Object Title

Knife and scabbard

Knife and scabbard



Object Number



Acquired November 1973 at Wallis and Wallis, Lewes, lot 787.

Physical Description

Grip of chequered and stained wood, in two pieces with three rivets through the tang. It is of wasted form and terminates at the lower end in a plated ferrule. This is recessed on the outer side to hold a spring catch, now missing. The blade is straight, double edged and convex in section. It terminates in a spear point. In a decorative plaque on the outer side is embossed: 'SHAKESPEAR KNIFE / WILKINSON . PALL MALL.'.

The scabbard is of ridged leather, with a belt loop and frog stud. This has a milled edge and is decorated with two concentric circles. Just above the stud is a gap where the retaining spring emerged.

Condition: The retaining spring is missing.


Dimensions: Knife: Overall length: 318 mm (12.5 in), Blade length: 200 mm (8 in), Scabbard: Overall length: 285 mm (11.25 in), Weight: Knife: 10 oz, Scabbard: 4 oz

Inscriptions and Marks

(Inscription on blade - see Description)


Places Britain


Summary sketch by PJL on inv. file (copy in IBE).
This knife was designed by Colonel Shakespear, in the about 1860. See H L Blackmore, 'Hunting Weapons', London, 1971, p.74, which gives details of the catch. See also R Wilkinson-Latham, 'The Shakespeare & RBD knives', 'Guns, Weapons & Militaria', 1.10, August/September 1982, pp. 28-30.