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'Welsh knife'


Thewebleyman
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Hi.

Can anyone give me an idea as to the cost / value of a genuine and original 'Welsh knife' please ? These were the large fighting knives made for the Royal Welsh Fusileers. I've got an estimate of between £1000 - £1500 but if this is realistic or not I'm not sure. I was hoping that any RWF expert might be able to give me an idea on their true worth and rarity.

Any help greatly received.

Thanks.

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Thanks Scalyback. Had a look through past posts as you suggested but can't find any relevant guide to price nowadays. Therefore if anyone does have an idea l'm all ears !

Thanks again

JM

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Well, I know a guy who acquired one a couple of years ago which is undisputably genuine, the only one outside a museum I have seen in Forty years collecting. He paid several thousand pounds for it and counts himself fortunate. Since they only equipped machine-gunners in one battalion, I think there cannot have been more than a couple of dozen or so made. Needless to say there are quite a few fakes doing the rounds. If you are offered one try and flex it, it should do that without snapping or taking a permanent set. If you can find a vendor who will let you do it.! Most of the fakes are cast steel, the originals are forged. - SW

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Hi.

Can anyone give me an idea as to the cost / value of a genuine and original 'Welsh knife' please ? These were the large fighting knives made for the Royal Welsh Fusileers. I've got an estimate of between £1000 - £1500 but if this is realistic or not I'm not sure. I was hoping that any RWF expert might be able to give me an idea on their true worth and rarity.

Any help greatly received.

Thanks.

I'd question the originality of this based on the very low price! Unless the seller knows not the value of what they have.

As others say, there are fakes around, but they're not exactly common either.

I was able to compare an original side-by-side with a reproduction recently and it's quite obvious when they're adjacent. No good to anyone without an original to hand mind...

I'd say sound was a better test than flex (the repro handled was fairly flexible) - the original struck with a clear, more bell-like tone: the fake a dull, flatter one. The difference between porcelain and cracked china would be a fair analogy.

Cheers,

GT.

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I think there cannot have been more than a couple of dozen or so made.

There's reportedly a reference in the RWF Museum archive that around 200 were produced.

GT.

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Surely Wilkinson Sword have the records? Every sword or knife has a series number.

These don't. (Nor, for instance, do FS knives).

In respect of swords, the Wilkinson archive was broken up and sold off - there's a chap who acquired the major part and can research the sword numbers for you, yet not even they are conclusive (say, if a bulk batch was destined for a retailer such as Moss Bros.).

That said, that Wilkinson was the manufacturer is disputed in some quarters too.

Cheers,

GT.

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Cheers GT makes sense. I'm off to the RWF museum this week, be nice to see one.

Now if I could find a genuine complete brethyn llwyd uniform.............................;)

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According to the IWM records, bombers had them as well - see: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30001257

And an allegedly original one on sale in Aussie... See: http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.php?114303-EXTREMELY-RARE-WW1-WELSH-Fusiliers-TRENCH-KNIFE-SWORD-FOR-SALE

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Thanks to everyone on this topic. There is a genuine one for sale soon and I wanted to know what the educated view of price would be.

Thanks again.

JM

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  • 3 months later...

I haven't handled an original but that blade looks really poor quality and not the sort of thing a nobleman would provide. Also how did it get pitted like that whilst the scabbard is in good condition? I think AR were caught on a bad day.... My valuation = £20 as a space filler. Just my thoughts.

Add: see the IWM's example here and make up your own mind.

Edited by Wainfleet
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I haven't handled an original but that blade looks really poor quality and not the sort of thing a nobleman would provide. Also how did it get pitted like that whilst the scabbard is in good condition? I think AR were caught on a bad day.... My valuation = £20 as a space filler. Just my thoughts.

Add: see the IWM's example here and make up your own mind.

They're pretty poor on 20th Century other than medals IMHO. Don't rate Bill Harriman at all, and Roy Butler was generally hopeless outside the C19.

Paul Laidlaw knows what he's doing, but he's an only occasional contributor.

Cheers,

GT.

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The scabbard is uncannily similar to a WW2 machete scabbard. The belt loop is bigger than the IWM version. The wear and staining have a contrived look. Some people seem to think that objects acquire wear and dirt purely by virtue of their age. They don't, unless they are left out in a workshop, a shed, or have tea spilled over them as appears to have happened here by some unfortunate mischance.

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Look's like a repro to me. I have two repros one from the US (stainless steel) the other very well aged, more of a black/rusty in construction. For years I have searched for an original, but missed out on two over the past twenty odd years, value then was between £1500 to £2000+. As for value, it's a seller's market and buyer's beware?

I know that mine are repros, the aged one is as rare if not rarer than the original.

I wrote to Wilkinson on this subject a long time ago when I was enquiring with regards to the presentation sword to Welsh Rugby Union and got a lengthy and informative reply. As mentioned in previous posts the number produced by Wilkinson is not known. It is my belief that the forge stampings were sent to France and many were produced there. Many were stamped with 'Dros Urddas Cymru' and as many stamped without, also some had the Joubert logo and many had not. They were issued to machine gunners and were also drawn from Battalion stores when a raiding party went out. Also in Messine Ridge.

The swords were a prized possessions by the Germans. (Some occasionally find their way onto the market from Belgium).

Kevin

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This has a Joubert foundry stamp on the otherside of the knife, and is the exact dimension weight as Howard De Waldon (although his has a full pigskin scabbard) and unlike other comments I have handled his knife and the four in the RWF museum, also his doesn't have a numbered stamped on it like the IWM version, so this can't be compared to that.

If you search the web for ones that have been sold, the last on went for nearly £900 and that had a green cover and if you hold a copy it is about twice as heavy, you have more chance of braining someone with it rather that cutting their head off.

We all have opinions and that's fine but i'm happy with it.

Ta

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Ok, breaking cover here. I have been collecting Welsh WW1 militaria for many a year, and for the last 20 I have had a particular interest in inspecting and buying these knives. I have two direct from the family of recipients, one from a North Wales family (it was rusting in their garage when I saw it) and one from a MM winner from Birmingham. The former had a damaged scabbard, the latter was without. I have 5 in my collection (including these two). Three have the Joubert stamp and two don't. The most I have paid for one is GBP 1000. I could not give a definitive opinion without handling it. There seem to have been at least two batches of these made.

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Cymro

Dont know how old you are but the only one I ever saw being sold in South Wales (was without a scabbard) was in the late 60's when Fatty Williams had one in his shop in Whitchurch. Andy Stephens in Bristol also had one, but that was a copy as must have weighted a couple of pound.

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Old enough to have bought my first in the 70s! The two I bought direct from families were a little later, but not much later... I also have one in semi relic condition from France.

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