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Remembered Today:

What's behind the grips of a 98/05?


trajan
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I have had this 98/05 m.S for a while, and it has no maker's mark on the ricasso, no state or inspector's mark (i.e., 'fraktur' or 'abnahmenstempel') on the spine (it looks as if they may have been scrubbed off - see a future post), but it does have one on the pommel, and a 'Bavarian-type' serial number, '272', on the left crossguard. The grips have been taken off and replaced 'in antiquity', as it were, and replaced with the bolt heads the wrong way round, and so today I took temptation by the hand for the first time ever - and removed them so as to replace them the right way round! And lo and behold - as was indeed to be expected, there is an 'abnahmenstempel' or inspector's mark inside both grips! I haven't gone any further yet, but if I can get this one tied to a known maker, then I might be able to get more on this one!

Here are details - the first is a photograph I put on GWF sometime back at http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=172698, and is an overall view; the next three are the inside of the grips and the tang markings (one side only). The inspector's mark on the pommel looks different from the grips but it needs a bit more cleaning there...

post-69449-0-53527800-1421942768_thumb.j post-69449-0-21141900-1421942901_thumb.j post-69449-0-12115700-1421942912_thumb.j post-69449-0-63859600-1421942923_thumb.j

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The inspector's mark on the pommel looks different from the grips but it needs a bit more cleaning there...

The pommel is a little dark in the photo, and maybe it has a dark brown finish (and/or patina) but I'm interested in the cleaning. Will you use a solvent or the #0000 bronze or steel wool and light oil method ?

Has the blade been cleaned using wool/oil, or is it as-received and you decided to leave well alone ?

I'm currently mulling over whether to take wool/oil to my bayonet blade (Sep. 1916) and/or pommel (the latter has a light brown colour). When in doubt, don't..........is my watchword, but I'm trying to copy what the big boys do here.

Final question regards a manufacturer stamp: "WILKINSON over PALL MALL". Was the PALL MALL later omitted as a war-time expedient ?

Regards,

JMB

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The pommel is a little dark in the photo, and maybe it has a dark brown finish (and/or patina) but I'm interested in the cleaning. Will you use a solvent or the #0000 bronze or steel wool and light oil method ?

Has the blade been cleaned using wool/oil, or is it as-received and you decided to leave well alone ?

... Final question regards a manufacturer stamp: "WILKINSON over PALL MALL". Was the PALL MALL later omitted as a war-time expedient ?

Hi JMB,

I usually leave everything I get my hands on as is, which is the case here (except for removing the grips), as I like the 'aged' effect. However, I do sometimes clean pommels and crossguards if there is a hint of a marking there, and of course I get rid of rust-spots. When I do so, I use the trusted gun-oil and fine grade emery paper and steel wool method. I assume that this is the method used by those who generally prefer the 'as new' bright effect over an 'aged' appearance.

(Incidentally,I have decided to leave the grips on this one as they were, partly to avoid possibly splitting the wood when removing the bolt heads (they have a milled edge to 'key' them into the woodwork), and partly because being replaced the wrong way round is part of their history!)

Can't help on when the PALL MALL was dropped from Wilkinson blades - a thorough search through GWF might find some evidence in the form of dated ricassos. This is really the sort of question that LFusilier of 4th Gordons are best able to deal with.

Trajan

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Final question regards a manufacturer stamp: "WILKINSON over PALL MALL". Was the PALL MALL later omitted as a war-time expedient ?

I believe Wilkinson operated two separate production lines for the P1907 bayonets during the war. Their main factory at Acton, and a smaller one at their Pall Mall facility.

You do see the different markings stamped on the ricasso, dated throughout the war. Pall Mall examples are not quite as common as the regular Wilkinson marked variety.

As an example, the bayonet I was cleaning up today was one of these, in all respects a late-war Wilkinson but with the Pall Mall faintly stamped beneath. It was dated 9/18.

Cheers, S>S

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... I'm currently mulling over whether to take wool/oil to my bayonet blade (Sep. 1916) and/or pommel (the latter has a light brown colour). When in doubt, don't..........is my watchword, but I'm trying to copy what the big boys do here. ... Final question regards a manufacturer stamp: "WILKINSON over PALL MALL". Was the PALL MALL later omitted as a war-time expedient ?

Of course I and SS are both assuming that the 9/16 date applies to the Wilkinson Pall Mall bayonet making it a P.1907! :wacko:

I believe Wilkinson operated two separate production lines for the P1907 bayonets during the war. Their main factory at Acton, and a smaller one at their Pall Mall facility.

You do see the different markings stamped on the ricasso, dated throughout the war. Pall Mall examples are not quite as common as the regular Wilkinson marked variety.

As an example, the bayonet I was cleaning up today was one of these, in all respects a late-war Wilkinson but with the Pall Mall faintly stamped beneath. It was dated 9/18.

Cheers, S>S

I did a quick search and found an interesting comment by LF at: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=220473&page=1entry2183195, which he made in response to a query by RG2712 about this marked bayonet:

post-69449-0-22972900-1422185863_thumb.j

LF's comment was: "The addition of ' PALL MALL ', which was Wilkinson's London show room, is not usually seen on the standard Pattern 1907 Sword Bayonets made by Wilkinson for British military service.

However, that ' PALL MALL ' addition is shown on non-service bayonets supplied to Schools, Colleges and other Officer Training Units ( OTCs ) where the bayonets were purchased privately from Wilkinson.

It could have been that this bayonet was originally purchased for a School/College OTC., and due to WW2 shortages, found its way into British Army service ?"

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Actually, the more one looks around (at least on GWF!) the more it seems that the WILKINSON/PALL MALL mark is common to late rather than early period GW P.1907 bayonets...

EG:

05/18: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=201058&page=1entry1973188

01/17: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=193017&page=1entry1890607

11/17 and 12/17: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=180710&page=1entry1755238

05/18: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=148912&page=1entry1431146

Also of interest, note that SS at: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=193017&page=1entry1890607observed that the Pall Mall version of the mark was “a little scarcer and more sought after”, but Seph at: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=180524&page=1entry1816295 comments that the two stampings were “used equally.”

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Thanks to all for the responses.

However, almost each one brings me up short with another question or comment, so I'm on a steep learning curve here.

SS---I very much doubt that Wilkinson had any kind of manufacturing works in Pall Mall. That area is and was VERY posh, and I suspect that at most theremay have been a small back-room for on the spot adjustments etc. while you wait. Are you sure about a second manufacturing facility there ??

Trajan/SS---Yes it is a Sep. 1916

LF---my bayonet has re-issue marks dated '22, '3(1 or 4)and '37, together with the Enfield inspectors' stamps (5 x clear & 1 x possible). Would an

OTC/school bayonet have been put through repetitive inspections ?

Trajan---last question is for you. The undersides of the grips that you had removed show a distinct orange/red tint. Is that the natural wood colour, or did Germany (and the UK for that matter) specify that grips were to be stained ? I looked into Italian walnut that was used for SMLE furniture and

that has a range of natural colours.

Regards,

JMB

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LF---my bayonet has re-issue marks dated '22, '3(1 or 4)and '37, together with the Enfield inspectors' stamps (5 x clear & 1 x possible). Would an

OTC/school bayonet have been put through repetitive inspections ?

I have never seen or heard of a WW1 Pattern 1907 Sword Bayonet made specifically by Wilkinson for the British Army having a ' Wilkinson Pall Mall ' maker's mark, so the ' Pall Mall ' marking was not withdrawn as a wartime expedient as it was never part of the Wilkinson British Army issue bayonet ricasso stamping.

My understanding, is that military items such as bayonets that were purchased privately for the OTC Units in private schools and colleges directly from Wilkinson's retail shop in Pall Mall, London, were marked with the ' Wilkinson Pall Mall ' maker's mark.

Due to critical equipment and weapon shortages at the start of WW1, OTC Unit bayonets which were requisitioned by or donated to the British Army and which had not previously undergone a WD inspection process, were then ' WD inspected ' and inspection marks were stamped on the bayonet's ricasso accordingly.

Regards,

LF

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I don't know exactly where or why Wilkinson marked their P1907 bayonets with the two separate "Maker marks", but they certainly did it for whatever the reason.

They made many bayonets marked with the Wilkinson Pall Mall stamping and these were accepted into service like all the rest, with all the normal stampings, etc.

It is not hard to find examples of these, and the acceptance markings are the same in all respects. The Pall Mall stamping is just another P1907 maker's variation.

Cheers, S>S

EDIT. Here are some random pics to illustrate, which I just borrowed off the net. The Pall Mall bayonets are nothing overly special, just another Wilkinson really.

post-52604-0-59016200-1422225274_thumb.jpost-52604-0-85867400-1422225286_thumb.j

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SS---I very much doubt that Wilkinson had any kind of manufacturing works in Pall Mall. That area is and was VERY posh, and I suspect that at most theremay have been a small back-room for on the spot adjustments etc. while you wait. Are you sure about a second manufacturing facility there ??

LF---my bayonet has re-issue marks dated '22, '3(1 or 4)and '37, together with the Enfield inspectors' stamps (5 x clear & 1 x possible). Would an

OTC/school bayonet have been put through repetitive inspections ?

Trajan---last question is for you. The undersides of the grips that you had removed show a distinct orange/red tint. Is that the natural wood colour,..

I agree, I think it would be most unlikely, even in the GW period, that Wilkinson had a foundry in Pall Mall - but they could have had a stamping press there.

Hmmm, those inter-war period re-issue marks do make it seem like a service issue - they are also found on the bayonet referred to in post no. 5.

98/05 grips are that natural colour, not stained.

I don't know exactly where or why Wilkinson marked their P1907 bayonets with the two separate "Maker marks", but they certainly did it for whatever the reason. ...The Pall Mall stamping is just another P1907 maker's variation.

But not quite 'just another' variation because as far as I can determine (from GWF posts only) it is found on bayonets that were made only between Sept.1916 and Nov. 1918. A specific contract? Whatever, we are going way off-topic here, and so I have started another thread, 'WILKINSON / PALL MALL P.1907 bayonets', at: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=223845&hl=- let's see what turns up there!

Trajan

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Trajan,

This might interest you, and fits right into your "behind the grips - thread":

I cleaned one of my blued Weimar-era bayonets earlier this week and found this (see images). Only one of the grips is marked with what looks like a crowned acceptance stamp, and some kind of number. I've never seen this before, and have no idea what it means.

The bayonet has what looks like matching numbers 83 beneath the grips & on the "Feuerschutzblech" ;-)

post-120142-0-81604000-1424983544_thumb.

post-120142-0-42654800-1424983545_thumb.

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You must have been reading my mind... Last night I was about to start taking the grips of one of my 98/05's, but then my younger son's birthday party guests started arriving, and I decided that dismantling bayonets with a group of 6 year-olds rampaging through our small flat probably wasn't a good idea... So I'll try and have a go tonight!

Interesting to see those markings, and note the 'fraktur' on one grip only; and also to see the amount of extra grinding needed to make the tang ready for the grips - I have seen that a few times. On which note, yes I tried to fit the grips from one of my 98/05's to another, and I see what you mean... They need adjusting! Makes me wonder why they just didn't halt production of that and stick to making 'Erstaz' for the rest of the GW - would have been much quicker and less time-consuming!

BTW, what maker and date is that one?

Trajan

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Hi Trajan,

This might interest you, and fits right into your "behind the grips -

Forgot to ask - does the fraktur on the grip match that on the bayonet?

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