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Title Bayonet for carbine and rampart gun, model 1837/38
Nationality French
Period c 1837
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This did dual duty for the Pontcharra/Delvigne 1837 carbine and the 1838 rampart gun. It has to be one of the rarest of the French bayonets, having been made in fairly small quantities, I suspect, before the introduction of the new sword bayonets in the early 1840s. I have never seen one before in the flesh.

I think the blade is inspired by the English pipe-back blade of the late Napoleonic Wars, the first instance, to my knowledge, of a pipe-back blade being used on a European bayonet. This weapon originally had a brass handle which locked into the socket and contained within it tools for cleaning the weapon. This, I am afraid, is missing and there is no scabbard.

This, together with its carbine or rampart gun, was an experimental issue to a battalion of tirailleurs (riflemen) who saw service with this in North Africa. This battalion of six companies served with great distinction under their commander,the Duc d'Orleans. This was the first French infantry unit to be issued with a rifle arm,as opposed to smooth bore musket.

The blade measures 20.5" and the muzzle ring diameter is just over three-quarters of an inch. The weapon has an even light grey patina throughout, with some scattered patches of pitting and some bruising to the shoulder where the socket joins the blade.

There is a good description of this bayonet in L'Arme Blanches des Armees Francaises 1789-1870 by M. Bottet. ( see chapter 9 p.95 ) There was also a model with a blade of yatagan form.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Edged Weapons : Bayonets : French : 19th Century]


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