This pattern 1856 British sword bayonet was made for the Model 1853, .577 calibre Enfield rifled infantry short-musket. As well as being issued to British units, these rifles and bayonets were sold in large numbers to both the Union and Confederate armies during the American Civil War.
The 584mm yataghan blade has a flat spine and broad single fuller on both sides. The recurved (Yataghan) blade has a 180mm upper false edge. There are some minor scratches along the blade consistent with sharpening and cleaning and some small patches of tarnish. The ricasso bears a clearly stamped anchor within an oval, indicating that the bayonet was of naval issue. There are no additional stamps on the blade. This suggests that the bayonet may have been for continental, colonial or volunteer use.
The iconic steel crosspiece with cockscomb and button finials is bright and free of rust. The interior of the muzzle ring is flush with the tang of the blade, indicating that this is a true 1856 model bayonet, as opposed to the later, re-worked 1858 model. The step up to the muzzle ring on the later versions was to allow for the barrel band, which included the lug onto which the 1858 model bayonet was fixed. The internal muzzle ring diameter is 21mm.
The press-stud and external spring locking mechanism work perfectly and the sharply beaked pommel bears a stamped numeral 212 over a lozenge containing a circle. The leather grip scales are in good condition.
The bayonet is complete with its original leather scabbard with steel mounts. The scabbard is in excellent condition. The steel furniture is free of rust or damage, with a pale patina. The leather is in excellent condition and the stitching is intact and tight.
This is a scarce bayonet in very good condition and used for naval service.