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Thread: Heraldic Crest help

  1. #1
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    Heraldic Crest help

    This heraldic crest is on a Wilkinson from 1862. So far I have not been able to get a positive ID on it, even with the proof page supplying a name, Duncombe. It doesn't match up with the crest in any of the references I've looked at. I'm hoping that the collective powers of the forum can help solve the puzzle.
    Cheers,
    Mike

  2. #2
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    I have had my full of heraldry at the moment, but will try and help Mike

  3. #3
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    What pattern is the sword Mike?

  4. #4
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    I stand to be corrected but I believe the crest is :

    A stag's head erased on a chapeau


    Now to just find the family name

  5. #5
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    Jordan,
    It's a regulation Infantry Officer's sword that has had a hard life, but has been service sharpened at some point.
    Quote Originally Posted by JordanPL View Post
    I stand to be corrected but I believe the crest is :

    A stag's head erased on a chapeau


    Now to just find the family name
    This is the stage that I'm at. I've tried many different ungulates over and on a chapeau and cap of maintenance but I must be missing that magic combination.

  6. #6
    I am sure that if you show us the whole blade it will be fully appreciated!

    Regards,

    Marius

  7. #7
    Hi Mike,

    Some years past, I was researching an un-numbered Wilkinson blade which was displayed a motto and a crest "erased"; in due course I actually identified the individual (without any doubt), and found that the same animal for crest (and motto) was also used by an individual in another branch of the family however, the crest was displayed as "couped". Thus the erased version of the crest (in my case) was displayed as erased as a 'mark of difference', to identify a particular individual within the family. If you can find a crest that is similar, it might pay to look closely at the genealogy of the family.

  8. #8
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    Gordon,
    Thanks, that's very interesting information. I going to check some past research where I have info on similar crests that I discounted as being too different to have any bearing on the crest in question.
    Cheers,
    Mike

  9. #9
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    So far the only crests that I can find that have any type of stag's head (couped ,erased or cabossed) on a chapeau belong to the Mortimore/Mortimer family. If anyone has found any other surnames I'd like to know.
    Cheers,
    Mike

  10. #10
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    I found the same Mike, although it has the fleurs-de-lys:

    https://armorial.library.utoronto.ca/stamps/MOR008_s2

    it is the closest I could find unfortunately.

  11. #11
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    Marius,
    I'll try to get a pic when I have a spare moment.

  12. #12
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    Well this is weird. While looking into any Mortimer/Mortimores that had a long career with active service (who would have used an infantry sword) after 1862, the only one that surfaced (so far) was William Hugh Mortimer, who started out as Ensign in the 41st Foot, but in Feb/1865, 3 years after the sword was made. But oddly enough his career overlapped a Thomas Henry Duncombe, the name in the proof page, also in the 41st, who was gazetted into the regiment in Feb/March 1862 (close to when the sword was made), but left in June 1865. I'm not a big believer in coincidence but this seems a little odd. Or maybe I'm just seeing what I want to see. Could Duncombe have passed/sold his sword to Mortimore? The sword originally had a gilt steel hilt but was rehilted with the standard brass hilt at some point, which makes one wonder if it was returned to Wilkinson's for some refurbishment and maybe a crest etching?
    Last edited by MikeShowers; 11-13-2016 at 09:42 PM.

  13. #13
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    I don't think that is a coincidence Mike, you have to believe that Mortimer bought the sword or was given it by Duncombe. It is too close to be wrong....well done

  14. #14
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    That's what you call lateral thinking!

  15. #15
    Mike,

    Based on my comments re mark of difference, I would put my money on Mortimer; I had a quick look in Burkes, and the first crest description I saw was a bucks head.

  16. #16
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    What might help was that Duncombe was under Bankruptcy in March 1866...may explain the need to sell the sword?

    Essex Standard , March 21, 1866

  17. #17
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    Thanks Gordon. You're remark about mark of difference nudged me in the right direction. And thanks Jordan for the newspaper article about the Duncome bankruptcy, it certainly shows that he was poor at managing his money and raising a few pounds selling his sword seems to fit his rather erratic behaviour as an officer. I'm going to put William Hugh Mortimer as the highly probable owner of the sword pending further research.
    Cheers,
    Mike

  18. #18
    In heraldry, there is a distinction between the "stag's head" and the "buck's head" regarding the shape of the antlers; and what I see on the blade is a stag's head.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by L. Braden View Post
    In heraldry, there is a distinction between the "stag's head" and the "buck's head" regarding the shape of the antlers; and what I see on the blade is a stag's head.
    I take your point and agree that it is obviously a stags head however, there is a marked difference (no pun intended) between a horses hind leg (many of the Duncombe group) and a stags head (or for that matter a bucks head); noting that there are stags head crests associated with some Mortimer arms.

  20. #20
    Indeed. I merely wanted to point out the heraldic difference between buck and stag, altho some swordmakers may not have been so accurate or particular in their representations. Anyway, why would anyone have only a crest put on a sword without any other indication of ownership or affiliation? Seems silly to me, even if only for economy. And how common was that?
    Last edited by L. Braden; 11-15-2016 at 04:08 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by L. Braden View Post
    In heraldry, there is a distinction between the "stag's head" and the "buck's head" regarding the shape of the antlers; and what I see on the blade is a stag's head.
    What, exactly, is the difference between the shape of the antlers of stag vs. buck? Also, I agree about the silliness of only having a crest etched on a blade, but I've seen enough swords like this to realize that it wasn't uncommon. I can recall types of other houshold antiques (silverware, china, etc.) with just heraldic crests on them so maybe it was just more of a generic mark of ownership.
    Cheers,
    Mike

  22. #22
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    Mike, this is from a brief heraldic guide, very staight forward:

    And from Fairbairn's:


    I believe Gordon is correct but he didn't look further down the list of Mortimer/Mortimore where the above is. The initial ones are buck's heads. And I believe if we contest the Mortimore versus Mortimer we will continue this thread forever

    In terms a single crest...ask Gordon he has a sword with two crests and a motto with no intials, which he has been researching for the last five years. So they definitely are out there. I haven't seen the complete sword, but perhaps it was as simple as no space for a name, or the crest was enough for William?

  23. #23
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    Fascinating thread! Though I'm going to throw in another possibility - the record of the serial number may be wrong. If the sword with that number had a gilt steel hilt, then that sword is not this sword, in my opinion. I don't think anybody would dismount a more expensive and almost unbreakable gilt steel hilt and replace it with a standard brass hilt.
    I have had 4 or 5 (can't remember exactly) swords where the serial number was recorded wrongly in the ledger (simple clerical error). In every case, the number was out by a factor of 1 - so if I were you I would ask Richard Milner to look one digit up and down to see if there is an infantry sword with brass hilt there. I think the Duncombe connection is a red herring stemming from the fact that of course Duncombe would have ordered a sword around the time of his commissioning.

  24. #24
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    You just had to 'put the cat amongst the pigeons' Matt

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