AMERICAN PLUG BAYONET

$695.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 1000-1804

For a good American-attributed parallel to this simple plug bayonet, see Neumann’s Battle Weapons, p. 280 number 1.BB, which he dates 1700-1740. That one has the same blade form as this one, and a very rudimentary guard, also without quillons. Plug bayonets were introduced in the second half of the seventeenth century, freeing musket-bearing infantry from dependence on pikemen in close combat and against cavalry. Even after introduction of the socket bayonet, which enabled infantry to fire with the bayonet still in place, the plug bayonet was still an item of issue in the European wars of the early 1700s, and remained in use by colonial militia and provincials much longer. Even in the late 1750s only half of the Massachusetts provincials were provided with bayonets, to act in the front rank. Others likely brought along a father’s or grandfather’s plug bayonet just in case.

This one measures 16 inches overall, has a simple 10-inch, double-edged spearpoint blade with a median ridge, and could double as a very practical side knife. The handle is the typical, simple form, with a metal end cap, slightly swelling grip, and large ball to prevent it being stuck too far into the musket barrel and also to give the soldier something to grab in order to pull it out. Between the ball and the blade, however, is just a simple iron collar in place of a guard, which on European forms often incorporated a screwdriver and flint-knapping hammer on the quillons.

The blade shows overall smooth gray metal mixed with darker gray areas, and overall light pitting, but has a good point and good edges. It should find a place in collection of bayonets or colonial arms.  [sr]

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