Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Nutting

Commercial, unit purchase Pattern 88 bayonet?

Recommended Posts

Nutting
Posted (edited)

My most recent acquisition arrived today.  It appears to be a commercial/unit purchase Pattern 1888 bayonet, devoid of markings apart from a single letter 'L' next to the release button and single letter M (see photos below) on the front edge of the crosspiece.  The L mark is also mentioned here:  http://www.old-smithy.info/bayonets/HTNL DOCUMNETS/1888 and 1903.htm

 

It has been overcleaned but it could have been far worse.  Strange crossways scratches just in front of the crosspiece on both sides of the ricasso, but possibly due to 'cleaning' with a file or wire brush.  It has been sharpened at some point in its life; no scabbard.

 

There is no clearance hole and no immediate clue as to whether it's a Mk.I, Mk.II, Mk.III, etc. (which I suspect only strictly applies to military contact pieces).  However the pommel is drilled for the hole to accommodate the clearance rod (as per the two versions of the Mk.I) but the hole does not extend into the tang.  It looks as though a Mk.I pommel was used on a later production bayonet (and suggests that pommels were drilled separately from the tang?).

 

Nothing stunning or ultra-rare, but another piece for the growing collection!

 

Nigel.

 

fullsizeoutput_17df.jpeg

 

fullsizeoutput_17e1.jpeg

 

fullsizeoutput_17e2.jpeg

 

fullsizeoutput_17e3.jpeg

 

fullsizeoutput_17e4.jpeg

 

fullsizeoutput_17e5.jpeg.bd7c13ceb33f24eb2088d7dd60998205.jpeg

 

Edited by Nutting
Correction/new info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zuluwar2006

Excellent choice you made with this, very nice.. 

Regards

D. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave66
Posted (edited)

Nice example Nigel, a very worthwhile addition.

 

Dave.

Edited by Dave66

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nutting
31 minutes ago, Dave66 said:

Nice example Nigel, a very worthwhile addition.

 

Dave.

 

1 hour ago, zuluwar2006 said:

Excellent choice you made with this, very nice.. 

Regards

D. 

 

Thanks gents.  I'm just sitting looking closely at the blade.  The strange, rough crosshatching on both sides of the ricasso is repeated on both narrow flats of the blade, but don't appear to hide a maker's name or other stamps.  The spine of the blade is thinner than on any other P88/P03 in my possession. All good, interesting stuff.

 

N.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave66

These commercial variants can be an interesting collecting field in themselves, hopefully you will be able to find a scabbard to suit sometime in the future.

With regard the L stamped on the pommel...Land Pattern???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nutting
47 minutes ago, Dave66 said:

These commercial variants can be an interesting collecting field in themselves, hopefully you will be able to find a scabbard to suit sometime in the future.

With regard the L stamped on the pommel...Land Pattern???

 

Personally, I would doubt L=Land.  These single large letters are not that unusual: My Mk.I/Type II has a large G and another single letter I can't quite make out: and my P'03 has a large letter T. The marks of individual 'fettlers' at the factory?

 

N.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nutting
Posted (edited)

Having spent some time looking at this bayonet, it is obvious that it is not as well made as military contract examples.  Running your fingers along the flat of the blade, there are surface irregularities which are not present on military examples.  These are not immediately visible, but can clearly be felt. The ‘lozenge’ of the release mechanism which protrudes when the release button is pressed is a looser fit in the pommel than on my other Pattern 88s.

 

These other 88s will happily stand vertically on the square end of the pommel.  With this commercial example, however, the end of the pommel is not at a right angle to the long axis of the blade, but 5 degrees off, with the junction between the wood of the grip and the forward end of the pommel sitting at a similar angle.

 

Whilst all the above sounds bad, and would probably not have passed inspection at Enfield or in the Wilkinson factory, it’s still a usable, practical weapon.

Edited by Nutting

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OLD ROBIN HOOD

Greetings from the beautiful Forest of Sherwood.

I have a couple of these bayonets. As stated the overall quality of manufacture is nowhere as good as those for  service issue. Both of mine are

complete with their original  scabbards which are poorly made and rather "floppy".  I know that I have said this before but I wonder if they were

produced for the privately made Martini carbines sold to the V.T.C . in the early years of its existence. I seem to remember seeing an advertisement

for rifle and bayonet at 25/-. (  £ 1.25 ).  

 

                                                     Old Robin Hood. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nutting
10 hours ago, OLD ROBIN HOOD said:

Greetings from the beautiful Forest of Sherwood.

I have a couple of these bayonets. As stated the overall quality of manufacture is nowhere as good as those for  service issue. Both of mine are

complete with their original  scabbards which are poorly made and rather "floppy".  I know that I have said this before but I wonder if they were

produced for the privately made Martini carbines sold to the V.T.C . in the early years of its existence. I seem to remember seeing an advertisement

for rifle and bayonet at 25/-. (  £ 1.25 ).  

 

                                                     Old Robin Hood. 

ORH,

 

Thanks for the comment.  I knew that you could buy a basic 12-bore shotgun for £5 in 1900, but a rifle and bayonet for 25/- (yes, I am old enough to remember pre-decimal money!) was pretty good going!  On your bayonets, is there the strange crosshatching type of scratches at the top of the blade next to the crosspiece like below?

 

Nigel

fullsizeoutput_17e3.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trajan
9 hours ago, Nutting said:

ORH,

 

Thanks for the comment.  I knew that you could buy a basic 12-bore shotgun for £5 in 1900, but a rifle and bayonet for 25/- (yes, I am old enough to remember pre-decimal money!) was pretty good going!  On your bayonets, is there the strange crosshatching type of scratches at the top of the blade next to the crosspiece like below?

 

Nigel

fullsizeoutput_17e3.jpeg

 

File marks when fitting the crossguard? Or crosspiece as it was termed in those days!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OLD ROBIN HOOD

Greetings from Sherwood Forest where it has been a most hectic day. 

I thought that you might be interested is seeing a few of my commercial 1888 Bayonets. 

 

 

DSC00863.JPG.dca9501234723f1a1066a263d6e0ebde.JPGDSC00876.JPG.d3bba4c10576cb01b4ed36bc4807074b.JPGDSC00864.JPG.adb7ff1b0f983f3d24163ca118cf138b.JPGDSC00867.JPG.5ad5693858ec66dc3c326eed8ddc823e.JPG

 

 

It can be seen that the manufacturing of these bayonets does not meet military specification as I said in my last post.  On all 3 the locking catch fits into the pommel somewhat loosely.

Also, the grinding of the blades varies in quality.  In answer to Nigel's question, none of mine have the crosshatching where the blade joins the crossguard, one however does have some parallel marks probably due to grinding. 

The scabbards do vary considerably.  The top scabbard I would say is of the same quality as a regular military issue  but bears no markings what ever.  The second scabbard has a brass frog stud, chape tip and throat.  The third one appears to have a copper washed frog stud and throat, also the quality of the leather is quite poor.

 

Concerning the price of a single shot .303 Martini Carbine to the Volunteer Training Corps which I quoted as being 25/- for Rifle and Bayonet, I do have a copy of the advertisement that is somewhere in my filing system which can best be described as chaotic, so at this time I just can't locate it.  However, next best thing, I have found in issue No. 23 of the Volunteer Training Corps Gazette Saturday 8th May 1915 the following advertisement.   Rifle and Bayonet £2 - 15 - 6.

 

DSC00877.JPG.5edf69182a1dde360eafc8ba2b3330f8.JPG

 

 

Hope this is of interest.

 

Old Robin Hood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nutting
12 hours ago, OLD ROBIN HOOD said:

Greetings from Sherwood Forest where it has been a most hectic day. 

I thought that you might be interested is seeing a few of my commercial 1888 Bayonets. 

 

 

DSC00863.JPG.dca9501234723f1a1066a263d6e0ebde.JPGDSC00876.JPG.d3bba4c10576cb01b4ed36bc4807074b.JPGDSC00864.JPG.adb7ff1b0f983f3d24163ca118cf138b.JPGDSC00867.JPG.5ad5693858ec66dc3c326eed8ddc823e.JPG

 

 

It can be seen that the manufacturing of these bayonets does not meet military specification as I said in my last post.  On all 3 the locking catch fits into the pommel somewhat loosely.

Also, the grinding of the blades varies in quality.  In answer to Nigel's question, none of mine have the crosshatching where the blade joins the crossguard, one however does have some parallel marks probably due to grinding. 

The scabbards do vary considerably.  The top scabbard I would say is of the same quality as a regular military issue  but bears no markings what ever.  The second scabbard has a brass frog stud, chape tip and throat.  The third one appears to have a copper washed frog stud and throat, also the quality of the leather is quite poor.

 

Concerning the price of a single shot .303 Martini Carbine to the Volunteer Training Corps which I quoted as being 25/- for Rifle and Bayonet, I do have a copy of the advertisement that is somewhere in my filing system which can best be described as chaotic, so at this time I just can't locate it.  However, next best thing, I have found in issue No. 23 of the Volunteer Training Corps Gazette Saturday 8th May 1915 the following advertisement.   Rifle and Bayonet £2 - 15 - 6.

 

DSC00877.JPG.5edf69182a1dde360eafc8ba2b3330f8.JPG

 

 

Hope this is of interest.

 

Old Robin Hood.

 ORH,

 

Many thanks for the above photos.  Your release catches were manufactured to the same standard as mine i.e. not up to Ordnance standard!  Interesting that the bayonet in the William Ford advertisement above shows a bayonet with a quillon, so not a P'88 and not long enough for a P'07.  

 

I didn't know that there was a Volunteer Training Corps Gazette so I've learned something this morning!

 

Nigel.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trajan

Yes, a great colelction there!

 

I wondered about that bayonet also - made me think of the Turkish Peabody-Martini bayonets 2nd pattern!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OLD ROBIN HOOD

Greetings from the Royal Hunting Forest of Sherwood.

 

Whilst sitting in the shadow of the Major Oak today with little to do I decided to post a few more pictures of 1888 Commercial Bayonets. 

 

DSC00880.JPG.6e50189c4b3f813708ba89754e660ae1.JPGDSC00881.JPG.9cc88413b2abfa49cd138c44cc233dc1.JPG

 

 

The top example is the same as the one in Nigel's picture although not as well polished. The letters L and M are in exactly the same place.

My example however does not have the same crosshatch filing.  The right hand side of the grip is stamped M   26.  So we know that at least 2 examples of the bayonet exist.  I have not illustrated the scabbard which although of the correct pattern plainly did not start life with this bayonet.

 

 

DSC00883.JPG.1d5123b4394cd531ee4ac1ab1edd1963.JPGDSC00884.JPG.0846651e93067cdc0662b75818e29ace.JPGDSC00885.JPG.706231852b57f400099d2c057246af38.JPGnet

 

DSC00882.JPG.5209e539b60eaaa6809e35c45b0debb4.JPG

 

 

 

The middle example is beautifully made.  It appears to have been polished bright at some time but if that is the case they have managed to do it without affecting the colour of the grips in any way.  The markings are most interesting as can be seen from the photograph, the ricasso  is marked C.C.C. and the front edge 141.  I have no idea what these markings mean.  The release catch fits as snugly into the pommel as an ordinance example.  The scabbard though is made quite poorly from thin brown leather and has a copper washed frog stud.  The frog I would not call truly 'combat serviceable' being made again of quite thin leather. It is riveted with 4 rivets per side, the heads of which are painted khaki / brown. I would welcome any opinions on the bayonet.

 

 

 .

DSC00886.JPG.bf60c7d59088dfb0a17574bc3c3b6459.JPGDSC00887.JPG.208491e576e1ab378da7a5849c11d28d.JPG

 

 

The third example has no markings whatever.  The release catch fits better than most but is certainly not as well fitting as an ordinance example as is the overall finish. However, the blade, which is in its original polish, is of good quality but all the edges still show original grinding marks.   The scabbard however is superb.  it is well made in brown leather and is certainly every bit as good as the issue variety, it has no markings.  The frog is of the 1908 pattern made by ME CO. 1917. It does not have the strap for the haft carrier nor ever has had.  The scabbard is considerably better than the bayonet but from the source it was obtained I certainly believe that they have been together since the First World War.  I myself have owned it for many years.

 

When I first started collecting bayonets commercial types were extremely cheap as no one in my area really wanted them (except me). 

 

Lastly, for Nigel I have attached an image of the header from The Central Association of Volunteer Training Corps Gazette.  Hope that it is of interest.

 

DSC00879.JPG.80e290e06caa6897f53218ef504b6cfc.JPG

 

 

Old Robin Hood. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave66

Many thanks for sharing these images old Robin Hood, a fine collection...I shall certainly be keeping a keener eye out for these in the future as I only have one example, a greener.

 

Dave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nutting

ORH,

 

Thanks for the excellent photos and information.  I now know a lot more about volunteer bayonets than I did a week ago!  I seem to remember that the CCC maker’s mark was mentioned in Michael Rose’s “12 Inches of Imperial Steel” as ‘maker’s identity not known’.

 

Thanks also for the VTC Gazette image. I took a look at the well-known auction site and there are a surprising number of VTC items for sale.

 

Nigel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trajan

Yes, interesting to see so many examples and a good and interesting collection specialisation. The CCC mark is indeed mentioned by M,Rose as unknown maker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...