British Pattern 1888 Mk I Type II Lee Metford Rifle Bayonet issued to the Royal Navy. P1888 Lee Metford bayonets are highly collectable. Naval issued examples in naval issue scabbards are rare.
This rare bayonet is in good condition for its 125 years of age. The 300mm double-edged blade is in good condition with mild age related wear and marks.
The blade is faintly marked on the ricasso with a flat Victorian crown and the clearly struck production date, 11 ‘96 (November 1896). The obverse ricasso is marked with an Enfield inspection mark, the British War Department broad arrow, and “WD” and a bend test stamp. The blade spine also bears an Enfield inspection stamp. The blade has small, scattered patches of very shallow pitting and tarnish but the rest of the blade remains bright. The edges were service sharpened.
The wooden grip scales are held firmly in place by two large brass rivets. The scales are in good used condition with a dark patina and a couple of chips. The scales are drilled with an oil hole on both sides above the top rivet and on one scale there is a small crack between the oil hole and the pommel. The steel crosspiece and pommel are bright and free from rust. The pommel is stamped with the letter N for naval issue. The press-stud locking mechanism is in good working order.
The bayonet is complete with its naval issue brown leather scabbard with a blued steel locket and internal chape. The leather is in great condition and retains its original finish with age appropriate wear and marks. The stitching is intact and firm and the leather is stamped with the navy N, a broad arrow, Enfield EFD and a crowned Enfield inspection mark. The bayonet sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.
This is a good example of a rare Royal Navy issued Lee Metford rifle bayonet.
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