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1897 P British Infantry Staff Officer's Sword by Wilkinson (Sold)

In superb condition, Victorian 1892P staff officer's blade in a George 6th 1897P hilt, the original sword known to have been that of a senior staff officer; Lieutenant-Colonel Francis J Bowker.

1897 P British Infantry Staff Officer's Sword by WilkinsonGeorge 6th Infantry Officer's Sword

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This is a lovely sword for a number of reasons, with a story clearly behind it that demands further research. OK, it is a Wilkinson made George 6th 1897 pattern British infantry officer's sword with an earlier 1892 pattern (dumbbell blade same as 1897 pattern) staff officer's blade (with VR for Queen Victoria cypher) fitted.

The blade number is 31557 which was sold to a Francis Jearrad Bowker, Esq of the Hampshire Regiment. He was a Lieutenant at the time but also a staff officer, as the crossed sword and baton blade etching attests. F J Bowker made Aide-de-Camp in 1894, Captain in 1897, Adjutant in 1902, Major in 1905 and Lieutenant-Colonel in 1914. He served during World War and was killed on the 21st January 1916 aged 47; details of his grave are here: F J Bowker

I do not know but presume Lt-Col F J Bowker's blade came to be in a George 6th hilt as a family honour blade, where one of his presumably grand-children had his blade put into a hilt correctly showing the current monarch's royal cypher per army regulations. It may well be possible to find the name of the descendant.

The sword is lovely also because of the condition. Some time and effort with a certain metal polish (I will name it to a buyer - it is a trade secret) and this sword could easily pass as near new. Lovely too is the superb Victorian etching to the virtually faultless 32 inch blade. Blade firm in the equally superb hilt, virtually blemish free, a little clouding which could benefit from the chrome polish. The grip in equally fine condition, as are the ring bindings / twisted grip wire. The scabbard in very good condition; could also be improved with chrome polish (if you know the right one to buy).

Further / full sized pictures available upon request. My item reference number is 492 (6).

 

 

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