Rare British 1879 pattern Saw-backed sword bayonet for the Martini-Henry artillery carbine Mk1.
The 655mm blade is double-edged for the last 245mm and terminates in a spear point. The blade is in excellent condition. 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 spine above the ricasso bears an Enfield inspection stamp and a Birmingham reissue stamp along with the letters “W and R.”
The ricasso bears the War Department stamp and broad arrow and Enfield inspection stamp as well as a later sold out of service stamp. The obverse ricasso bears the crowned VR cipher. Interestingly, there is no manufacture date stamped on the ricasso but the scabbard locket bears the date stamp “4, 91” for April 1891, probably corresponding to the Birmingham reissue stamp as this is late in the bayonet’s official period of service.
Despite the relatively short span of their official usage 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 and in excellent condition. The knurled leather grips are in great condition and the press-stud and external leaf spring mechanism work perfectly. The pommel bears the number “75.” The spine of the grip bears an Enfield inspection stamp and a Birmingham reissue stamp along with a partially struck letter and the letter “Y.”
The bayonet is complete with its steel mounted black leather scabbard. The leather is in great condition. The stitching is intact and tight. The steel locket is stamped with the date mentioned above and the frog stud bears the number “22.” The steel locket and chape are in great condition with a mild patina.