British 1845 and 1854 Pattern Infantry Officer Sword

1845MANCHESTER3

SPECIFICATIONS:

Hilt: Gilt brass “Gothic” style, with curved spur replacing the former pattern's folding guard.

Blade: of Wilkinson, single-fullered type and double-edged at the last 9-10 inches.

Blade length: approx. 31- 32.5 inches.

Grip: fishskin, bound with either silver, copper or brass twistwire.  Some grips also bound in leather.

Scabbard: Black leather with gilt brass locket, middle band and chape.  Later scabbards were all steel.

When compared with the 1822 Pattern Infantry Officer's Sword, the main difference concerns the absence of a folding guard and change from pipe back to single-fullered "Wilkinson" blade.  This change to the hilt was made in the Regulations of 1854.  The “Wilkinson” 1845 Pattern single fullered blade is the most common type to be found with this hilt.

Special mention should be made concerning some excellent 1854 Pattern swords manufactured by Wilkinson.  The quality of these is very apparent, especially in the sturdy hilt construction and the crisp, deep etching to thick, wide blades.  A good heavy duty scabbard was also supplied in both steel and leather on steel.  These swords were made for proper service use and would have undergone strenuous testing at the Wilkinson factory.

This sword also has a picquet weight equivalent carried during social engagements.  There were never official regulations for the carrying of these lightweight versions, but they are very common and so must have been accepted unofficially by the authorities.

FINDING EXAMPLES IN THE MARKET TODAY

This pattern of sword was produced in large quantities during its service life and consequently, is not a difficult sword to acquire.  It is being copied in the Far East but these are typically of poor quality and exhibit pigskin grips (rather than the original and typical fishskin covering) and crude blade etching.

© Article by Harvey J S Withers - antiqueswordsonline.com

Not to be reproduced without prior agreement.

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