Original German WWI Seitengewehr M1898 n/A GEW 98 Bayonet with Leather Scabbard - Dated 1904
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 04, indicating production in 1904. There is also a faint regimental mark on the cross guard: 123.R.1.187. This marking indicates issue to the 123rd (5th Württemberg) Grenadiers "King Charles" regiment, 1st battalion, 187th weapon.
The blade ricasso is maker marked Crown / ERFURT, indicating manufacture at the Royal Erfurt Arsenal, located in Thuringia. 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 or chips, and the carved ribs still very clear. The grip 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 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.
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 leather scabbard. Ready to display.
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