Original Rare German WWI M1898/05 a/A Butcher Sawback Bayonet with "High Horns" by Erfurt - dated 1907
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of the M-1898/05 Bayonet (Seitengewehr), which was the most common German Bayonet of the First World War. It was intended for use on the standard issue service rifle of Imperial Germany: the Mauser-designed Gewehr 98 (GEW 98). It features a heavy 14.5-inch steel blade with distinct bulge toward the point, giving extra weight and power to the business end, known as a "butcher blade". This version is known as a/A (alter Art = old model). These early pattern bayonets were made with a vestigial muzzle ring, known as "high horns", and did not have a flashguard on the back of the grip.
Almost all examples of the a/A would later have the "horns" ground away, so it is very rare to find an intact example such as this!
This example has a very desirable "sawback" blade, which was intended for use by pioneers to saw through brush and obstacles. Unfortunately a rumor got out that it was intended to inflict grievous harm on enemies, so a lot of the sawback bayonets had this feature removed, making them hard to find. This example has a blade in good condition, with some staining and light pitting from water exposure in areas. It has definitely been sharpened several times and has seen real use in the field. The sawback is a bit worn, though we do not know if that is from cutting wood, or from the scabbard throat, which shows a lot of wear.
The blade ricasso is maker marked Crown / ERFURT, indicating manufacture at the Royal Erfurt Arsenal, located in Thuringia. The spine is proof marked Crown / W directly in front of the cross guard, for Kaiser Wilhelm II, the German Emperor. Under this is 07, indicating production in 1907. This example has a very nice set of original grooved wood grips, which do show some wear and small chips. The hilt has a lovely overall oxidized patina, and the bayonet lock is fully functional.
The crossguard has been marked with a unit marking, in this case from the Kingdom of Bavaria: B. 4. P. 3. 14.. Most likely this refers to the 4th Bavarian Pioneer Battalion, 3rd squadeon, 14th weapon. This is exactly the type of unit that would have been armed with these bayonets.
The included steel fitted leather scabbard is in very good condition, with the stitching still intact, and a lovely worn look to the steel fittings. The leather has gotten a bit stiff and has shrunken slightly, so the bayonet blade does not quite fit in all the way anymore. There are proof marks on both the chape and locket fittings.
A very nice example of a very hard to find bayonet, never messed with or altered, just the way we like to find them. Ready to display!
Blade length: 14 1/2”
Blade Style: Single Edged "Butcher" with Fuller & Sawback
Overall length: 19 3/4”
Crossguard: 2 3/4”
Scabbard length: 15 1/4"
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