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British 1840 Pattern Constabulary Carbine Socket Bayonet

£375.00
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British 1840 Pattern Constabulary Socket Bayonet by S Hill 2
British 1840 Pattern Constabulary Socket Bayonet by S Hill 3
British 1840 Pattern Constabulary Socket Bayonet by S Hill 4
British 1840 Pattern Constabulary Socket Bayonet by S Hill 5
British 1840 Pattern Constabulary Socket Bayonet by S Hill 6
British 1840 Pattern Constabulary Socket Bayonet by S Hill 7
British 1840 Pattern Constabulary Socket Bayonet by S Hill 8
British 1840 Pattern Constabulary Socket Bayonet by S Hill 9
British 1840 Pattern Constabulary Socket Bayonet by S Hill 10
British 1840 Pattern Constabulary Socket Bayonet by S Hill 11
Description

Triangular blade with unfullered top surface and fullered lower surfaces. A leaf spring ending in a catch and teardrop button sits in a groove on the upper surface of the blade, retained by a single screw. Black leather scabbard with brass locket, frog hook and chape piece.

The ricasso of the blade forward of the spring is marked with a crown inspection mark over B, meaning inspected at Birmingham, as well as ‘S. HILL’, indicating the manufacturer Stephen Hill, who traded from Pritchett Street in Birmingham from around 1830, then changed the trade name to S. Hill & Sons from 1849-1855. The mark ‘XII’ has been struck into the rear rim of the socket.  as pictured. The socket is inscribed with ‘G 114 11932’. The leather of the scabbard is stamped with a broad arrow over ‘WD’, indicating War Department property.

These bayonets and the carbine they fit were originally tailored specifically for the needs of the Royal Irish Constabulary by George Lovell, Inspector of Small Arms at the Board of Ordnance. The sprung catch locks the bayonet into its scabbard until the catch is disengaged by pressing down the spring, so that it could not be easily pulled from the scabbard and used against an officer in a riot or other dangerous situation. This may be the first historical example of what the police would now term ‘weapon retention’, a form of which is now standard on all police sidearm holsters. These are the only British bayonets that ever incorporated such a feature – a spring on the blade was considered too costly a refinement for the regular military issue bayonet. This example is shaped to fit onto a rifle using the 'Lovell catch' attachment system, intended to be an improvement on the previous 'Hanoverian catch'. This along with its manufacturer puts the production date of this example as between 1844 and 1849.

The blade is fairly clean, with only very small areas of patination. The socket has an original dark finish. Two dents to the locket. The scabbard leather is very good with only very minor surface rubbing. The chape piece has many dents, one quite large, although this does not impede the smooth sheathing of the blade. A small piece of brass has broken off the chape on its upper edge. The unique locking mechanism works perfectly.

 

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