This is an excellent example of a Victorian, Crimean War period British 1845 pattern infantry Field officer’s sword. The sword was retailed by Hawkes & Co., of London between 1846 and 1854.
The 825mm 1845 “Wilkinson” pattern blade has a flat spine with a half-width fuller running for two-thirds of its length. The blade terminates in a spear point and is etched with panels of foliate scrollwork above and below Queen Victoria’s crowned Royal cypher.
The blade is in excellent condition, retaining its original polish with minimal age-related speckles of pale tarnish towards the point. The forward and upper edges were service sharpened and retain their fighting edges.
The ricasso is etched with the maker’s details, “Hawkes & Co., London. Manufacturer to the Queen.” The obverse ricasso bears a brass proof disk showing a Fleur de Lys.
The Gothic brass guard is of the earlier 1822 pattern with the hinged side piece. The hinged side piece has a crisp spring and remains in the open position. Soon after the introduction of the 1845 pattern blade, the gothic guard of these swords became fixed, no longer having a hinged side piece. By 1854, all swords of this pattern had a fixed Gothic hilt.
The guard is in good condition and retains its gilding. An oval within the guard bears Queen Victoria’s cypher. The shagreen wrapped grip is in very good condition and the twisted copper wire is intact and tight. The blade is firm in the hilt.
The sword is complete with its field officer’s gilt brass scabbard with twin suspension rings. The scabbard is in good condition with a few small, shallow dings on the lower section. The sword sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.
This is a very fine example of a senior infantry officer’s sword, dating to the time of the Crimean War.