This is a near mint condition, completely untouched example of a French Model AN IX D’Infantrie socket bayonet. The AN IX or Year 9 bayonet was introduced in 1800. The dating system originated with the adoption of the French Republican Calendar on November 24th, 1793, following the French Revolution.
The Republican Calendar replaced the standard Gregorian calendar and decreed that September 22nd 1792 – the date of the proclamation of the republic was the beginning of a new calendrical cycle. September 22, 1792 effectively became the first day of the year 1 in the new Republican calendar. This system remained in effect until December 22 of 1805, when the French reinstalled the Gregorian Calendar with the beginning of the first Empire under Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon seized power at the end of 1799 and roughly five years later declared himself emperor at the end of 1804. During that time Napoleon transformed and modernized the French army and proceeded to start what would become the series of “Napoleonic Wars”.
The AN IX Bayonet was a slightly shortened version of the earlier M-1777 socket bayonet. The M1777 was unique in that it was one of the first socket bayonets to take the form that became the standard for all socket bayonets from that point onwards. The bayonet incorporated a captive locking ring that rotated to insure a secure mating between the bayonet socket and the muzzle and bayonet lug of the musket.
The 45cm triangular shaped blade with hollow ground central fuller is in excellent condition and is clearly marked at the ricasso with several deeply struck forge marks and inspection/acceptance stamps (called Poincon), including the letter “S” within a shield and the number “7002.”
The 66mm long Socket has a zigzag slot and locking ring and is clearly marked with unit designations.The internal diameter of the socket is 21mm. The socket is also stamped with the number “50.” While undoubtedly of French manufacture the unit markings are most likely from one of the Prussian states.
Many M1777 bayonets made their way to Prussia (Germany) during the Napoleonic wars (1800-1815) and were utilised by these states in the fight against Napoleon.
This is a rare and hard to find bayonet for the French Model 1777 AN IX Charleville flintlock musket in mint and un-touched condition. Unit marked and used during the Napoleonic Wars.