Rare P1855 Sappers and Miners “Lancaster” Bayonet.
In 1855, the Sappers and miners (later Engineers) adopted the Lancaster carbine as their primary weapon and the P1855 bayonet was produced to accompany it. The P1855 is a very distinctive bayonet with a pipe backed blade and quill point. Possibly one of the best-looking bayonets produced for the British army. When the Engineers replaced the Lancaster carbine and bayonet, existing stocks were issued to the Royal Army Medical Corps and bandsmen.
This P1855 is in excellent condition. The 652mm pipe back blade is bright and clean with a pleasing pale grey age patina. There are a few tiny edge nicks and minor age and use related scratches – some of which are probably manufacturing marks. The ricassos bear the War department broad arrow and bend test marks and manufacturer’s inspection marks. The pipe-back spine bears worn inspection stamps, as does the grip spine.
The brass bird-beak pommel bears the unit mark of the Royal Army Medical Corps and an issue number. It appears that at one time, the brass furniture was nickel-plated and very small traces of the plating remain. The press-stud and external spring catch works perfectly.
The bayonet is complete with its original brass mounted leather scabbard. The scabbard is in excellent condition. The stitching is intact and tight and the brass furniture bears Birmingham inspection stamps.
This is an excellent example of a rare and iconic British bayonet.