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Thread: 1822 infantry patent hilt - numbered Wilkinson

  1. #1
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    1822 infantry patent hilt - numbered Wilkinson

    Hi all,

    Following on from my previous post about absentee bidding, this is my prize.

    Adding to my patent hilt collection; my first infantry officer version and a Wilkinson numbered for 1860.

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    I wish it was in better condition but the rust isn't as bad as I thought. There may be some pitting but although the blade is discoloured the etching is all there.

    More images tomorrow. This may be a candidate for Evaporust.
    Last edited by james.elstob; 11-28-2019 at 11:31 AM.

  2. #2
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    The blade can be brought back to white metal. There is zero original finish on this blade but should come up nicely.
    Did you get the Wilkinson proof page, hopefully a name was recorded?

  3. #3
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    Hi Will,

    I have the proof slip and there are initials and a crest on the blade.

    H D R
    A bird atop a trumpet

    Proof slip, H D Rook.

    Just trying to marry it up in the army lists, there is a very strong candidate in the army lists but he is Rooke (with an e) and was commissioned 3 months before the sword was finished.

    Photos to follow later.

  4. #4
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    If it's the same guy (and he's the only candidate I could find) he commanded the 1st Batt. of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry in 1885-89.

    Henry Douglas Rooke
    Ensign 53rd, December, 1859. Musketry-Instructor, 1865-66. Served with 1st Battalion in Egyptian War, 1882, and in the expedition to the Soudan, 1885. Commanded 1st Battalion, August, 1885, to 1889.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Mark, yes I suspect its him despite the different spelling and the sword being later than his commission.

    There are no militia officers in the 1861 lists named Rook or Rooke.

    I suppose as its pre 1861 it could be a company officer who doesn't feature in the British Army lists especially considering its a solid hilt.

    I'll check the indian army list next. If I can find an 1860/61 version somewhere
    Last edited by james.elstob; 11-28-2019 at 11:44 AM.

  6. #6
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    No H D Rook in the 1860/61 Indian Army List I'm afraid. There is a Harry Alfred Rooke (Season of Appointment 1858), but to be honest I researched this sword prior to the auction and came up with Henry Douglas Rooke as well, so I am sure he is your man James.

  7. #7
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    Hi Jordan,

    I agree there are no likely Indian cadidates.

    It's a shame that the 53rd weren't more than bit part players in both Egypt and Soudan. Although this sword may well have been in camp under attack from the Fuzzy Wuzzies.

    To quote a famous British soldier - "They don't like it up em!!"

  8. #8
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    Check your inbox James, just sent you his Service Record

  9. #9
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    Thanks Jordan,

    He certainly got about a bit, from what I can decipher. I'll scrutinise it in depth later.

  10. #10
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    An interesting blade, looking at the way the fuller fades away at the ricasso.

  11. #11
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    A thing of beauty!

    And just for the joy of seeing them together again, here's my patent hilt collection.

    Ray skin, pressed leather and 3 composite material grip slabs of very different appearance.

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    Last edited by james.elstob; 11-29-2019 at 03:57 PM.

  12. #12
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    This from Rooke's army records. Does this say "Brit. America"?

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    This is followed by West Indies, 3 stints in Bermuda, Egypt, Malta, Suakin, Lower Egypt, Malta.

  13. #13
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    B.N. America, British North America.
    James your naval sword with Toledo blade, have you posted this sword before, if so can you supply a link to it? I am partial to Toledo blades though only have one, a Wilkinson Coldstream Guards circ 1855.

  14. #14
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    I did, but it seems the post fell down the side of the sofa and went unnoticed.

    http://www.swordforum.com/vb4/showth...ent-solid-hilt

  15. #15
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    I believe Rooke features in a photo album held by the Shropshire Archives. I don't suppose anyone here is registered with the archives there?

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