British 1879 Martini Henry Saw Tooth Artillery Sword Bayonet. Maxim Gun Section Markings

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Rare British 1879 pattern Saw-backed sword bayonet for the Martini-Henry artillery carbine Mk1. The markings on this bayonet suggest that it was used by a Maxim Gun crew during the Anglo-Boer Wars. Most British infantry battalions had a Maxim Section.

The 657mm blade is double-edged for the last 220mm and terminates in a spear point. The blade is in very good condition, clean and bright with only a few marks from use.

The spine has 20 pairs of offset saw teeth above a short fuller ending with a medial ridge towards the point. The saw teeth remain extremely sharp.

The ricasso bears the War Department stamp and broad arrow, a bend test cross and Enfield inspection stamp. The obverse ricasso bears the crowned VR cipher and the manufacture date of September 1885. The spine is marked with an Enfield inspection stamp.

Despite the relatively short span of their official usage (1879-1900), these artillery sword bayonets saw intense service and were present in every British campaign during that period, from India, Afghanistan, Egypt, The Sudan, South Africa (Boer Wars) and China (Boxer Rebellion) to name but a few. 

The steel D-guard is bright and clean with a pale speckled patina. The knurled leather grips are in good condition and the press-stud and external leaf spring mechanism work perfectly. The spine of the grip bears an Enfield inspection mark along with what looks like the letter P. The pommel of the bayonet bears the unit mark “36 M. G.” over 120. This could indicate the Maxim Gun section attached to most line infantry battalions during the late 19th Century.

The bayonet is complete with its original steel mounted black leather scabbard. The leather is in good condition and the stitching is intact and tight. The throat of the steel locket is stamped with various issue markings and the date March 1900. The frog stud bears the War Department arrow.

This is a very good example of a rare P1879 Martini Henry artillery sword bayonet with stamps suggesting Maxim Gun section issue.