Second Pattern Wilkinson etched F-S Fighting Knives with an all-over blued finish are extremely rare indeed.  As well as the four changes previously mentioned (see Second Pattern Type I), there were three other changes that came with the production of the Second Pattern Type II & III.  The first and most obvious is the change to the finish.  No longer do we see the all-over ‘nickel’ plating that was characteristic of the First Pattern and also the early Type I Second Pattern, but now an all-over subdued blued finish has been utilized.  From Wilkinson’s internal documentation is appears that the date this “Black Finish” was first introduced for a contract dated 6th February 1942. 

The last two changes we see are not to the knife but to the scabbard and in particular to the chape.  In the original First Pattern design the chape is nickel plated, this finish is carried over to the Second Pattern Type I.  But with the appearance of the Type II (all blued) Second Pattern the scabbard chape, (as one would expect) has had the nickel finish replace by a blued/blackened finish.  More significantly though the construction of the chape itself has changed.  The original chape design terminated in a slight semi-rounding or ‘button’ shape to the tip of the chape was the way Wilkinson described it.  This was changed to s simpler square bottomed chape.  As this change to the construction occurred the length also seems to have been slightly reduced (likely to facilitate the difference in design).  This continued to be the standard form and appears to have been used well beyond WWII on all patterns.

The etching panels on these all blued knives are mostly consistent with all other patterns of Wilkinson F-S knife, having both the F-S etching and Wilkinson etching on opposing sides.  Of interest on this Type II knife is that one can find examples of the etchings having been placed both before ‘and’ after the blueing process. The photographs below demonstrate this difference quite clearly.  Both showing the ‘F-S’ etching the image at left demonstrated the process of applying the acid etching ‘before’ the blueing process resulting in a very subdued representation.  In contrast in the image right the reverse has happened.  The acid etched panel has been applied ‘after’ the blueing process resulting in a clearly image of the details.

In the adjacent photographs we see the other side of the blade, this time showing the Wilkinson logo.  Once again it is clear to see how the etching panel is subdued, having been applied ‘before’ the bluing process and in contract to have it applied ‘after’ bluing.  Note also the difference between these two etching panels;  the photograph at left showing the ‘long’ version of the Wilkinson etching, where as the example at right is the standard or more common shorter version.

In the photograph below we can see this transition to the chape in process.  Chape A. is the nickel-plated version we see on the original First Pattern Scabbards but also on the ‘Type I’ Second Pattern.  Moving to the far right we see chape C.  This would become the standard design not only for the Second Pattern but also Third Pattern knives.  Note the flat bottom and slightly shorter profile.  However at center we see chape B.  This is the ‘transition’ between the two and likely just a prudent use of leftover parts.  The design is that of the earlier style but in this case it has been blued, no doubt a sensible decision as it is in this case paired up with an all blued (Type II ) Second Pattern knife (see the photograph at the top of the page). This is extremely scarce but does demonstrate an overlap in the production process.  Although the knife illustrated is a fine example of the Type II (all blued) Second Pattern, the ‘button’ chape on this example is far from common, as one would usually encounter the ‘square’ bottomed chape.

                A                   B                    C

This stunning Wilkie Type II is the finest example I have yet to find, totally unused and perfect in every respect.

Needless to say this all-over black/blued finish was in stark contrast to the bright nickel finish it replaced and would for the most part be the ‘colour’ of things to come.  A fine example of this rare knife can be seen below. Note the barely visible Wilkinson etching but also the (unusual for this pattern) early semi-round bottomed chape which one normally only encounters on First Pattern and Type I Second Patterns.  Note that this is not to be confused with the full-rounded chap found on the late-war pattern of scabbard of a totally different pattern produced by other makers.

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~ The Type II - All ‘Blued’ Finish Second Pattern ~

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~ The Wilkinson Second Pattern F-S Fighting Knife ~


The Type II

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