Original French WWI Lebel M.1886/93/16 Steel Handle Cruciform 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. However, for a short time the grips were also made of steel, and that is what this example has. Unlike many, it was not cut down post war, and still retains its 20 1/2 inch long blade, with an overall length of 25 1/4 inches.
Condition of the bayonet is very good, with a lot of the original finish present, and is still covered with the arsenal preservative grease used when it was put into storage. There is a bit of light oxidation on the grip, and due to the grease, we are not able to read the markings clearly. The latch works well, with no sticking
The included scabbard is still quite straight, with no dents that we can see. The finish is is still a nice dark blued color, with a few areas of oxidation. Like the bayonet it is covered in old arsenal preservative grease.
A very nice example of a WWII French "Rosalie" bayonet, complete with scabbard and still in arsenal grease. Ready to clean and display!
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