Original German WWI Seitengewehr M1898 a/A GEW 98 Bayonet by Erfurt with Steel Scabbard - Dated 1902
Original Item: Only One Available. In 1898 with the new Mauser bolt action infantry rifle the military adopted this long 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 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 production in 1902.
The blade ricasso is maker marked Crown / ERFURT, indicating manufacture at the Royal Erfurt Arsenal, located in Thuringia. This bayonet is a rare example of the first model of this bayonet, the a.A. (alter Art) model produced until 1902, and the grip is made of a single piece of wood, wrapped around the tang. After the turn of the century the Germans simplified and strengthened their bayonet grips. The original "neu Art" (new type) bayonet had the more standard two grip scales on either side of the tang.
The bayonet shows some small areas of light corrosion on the blade, as well as signs of sharpening, however it is overall quite nice after years of service. The one piece grip is still in very good condition, with no cracks or chips, and the carved ribs still very clear. The hilt does have wear and some light corrosion, so this is definitely a bayonet that saw a lot of service. 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 WW1 with an excellent condition one piece grip and rare metal scabbard. Ready to display.
Blade Length: 20 3/4"
Overall length: 26”
Crossguard: 2 3/8”
Scabbard Length: 21 1/2”
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