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.
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.
This particular sword was made for and sold to Sir Gray Humberston
d'Estoteville Skipwith, 11th Baronet (1884-1950) of Prestwould,
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
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
Sir Skipwith's court
sword can be found here.