Original German WWI M1898 n/A GEW 98 Bayonet by Simson & Co. dated 1903 with Steel Scabbard - Saxony Marked
Original Item: Only One Available. In 1898 with the new Mauser bolt action infantry rifle the military adopted this long bayonet, the Seitengewehr (Sidearm) M1898. This longer bayonet 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 WWI in 1914 this Gew 98 long bayonet was the norm.
This fine example has the typical long "pipe backed" 20 1/2" blade, also called a "quill back". The spine is proof marked Crown / GR directly in front of the cross guard, for "George Romanus", George the King of Saxony, who reigned 19 June 1902 – 15 October 1904. Under this is 03, indicating acceptance in 1906, which fits right into his reign.
The blade ricasso is maker marked SIMSON & Co. / SUHL, a well-known maker of bayonets during WWI and prior. The company was owned by the Jewish Simson family, so unfortunately in the years leading to WWII, it was "Aryanized", eventually becoming Gustloff-Werke – Waffenwerk Suhl.
This bayonet is an example of 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. 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.
The bayonet shows minor staining on the blade, as well as signs of sharpening, however it is overall quite nice after years of service. The grip scales are in very good condition, with no cracks, and the carved ribs still very clear and have a lovely color. There are a few scratches and small dents. The bayonet comes complete with its original Steel scabbard, which are quite desirable due to their rarity. Most were issued with metal fitted leather scabbards. Steel was far more durable, and this does not appear to be one of the crude "ersatz" scabbards issued later.
All in all a nice example of the scarce first model M1898 Gew 98 Bayonet of WWI with Saxony markings, in good shape with a steel scabbard. Ready to display!
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