Hi Guys, "rare" is a much over used term when it comes to militaria.
However, in this case, I think I am justified in using it to describe the latest item added to my collection.
To those of you that are not aware of Robbins of Dudley, here is some background information. Robbins was established in 1880 in Fountain Street, Dudley, where they originally manufactured baths and ironwork. They were later listed as "grate and fender makers" (fireplace fixtures) until 1906 when they began to produce art metalwork. In 1910 they began focusing exclusively on this aspect of the business. WW1 saw the Company branch out in trench knife making and they produced a series of push daggers, knuckle knives, etc, all for private purchase to British and Allied troops. The push daggers are quite well known. The company ceased trading is 1928.
What we have here is one of their rarest products. To illustrate this, try and find an image of one online. All that comes up is a poor line drawing! Until now of course. Students of trench knives will have Fred Stephens book from 1985 and Ron Flook's book on British Fighting knives. There is one of these shown in these two publications, and it is in fact one and the same knife as evidenced by a deep scratch to the hilt. Fred's book calls it "extremely rare". There is a variant of the knife, even rarer still! This one has a large "mushroom" shaped pommel.
The blade is 12 inches long! Hence the "short sword" designation. The hilt is typical of their products and features the usual grey alloy grip cast directly onto the blade tang. The company name is stamped onto the hilt. Pay very close attention to the letter "Y" in Dudley. Some Robbins knives have been faked and the stamp should always match the one shown here.
Scabbards can be brown leather with a retaining loop for the grip. The scabbard used for this example is taken from a 1903 pattern Enfield Bayonet and which the knife fits perfectly.
Sadly there is no known history to this one. The vendor's brother was given the knife in the 1960's and that is all that is known.
Needless to say, I was very happy to obtain this one.