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Early Wilkinson Three-Banner Commando Knife
- Price: $1,295.00
- Maker: Wilkinson
- Model: Knife
- Description: This is one of 500 Commando Knives made just after World War II by Wilkinson for showroom and window display, and measures 11 1/2” overall, with a 6 5/8” straight, double-edged blade having large etched panels on both sides. The blade has been polished, but the etched panels and decorations are still clear and crisp with sharp details and proper “frosted” backgrounds. The obverse of the blade has two large panels: the large panel near the crossguard has the Royal Arms and “BY APPOINTMENT/WILKINSON/SWORD/C. LTD./LONDON” with “MADE IN ENGLAND” at the short triangular flat at the base, as well as a second etched panel near the tip that says: “COMMANDO/FIGHTING KNIFE/WORLD WAR/1939 – 1945”. The blade reverse has a riband motif with three folds that reads: “HAND FORGED BY TOM BEASLEY”, “THE FAMOUS SWORD SMITH”, “OF STALINGRAD SWORD FAME”. The hilt has a standard oval guard that retains 90% plus of the orignal gold wash finish, the tapered “Ivorite” hilt has a dark umber-orange color, and the pommel stud retains about 25-30% of the gold finish with dark ochre-brown brass on the balance. The black leather scabbard has a darkly tarnished throat and chape with traces of the original gold wash remaining, as well as an added set of initials in gold ink on the leather body (“D.H.W.”). The throat and chape are still attached to the body, but loosely with some play along the axis of the scabbard. Robert Wilkinson Latham has stated in the past that these knives were crafted specifically for shop and exhibition display, not presentation, however many were subsequently offered for sale and presentation once they were no longer needed as such. The earliest examples have the Stalingrad Sword reference, but as relations between Great Britain and the U.S.S.R. deteriorated following the war, that reference was removed from following knives; the so-called “Two-Banner” variant. This early “Three-Banner” example is in fine overall condition, and would make a great addition to any collection.