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Title Manchester tipstaff
Nationality British
Period c 1840

The history of truncheons by E.R.H. Dicken refers to the round-bodied, baluster truncheon as being typical of the Manchester area, borne out by the illustrations of Lancashire truncheons and tipstaves in Truncheons: their romance and reality by Erland Fenn Clark. Mervyn Mitten also refers to this shape as being a Manchester truncheon.

My reasoning for describing this as a tipstaff (as opposed to a truncheon) is due to the relatively small size of the piece, which measures only 22cm long.

The tipstaff was the police constable's insignia of office, used for making an arrest. The principle interest of this example lies in the VR cypher - most have the initials of George III or one of the later Hanoverian kings. Also, its dimensions are slightly unusual, the barrel being almost as long as the handle.

There is some scarring to the paintwork (the background is a dark indigo), viz a couple of minor scars to the cypher, some more to the top right of the barrel beyond the edge of the crown and sustantial wear to the gilt finish at both top and bottom. However, generally the paintwork is in reasonable shape, considering the age. The grip would indicate that the piece is mahogany, although this may be the effect of the lacquer and it's just possible, indeed more likely, that it is actually boxwood under the heavy varnish finish.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Militaria : Tipstaffs Truncheons : British : 19th Century]


I just received the buckle, it's an excellent example, thank you again.

N J, UK, 08.04.2017

Chris, arrived yesterday, all is well. It is very refreshing to do business with you.

B N, USA, 11.02.2013