British Scarce 1863 Pattern Whitworth Bayonet
Single-fullered ‘yataghan’ downward-curving blade, cross hilt with lower quillon with round finial, and upper quillon projecting from the muzzle ring. Black chequered grips of pressed leather, attached to the tang with three rivets on one side and four on the other. External leaf spring which actuates the locking catch, attached by a single screw. Steel beaked pommel with distinctive circular mortise slot of the Whitworth. No scabbard.
The pommel is stamped with ‘492’, probably an item or rack number. Both of the grips are stamped with a crown inspection mark, still very legible due to their good condition. The ricasso of the blade is stamped on one side with a crown over ‘VR’ (Victoria Regina) and on the other side with a crown inspection mark for Enfield. The back of the pommel bears the same inspection mark, and another similar is on the spine of the blade.
The Whitworth rifle was adopted on a trial basis by the British Army in 1863, to be issued in small numbers to a small group of infantry regiments. 8,206 Whitworth bayonets were recorded manufactured between 1863 and 1866, which including the usual overages in production probably resulted in around 9,000 total.
Metalwork has a quite dark patina and light pitting overall. The leather grips are very good, with little wear to the crisp chequering and only a few small dents. The scabbard for the much more common 1853 Pattern will fit this type.