Original French WWI Lebel M.1886 Nickel Handle Cruciform Épée Bayonet with Steel Scabbard

Item Description

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 "Épée" 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 gripped version, which is what we have here. It has the correct early pattern round bayonet catch button and full hooked quillon. 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. For more information please see Watts & White The Bayonet Book, page 96, item 205.

The bayonet is and scabbard are both marked with various proofs and maker marks, which we are unfortunately unable to identify. Both the bayonet and scabbard bear matching serial number F 86692, which is quite rare to see. Condition is very good, with a lot of the original finish present on the scabbard, and a lovely patina on the bayonet hilt. The blade is bright steel with very little sign of oxidation, and is still partly covered in original grease.

A very nice example of a WWII French "Rosalie" bayonet, which still retains the full length blade, complete with scabbard. Ready to display!

Blade length: 20 1/2”
Blade style: Cruciform "Épée"
Overall length: 25 1/4”
Crossguard: 3 1/8 “
Scabbard length: 21”

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