The Baker rifle was the first rifled firearm adopted by the British military at the turn of the 18th/19th Century. The strong British presence in India led to the Baker rifle becoming a sought after firearm across the Indian subcontinent. This in turn led to the design and manufacture of several India pattern “Baker” style rifles and around five style of sword bayonets that accompanied them. Most of these were made locally and are un-marked by the makers.
Indian Baker style rifles and bayonets became very popular among the various Indian state forces and were often used by elite units and Royal bodyguards.
This example dates to the early 19th Century and is closer to the original British 1805 pattern Baker sword bayonet than some of the later Indian examples.
The 552mm single-edged blade has an un-tapered flat spine that narrows abruptly to terminate in a 150mm double-edged spear point. The un-fullered blade has been service sharpened and retains a fighting edge. The blade is in generally very good condition for its 200+ years of age and use. The steel is bright and rust free with minimal specks of tarnish and some small patches of shallow pitting.
The cast brass grip has six raised ribs and a D-shaped knuckle guard. The bayonet is mounted to the rifle by means of a side bar. The top of the hilt has a flat, external spring catch with the press-stud being on the inside of the grip. The latch mechanism is in good working order. The flat pommel of the hilt bears the engraved marking, “6 hl.”
This is a good example of a rare India pattern Baker style sword bayonet dating to the early 19th Century.
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