Original French WWI Lebel M.1886/93/16 Brass Handle Cruciform Shortened Épée Bayonet with Steel Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. Known affectionately as “Rosalie” to French troops, the M1886 was the French mainstay during WWI and many were still in service at the Fall of France in 1940. The Lebel also saw extensive use worldwide by native troops in the French colonies. The M1886 introduced the distinctive cruciform blade, which remained a feature of most French bayonets until 1956. This was intended to create such a terrible would that because of it's shape torn open very easily condemning the poor recipient to a very painful and long recovery.
The bayonet design underwent many revisions during service history. The very first model is identified by a brass grip with a very small steel tang rod shown on the pommel of the bayonet. This was swiftly replaced with Nickel grip with a much larger tang nut one allowing easier disassembly of the bayonet in field workshops. After WWI had started, the need to conserve Nickel resulted in the grips being made again out of brass, which is what this example is. This bayonet also was shortened post 1916, so it now has a 13 1/4" long blade, with an overall length of 18".
The bayonet is maker marked on the blade, however it is an unidentified private contractor marking. There is also serial number J P 16793 on the minimal crossguard. Condition is very good, with a lot of the original finish present, and a lovely patina on the hilt. There is some evidence of past pitting on the blade.
The included scabbard is still quite straight, with no dents that we can see. The finish is however quite worn, with some areas of oxidation on the outside.
A very nice example of a WWII French "Rosalie" bayonet, complete with scabbard. Ready to display!
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