Confederate Numbered P1859 Cutlass Bayonet
Offered here is a very scarce Confederate imported Pattern 1859 type II Cutlass Bayonet for the Pattern 1858 Naval Rifle.These bayonets feature a massive 27 1/4 inch blade and are nominally 33 inches in overall length. Although the bayonet could certainly serve as a cutlass it's heftiness and length must have made it very unwieldy as a bayonet.
While the 10,000 "short" Enfield rifles delivered as part of the second Sinclair, Hamilton & Company contract in the Spring of 1861 included some P1858 Naval Rifles, those rifles were specially ordered with conventional saber bayonets.
During the Summer of 1861 Commander James D. Bullock ordered 1,000 Pattern 1858 Naval Rifles for use by the Confederate Navy. These rifles were marked in the same manner as the P1858 Naval rifles delivered to the army; i.e. inventory numbers engraved on the tops of the rifles' buttplates and ramrods, and JS anchor viewers marks at the rear of their trigger guards. The Confederate Navy purchased rifles were, however, ordered with P-1859 Cutlass Bayonets. The bayonets were numbered to each rifle (1-1,000) on the left side of the bayonets hilt. The rifles, and their bayonets, were delivered at Savannah, Georgia on November 14, 1861 aboard the blockade runner Fingal.
With only 1,000 numbered Pattern 1859 type II Cutlass Bayonets ordered by the Confederate Navy they are exceedingly scarce today. Currently, less than 50 Confederate numbered Pattern 1859 type II Cutlass Bayonets are known to survive.
The example offered here is in relatively good condition, given the overall scarcity of these weapons. The iron components show a heavy chocolate patina with no signs of cleaning or sharpening to the blade. The metal parts, particularly the blade have moderate scattered pitting. The edge of the blade shows a number of small nicks, all of which have the same dark patina as the rest of the blade. The leather grips are loose from the hilt, although I don't think they are in danger of detaching. The right side grip retains a large amount of the original embossed checkering, while the right side grip has is more heavily worn. The locking spring is still present, however, the release button and locking bar have been broken off; based on the patina their loss was not recent. The left side of the pommel is engraved with the Confederate inventory number 922. Although there is some pitting on the pommel, all numbers are easily visible in person.
To date only 5 bayonets in the 900 range are known. This bayonet was previously unknown and is fresh to the collectors market. Although far from being a minty example this is still an excellent Confederate imported bayonet. This is a must have for the Confederate Navy collector, or the collector of Southern imported arms.