Obscure terms used in the Wilkinson Proof Records 1854-78

Gordon K. Byrne
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:49 pm

Re: Obscure terms used in the Wilkinson Proof Records 1854-78

Post by Gordon K. Byrne » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:38 pm

Hi John,

Just adding a correction, my reply should have noted "10th" Bengal Cavalry. In terms of Smith the Elder, this firm was generally referred to as Smith, Elder & Co however, I thought it was worth mentioning just in case the writing on the proof docket was unclear and difficult to interpret.

John Sheard
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:39 pm

Re: Obscure terms used in the Wilkinson Proof Records 1854-78

Post by John Sheard » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:29 pm

Sorry Gordon,
I meant to say Palliser, I agree with you. My sloppy typing again.

User avatar
Matt Easton
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:24 pm

Re: Obscure terms used in the Wilkinson Proof Records 1854-78

Post by Matt Easton » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:09 am

A great topic John and right up my alley!

Most of the questions have been answered already - I'm afraid that I don't know what the Morris pattern was either. I can tell you all about the Mitchell (or CJM) pattern though... It's certainly fun to discover how many recognised mini-patterns there were recorded at Wilkinson.

Fall down does certainly refer to the drop section, but why that would be against a scroll hilt, I cannot say!

French pattern/French back has turned up against a few swords that have been through my hands and I still have two in my collection and another (by Pillin) coming up for sale soon. No question, it is a pommel cap without backstrap.

Light forward, in my opinion, refers to being lighter in the foible - John Musgrave Waite refers to this as a preference in his 1880 manual.

Russian pattern blades are well documented and described by the others above - I have never managed to own one yet. I also find their naming ironic, as most actual Russian swords of that period have a broad fuller, not a narrow one. The Russian pattern is actually somewhat more similar to a Japanese blade!

Extra finger bar is really interesting... It would be tempting to guess it's something like on Portuguese swords (a finger-ring for the index finger), or fulfilling the same function as leather finger loops on some German, Swiss and Austrian swords. But I find that unlikely. Wilkinson did put leather finger loops on some swords. But I don't think they would describe this as an 'extra finger bar'. That implies that there is already a finger bar. What I suspect it actually means is an added branch to the front of the knucklebow part of the guard. We see extra width knucklebows on some Indian service swords and I think that's probably what this describes, though I admit with a scroll hilt that's harder to imagine than with a 3-bar or heavy cavalry hilt.

Best wishes,
Matt
Matt Easton
Easton Antique Arms - http://www.antique-swords.co.uk
Schola Gladiatoria - http://www.fioredeiliberi.org

Will
Posts: 125
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:27 pm

Re: Obscure terms used in the Wilkinson Proof Records 1854-78

Post by Will » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:11 pm

Hi Matt would viewing many proof pages answer some of these questions? Royal Armouries: 1) One hundred and thirteen Proof Registers relating to swords manufactured by Wilkinson Sword from 1854 (blade no. 5000) to 1893 (blade no. 32528),
2) Twenty three Proof Registers relating to swords manufactured by Wilkinson Sword between 1893 and 1995
I believe to copy these they charge by the page but will they allow you to view the lot and take notes? Or have you already done this?

Post Reply