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About Alan.Cook

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  1. This example is stamped 'PARKER 233 HOLBORN'. Truncheons marked as such were produced by Parker Field & Sons. They continued to operate from the Holborn address until 1877. This example has the WD and arrow stamp which has been overstamped with 'S / 272'. I presume the divisional letter 'S' means this was probably used by the Met Police. I am aware the Met Police often sent equipment to the Board of Ordnance for quality assurance purposes who would have applied the WD mark. The reverse is stamped with the makers name 'G & W Almond'. Not much to say about this one other tha
  2. Mike, I can't say rattles have been the top of my wants list, but if I was going to buy one then for me this would be it. The Field stamp with address, plus the label make this really interesting. One wonders what the full instructions were as I had never thought of it as a difficult piece of equipment to operate. I do have some - sadly packed away as I found them difficult to display - I think are worth getting out for a reappraisal. Here is my first offering on the subject. This example has wonderful patination is very tactile. It is stamped on the front 'PARKER HOLBORN' in a circle sim
  3. As ever with best intentions, I don't seem to log into the GMIC as often as I should. Having read the latest additions to this thread I thought I would add a comment regarding Hatton Garden truncheons. This example is a rare survivor. The example I show in my book - numbered '3' - came into my possession in 1991 and since then I have only ever seen 3 or 4 others (including the recent discovery). There was a fine example in Fred Wilkinson's book 'Those Entrusted with Arms' numbered 65. Fred was a great collector of London Public Office pieces and I have been very lucky to now own many pie
  4. While most of the tipstaves we are used to seeing tend to have a bulbous handles example such as this are also well known. It is; however, fairly unusual to see three at once. I agree with collector in the USA that there are definitely no issues with the first two. I think the problem with the third piece is that overall it is not a pretty example and the proportions do not feel right. That said on balance I would say it is genuine as the handle appears to be integral to the piece and you don't normally fine fakers making up such elaborate metal work. The real issue with faked tipstaves is eng
  5. In responding to this post I am not sure I can add much more than has already been said by 'CollectorInTheUSA' as his comments are sound. To deal with the main question first raised I would suggest using any photo of a plain tipstaff (i.e. metal crown and barrel with a turned wood handle) of which there are many available on the website. You hear phrases such as 'a generic style of Bow Street tipstaff', but in my experience there is no such thing, and herein lies the problem when identifying genuine pieces. Bow Street, above all other places, has long held a fascination with those interested i
  6. Hi, I think the honest answer with regard to any plan wood truncheon is that unless they start to talk we will never know. What we can say is this is not the traditional style used in the UK. However, it could have been a one-off bespoke item. We also know that collar numbers do not reach this high in UK forces, with the exception of members of the Special Constabulary. Some forces used to have a means of separating regular officers and Specials. One way of doing this was to have SC collar numbers which start at higher numbers such as the 5,000s. I doubt this was Plymouth City, but
  7. An interesting auction, but sadly in my humble opinion there were a number of fakes being sold. I was contacted by a number of collectors before hand and was able to advise them on their bidding. If you have read my book (Appendix 7 - Fakes and Pitfalls) you will understand why this was an important auction, but sadly for all the wrong reasons. My assessment is this was a collection built up in the 80's, which has not been on the market since that time. Don't get me wrong, I hate this sort of thing as it spreads confusion and doubt over items I have spend nearly 30 years studying. What I
  8. As requested I'm pleased to share a photo of the armband and sword. This is to my knowledge the only example of a Horse Patrol armband. The royal arms are difficult to determine, but do appear to have the central escutcheon, which would date the armband as being pre 1837. As the Horse Patrol was not reinstated until 1805 it probably dates between 1805 and 1837. I am currently in the process of researching information for a book on the Bow Street Patroles (old spelling), so any information about this piece would be most welcome. I have not yet found any record of the Patrole bei
  9. I concur with Dave about Scott Giles' book and used this as my mainstay for many years. Civic and Corporate Heraldry published in 1971 by the Heraldry Society is also useful. The issue comes when the arms are personal rather than civic. In my early days of collecting I did pay for proper research from the College of Arms, but this is very expensive. Fortunately I have now made some good contacts, who help me out as a favour. The other problem is painters often used a lot a licence and you do find arms, which are just wrong, which is not helpful. When arms are used on truncheons they normal rel
  10. Mike, I'm sure you have researched this, but when dating the rattles in your post no one seems to have mentioned the makes name 'FIELD 59 LEMAN ST', which is shown on the smaller example (I think). The stamp is for the firm Parker Field & Sons, who were formed in 1841. The address stamped on this piece dates it between 1877 and 1879. The 'R 926' stamp al; most certainly means it was a Met Police issue. What I particular like is that rather than being early, it is in fact a late example just before the introduction of whistles. A great item. Alan
  11. I was interested to see to see a Southend-on-Sea white helmet in one of the GMIC threads. These were introduced in 1962 following experiments with white silk covers worn over a traditional blue helmets. Southend Constabulary was amalgamated with Essex County Constabulary in 1969 and became the Essex & Southend Joint Constabulary. Until this time Essex had always issued a traditional rose top helmet, but on amalgamation took on the coxcomb style, keeping the shell at the top. The shell was retained in 1974 when the Force became Essex Police. Recently I decided to apply to the College o
  12. Mike, sad news about Mervyn. I was interested to see your City truncheon. Like you I have often pondered the letters on truncheons and sadly in many cases never can find a plausible answer. I think you are on the right track with the W mending ward and following that line Coleman Street Ward does not seem improbable. I think the P is more difficult and doubt we will ever know for certain. If I was forced to make a comment I think go for the obvious such as Police. I don't think it would be Portreeve and Precinct is too American. If anyone is thinking about collecting truncheons
  13. I was fascinated to read this thread as I was the purchaser of the sword and armband at the 2006 Del Mar auction. I also had the privilege of knowing the previous owner who sold these, along with many other rare items at the auction. If anyone is interested the armband was also illustrated in the excellent book 'Those Entrusted with Arms' by Frederick Wilkinson. It is worth noting that the 1796 pattern sword, is just that, a pattern, which was used for many years and probably dates from 1805 when the patrol was re-formed. Wilkinson made a specialist study of items relating to the London Public
  14. It was after receiving a copy of Mitton's book 'A Policeman's Lot' in the late 1980's that I was inspired to start collecting decorated truncheons. Little did I know where this gift was to lead. I met Mervyn at his home in Bournemouth a few year's ago on what I think was his last trip to the UK. Although the bulk of his truncheons had been sold I was still extremely lucky to walk away with some choice pieces, which I still treasure. Like some others, I can't say we always reached the same conclusion on pieces, but he did have an amazing collection and knowledge. I like to think I gave him due
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