BRITISH P1855 BRASS HILT LANCASTER SWORD BAYONET: MOLLUS MUSEUM

$295.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 490-2489

This is a very good example of the saber bayonet for the Lancaster oval-bore sappers and miner’s carbine. This uses an attractive brass hilt with black pressed leather grips secured with rivets and has an impressive falchion blade with false edge and pipe back. It was once speculated these were imported for use on Confederate Mendenhall, Jones and Gardner rifles, but they actually will not fit those rifles and there is no documentation or other evidence to support the connection. A few Lancaster engineer carbines may have been imported by the Confederacy: it is known that the state of Virginia solicited sample arms from the company in 1860, and a few excavated examples have come to light, but it is more likely they made their way here fitted to Enfield rifles or artillery carbines. In any case, this one bears standard British government inspection stamps making it very unlikely it came here during the war. The pommel bears two sets of numerals that are likely British rack numbers, and a “V” and “M.S.C.” that may indicate later use by the Volunteer Medical Service Corps.

This comes from the recently dispersed collections of the War Library and Museum in Philadelphia, and was likely a postwar gift to them from a well-meaning veteran or member of the public. Incorporated in 1888 by the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, the veterans’ organization for Union officers, the museum was housed in a Philadelphia townhouse from 1922 to 2008, when it was closed. This came from a recent auction items from their collections. The condition is very good, with bright steel blade showing just some thin gray spots, good edge and point, and clear markings. The brass has a nice medium patina. The grip panels are in place. The locking mechanism works.  [SR]

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