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Victorian British Royal Navy Midshipman's Dirk, Wilkinson, sold

In very good condition, a Victorian 1879P British Royal Navy Midshipman's Dirk, etched to Henry Wilkinson, complete with all weather bag.

Victorian British Royal Navy Midshipman's Dirk, Wilkinsonimage O96 1

Sold Item Notice

Although this is etched to Henry Wilkinson, and was most likely made by the same, it was not sold by Wilkinson. The maker's mark does not have the royal appointment part and the serial number, 56423, does not correspond with the era (late 1890's) when this dirk was made. There is a lot of conjecture / speculation about finely etched swords like this one bearing the Wilkinson name, but somehow are not true / recognized Wilkinson Swords. Either, a) another quality maker was asked by a retailer to etch the Wilkinson name onto it, or b) it came from one of the several Wilkinson agents (such as Gieves in Portsmouth) who had a client that wanted the Wilkinson name on the blade, having been told by the retailer (e.g. Gieves) their swords were actually made by Wilkinson. I suspect it is the later, that someone like Gieves requested the Wilkinson name be applied because their customer had requested this, but as it was being supplied through another retailer, they could not state "By Royal Appointment". If it were made by another maker, it would probably have been equally famous Mole; the quality and the serial number perhaps indicating this. In any event, the quality is superb and the original owner officer would have 100% believed he had a 100% Wilkinson, even if he did not.

17 3/4 Inch quality grey etched blade is in very good condition, and firm in the hilt. The hilt retains a lot of gilt; the fishskin grip and associated twisted grip wires are very good (one lesser wire strand slightly astray). The scabbard in good condition, a little age. The locking pin mechanism works well. The dirk sheathes and draws well, if a little tightly, probably due to a minute amount of leather shrinkage.

Absolutely one of the best condition Victorian navel dirks I have seen, and by a very high quality maker. Yours for £xxx. Please quote item reference number O96 (1273). Further / full sized images upon request.

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