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Mervyn Mitton

Sawbacked Edged Weapons

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Sawbacked bayonets and swords are very collectable - and command a premium above the

straight bladed versions.

Over the years - particularly in the 19th Century, there were many variations. Some of them

rarer then others. This would be a good time and place to put together some details on these

different patterns - and, covering all Countries.

Should you have access to pictures - local museum exhibits - or, better still , in your own collection,

then please include them under this thread. Should be interesting to see how many we can find ?

The following picture shows three examples - all rare.

..................................................... http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_10_2012/post-6209-0-87890500-1349443269.jpgclick .......................................

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These are all rare examples - from the top, downwards.

1. This is the British Pioneer Sword - note. it is a sword not a bayonet. In use for only about 50 years

it was phased out near the beginning of the 20th Century. We have shown them on this Forum in

previous posts - rarely does it come complete with the sheath.

2. This is the German 98/05 Butcher Blade sawback. One of the most sought after of all Bayonets.

There is also a version without the sawback. Called the Butcher Blade because of the way the end

of the blade swells out - just like a butcher's blade of that period. It is not the longest German

bayonet - there is a much longer version carried by the Artillery.

3. This is one of the longest and rarest of the many British bayonets. It is the 1879 Artillery pattern and

what makes it particularly rare is the curved wrap around guard - normally found on swords.

The bayonet is 31.5 inches long (78,75cm) The blade is 26 inches (65cm) and the sawback part

9.5 inches (23.75). A really formidable weapon. I will be doing a post on this one.

The purpose of the Sawback was for cutting down brush and small trees that could interfere with firing,

also, to prepare a site for a bivouac.

............................................................http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_10_2012/post-6209-0-00911100-1349443559.jpgclick...................................................

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I've got several saw-backed Butchers,but this is the only pic I can find.Saw-back is in center.

Edited by Rich Yankowski

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I've got several saw-backed Butchers,but this is the only pic I can find.Saw-back is in center.

Very nice!

Out of interest, is any of them unit stamped?

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Very nice!

Out of interest, is any of them unit stamped?

I'll have to dig them out and see,the pic is about 8 years old and they have since gone into 'storage',but I know some of my 08's were unit marked.

The center one in this pic had the saw back removed and was reissued after the first world war.Also note that the top bayo has the high eared crossguard,as do all in the first pic,while the bottom two have low ears.I believe the high eared style was discontinued in 1916.

Edited by Rich Yankowski

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I have the typical Butcher blade sawback and also the Swiss

version which is considerably longer.

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I have the typical Butcher blade sawback and also the Swiss

version which is considerably longer.

Lets see the swiss one, i dont know any like that.

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Rich - nice to see these examples of the 'Butcher blade'. I am sure you know the current value of the sawback version -

quite frightening.

I know Chris has some fine examples of sawbacks and it would be nice to add them to this thread. I had hoped we would

have had more examples - however, I think it is one of those threads that doesn't get a lot of visitors.

Chris - I'm not sure having all three of these threads under one intro. heading attracts attention. What do you think - should we ask Nick if they could be split ?

Greg - for such rare items there seem to be several within the Forum. The Swiss one - although longer and impressive - does not

have quite the interest the German one . Congrats on a 1st in the Photo Comp. Mervyn

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Hi Mervyn,. will add them to the thread when I get a mo.

Let keep them seperate, the more the merrier. The GSWA thread is a good specialist thread, this one can catch all.

best

Chris

P.S. Greg... did you bribe the judges??????

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Here is a picture of the Swiss next to my butcher blade.

I bought the Swiss bayo from our local surplus store back in 1969

when I was 13 years old. I think I paid $8 for it.

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Chris---I would never resort to bribes.

Mervyn, The Swiss bayo is on it's way as promised. :-)

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Love to get a Swiss one myself,especially if I could get it for $8!

The British also had a sawback bayo,but I believe it was pre-WW1.

Edited by Rich Yankowski

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Rich - some more good examples - you have an impressive collection.

The British have had quite a number of sawback bayonets - mostly dating back to the 19th C. I show above, the

rare Artillery Bayonet from the 1870's.

Do you have more 'tucked ' away - if so please post them - all add to our knowledge. Mervyn

Greg - too late to bribe me - you've already won a prize.

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Very nice grouping of sawbacked bayonets terrylee.

Here is a photo of one of the rarest British swords and one that I recently acquired for my collection. This is a Pattern 1816 Baker Rifleman's Sword that is usually misidentified as a Pioneer or Artillery Privates hanger. I will go into the documentation supporting this identification in "Lets Talk British Swords" later when time permits. 

These were issued before the Baker Rifle was "fitted" for the familiar sword bayonet and when the Baker used with the then familiar socket bayonet,( I have two such Bakers in my collection), and it was decided that the rifleman needed a sidearm since a socket bayonet is of limited use when not attached to the firearm..

Regards

Brian

 

1816 baker rifle sword.JPG

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59 minutes ago, J Temple-West said:

The only sawbacked bayo I've ever owned....

M1884-98 Mauser Bayonet for NCO.

 

 

 

58 minutes ago, J Temple-West said:

T

What a beauty! What does it say on the back of the spine???

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Interesting.... there was a reason why some have 2 maker stamps, I am getting old and the memory fades... I think it had something to do with refurbishment

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I believe that the crown over Erfurt stamp was the acceptance mark for the Imperial arsenal in Erfurt - Thuringia....the mark with the thin crown being used from 1911 to 1917.

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2 hours ago, J Temple-West said:

I believe that the crown over Erfurt stamp was the acceptance mark for the Imperial arsenal in Erfurt - Thuringia....the mark with the thin crown being used from 1911 to 1917.

Hi, I did some research, it seems that in this case Heller made the blade, the royal Arsenal in Erfurt assembled the bayonet... the acceptance stamp is always on top of the blade, just above the hilt.

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On 06/01/2020 at 21:28, Chris Boonzaier said:

Hi, I did some research, it seems that in this case Heller made the blade, the royal Arsenal in Erfurt assembled the bayonet... the acceptance stamp is always on top of the blade, just above the hilt.

It is still not entirely clear why some bayonets are double-marked like this although the accepted explanation is that the mark on the right hand ricasso is the blade maker, and the mark on the left the bayonet finisher, i.e. the concern that made it ready for use. The Gebruder Heller bayonets on record are all dated to between 1915-1917, but it seems that only the sawbacked versions have the Erfurt stamp. My feeling and explanation for this is that Heller did not have the equipment for adding the sawback. Gebr.Heller did make cold saws, but the teeth of a sawback have to be set diagonally to each other just as is the case with a wood-cutting saw to create the necessary kerf.

Trajan

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Incidentally, as most will know, the sawbacked versions of the 98/05, etc., formed 6% of each distribution per unit (except pioniers). Yet when looking at unit-marked versions of 98/05's, they have surived in greater numbers than 6%. Obviously, these were the ones chosen as 'bring-backs' over the plain types.

 

Note also, it is a da** sight harder to find a sawback removed than one with a sawback! It took me 9 years of searching shops and flea markets to eventually find one!

Trajan

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