Item:
ONSV4581

Original German WWI M1898 n/A GEW 98 Bayonet by W.K. & C. dated 1902 with Scabbard - Regiment Marked

Item Description

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 / W directly in front of the cross guard, for Kaiser Wilhelm II, the German Emperor. Under this is 02, indicating acceptance in 1902. There is also a regimental mark on the scabbard throat: B. 21. R. 5. 221.. This marking indicates issue to the 21st Royal Bavarian Infantry "Grand Duke Frederick Francis IV of Mecklenburg-Schwerin" Regiment, 5th battalion, 221st weapon.

The blade ricasso is maker marked W. K. & C. / SOLINGEN, indicating manufacture by Weyersberg, Kirschbaum & Co. is a famous manufacturer of military swords and cutlery in Solingen, Germany - a city famous since the middle ages for its metal-working and craftsmanship in sword making. The traditional manufacturing of swords at WKC dates back to the year 1774 when the Weyersberg first registered the ''Kings head'' as their trademark. Later in 1883 the company merged with the Kirschbaums and the company WKC was formed as it exists today.

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 overall light corrosion 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 Mounted leather scabbard, many of which were lost and replaced with "ersatz" emergency issue scabbards. Due to age and use it does have some wrinkles and wear, but it is overall solid, with proof marks on the throat and end fitting.

All in all a nice example of the scarce first model M1898 Gew 98 Bayonet of WWI, in good shape with scabbard and leather frog. Ready to display!

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