As with many of the pattern 1887 Mk I Martini-Henry sword bayonets, this bayonet began life as a pattern 1886 Enfield-Martini Mk II bayonet. The history of the Martini-Henry Mk I bayonet’s design is convoluted but in short, on the 10th July 1888 the old Enfield-Martini P1886 Mk II bayonet officially became renamed as the Pattern 1887 Mk I.
The “old” cross guard and muzzle ring of the original P1886 bayonet (which had already been adapted once to remove its integral sight) was replaced entirely with a more streamlined cross guard with a stepped muzzle ring. And so, the bayonet designated as the pattern 1887 Mk I Martini-Henry sword bayonet was born.
The 462mm single-edged blade has a flat spine and short single fuller. The blade terminates in a spear point and is double-edged for the last 160mm. The ricasso bears the original (partial) manufacture year of 1886, below which is stamped the conversion date of 1891. The obverse bears the War Department WD and arrow, two Enfield inspection stamps, a bend test X and a struck-out EM for Enfield-Martini. The spine is stamped with an Enfield inspection stamp.
The blade is in good condition with manufacturing & cleaning marks and light scratches. The blade was service sharpened.
The crosspiece with stepped muzzle ring is bright and rust free as is the pommel. The crosspiece is stamped with the serial number 3132. The press button and external spring catch are in good working order. The birds’ beak pommel bears a “sold out of service” inverted arrows stamp and there are worn stamps to the grip spine. The crosshatched leather grip scales are in good condition and secured by four rivets on one side and three rivets and the external spring screw on the other.
The original black leather and steel mounted scabbard is in good condition. The leather is strong and the stitching is intact and tight. There has been a small repair to the leather above the chape. The steel locket and chape have a pale patina with darker speckles. The bayonet sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.
This is a good example of a rare Mk I pattern 1887 Martini-Henry bayonet.
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