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1870 Pattern Honourable Artillery Company Officer’s Dress Sword, (Sold)

A good condition and very special 1870 Pattern Honourable Artillery Company Officer’s Dress Sword with owner's initials / owner identified.

Honourable Artillery Company Sword1870 Pattern HAC Artillery Officer’s Dress Sword

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A very special example of the 1870 Pattern British Honourable Artillery Company Officer's Sword. First, the shellguard bears the owner's "M.H.J. 5th Compy" which by reference to the 1864, 1878 and 1889 British Army Lists shows him to be Captain Matthew Henry Jacobs, who was promoted to Captain on the 3rd May 1870.

The second reason this is a special sword is that it has what most people refer to as the "Wilkinson Patent Tang". This sword was actually retailed by Blameys of 62 Charing Cross, London and probably, by reference to the brass proved slug with a "P" was made by Pillin of London. However, this presumption concludes something unusual in that, at that time, the so called "Wilkinson Patent Tang" was being made only by Reeves of London who Wilkinson bought out lock, stock and tang patent. What raises some questions also as to whether the sword was made as a special favour by Reeves / Wilkinson to Blameys is that Wilkinson's senior employee of the time, one John Latham, was a regular customer of Blameys, who were extensively a tailors.

So what is a "Wilkinson Patent Tang"? It is or rather was a method of making a very strong sword for use on the battlefield, which makes the presence of one on what was extensively a dress sword for the dignitary artillery officers of England intriguing; it is quite likely Captain Matthew Henry Jacobs had heard of it and simply wanted one for the sake of it. The tang is the part of the blade which fits into the hilt. A Wilkinson Patent Tang is a very wide tang which gives the sword extra strength but affects the appearance of the grip (see below).

As this is such an exceptionally rare sword pattern anyway, plus the fact this for this sword is unique and initialed with the owner's name know. Further pictures available upon request. Scan of one of John Latham's receipts / bills from Blameys in my possession but may well be subject to Copyright. Item reference number 85 (119)

 

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