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Wilkinson Patent Solid Hilt Nobleman Cavalry Officer’s Sword (sold)

An 1821 / 1896 Pattern cavalry officer's sabre, a Wilkinson patent solid hilt version owned by a nobleman, Sir Gray Humberston d'Estoteville Skipwith, 11th Baronet (1884-1950) of Prestwould.

Wilkinson Patent Solid Hilt Cavalry SabreWilkinson Patent Solid Hilt Cavalry Sword

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Formidable top of the line / range British cavalry sword made by Wilkinson with the patent solid hilt which effectively made the blade and the grip one and with it much more robust in action. You can see this in the photo below where, instead of the sword's tang being inside a wood lined fishskin or leather grip, the tang forms part of the grip and the material used in tough plastic grip halves bolted and wired into place.

Wilkinson hilt / tang

This particular sword was made for and sold to Sir Gray Humberston d'Estoteville Skipwith, 11th Baronet (1884-1950) of Prestwould, see Skipwith Baronets, while he was an officer with the Royal Warwickshire Yeomanry in 1908. Sir Skipwith clearly did not use his fine sabre very much as the plated steel scabbard (for ceremonial occasions) was still in its original roeskin bag, so he never ever used it. I do not think Sir Skipwith had a long military career as I can find no mention of his name in the Army (including Yeomanry) list for 1911.

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Finely etched with his initials, Edward 7th royal cypher and British coat of arms, the 35 inch blade has rusted in places; in the above photo you can see some of the distinctive dark red rusting which I have treated so it will turn shortly into so called "black patina" (more robust and aesthetic). Once stabilized, the rusted areas can either be left or gently sanded down; some people then cover this with silver hammerite paint; personally I would leave and maintain it. Of course the blade is rock solid in the hilt and the grip intact. The hilt has some rust bubbles but not so many. The sword comes with two scabbards, the field leather scabbard which Sir Skipwith clearly did use (a little tired but in good order having benefited from a generous application of leather balsam by me), and the nickel plated scabbard (immaculate for most of its length but with some rust spots near the chape where it was exposed outside the roeskin bag). Complete with original sword knot, a stunning and highly impressive sabre in spite of the process of time. Further / full sized photos available upon request; recommended as small areas of the blade have rust pitting. Sword reference number 250 (97).

Sir Skipwith's court sword can be found here.

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