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Title Lebel bayonet, model 1886
Nationality French
Period c 1886-1916
 (This item is subject to special postage, click here for more information.)

The Lebel rifle was the first modern service rifle to use a nitro cartridge; all the others of the period still operated with black powder. The modified version (model 1916) had a yellow brass hilt and no quillon. This classic bayonet would have seen action throughout the French Empire at the end of the 19th century and, of course, in WW1.

They were used famously by the Soviet women's regiments in the defence of Moscow in 1941/42, shown in a celebrated photograph of the period.

The hilt is made of solid white brass and the blade is peened through at the pommel. Like all French equipment, it is beautifully made. However, this example has a shrapnel hole in the scabbard, about 2.5cms long. It may well have saved the man's leg!

Its general condition shows that it was probably a battlefield pick-up that has been carefully cleaned, so there is evidence of pitting throughout the iron of the hilt and the steel blade. However, the blade is as straight as it was made - unusual with this bayonet, which more often than not has a bit of a wiggle in it from abuse or cooking chickens, or whatever else. There is a little bruising to the reverse of the hilt. The locking catch is in good order.

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

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


Today I received your flag. It's very nice and looks genuine to me. Beautifull crisp colors! It looks barely used. It's a nice addition to my ww2 collection. I would even say, one of my top pieces.

Thanks for your excellent service and top communication!

I will check your site more often to see if you have more nice pieces.

R D, The Netherlands, 21.04.2018

Helmet arrived safely and am pleased with it.

A M, UK, 24.01.2013