what you all think on this theory.

    Lewis

  2. #2
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    As I recall the 11th came back to Britain then left for a decade to India. Why would he not use his sword after Crimea?? Having the Wilkinson blade proof page is beneficial and the cost is not very much and it adds value to the sword and proves in writing that this is your man.

  3. #3
    I will order the proof page, just hoping that this would be enough proof to not lay out for it. The reason from him not using his sword after the Crimea is that he left the army in 1859 and had died by 1862. So the sword wouldn’t have really been needed.

  4. #4
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    Dead men do vote but their fingers stink and they can't use a sword.
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  5. #5
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    Without the proof page you really need some regimental attribution and/or a heraldic crest in addition to the initials (period sharpening can also help), otherwise it's just a guess as to ownership. Especially with only 2 initials on a common pattern sword. In this period you also have the HEIC to keep in mind. Order the proof page and hope it has a name on it.
    Last edited by MikeShowers; 06-22-2019 at 12:17 PM.

  6. #6
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    I watched this auction if its the same sword I'm thinking about. I also came up with the same guy. There is a photo of him online in the crimea, did you find it?

  7. #7
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    You don't have to hope there is a name recorded on the proof page, just ask Richard if there is one and He will tell you (yes or no). The documentation adds value and describes the sword itself, date and officers name. Sometimes the writing is difficult to decipher so in Richards cover letter he writes out clearly what is written on the page.

  8. #8
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    If this sword was that of Cornet John Yates, it’s interesting to note that he didn’t just miss it, as there are several contemporary references to him being ‘temporarily indisposed’ just before ‘The Charge’ and returned to barracks, in other words, he lost his nerve, definitely not one of the Six Hundred! I agree with Will and Mike, for a few quid the proof page is invaluable.

  9. #9
    I’ve ordered the proof page, so will have to wait until Monday to find out.

    This would be the same sword sold only last week, I have found the photos some absolutely wonderful early Fenton images.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Bevan View Post
    If this sword was that of Cornet John Yates, it’s interesting to note that he didn’t just miss it, as there are several contemporary references to him being ‘temporarily indisposed’ just before ‘The Charge’ and returned to barracks, in other words, he lost his nerve, definitely not one of the Six Hundred! .
    Temporarily indisposed covers a lot of things including vomiting and diarrhoea both of which were common on that campaign. He received the Crimea medal which I doubt he would have been awarded if he had been thought to lack moral fibre... whisky and a pistol were the usual rewards for that! His early death also hints at a lingering illness.


    However, all things are possible.

  11. #11
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    I asked for a lookup on this sword and if I recall it came back showing a “General’s sword. Staunton November 1856”

  12. #12
    Ok that’s rather convent Jordan, what is meant by Staunton ?

  13. #13
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    I believe that would refer to the name of the owner or certainly the person who bought the sword. Of course the ‘Geberal’s Sword’ part doesn’t fit with it being a Light Cavalry sword so either it isn’t a Wilkinson although the number and Proof Slug certainly looked the part or the Proof Page has been mixed up?

  14. #14
    Ok, I’ll ask if the proof records around this number make more sense

  15. #15
    Having checked the numbers around this and this sword there is no name on the proof record. So it’ll be not a definite on the owner but it looks to me that Yates is the best candidate.

  16. #16
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    This is from "Honour the Light Brigade (Lummis & Wynn):
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    "If I can't be a good example to others, at least let me be a horrible warning".

  17. #17
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    Just a note to add that they did mess up the record keeping sometimes. I've had a few swords which we eventually found in the proof book against the wrong number.
    Have you also checked all the yeomanry regiments and India Army Lists?

  18. #18
    I’ve checked the ones surrounding it and none were close to the description, so shame. Haven’t yet looked through all those lists yet but will give it a go.

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