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Thread: Hawkes & co

  1. Question Hawkes & co

    Does anyone here know anything about Hawkes & co? A sword (P1822?) says "manufacturers to the Queen", but I would like to know more.

  2. #2
    Hello Bjorn,

    The following information comes from "London Silver-Hilted Swords" by Leslie Southwick:

    • Hawkes & Co - founded c. 1771 by Thomas Hawkes (1745-1809) who is also said to have invented the shako (which made him a fortune). Established at 24 Piccadilly from c. 1794
    • After Thomas Hawkes' death in 1809, the firm was taken over by Richard Moseley and changed its name to "Hawkes, Moseley & Co. It operated at various addresses, settling in 1821 at 14 Piccadilly, an address it was then to occupy for the next 90 years
    • In 1856 the firm was being managed by Henry White and in 1860 he changed the name back to "Hawkes & Co."
    • The firm became a public limited company in 1908 and was thus known as "Hawles & Co. Ltd."
    • In 1912, it moved to 1 Savile Row at which address it has remained ever since.
    • In 1974, it was taken over by the old Portsmouth uniform firm of Gieves and became "Gieves & Hawkes". It still exists in this form today.


    Simply from my own observations, I believe that Hawkes, Moseley & Co. did not start to produce sword blades until the early 1820's. At least, I have never seen any 1796 pattern swords by the firm. Insofar as your sword is concerned, I imagine it would have been made in the period 1856 - 1901. Hawkes did number its blades, a fashion started by Wilkinson in the 1850's, but I believe there are no surviving records.

    Richard.

  3. Thanks! That helps a lot!

  4. #4
    Originally posted by Richard Dellar
    Simply from my own observations, I believe that Hawkes, Moseley & Co. did not start to produce sword blades until the early 1820's. At least, I have never seen any 1796 pattern swords by the firm.
    Richard.
    Isn't it always the way that when you say something, something else comes along immediately to overturn it! I have just noticed on a USA based dealer's web site, a British stirrup hilted light infantry sabre with 1801-16 Royal arms by Hawkes Moseley & Co., Piccadilly. So we now have good verification that this company was producing blades prior to the 1820's. This particular sabre looks to be around 1810-20. What this also demonstrates, I think, is that whilst we can gain a lot of information about makers from books, makers do need to be verified against actual examples known to exist.

    Richard.

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