British Pattern 1888 Mk I Type II Lee Metford Rifle Bayonet.
This sought after bayonet is in excellent condition and is highly collectable. These bayonets were used extensively during the South African Boer War and in China during the Boxer Rebellion.
The 303mm double-edged blade is in fantastic condition and is marked on the ricasso with the maker’s details, Wilkinson, London, the manufacture date of May 1890 and a multitude of issue and inspection stamps. The bayonet was re-issued for service seven times, in 1892, ‘94, ’95, ’96, ’97, ’98 and 1899. The ricasso also has numerous Birmingham and Enfield issue stamps.
The obverse ricasso is marked with a Wilkinson inspection mark, the British War Department broad arrow, and “WD” and a bend test stamp. The blade spine bears two Wilkinson inspection stamps.
The wooden grip is firm and in good condition with use related marks and slight dings. The grip scales are fixed firmly in place by two large brass rivets positioned close together. 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 spine of the tang bears the date ‘4, 92 and the numeral 820. This was probably the bayonet’s first issue.
The bayonet is complete with its black leather scabbard with steel mounts. The steel locket and chape are stamped with Enfield inspection marks and are bright and free of rust and damage. The leather is in overall good condition and the stitching is intact and tight.
The bayonet sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.
This is an excellent example of an iconic British Lee-Metford rifle bayonet that had a busy service life.