FAYETTEVILLE SABER BAYONET FROM THE FIRST DAY’S FIELD AT GETTYSBURG: SHIELDS MUSEUM

$3,950.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 490-2439

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

We are proud to offer some select items acquired privately from the Shields Museum in 1974, all picked up on the first day’s field of battle at Gettysburg. This is a scarce Confederate saber bayonet for the Fayetteville rifle, in good condition, with a string tag indicating it was donated to the museum in the 1920s by a visiting minister from Columbia, Pennsylvania.

After the Harpers Ferry Armory was seized by Virginia forces in 1861, the machinery for making rifle muskets went to Richmond and that for the 1855 rifle went to Fayetteville, though not without some disagreement, where it finally began turning out rifles in 1862. For the first two years the rifles produced there were fitted with bayonet lugs for saber bayonets that naturally followed the pattern of the US 1855 saber bayonet, but with a feathered grip, sometimes referred to by unromantic as “fish scale.” This rates in good condition as an early battlefield pick up. The Yataghan style blade is full length, gray in color with dark gray stains, pitting and some crusty standing rust from lying outdoors for some period, but still with a good edge and point. The hilt is very good. The locking button and spring are gone, and there is some green on the obverse guard at the muzzle loop, but there are no large dings or divots and no bends or breaks. The small inspector’s mark “L,” seen on other examples is fully legible on the grip flat. This would look great in a display of Confederate arms and with the Gettysburg provenance is exceptional.

This comes from one of our earliest regular customers, Tom Bohon, who was also a regular visitor to the Shields Museum. In 1974 he was offered a one-shot opportunity by Ellen Shields, then running the museum, to buy a case full of relics picked up on the first day’s field west of town. The museum simply wanted the space for other purposes and Tom had to buy all or nothing. He bought it and we are proud to offer pieces from that display case, pretty much never on the market before, except for a few minutes forty-six years ago.

This a rare opportunity to acquire a scarce Confederate bayonet from Gettysburg with a great provenance. Tom did not hesitate. Neither should you. [sr]

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