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Pattern 1888 Bayonets


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#51 shippingsteel

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 08:09 AM

Thought I'd give this old thread another twist - and use it as an excuse to share some more photos.! :)
Anyone who knows anything about these P1888 bayonets would immediately realise that there is something missing from the group shown below.
Thats right, apart from the three well known makers that are listed in the photo, there was also one other that supplied these on government contract to the War Department.

As a collector, when there is something missing from a set it becomes like a very serious point of contention, something that can never be overcome until that SPOT IS FILLED.!
Anyway the missing maker is R.Mole & Son of Birmingham (known simply as MOLE) and it so happens that these particular bayonets are quite difficult to find, hence the space.
(I guess if there weren't any challenges left things would get pretty boring so I really shouldn't complain - suffice to say that there was a problem and I've been working on rectifying that.!)

Cheers, S>S

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#52 shippingsteel

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 08:31 AM

Considering the age of these bayonets (~115 years) I'm always constantly amazed that they are still around in any such condition to collect.
I find it quite remarkable to firstly be able to find them at all, but then to be allowed to purchase them for such reasonable prices considering their history, it just staggers me.
This recent addition shown below is another Wilkinson, this time made in 1892, that appears to have never been used and just carried (showing the customary 'scabbard wear' only).
It also came with its matching leather scabbard into the bargain. These scabbards themselves are now getting extremely hard to find in reasonable condition. Yes, I was very pleased .... :D

Cheers, S>S

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#53 shippingsteel

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 12:03 PM

And here is the one thats given me some cause to celebrate today. I've finally found that all important 'gap filler' that I've been searching for. A P'88 service bayonet by Mole.!
The blade on this one is really clean, but it has picked up some light tarnish on the crossguard and pommel during storage.
Considering it was made in 1893, I think its done OK. We'll see how it comes up after a rub with a bit of oil, but I'm thinking it will clean up a treat.
Quite a bit of history there as well with 5 reissues, and some 'interesting' notches carved into the handle.?

Cheers, S>S

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#54 petey

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 05:15 PM

Hi all, haveing read all your posts on this subject, i think ive confused myself even more !
I have in my collection one of these wonderfull baynots. Trying to date it and understand the markings .
made by mole , with king edwards crown, 7 02 [ is this the date , i.e. 1902 ? ]
second side of blade... arrow [ m.o.d.] ? another crown symbol ? the letter B ? 3c or 6 ? and the letter X
On the pomel 23.R.F 487 ?
I will try and put a picture up soon. wooden handle has the two brass rivots, scabbard has no markings, but i believe its original.
thanks , pete

#55 Garron

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 05:42 PM

Hey Pete

Its made in July 1902

The Arrow is the War Department mark
The Crown, number and letter are the inspection stamps.
The X is the bend test. It was subjected to an amount of pressure and the blade was expected to return to normal e.g not bend.

The pommel is a regimental or unit marking... Dont know which one I'm not to clued up on those

Gaz

#56 TonyE

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:54 PM

As Gaz says on the markings. The pommel markings are the unit markings of the 23rd (Service) Battalion Royal Fusiliers, Rack number 487. They were also known as the First Sportsmans Battalion.

REgards
TonyE

#57 petey

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 01:56 PM

Thanks for the information.
On quoting one of tonys earlier posts " Wonder if there are any others prior aug 02 with the King edward mark " looks like i have one here ,july 02.
Meny thanks again all.

#58 petey

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 05:06 PM

Attached File  pattern mk2.jpg   86.82KB   0 downloadsAs promised , a picture. "Mole , july 1902 " i need a new camera !

#59 shippingsteel

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 09:17 PM

I will try and put a picture up soon. wooden handle has the two brass rivots, scabbard has no markings, but i believe its original.
thanks , pete

Pete, if you turn your scabbard over and look closely near the seam you may be able to make out some markings.
The inspection and acceptance markings were stamped into the leather when it was made - and with age, usage and wear can sometimes be difficult to find.
In many cases you need to examine the scabbard very closely under bright natural sunlight to actually determine whether the markings are even there.
The locket and chape also normally have inspection marks stamped into the metalwork - usually found somewhere near the staple area.

You can see on my scabbard shown below, firstly the top mark is the Birmingham inspection stamp of Crown over B over 49.
Then there is the Broad Arrow over WD mark which indicates acceptance by the War Department (these were made under government contract).
Lower down you can just make out the stamp for the date of manufacture, in this case '96 - meaning it was made in 1896.

Cheers, S>S

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#60 petey

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 08:13 PM

Thanks for the reply, alass my markings on the scabbard are very worn and unable to see the detail. Just make out some half marks that convince me its the correct scabbard for the type of bayonet !

#61 jscott

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 03:50 PM

S/S - I just acquired my first P1888 (ironically a '96 Mole) and can now see why you are so impressed with these bayonets. They really were incredibly well made and have a lovely tactile feel to them. Not many markings (other than from initial issue) other than some (presumably) rack numbers on the pommel and scabbard...



#62 shippingsteel

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:51 PM

Good stuff - I'm glad to see someone else shares my appreciation for fine art .... :innocent:
Be careful though, you can never have just one.!! (They do tend to multiply) :thumbsup:

Cheers, S>S

#63 Garron

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 12:25 AM

I can vouch for that, they do like rabbits.
I've got a fondness as it was one of the first bayonets I bought, now I have 3 1888's.

Here is my latest one Enfield 1899.

Is the scabbard that came with it a cut down 1907? the chap is the same as one on my 1907 scabbard.
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#64 shippingsteel

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 07:10 AM

Is the scabbard that came with it a cut down 1907? the chap is the same as one on my 1907 scabbard.

Hi Gaz - yes I think your scabbard has been 'reworked' one way or another, the chape with the seam looks to be P1907.
The locket appears to be of P'88 vintage but has been reattached at some point to most probably a shorter P1907 leather.

I suspect this is some Indian handiwork (with lashings of black paint) as they were using the shorter P1903 (& others) alongside the standard P1907 for many years.
I also have one of these non-standard scabbards which came with a P1888 bayonet. The Indian surplus makes an easy replacement for what is a scarce scabbard.
They are interesting though as they are evidence of what was going on in India. I have dug out some of mine for a comparison, and taken some of the measurements.

Standard GW era P1907 scabbard. _Shorter tear-drop stud, squarer end chape complete with seam. _Locket length 80mm, locket width 35mm, aperture 25mm.
Standard P1888 Mk.1 scabbard. _Longer tear-drop stud, triangular shape chape, smooth without seam. _Locket length 70mm, locket width 37mm, aperture 29mm.
Indian origin 'short' scabbard. _Both locket and chape similar appearance to P1907, no markings present. _Locket length 80mm, locket width 35mm, aperture 28mm.

Have a check of your measurements and we'll be able to get a better idea of whether it is similar to my 'Indian version'. Normal P'88 scabbard shown below for reference.

Cheers, S>S

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#65 Garron

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 10:34 AM

Hey S>S, Thanks.

Measurements for this are over length 315mm, its shorter than my 1888 but the bayonet fits fine.

Longer tear drop stud locket. Length 70mm
Width 38mm
Apature (Rectangular) 29mm

The locket seems to match the 1888 Pattern Mk1 with your measurements.

Gaz

#66 shippingsteel

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 10:49 AM

The locket seems to match the 1888 Pattern Mk1 with your measurements.

Yep, so that confirms its the P1888 locket at least, while the chape definitely looks to be for the P1907 variety.
I'm thinking the scabbard was originally made for an Indian No.1 Mk. I*, II or III (all with the 305mm blade) bayonet or similar.
You can see that the scabbard first had the longer length P1907 locket attached, before it was swapped out for the P'88 locket.

Cheers, S>S

#67 sawdoc34

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 04:46 PM

Hello chaps,
does anyone have any info on who manufactured the Mk1 type1 P1888 bayonets?
Have bought 1 online but the pics are not the best, date looks like 12/89 with quite a few reissue & inspector marks but cant make out a makers mark.

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#68 sawdoc34

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 07:29 PM

other sideAttached File  1aLLBAY-033348_4.jpg   98.23KB   0 downloads

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#69 Garron

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 07:40 PM

Hey,

Its Enfield made, all of my 1888's are Enfield and none are marked with a makers mark. The ricasso profile is different for each maker too.

Gaz

#70 sawdoc34

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 07:57 PM

Thanks Gaz,
thought it might be but cant make out the efd above wd/broad arrow but will know better when it arrives.
Also have a line on a Mk3 P1888, from memory its 03 dated but will have to wait until he gets back from holiday before can finalise the deal.
Cheers,
Aleck

#71 shippingsteel

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 10:33 PM

Hello chaps,
does anyone have any info on who manufactured the Mk1 type1 P1888 bayonets?
Have bought 1 online but the pics are not the best, date looks like 12/89 with quite a few reissue & inspector marks but cant make out a makers mark.

Nice bayonet Aleck. They are hard to find in decent condition but that one looks pretty good, and the grips are still excellent - no cracks at all. :thumbsup:
Enfield was the only manufacturer of the P1888 Mk1 type1 and they weren't marked. They began stamping with the EFD mark from 1897 onward.

Cheers, S>S

#72 sawdoc34

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 01:27 AM

Thanks S>S,
Thought it looked ok & in pretty good condition & was even more pleased when I got offered it for 75 (needless to say I didnt hesitate in case he changed his mind).
Not so sure about the 03 dated mk3 1888 tho, from what I remember its pretty rough, fair bit of staining to metal but no pitting & rust staining to grips from the screws. Any idea on a rough price I should pay for an example in this condition?
Cheers,
Aleck

#73 TRAJAN

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 12:07 PM

So, there was I wondering about what type of frog was issued for a P1888 bayonet, and a g****e search brought me to this thread! I guess I better post a photo of my 'new' 1888 (11'1896 issue)...

Trajan

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#74 TRAJAN

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 01:05 PM

That photo was a bit small... Try again...:closedeyes:

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#75 shippingsteel

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 12:13 AM

So, there was I wondering about what type of frog was issued for a P1888 bayonet ...

Not that big on the leather frogs - finding the correct scabbards in decent condition is tough enough for me.!
There were several versions of frogs for these, some naval issue ones were slide on types (for the scabbards without studs)
For your Mk.I scabbard with the standard stud I think you'd be looking for something similar to shown in the links below, but there were other types used as well.

http://www.old-smith...vy%20swivel.jpg

http://www.old-smith...l%20obverse.jpg

http://www.karkeeweb...frog front.html

http://www.karkeeweb.../frog rear.html

PS. Somewhat of a milestone, first bayonet photo posted on the GWF .... may there be many more new additions to share.! :lol:

Cheers, S>S