Original Rare Model 1868 U.S. Springfield Trapdoor Trowel Bayonet & Scabbard- Dated
Original Item: Only one available. In almost 50 years of dealing and 56 years of collecting since the age of 12 I have never owned and perhaps not even seen, other than in books, one of these earliest style trowel bayonets.
Of course in England we saw no sense in attaching a garden trowel to the front end of rifle however that is exactly what the U.S. Government did in the 1870s supposedly for entrenching purposes.
This is the very first model of the very well know and now much sort after Model 1873 Trowel Bayonet. The M-1873 was available for years, mostly without scabbards but even these are also now hard to find. Examples of the M1873 with Scabbards are much scarcer and consequently far more desirable.
This however is essentially the first issued U.S. Trowel bayonet, the model of 1868! Well illustrated and described in Al. Hardin's Book, "The American Bayonet" of 1964, see pages 197 to 199 this M1868 trowel bayonet differed greatly from its well known descendant the M1873.
Differences are most obvious because it had a finger ring between the socket and the blade to provide additional stability that was promptly abandoned in the later model. The blade shape was quite different and smaller and the very high quality brass mounted leather Scabbard bears the Patent No. Date of Dec.1st 1868. The Scabbard is also stamped U.S.
This is a serious rare First Model Trowel Bayonet, the trowel blade itself shows very clear remains of pitting probably caused by being put away wet into its leather scabbard after use. The Socket and Finger Ring are in used but much nicer shape. The brass mounted and riveted substantial, well marked, brown leather scabbard is in amazingly good shape for approaching 150 years of age.
Found at the 2013 Baltimore Gun Show and purchased from an old time Collector who had this for 45 years and even remembered the even older and now deceased and very well known Connecticut Collector he got it from in the 1960s. One of the now probably very few original examples to exist of the U.S. M-1868 Trowel Bayonets complete with "Finger Ring" and original well marked brown leather issue Scabbard. We doubt you will see another for sale anytime soon.
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