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Thread: New Acquisition: British Pattern 1897 Infantry Officer’s Sword

  1. #1

    New Acquisition: British Pattern 1897 Infantry Officer’s Sword






    Yet another P1897 has found its way into my collection. This P1897 is by Hobson & Sons, and was made and sold between 1897 and 1901. The steel hilt is very nice quality. The incised lines are quite crisp and detailed making for a particularly attractive guard. The steel guard and back strap have lost nearly all the nickel plating, save for a small portion where the guard meets the pommel. This portion was probably preserved by a now-missing sword knot. The hilt components are still tight and sturdy feeling.









    The service-sharpened blade is interesting to me in that it differs greatly from Wilkinson blades of the same pattern. The Hobson & Sons blade has squared edges along the blunt section, while those on my Wilkinson swords are rounded. Additionally, the fullers are shorter and the cutting edge is longer. The Hobson blade measures 32 1/2" long and 1 1/16" wide at the shoulder. The fuller begins 1 1/8" from the guard, is a total of 12" long, and terminates at 13 1/8" from the guard. The cutting edge is approximately 19". The Wilkinson blade measures 32 1/2" long and 1" wide at the shoulder. The fuller begins 2" from the guard, is a total of 13 3/4" long, and terminates 15 3/4" from the guard. The cutting edge is approximately 15". The blade’s etching is quite nice, and includes standard foliage designs, the late Victorian VR cipher, and the original owner’s initials; E.G.S.T.. The blade has some minor pitting, and is very slightly bent out of line.





    The leather field service scabbard is ruggedly handsome with its metal furniture. The locket is stamped “WYATT’S REGISTERED No. 20052”. I am guessing this is a patented design, and the number refers to a patent number since this same marking appears on other field service scabbards of the period (mostly on scabbards for swords officers of the Indian Army).



    Coincidentally (or not), the only officer who matches the initials on the blade did serve in the Indian Army. Thanks to John Hart and some generous souls at the Great War Forum (aussienoel, Esskay, and rflory), I have learned that this officer was Lt.-Col. Everard Stanley Graham Trotter. Trotter was born 22nd January 1873, Tezpur, Bengal, to William Francis Trotter and Jessie Crawley. He was educated at the United Service College from May 1881 to April 1882. Trotter began his career in 1894 as a 2nd lieutenant with the 2nd Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. In 1898, soon after being promoted to lieutenant, he transferred to the Indian Army Staff Corps.

    By 1903, Trotter was promoted to captain and was serving with the 102nd (King Edward’s Own) Grenadiers in Aden where he participated in some of the small actions in the hinterland and served as Assistant Resident from 17 December, 1904 to 18 June, 1905.

    Trotter was promoted to Major in 1912. He served in India during World War One and was entitled to the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.



    Trotter appears to have left the 102nd by 1914. In addition to the aforementioned regiment, Trotter served at various times with other regiments including the 2/9 Delhi Infantry, 9th Bhopal Infantry, and the 16th Punjab Regiment (dates of service in these regiments is unknown).

    Trotter was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in 1920, and retired in 1928. After leaving the Indian Army, he went to work for the Cantonment Magistrate’s Department at Peshawar.

    Lt.-Col. Trotter was also a bit of a scholar. He was a 1st Class Interpreter in German; 2nd Class Interpreter in Dutch and Somali, and passed in French, and in 1939 undertook the translation of an Urdu text, Kalam-i Urdu: Translated Into English : Part I, Prose, Part II, Poetry.
    Last edited by J.G. Hopkins; 10-06-2008 at 06:11 PM.

  2. #2

    Thumbs up Nice Sword!!!

    Hey Jonathan,

    For a hundred and eleven year old sword, this one sure looks fantastic! Obviously genuine, yet agelessly defiant. Did you buy it online, from a collector or from an auction? It may look elegant and lovely, but I think it had quite the deadly touch, in it's day. Thanks for sharing!

    I'm sure hoping to make The Hartford Show. Maybe I'll see you there?

    Take care, Jon Palombi
    Last edited by jonpalombi; 10-06-2008 at 06:44 PM.
    "A wise person aspires the study of swordsmanship. A lucky person finds a worthy teacher, an unlucky person finds yet another student... in the guise of a genuine Master. Sadly, a fool cannot tell the difference either way." Anecdotes of The Unknown Swordsman

  3. #3
    Jon,
    In its scabbard, and with the remaining plating out of view, it does look almost new. I bought it from an online dealer. I consider it a good find as it had not yet been researched, and because I have not had the chance to handle many non-Wilkinson swords from quite a while. I enjoyed comparing the dimensions and shapes of the blades to see the little (or big) differences between makers.

    I hope to see you at the show, my friend. If you cannot make it we'll have to schedule a VT get-together and do some show and tell!

    All the best,
    Jonathan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post





    Yet another P1897 has found its way into my collection. This P1897 is by Hobson & Sons, and was made and sold between 1897 and 1901. The steel hilt is very nice quality. The incised lines are quite crisp and detailed making for a particularly attractive guard. The steel guard and back strap have lost nearly all the nickel plating, save for a small portion where the guard meets the pommel. This portion was probably preserved by a now-missing sword knot. The hilt components are still tight and sturdy feeling.









    The service-sharpened blade is interesting to me in that it differs greatly from Wilkinson blades of the same pattern. The Hobson & Sons blade has squared edges along the blunt section, while those on my Wilkinson swords are rounded. Additionally, the fullers are shorter and the cutting edge is longer. The Hobson blade measures 32 1/2" long and 1 1/16" wide at the shoulder. The fuller begins 1 1/8" from the guard, is a total of 12" long, and terminates at 13 1/8" from the guard. The cutting edge is approximately 19". The Wilkinson blade measures 32 1/2" long and 1" wide at the shoulder. The fuller begins 2" from the guard, is a total of 13 3/4" long, and terminates 15 3/4" from the guard. The cutting edge is approximately 15". The blade’s etching is quite nice, and includes standard foliage designs, the late Victorian VR cipher, and the original owner’s initials; E.G.S.T.. The blade has some minor pitting, and is very slightly bent out of line.





    The leather field service scabbard is ruggedly handsome with its metal furniture. The locket is stamped “WYATT’S REGISTERED No. 20052”. I am guessing this is a patented design, and the number refers to a patent number since this same marking appears on other field service scabbards of the period (mostly on scabbards for swords officers of the Indian Army).



    Coincidentally (or not), the only officer who matches the initials on the blade did serve in the Indian Army. Thanks to John Hart and some generous souls at the Great War Forum (aussienoel, Esskay, and rflory), I have learned that this officer was Lt.-Col. Everard Stanley Graham Trotter. Trotter was born 22nd January 1873, Tezpur, Bengal, to William Francis Trotter and Jessie Crawley. He was educated at the United Service College from May 1881 to April 1882. Trotter began his career in 1894 as a 2nd lieutenant with the 2nd Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. In 1898, soon after being promoted to lieutenant, he transferred to the Indian Army Staff Corps.

    By 1903, Trotter was promoted to captain and was serving with the 102nd (King Edward’s Own) Grenadiers in Aden where he participated in some of the small actions in the hinterland and served as Assistant Resident from 17 December, 1904 to 18 June, 1905.

    Trotter was promoted to Major in 1912. He served in India during World War One and was entitled to the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.



    Trotter appears to have left the 102nd by 1914. In addition to the aforementioned regiment, Trotter served at various times with other regiments including the 2/9 Delhi Infantry, 9th Bhopal Infantry, and the 16th Punjab Regiment (dates of service in these regiments is unknown).

    Trotter was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in 1920, and retired in 1928. After leaving the Indian Army, he went to work for the Cantonment Magistrate’s Department at Peshawar.

    Lt.-Col. Trotter was also a bit of a scholar. He was a 1st Class Interpreter in German; 2nd Class Interpreter in Dutch and Somali, and passed in French, and in 1939 undertook the translation of an Urdu text, Kalam-i Urdu: Translated Into English : Part I, Prose, Part II, Poetry.
    Jonathan
    Wyatt's Registered design Number predates your sword and is from 1884.
    I have seen this style of mount mainly on Indian Army Swords of the 1880's usually for Indian Army Infantry for instance it was regulation for many regiments and described as 'Scabbard Brown Ordinary-Wyatt Pattern' in Wilkinsons specs.
    Robert

  5. #5
    Robert,
    So the Wyatt scabbard was made for about 15 years before the all-leather "Sam Browne" scabbard became the standard? Does that sound about right?

    Thank you,
    Jonathan
    Last edited by J.G. Hopkins; 10-07-2008 at 01:31 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Roanoke,Va USA
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    1,625
    nice looking P1897 there Jonathan......




    Bill
    billgoodwin333@yahoo.com

    "I was born for this" - Joan of Arc

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    Robert,
    So the Wyatt scabbard was made for about 15 years before the all-leather "Sam Browne" scabbard became the standard? Does that sound about right?

    Thank you,
    Jonathan
    Yes indeed. The brown leather scabbard (not always over wood) with chape and top mount were in widespread use in the Indian Army and British Army in India before the general introduction in the British Army.
    There are many interesting Indian Army variations mainly of the size and shape of the chape!!!
    They were not all Wyatt registered design by any means, most just plain. I have yet to discover what made Wyatt;s design worth registering!
    Robert
    Last edited by Robert Wilkinson-Latham; 10-08-2008 at 10:10 AM.

  8. #8
    I just came across this nice early "Wyatt's Registered" scabbard paired with a Pattern 1854 infantry officer's sword.

    http://www.northumberlandfusiliers.o...e/cat/7037.HTM

    I really like this scabbard design and I wish I had not sold this one! Oh well, I'll find another one some day, right?

    Jonathan

  9. #9
    Here is another pre-1892 sword with a Wyatt's Registered scabbard (from OldSwords.com):




  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Sidmouth, in the South-West of the UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    Here is another pre-1892 sword with a Wyatt's Registered scabbard (from OldSwords.com)
    Maybe the Wyatt patent was around the metal loop on the top scabbard mount? Normally it would sit in a frog with the bulge stopping it from falling through the hole - maybe this is just a "belt and braces" modification to retain it more securely?

    John
    "If I can't be a good example to others, at least let me be a horrible warning".

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by John Hart View Post
    Maybe the Wyatt patent was around the metal loop on the top scabbard mount? Normally it would sit in a frog with the bulge stopping it from falling through the hole - maybe this is just a "belt and braces" modification to retain it more securely?

    John
    Here is one mounted in its Sam Browne frog:

    http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopi...dpost&p=388006

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
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    Hi Jonathan,

    A similar style scabbard came with my Northumberland Fusiliers 1895 by Wilkinson.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  13. #13
    Chris,
    Thank you for posting that. It is very similar to a scabbard for one of my P1895s, also by Wilkinson:

    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...highlight=1897

    The metal fittings have been covered with leather, presumably to look more like the standard brown leather FS scabbard (and reduce reflective surfaces?). Does your have the same little button on the throat?

    Jonathan

    PS--Out of curiosity, does the hilt of your sword also have "STEEL HILT" stamped on it? What year was your made?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Thanks Jonathan,

    Just putting the finishing touchs to this swords history, shall have to do a write up at some point. I can't imagine there are many 1895 versions of this swords extant.

    The sword dates to 1896 I think, don't have the paperwork to hand at the moment.

    As to the scabbard- no button at the throat, and no loop as on the Wyatt example.

    No Steel hilt marking either, but a couple of years ago I sold an 1895 levee with the steel hilt mark.

    Love your 1895 in the link, I'd not seen that before! I've manage to link the NF sword to the owners medals, MID five times! His medals are at the Gloucester museum, and I need to get over there to see them!

  15. #15
    I wanted to update this thread with some corrected information. Above it was stated that "Wyatt's Registered 20052" dates to 1884, but it actually dates to 1899. According to The Engineer 20 October 1899: "20,052 SCABBARD ATTACHMENT FOR BELTS, J. Wyatt, London". The publication states that this information was taken from The Illustrated Official Journal of Patents 5 October 1899.

    And see the attached image, from Patents for Inventions. Abridgments of Specifications Volume 24

    Name:  Wyatt's Registered 20052.jpg
Views: 115
Size:  98.6 KB
    Last edited by J.G. Hopkins; 06-03-2021 at 09:39 AM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
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    A different take on a scabbard mouth made by Mole. All leather scabbard with 1895p sword. Purported by the family to be Maj. Gen. Sir Edward Richie Coryton Graham, Cheshire regt.
    Born Bengal India 7/11/1858, died 29/01/1951. KC of the Bath 1915. KC of St. Michael and St. george 1918.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  17. #17
    Hi Jonathan & Will,

    Really good in formation opn an under rate subject.

  18. #18
    Sorry gentlemen, doing things in a rush.

    Really good information on an under-rated subject.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
    Posts
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    Here is an 1867 Wilkinson sword with Russian pattern blade and 4 bar hilt owned by Capt. H. C. Onslow. The scabbard is all leather with no wooden core.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

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