British Pattern 1888 Mk I Type II Lee Metford Rifle Bayonet.
This scarce bayonet is in excellent condition for its 128 years of age and is highly collectable. The 303mm double-edged blade is nicely marked on the ricasso with a flat crown above VR (Victoria Regina) and the production date, 5 ‘91 (May 1891). There are four additional dates on the ricasso, 1897, 1900, 1904 and 1907, indicating that this bayonet had a long working life. Accompanying the re-issue dates are Enfield and Birmingham inspection stamps. The obverse ricasso is marked with an Enfield inspection mark, the British War Department broad arrow, and “WD” and a bend test stamp. The blade spine also bears an Enfield inspection stamp. The blade has one small patch of shallow pitting and remains bright and free of rust or damage.
The wooden grip is firm and in excellent condition with two large brass rivets positioned close together. 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 pommel is stamped with the rack number 245. The press-stud locking mechanism is in good working order. The edges of the tang bear an inspection stamp and the letters C and H.
The bayonet is complete with its Enfield made black leather scabbard with steel mounts. The steel locket and chape are stamped with Enfield inspection marks and the throat bears the number 118. The rear of the chape has a small circular dent towards the bottom. The black leather is in overall good condition with wear to the original finish. The stitching is intact and firm. 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.