1879 Pattern Sawback Artillery Bayonet - Help with Marks

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James B
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:54 pm

1879 Pattern Sawback Artillery Bayonet - Help with Marks

Post by James B » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:29 pm


I am reasonably new to antique sword/bayonet collecting and am always looking to learn something new.

I recently acquired an 1879 Pattern Sawback Artillery Bayonet, which I am very pleased with but have a few questions.

I am aware that the 1879 pattern is a scarce 'blade' with only around 70,000 made of all 'marks'. Wilkinson were awarded a contract to produce 2000 in 1890, and this is where my questions begin.

Pictures attached.

My 'blade' was made in April 1892 (4 92), putting it in the correct time frame.

It has two clear W inspection marks on each side of the ricasso, this lead me to believe that Wilkinson had made it as there are only two inspection marks on the blade and both are Wilkinson, can someone confirm/debunk? The inspector's ID number is consistent both sides (49) implying that both marks were made by the same person at the same or a similar time.

'Official' Wilkinson 1879 pattern's tend to have a horizontal "WILKINSON" across the ricasso, however mine does not hence why I'm here...

I have seen a couple of sites retailing 1879 pattern's with just W marks as Wilkinson's but why would Wilkinson brand some of their blades and not others if this is the case? Is it something to do with it possibly being a Colonial issue weapon.

It also has a gold 'bend test mark', I have never seen this before on an NCO's weapon. Can anyone elaborate on this?

Thanks in advance,

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Posts: 115
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:27 pm

Re: 1879 Pattern Sawback Artillery Bayonet - Help with Marks

Post by Will » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:47 am

Appears to have normal markings, the X may have gold paint or something in it, Wilkinsons never made gold X's. Earlier 1887p bayonets had the Wilkinson name on the ricasso, I suspect later made bayonets were not marked due to cost saving measures. The 49 W is a Wilkinson inspector so you're correct these are Wilkinson made.

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