French M1886 Lebel Bayonet, Scarce Steel Grip Version
Straight cruciform epee blade, steel hilt with muzzle ring and rotating locking catch, black painted steel grip, tubular steel scabbard, brown leather frog.
This bayonet pattern fitted to the M1886 Lebel and M1907 Berthier rifles used by the French Army during WW1. The black-painted steel grip was an expediency measure to increase production – cupro-nickel was the original material, which was then replaced with brass or steel, of which steel is rarer.
The blade is in good condition, with only a few small dings. The black paint of the grip is almost completely intact, only a small area showing flaking on one side. The hilt appears to have been blued and then likewise painted - some wear on raised edges which reveals the blueing or the steel beneath. The scabbard is likewise painted with some small areas of flaking, and is free of dents. The brown leather frog is flexible with no damage and only light surface rubbing in high-wear areas. Its brass buckle has an even patina.