British Pattern 1888 Mk II Lee Metford Rifle Bayonet made at the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield in 1900. Production of the Mk II pattern 1888 bayonet totalled less than half that of the Mk I type II, making it harder to find today.
This desirable bayonet is in good condition despite its 122 years of age and is highly collectable. The 301mm double-edged blade is nicely marked on the ricasso with a flat crown above VR and the production date, 10 ‘00 (October, 1900). A second reissue date of 1905 and a Birmingham repair/refurbishment mark for 1909 are also stamped on the ricasso.
The obverse ricasso is marked with EFD below the War Department arrow, an Enfield inspection mark and a bend test stamp. An Enfield repair mark dated 1915 is also present. This bayonet clearly had a long working life.
The ricasso spine bears two Enfield inspection stamp. The blade was factory/armoury sharpened and is in good condition with minor use related marks and some very shallow pitting and tarnish on one side at the point. The pitting is so mild that it can hardly be felt when running one’s finger along the blade surface.
The wooden grip is firm and in good condition with two brass rivets. The steel crosspiece and pommel are bright and free from rust with a pale speckling of tarnish. The pommel is stamped with the designation for the 7th Company Liverpool College Officer Training Corps. The absence of additional unit markings along with the multiple (and late) refurbishment/reissue dates suggest that this bayonet was in use by the Liverpool College O.T.C from its first issue in 1900. The press-stud locking mechanism is in good working order.
The bayonet is complete with its Enfield made black leather scabbard with steel mounts. The black leather is stamped with the Enfield maker’s mark, two crowned inspection marks, War Department arrow and the manufacture date of 1896. The scabbard is in good condition with minimal pale tarnish to the mounts. The stitching is intact and firm. The bayonet sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.
This is a good example of an iconic British 1888 bayonet used in the training of future officers in the British army from the turn of the century and on through WW1.
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