A rare brass hilted Anson Memorial Prize Sword by Wilkinson numbered 29952 on spine. Sword is 39 1/4" oa length with 33" blade etched in caps in panel: ANSON MEMORIAL PRIZESWORD/December 1889 & Presented to Under Officer H. Simson For Proficiency in Study & Exemplary Conduct at the Royal Military College. Pierced foliated guard with Victoria cipher and complete wire-bound rayskin grip. Blade with highly embellished etching. Sword in original brown leather field service scabbard.
The prestigious Anson Memorial Prize Sword long associated with Royal Military Academy Sandhurst was (and still is) awarded at the end of each Christmas term "to the cadet who passes out first on the list at final examination." British military luminary Sir Douglas Haig, later commander of the BEF during the First World War, was the recipient in 1884. The Anson Prize Sword was routinely made by Henry Wilkinson until the firm ceased to exist a few years ago.
The sources are dark on the identity of H. Simson,ostensibly in December 1889 a brilliant cadet with accrued accolades suggesting a promising future in the army. Oddly, Harts Army Listfor September 1890 does not list the name. The young cadet does not appear to have been commissioned or to have joined his regiment. Perhaps he died prematurely, but perfunctory research could not locate the man.
Provenance: Adam Partridge Auctioneers, UK, Lot 275, October 15, 2009 Arms, Armour & Militaria Sale
Blade is pristine except for isolated patches of surface rust. Leather scabbard worn and a bit tattered, frog incomplete.