British Lee Enfield 1907 Pattern Bayonet with Unusual Reverse-Seam Scabbard, Dated 1915 by Sanderson
Straight single-fullered knife blade, steel hilt with muzzle ring, wood slab grips secured by two screws, steel beaked pommel with oil hole and locking button. Unusual black leather No. 1 Mk 2 scabbard with stitched seam on the front side, steel locket & round frog stud and steel chape piece. Dark brown leather frog with buckled scabbard retaining strap.
The ricasso is stamped on one side with a crown and ‘G.R.’ (Georgius Rex, i.e. King George V) over 1907 (the pattern) ‘9 ‘15’, indicating the manufacture date of September 1915, and the maker’s mark ‘Sanderson’. On the other side it is stamped with a ‘broad arrow’ War Department stores mark, three crown inspection marks with ‘E’ from Enfield and an ‘X’ indicating that it passed a manufacturer’s bending test. The leather of the scabbard is stamped with ‘Ca1928’ and ‘CAS’. The scabbard locket is stamped next to the staple with ‘7J’ and a cursive ‘B’.
The stand-out feature on this bayonet is its unusually constructed scabbard, which has its seam running down the front panel on the same side as the frog stud, the reverse of the usual arrangement. ‘Double-stitched’ scabbards with seams on both the front and back sides were produced in Australia in the 1920s, which allowed smaller pieces of leather to be used in their construction, but why one would be produced anywhere with this single reversed seam is unclear.
The attached belt frog is the British Pattern 1914. The 1-inch wide strap riveted to the reverse of the frog to attach the helve carrier accessory has been cut off: this is a common modification presumably made after the corresponding entrenching tool was declared obsolete in 1923. Pattern 1914 belt frogs remained in service even after the rest of the belt equipment of that generation was withdrawn in 1921, so it may be a contemporary pair with the 1928-dated scabbard.
The blade has a bright finish, with a few spots of patination towards the point. The tip is rounded. Some blueing at the ricasso, over original grinding marks. Some denting to the wood grips on both sides, three pinhole-like indentations on one side. The hilt, pommel and scabbard parts all have a bright finish with some polishing marks. The scabbard leather is undamaged with very little wear.