AN EXCEPTIONALLY RARE BRITISH 'ELCHO' SAW-BACK BAYONET FOR THE MARTINI-HENRY SERVICE RIFLE,
circa 1872, with elongated leaf-shaped spear-point 19 3/4in. blade, broad fullers for two-thirds of its length on both sides, saw-backed for half its length, stamped at the ricasso 'WD' with a broad arrow and an ordnance mark (the mark repeated on the back edge), the reverse with a Victorian crown over 'VR', straight iron cross-guard with muzzle-ring and swollen quillion, chequered composite grips and iron pommel, light staining, darker to grip and no scabbard
Other Notes: The inspector's stamps would suggest Enfield manufacture. The total production of Ordnance manufactured Elcho bayonets was about 1,600, with principle production being in 1872 when 1,473 were produced. They were supplied to the 86th Regiment at the Cape and 1st Bn. 60th Rifles in Nova Scotia for troop trials, being shipped in September of that year, together with the units' new Martini Henry Rifles. An additional 100 bayonets were manufactured and inspected at Enfield in 1874 for trial in the UK with the Martini Henry Artillery Carbine. However, these bayonets were all individually numbered from 1 to 100 on the ricasso by the inspection mark.
Returns of Army Stores at Weedon in 1920 stated a total of 1003 Elcho bayonets being held, with 117 in 'serviceable' condition and a further 886 in 'doubtful' condition. It is believed that they were sold out of service the following year.
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