May 27, 2020 Founders & Patriots
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/27/2020
This rare and early spring-catch bayonet is otherwise identical to standardized for Land Pattern (including Marine/Militia) Muskets in 1768, but is nearly 1 ½ inches longer in blade length. It bears the maker’s stamp of ‘S&G/HARVEY’ on the flat of the blade (for Birmingham cutlers Samuel and George Harvey, who made bayonets under subcontract for the Board of Ordnance (BO) during the late 1760s-mid 1770s and, after 1777, as direct BO contractors) and a deep stamp that appears to be a ‘P’ or ‘R’ below it and just above the shank juncture. This bayonet differs from standard P1768 bayonets by virtue of the addition of a long, pendant-shaped, spring catch on the top of the socket. The bulbous base is fastened to the socket by a screw near the front or muzzle end, while the narrower, spring tip ends at the beginning of the 3rd slot of the 3-slot mortise. The spring catch was intended to catch the lug or stud of the musket barrel, thereby securing it more effectively than by the earlier means of the 3-slot mortise alone. During the Seven Years’ War, the Tower had fitted some arms in this manner by means of experiment, while to East India Company had adopted it for all of their arms by 1777. In 1772, John Hirst was contracted to fit springs to 600 Land Pattern bayonets then in Board of Ordnance stores intended for Army use, but no more were further altered in this manner; probably the advent of the Revolutionary War led the BO to set aside further implementation, due to the increased cost of labor, materials and time in furbishing bayonets with such improvements. It would not be until 1802 that spring-fastened bayonets were reintroduced again for British army muskets with adoption of the New Land Pattern musket and bayonet. However, a number of regimental colonels or commanders opted to have contractors or their regimental armorers affix such catches to their mens’ bayonets. For example, while serving in America during 1774-1775, the 18th Foot had its bayonets altered to take spring catches shortly after it reached Boston from the Illinois frontier. JLK
Blade Length
18 5/8 "
Overall Length
22 9/16"
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $1,680.00
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Number Bids: 7
Auction closed on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.
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