Original German WWI Rare M1898 a/A GEW 98 Bayonet by W.K. & C. with Saxony Markings - dated 1902

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 of the first model with the very rare wrap-around grip has the typical long "pipe backed" 20 1/2" blade, also called a "quill back". The spine is proof marked Crown / AR directly in front of the cross guard, for the King of Saxony, König Albert I (Albert  the Good), who reigned 1873 to 1902. Under this is 02, indicating acceptance in 1902, which was the last year of production for the first model. There is also a regimental mark on the scabbard throat: 158.R.9.124. This marking indicates issue to the 158th (7th Lotharingian) Infantry Regiment, 9th battalion, 124th 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 a rare example of the first model of this bayonet, the a.A. (alter Art) model with the single piece "wrap around" wooden grip, produced 1898 to 1902. This was the first bayonet produced for use on the Gewehr 98, with its revolutionary bayonet bar mounting system. This bayonet will also mount to most other Mauser bolt-action rifles that are based on the M1898 action, although the M1898 bayonet did not see much use after the First World War. In 1902 the bayonet design was modified to have a two piece grip.

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 is in very good condition, with no cracks, and the carved ribs still very clear and have a lovely color. There is a chunk missing from the right hand spine. There are also 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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