American Civil War Pattern 1856 Yataghan Sword Bayonet

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This rare pattern 1856 sword bayonet was made for the Model 1853, .577 calibre Enfield (2-band) rifled infantry short-musket. As well as being issued to British units, these rifles and bayonets were sold in large numbers to both the Union and Confederate armies during the American Civil War. This bayonet is a typical example, as it does not bear British military issue or War Department ownership stamps.

The 579mm yataghan blade has a flat spine and broad single fuller on both sides. The recurved blade is double-edged for the last 150mm. The blade was service sharpened. The blade is in excellent condition.

The ricasso bears the Knight’s helmet logo of the makers, Kirschbaum, of Solingen, Germany. The absence of a production date and any British use or ownership stamps indicates that this bayonet was produced in Germany for export. The main export market for these bayonets at this time was America, for use in the American Civil War.

The iconic steel crosspiece with cockscomb and button finials has minimal age related tarnish and very shallow pitting on one side. The short lead forward of the mortice slot indicates that this is an original 1856 pattern bayonet as opposed to the later 1856/58 examples without a lead. The press-stud and external spring locking mechanism work perfectly. The end of the pommel is stamped with the numbers 4 and 7. The leather grip scales are in excellent condition.

The bayonet is complete with its leather scabbard and frog. The leather is in excellent condition and the stitching is tight and strong. The scabbard is non-standard and looks to have been made by an experienced leather worker/saddler. The frog bears an oval stamp that appears to read US and ORD(nance). The bayonet sheathes and draws smoothly from the scabbard.

This is a scarce British pattern 1856 bayonet made in Germany for the export market and may have seen service during the American Civil War.


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