A very interesting 1854 pattern infantry officers sword, by Wilkinson. This sword was bought in 1885, by Lieutenant William Rayden, 1st battalion, West India Regiment. Raydon obviously knew his life may one day depend on his sword, as he ordered an alloy hilted version of the standard 1854 hilt, which would have offered better hand protection than the ordinary brass pattern. The 33 inch blade has been professionally sharpened along its entire edge, and for 10 inches along the back edge. It is like a razor!
The whole sword comes in very pleasing condition, being unotuched, having never been offered on the open market before.
The hilt is in excellent condition, showing no sign of gilding as some alloy or steel hilts were, to conform to the dress regulations. The shagreen grip is in near perfect condition, bound with silver twistwire. Good bright blade with standard Wilkinson proof marking, etched address at the ricasso, serial number and centre of percussion marking to the spine. The single fullered blade has standard foliate etching, and crowned VR cyphers to either side.
The sword is housed in its field service leather scabbard, which is in good solid condition.
Lieutenant Rayden took part in the Yoni Expedition (13 November 1887 – 2 January 1888) a punative expedition against the Yoni Peoples in Sierra Leone, one of 298 members of the 1st West India Regiment who were awarded the East and West Africa Medal, with Clasp 1887/88.
He appears to have exchanged his commission in 1889 and then retired in 1891. He rejoined in WW1, and ended the war as a Major. Plenty more research to be completed on this period of his service.
The sword is sold complete with a copy of the Proof ledger page for this sword, showing William Rayden as the purchaser.
Strictly over 18's only.