Scarce WW1 British trench fighting knife by Hibbert & Son of Sheffield, England. These knuckleduster weapons were made for private purchase by the troops and were not officially issued weaponry. The Medieval brutality of trench fighting led to a demand for close quarter weaponry and Britain’s cutlers rose to the challenge developing numerous terrifyingly efficient trench knives.
The Hibbert & Son Knuckle-knife was favoured by junior officers, men who often found themselves leading from the front. Hibbert & Son produced this style of fighting knife from 1890 until the end of the Great War, benefiting from the lucrative trade in private weaponry during the Anglo-Boer Wars and WW1.
George Ibberson & Co., also of Sheffield are thought to have developed this style of knife and were one of three producers along with Hibbert & Son of Sheffield and Charles Clements from London.
The 234mm clip point Bowie-style blade has a sharp single edge and a clipped upper false edge. The blade is in great condition with a pleasing patina and some small patches of darker tarnish. The blade will clean up nicely if required. The knife retains its fighting edge and the ricasso is stamped with the maker’s details, S. Hibbert & Son, Sheffield.
The hatched pattern ebony grip scales are held securely in place by three steel rivets peened through the tang. The grip finishes in a thistle pommel. The cast alloy guard is of knuckle duster form, with the hole for the smallest finger being closest to the blade. This style of fighting grip (punching and downward stabbing/slashing) is typical of British knuckle trench knives of the Great War.
The ebony grip scales are in great condition and are firm. The thistle pommel has a chip and repaired crack to the top of the pommel but it is all tight. There is no looseness or movement between the blade and the grip.
This is a great example of one of the rarer British WW1 knuckle duster trench knives from the Great War.