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Thread: Wilkinson infantry officer 1854 with service damage

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    L'abbaye de Theleme
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    Wilkinson infantry officer 1854 with service damage

    Last week I got my first ever Wilkinson. It has HW in the slug proof, it is numbered 27729 what I believe brings its manufacture into 1887. It has a family motif of a royal crown with an armoured arm holding a cross. Blade is unsharpened and in a very good condition with crisp engravings. It has its metal scabbard.

    Now. I am not sure I want to research the owner. The damage I refer is the dissapearing of the bottom of the scabbard, erased from rubbing with the ground and some 4mm of the blade tip itself, at the same angle with the scabbard. The scabbard also lacks the mouth piece, what probably brought the blade closer to the gap at the bottom of the scabbard. The owner instead of getting a new mouthpiece tried to solve the problem adding another layer of leather sole under the bell, just to keep, without success, the blade tip far from the eroding ground.

    I supose this is a fairly common encounter and it suggests an unexciting life at the quarters career.

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    Last edited by Javier Ramos; 07-18-2021 at 12:30 PM.
    La vida amable, el enemigo hombre fuerte, ordinario el peligro, natural la defensa, la Ciencia para conseguirla infalible, su estudio forçoso, y el exercicio necessario conviene al que huviere de ser Diestro, no ignore la teorica, para que en la practica, el cuerpo, el braço, y los instrumentos obren lo conveniente a su perfeccion. --Don Luis Pacheco de Narvaez.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
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    I've seen this before, suggests long careers. Some are repaired by brazing a steel piece (or brass) that matches the wear angle. I've also seen cavalry troopers scabbards with repairs as I mentioned.
    I would research the owner, never know what surprises await and getting the Wilkinson blade proof page only adds value. Yes a steel scabbard suggests he did not rise above Capt. though some officers have several swords.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    If the sword was from 1887 it could have been substituted by the new model in 1896 or 1897 therefore the damage took place in just 10 years or less. Possibly a shorter stature could make the damage easier.

    I have other swords with damage at the scabbard heel, but not reaching the blade.
    La vida amable, el enemigo hombre fuerte, ordinario el peligro, natural la defensa, la Ciencia para conseguirla infalible, su estudio forçoso, y el exercicio necessario conviene al que huviere de ser Diestro, no ignore la teorica, para que en la practica, el cuerpo, el braço, y los instrumentos obren lo conveniente a su perfeccion. --Don Luis Pacheco de Narvaez.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Westport Island, Maine (US)
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    20
    Javier, I agree, If it has a family crest on it, it should be researched. I have one (also a Wilkinson) that was purchased by a young British officer. It had his family crest and initials on it. He wound up reaching the rank of Major General, and seems to have carried the sword the whole way through.
    Best, Charlie

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
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    3,726
    Personalized etching on sword blades do make them more easily identifiable. I have come across some Wilkinson swords without personal blade etching, they are either a dead end with no name recorded, or in one case the officer was the Commander of the Indian Army, with amazing military history.
    I've been surprised with some Wilkinson swords without obtaining the proof page previous to purchase and have been pleasantly surprised. I now have several maj and lieut. general swords. My experience has been it's not good economy not to obtain the blade proof page.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    ENGLAND
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    I wholeheartedly agree with Will, my curiosity would kill me wondering how the sword fits in with history.

    Even if the officer had a short and uneventful career, the sword still is still piece of a large history jigsaw.

    Perhaps if you post a picture of the crest then someone may be able to identify a candidate from the 1887/8 army lists.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Ottawa, Canada
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    It was also documented, at least in the French army, that new officers had their drags cut at an angle, as a brand new drag would show their men that they were inexperienced recruits. Not saying this is the case here, but a cut drag is not a sure indication of service life.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Annandale, VA
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    Reminds me of myM1850 foot officer's sword - saw a LOT of dragging!

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