Indian 1907 Pattern Mk III Bayonet, by Ishapore
Plain unfullered knife blade with clipped point and 2-inch false edge. Wood grips secured by two screws, squared pommel with oil hole. Black leather scabbard with iron throat and chape, khaki canvas frog.
The bayonet is stamped on one side at the ricasso with the Tudor Crown, also known as the Imperial Crown for its use throughout the British Empire, ‘G.R.I’ (Georgius Rex Imperator, meaning George VI, who was the last Emperor of India until its independence in 1947), ‘MkII’, the bayonet model, ’10 43’, meaning the bayonet was manufactured in October 1943, and ‘R.F.I’, meaning the manufacturer, the Rifle Factory Ishapore. It is stamped on the other side with Indian inspection marks. The pommel is stamped with ‘97’. The scabbard leather is faintly stamped ‘43’, indicating that it was manufactured at around the same time. The reverse of the canvas frog has been written on with ‘HEGGIE’.
You may notice that the model stamp is incorrect – this is certainly a MkIII due to its squared pommel, but the stamp shows ‘MkII’. Incorrect factory stamping is a known phenomenon with Indian bayonets, as well as failing to add stamps for conversions, factory repairs and so on. See British & Commonwealth Bayonets by Skennerton & Richardson, p348 and 351: they write that it is particularly common to see MkIIIs stamped as MkIIs. The scabbard is noticeably longer than it needs to be for the bayonet – it is a full-length No.1 model.
These bayonets were made to fit the many SMLE No. 1 rifles made at Ishapore. Over time Indian bayonets became progressively simplified: the MkIII differed from the MkII in having a squared pommel and straight grips (without the curve to the belly of the grip found on other 1907 Patterns).
The blade has some grinding marks from manufacture, and one small area of cleaned pitting toward the tip on one side. Small areas of patination to the hilt, hilt and pommel largely retain their original finish. Some small dents to the wood grips. The locking button is fully functional. The scabbard leather is good with only small bumps and abrasions to its surface. Some storage grease may remain in the scabbard.