Sword Refurbishment

Discussion in 'The Quarterdeck' started by Milomagnus, Dec 29, 2011.

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  1. Hi all,

    I'm looking to get my Grandfather's Officer's sword refurbished to parade condition. It's a 1920 model, originally built by Wilkinson, a company that no longer exists.

    I've done some research online and I've found a couple of places that refurbish swords, such as 'Pooley Sword' and 'Crisp and Sons'. I was hoping for some advice on which company would be the most reliable and efficient. Is there a preferred company that the RN uses?

    Cheers

    MM
     
  2. I wouldn't say it's in bad condition. The metal has just lost its shine with some of the etching having faded. The leather scabbard needs replacing as well as the stingray leather on the handle.

    It's obviously a job that, if at all possible, needs to be done professionally. I was really hoping it could be done, since my goal is to carry my grandfather's sword for my pass out ceremony (fingers crossed).
     
  3. Can you show us a pic of it, Milomagnus?
     
  4. Since the demise of Wilkinson's is quite a tale but the summary from Wikipedia's entry for Wilkinson Sword is a reasonable one:

    So three choices; leave well alone, go with a German family run business or go with a British firm whose swords are forged in India. Both firms lay claim to Wilkinson's heritage. In terms of refurbishment Pooley would probably have best claim to that particular area of heritage.

    If it were my choice I'd go with 'leave well alone'; sound advice from SJRM_RN_and_bar.

    My Wilkinson remains boxed under the bed. It has a couple of very small rust spots but neither firm will be getting their mitts on it. Have to say that was delivered with these two spots on it; Wilkinson was already on its way down the pan by 2000...
     
  5. I believe Pooley Swords is the provider to the RN. His factory is near Shoreham and he has taken a shine to HMS Shoreham and will do anything for them it would seem. I'm sure if you just made an enquiry with them you would be to far wrong.
     
  6. Life Jim but not as we know it. Germans making our swords; it's brave new world my friend..! ;)

    History apart (or maybe that should be history considered), if I were buying new now I'd go with the Germans - family firm with a history of quality. I've not seen a Pooley sword but those that have say the problems lie in poor QA in the Indian part of the process which may tie in with SJRM's experience.

    This logically would mean that the refurb work if carried out at Shoreham might be up to scratch depending on what they actually do there rather than in send over to India. If you were determined to get it refurbished I would ask to visit Shoreham and see how they go about their business. Otherwise go with WKC, their successful history in a niche market counts for a lot in my book.

    I would, however, definitely seek the advice of a militaria dealer before even considering a refurb..
     
  7. Thanks so much for all your advice already.

    Unfortunately I'm visiting family abroad, so I can't take a picture of the sword at the moment. The problem with the "leave it alone" option is that the scabbard is falling apart and definitely needs refurbishing. (It has personalised engravings on it, so I can't just buy a new one.) There is also some rust on the blade which I personally would be embarrassed of presenting on parade.

    I've had a look at 'Crisp and Sons Swords' and here is what I've found:

    ...Wilkinson Sword sub contracted the Refurbishment of Military Swords to him in the early eighties. Renowned as masters of this craft, Crisp and Sons continues to this day as Sword Refurbishment providers to both Departments of Defence and Officers throughout the world and often receive swords that are over 100 years old, with some military swords having been passed down through three generations...

    I thought this might be a wise option, since WKC doesn't seem to be involved in sword refurbishments (no mention on their website) and from what SJRM said, 'Pooley Swords' might prove disappointing.

    It's been quite a big goal for some time now to pass out with my Grandfather's sword, yet I'm not willing to agree to a second rate refurbishment and devalue the sword either, so I will definitely think about leaving the it alone and just go with an issue sword...when I actually get to the pass out parade that is.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Might be worth asking for a visit to see if they could show you some examples of their work...
     
  9. You could always try the Elven smiths of Rivendell.

    They did a top-notch job of reforging the shards of Narsil to create Anduril and it all turned out pretty good in the end for Middle Earth. :-D:whdat:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Purple_twiglet

    Purple_twiglet War Hero Moderator

    I used Imperial Sword Company about 5 years ago to refurbish mine - they took a very long time, were very slow to respond, and despite my saying I needed it done by X date, managed to spectacularly miss it, which meant I couldnt wear it to a close relatives funeral, who was a military person and the person who bought me said sword. They didnt apologise for the delays, and refused to offer any reduction in price to compensate for being spectacularly late in delivering something compared to their estimated date.

    Suffice to say I will never use the ISC again, and would strongly counsel against using them.
     
  11. Thank you all for your advice!

    I think I will take the safe route and get the sword evaluated before I do anything else (SJRM, I will send 2 Deck Dash a PM. Again, thank you). If it seems safe to then have it refurbished, I will indeed go and visit the workshops and make a final decision.
     
  12. One worth trying may be Sussex Swords who offer a part or full rerfurbishment service.
     
  13. Mr GS suggested asking Gary Beverley the tailor who he would recommend for sword refurbishment. That would be his first call should his own sword need attention.
     

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