Original German WWI M1898 Long GEW 98 Peruvian Contract Bayonet with Leather Scabbard - c.1909
Original Item: Only One Available. In 1898 with the new Mauser Gewehr 98 bolt action infantry rifle the military adopted the long model 1898 Seitengewehr (side gun), or bayonet, which gave an Infantryman the ability to bring a Cavalryman down from his horse due to the bayonets long reach. Of course Cavalry was soon becoming a thing of the past and these long bayonets were being surpassed by different and shorter versions. At the start of WW1 in 1914 this length Model 1898 bayonet was still the norm. There was also a substantial export market for the Gewehr 98 rifle and bayonets, and this is one such example, made under contract for the Peruvian Government.
The bayonet has the typical long "pipe backed" 20 1/2" blade, also called a "quill back". The blade ricasso is maker marked SIMSON & CO / SUHL, a well known manufacturer of German bayonets. This company, previously known as Gebrüder Simson, was a major manufacturer in the Suhl Area, and later began production of bicycles and other items in addition to edged weapons. At the onset of WWI, the company had 3500 employees, however in the post war depression, they had to fire 2/3 of their workforce. The company continued trading and was again successful, however since the Simson family were Jewish, they found the company headquarters occupied by the SA in 1933. The company was then forcibly renamed BSW, and pressed into service making small arms. Thankfully, the Simson family was able to emigrate to the U.S.A. in 1936. For more information please see J Anthony Carter's excellent work GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS.
This bayonet is similar to the second model of this bayonet, the n.A. (neu Art) model introduced in 1902, and the grip is made of two halves from wood, though it does not have a flash guard on the back. After the turn of the century the Germans simplified and strengthened their bayonet grips. The original "alter Art" (old type) bayonet had a grip made of one single piece of wood, which was wrapped around the tang.
However, unlike a German-Issued bayonet, there are no proof marks on the spine of the blade, or regimental markings. Instead, there is a Peruvian Coat of arms on the pommel of the grip, and serial number 13786 on the cross guard and the frog button. Many assume these are German issue, but the Coat of Arms is definitive.
The bayonet shows a few signs of corrosion, and for the most part is in excellent condition, with a lot of the factory polish still visible on the blade. As old as it is, the bayonet still has the factory unsharpened edge, which is quite rare. There is minimal throat runner wear, indicating it did not see much service. The grip scales are in good condition, with no cracks or major chips, and the carved ribs still clear. The grip does have a bit of light peppering. The bayonet comes complete with its original Steel Mounted leather scabbard, with fully intact stitching. The throat is a bit loose due to leather shrinkage, and it is marked with serial number 27936.
Overall a very good condition Peruvian Contract GEW 98 bayonet, completely with scabbard, ready to mount to any Mauser Gewehr 98 rifle or display.
Blade Length: 20 1/2"
Blade Type: Pipe Back Single Edged
Overall length: 25 3/4”
Crossguard: 2 3/8”
Scabbard Length: 21 1/2”
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