Original un-modified WW1 German S98/05 aA “Butchers’ Blade” bayonet made at the Prussian Royal Armoury in 1908.
Un-altered first pattern S98/05 bayonets like this one are rare. This original S98/05 bayonet has “high ears” and no flash guard.
The 365mm single edged blade has a wide, single fuller below a flat spine tapering to a spear point. The blade being an early first pattern example is without an upper false edge. The blade is 26mm wide at the ricasso and flares to a width of 32mm before tapering to a point, earning it the nickname, “Butchers’ Blade” because of its similarity to such knives.
The ricasso is stamped with the mark of the Prussian Royal Armoury, a crown above the name “Erfurt.” The spine carries the Royal Cypher of Kaiser Wilhelm II, King of Prussia above the date stamp ’08 (1908) and a crowned acceptance stamp. The blade is in reasonable condition for its 112 years of age and use. There are three areas of pitting on one side which have been cleaned and are now free of rust and are stable. The obverse of the blade is mostly without pitting but there are some small shallow patches along the spine and edge. There are scratches and marks to both sides of the blade consistent with use and field sharpening. The blade is bright and clean with no active rust.
The steel of the hilt has a salt and pepper patina with some light pitting. The steel bears numerous inspection stamps. The screws that hold the wooden scales in place are stamped on both sides, the front of the mortice slot is stamped and the pommel bears two stamps. The press-stud mechanism is also stamped and is in good working order. The long-eared cross-piece bears the unit marking “G. A. F. 6. 130.” I believe this to be a Prussian Guards Foot Artillery regiment but am not totally sure. Prior to 1914, S98/05aA bayonets were only issued to foot artillery and telegraph regiments.
The wooden scales are held firmly in place and are in good condition with use related wear and marks.
The bayonet is complete with its original first pattern steel mounted leather scabbard. The scabbard is in very good condition. The steel furniture has a mild speckled patina and is free of rust and damage. The stitching is intact and the leather has minimal shrinkage. The bayonet sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.