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Thread: Answer to Will about East India Company Markings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Westport Island, Maine (US)
    Posts
    45

    Answer to Will about East India Company Markings

    In the recent thread around the Blucher Saber, I had noted that the marking schema on some British weapons can be complex and confusing. I stated that the East India Company at times used the crown/number stamping, as did the Ordnance. Will did not think this was the case and suggested that the EICo used the quartered heart as an ownership mark and a script letter number stamp as an inspection marking. I wanted to get back to this to clarify, but did not wish to further 'hijack' Bill's thread on the Blucher. What I hoped to do, was to get some references from David Hardings epic work on EICo Small Arms, and maybe a couple of photo's from my own collection.

    I want to add, that I am so grateful for the help that Sword Forum members, particularly Will have given me. My wish is not to be argumentative but to respond to the EICo-Ordnance stamping question in a helpful way. First, Will is absolutely right about the Quartered Heart (and later the standing Lion with Crown) as being specific marks of EICo ownership. Further, He is correct that the Scriptic letter/number stamp was a type of EICo inspector marking. (Specifically a kind of date code for inspection in a given year).
    My point was also correct, hence the easy confusion and complexity. The EICo like the Ordnance also at points used the crown over number stamping to indicate that the weapon had been inspected, and to identify the inspector (who was issued that numbered stamping).

    I am including several photos The first couple from Harding Volume I appendix A, and the second two as examples from my collection of EICo weapons (a musket barrel and bayonet face) which contain Crown/number stamps. I hope that Will forgives my delay in getting this material posted, and that he will correct any mis statement I have made in the above summary.
    Best, Charlie

    Photo 1 From Harding, Small Arms of the East India Company, Vol I Appendix A, Page 269
    Photo 2 From Harding, Small Arms of the East India Company Vol I Appendix A, Page 280
    Photo 3 Underside of EICo musket barrel with worker and inspection stampings showing Crown/Number (from my collection)
    Photo 4 Face of very early EICo Bayonet showing Crown over P (abraided) inspection stamping
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    3,795
    Thanks Charlie for this, I can see there being some confusion with a crown marking especially when they have been corroded. Nice to see the whole set of EIC markings.
    There should be plenty of examples to look at from the large Nepalese cache that was somewhat in the neighbourhood of 30 sea containers full.

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