Spear point blade, wood scale grips with three brass rivets, one large and two small, and clearance hole. Steel pommel and hilt with short quillon and muzzle ring. Black leather scabbard with steel throat and chape, buff frog.
The blade is stamped on one side of the ricasso with a crowned ‘V.R.’ over a number of reissue dates, the earliest of which is ’90, for 1890, as well as several crown inspection stamps. On the other side it is stamped with a broad arrow with ‘WD’, meaning War Department property, another crown inspection mark, an ‘X’ which indicates that the blade passed a manufacturer’s bending test, and two R’s back to back, a mark meaning the bayonet was later deemed unfit for service. The spine of the blade has two further crown inspection marks, and the exposed tang has a ‘P’ mark.
The scabbard is stamped with ‘EFD’, meaning Enfield, a crown acceptance mark and ‘’02’, meaning it was issued in 1902.
The blade has some areas of light pitting. Some brown staining to the front of the frog’s belt loop. A simple brass wire hanger was used by the previous owner to hang the bayonet up for display, I have left it in place in case you find it useful. The wood grips are in particularly good condition, with only a few very small dents.
The First Type was the initial design of the Mk 1 1888 Pattern bayonet, manufactured by Enfield from late 1889 to fit the Lee Metford rifle. The three rivets were found to not secure the grips very well, and made the grips more likely to split. The manufacturer Wilkinson proposed changes in December 1889 which were approved in February 1890. This new second type was still officially described as the Mk 1, but had two rivets to the grip instead of three. Because it was produced for less than a year the three-rivet first type is much rarer, around 25,000 being produced compared to more than 600,000 of the second type. If the ‘90’ mark is indeed its production date, this would be one of the last produced.
£575 including UK postage - see the Blackthorn Antiques website for purchase, for details on postage elsewhere and for more antique arms not shown on Gunstar.
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