This Enfield made British pattern 1888 Mk I Type II Lee Metford bayonet is in excellent condition for its 132 years of age. The bayonet has a long service history as evidenced by the numerous re-issue stamps.
The 303mm double-edged blade is in very good condition. The ricasso is stamped with a flat crown above VR (Victoria Regina) and the production date, 1 ‘91 (January, 1891). An additional four re-issue dates are also present, 1896, ’97, ’98 and 1899. All with accompanying Enfield stamps.
The obverse ricasso is marked with the British War Department broad arrow and WD, a bend test stamp and an Enfield factory inspection stamp. A condemned mark and sold out of service mark are also present. I see no reason for the condemned mark (back-to-back R) as the condition of the blade and fittings is very good, so assume that it was done prior to the bayonet being de-commissioned and sold.
The blade spine bears two Enfield inspection stamps. The blade is in excellent condition with some minor scabbard wear.
The wooden grip is firm and in good condition with age and use related colouration. Two large brass rivets positioned close together hold the scales securely in place. The wooden hilt scales are drilled with an oil hole on both sides above the top rivet. The steel crosspiece and pommel are bright and free from rust. The press-stud locking mechanism is in good working order. The pommel is stamped with the weapon/issue number 122.
The edges of the tang bear an inspection stamp and the letter L on one side and a War Department WD on the obverse.
The bayonet is complete with its Enfield made black leather scabbard with steel mounts. The steel locket and chape are stamped with inspection marks. The leather is strong and the stitching intact. The leather is stamped with the EFD makers mark and a faint Broad Arrow and Enfield inspection mark. The bayonet sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.
This is an excellent example of the iconic British Boer War and Boxer Rebellion bayonet.