British Pattern 1888 Mk I Type II Lee Metford Rifle Bayonet.
This scarce bayonet is in good condition for its 123 years of age and is highly collectable. The 303mm double-edged blade is marked on the ricasso with a flat crown above VR (Victoria Regina) and the production date, 9 ‘98 (September 1898). The obverse ricasso is marked with EFD, the Enfield maker’s mark, the British War Department broad arrow, a bend test stamp and an Enfield factory inspection stamp. Further up the blade on the forte there is a stamp resembling two back to back letters R. This is known as a condemned mark. It does not mean that the bayonet is structurally compromised, merely that some aspect of the bayonet is no longer considered fit for service use. This can be something as small as a patch of shallow pitting or edge nicks – as in this case.
The blade spine bears two Enfield inspection stamps. The blade has a few isolated and small patches of tarnish towards the point on one side and also some small nicks to the service sharpened edges. The blade is otherwise bright and free of rust or damage.
The wooden grip is firm and in good condition with age and use related dings and marks. Two large brass rivets positioned close together hold the scales securely in place. The wooden hilt scales are drilled with an oil hole on both sides above the top rivet. The steel crosspiece and pommel are bright and free from rust. The press-stud locking mechanism is in good working order.
The edges of the tang bear an inspection stamp and the letter B.
The bayonet is complete with its Enfield made black leather scabbard with steel mounts. The steel locket and chape are stamped with Enfield inspection marks. The locket and chape are in good condition with some shallow pitting and a salt and pepper patina.
The black leather is in good condition with mild wear to the original finish. The stitching is intact and firm. The bayonet sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.
This is a good example of the iconic British Boer War and Boxer Rebellion bayonet.
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