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British/Australian Patt.1853 Enfield Rifle Socket Bayonet – Queensland Marked

British/Australian Patt.1853 Enfield Rifle Socket Bayonet – Queensland Marked

$375.00
Product code: 70

Availability: SOLD

Quick Overview:

A VERY GOOD COLONIAL ERA BRITISH ENFIELD MANUFACTURED PATTERN 1853 SOCKET BAYONET AND EARLY TYPE (1853-1860), WAR DEPARTMENT MARKED, SCABBARD WITH QUEENSLAND MILITIA FORCES MARKS AND DESIGNED FOR USE WITH THE PATTERN 1853 ENFIELD AND SNIDER ENFIELD LONG RIFLED MUSKET. This very good early original Pattern 1853 Bayonet, is one of the first 20,020 ordered from Birmingham manufacturers in 1853. This particular example is fitted with a War Department (WD) marked Early Pattern 1853 Scabbard and is engraved with an early Queensland Militia Forces (Volunteer) mark; Qf V 504.

Details

A VERY GOOD COLONIAL ERA BRITISH ENFIELD MANUFACTURED PATTERN 1853 SOCKET BAYONET AND EARLY TYPE (1853-1860), WAR DEPARTMENT MARKED, SCABBARD WITH QUEENSLAND MILITIA FORCES MARKS AND DESIGNED FOR USE WITH THE PATTERN 1853 ENFIELD AND SNIDER ENFIELD LONG RIFLED MUSKET.    This very good early original Pattern 1853 Bayonet, is one of the first 20,020 ordered from Birmingham manufacturers in 1853.  This particular example is fitted with a War Department (WD) marked Early Pattern 1853 Scabbard and is engraved with an early Queensland Militia Forces (Volunteer) mark; Qf V 504

This pattern of bayonet has the distinction of being the first universal issue blade used by the British Army to employ a locking device.  It was also widely accepted as the most popular bayonet imported for both sides during the American Civil War: as Hardin says in his book on American bayonets "it was undoubtedly the best arm purchased abroad". A photograph of infantrymen from the 3rd of Foot in the Crimea carrying similar bayonets is attached to this listing for reference.

With regard to Australian service, a significant number of Pattern 1853 Enfield and Snider Enfield rifles were supplied, with Pattern 1853 socket bayonets, to the Colonial Governments.  While the rifles were usually colonially marked the bayonets were only occasionally so as a consequence it is difficult to guarantee an Australian provenance for Pattern 1853's.  This bayonet was purchased from Rockhampton in Queensland and is engraved with an early Queensland Militia Forces (Volunteer) mark on the frog stud.  Attached to this listing for Reference is an excellent period photograph from the Australian War Memorial of Private Thomas Clarke of the New South Wales Volunteer Rifle Corps posing with his ‘3 band’ Enfield Rifle and with a Pattern 1853 bayonet attached to his belt.

Prior to 1859, the area that now constitutes Queensland was formally part of the colony of New South Wales, and therefore came under New South Wales' military protection. After being granted self government, Queensland immediately set about raising militia forces. By March, 1860, a troop of volunteer mounted rifles had been raised. They were soon joined by units of infantry and cavalry, and later supplemented by artillery. These men were all volunteers, but unlike the other Australian colonies of the time, they received government subsidies and grants for the purchase of equipment and ammunition. This was soon broadened to include grants of fifty acres of land upon completion of five years of consecutive service. By 1876, the forces amounted to an inadequate 412 men in total. Steps were taken to improve the situation, including the passing of the Volunteer Act (1878), which encouraged citizens to undertake training, and saw the numbers of men increase to 1219 by 1880.

The Pattern 1853 was designed for use with the Pattern 1853 Enfield Rifled Musket and employed a locking ring on a French style triangular tapered blade with fullers on all faces.  The blade was of the best cast steel and the socket was of welded on to it.  On October 6th, 1853 orders were placed for 20,020 rifles and bayonets from 7 Birmingham contractors at a cost of 7 Shillings and 6 Pence per bayonet.  This bayonet is part of that initial production. The Royal Small Arms Factory (RSAF) Enfield began production of Pattern 1853 bayonets in 1856 and continued to produce them until 1873.

The Pattern 1853 Enfield socket bayonet continued in service throughout the life of the Enfield Muzzle loader and also the Snider Enfield Conversion (early breech loader), and was bushed in 1871 for use with the Martini-Henry rifle.  The bayonet was used by the British Army in all of it's major campaigns of the period until finally being declared obsolete in 1875.  These campaigns included the Crimea, the Indian Mutiny and the Zulu war.  Interestingly, many Pattern 1853 bayonets were shipped to North America in the early 1860's where they equipped both United States and Confederate forces during the Civil War. A photograph of a civil war soldier holding a ‘2 band’ Enfield Rifle with Pattern 1853 bayonet attached is also shown on this listing.

The bayonet was very highly rated by soldiers on both sides of the Atlantic and throughout the Empire.  One of it's most ardent devotees was the Duke of Wellington, then (1853) in his last year as Commander-in-Chief of the British Army.  Indeed, Lord Hardinge his successor was also sufficiently impressed to order that it be adopted as the standard bayonet for 'all future firearms'. 

This is a very good example of a seminal British and colonial bayonet. A steel socket bayonet with locking ring and triangular fullered blade tapering back to a socket and shank in very good original condition and it's brass and leather ‘Early Type’ in excellent original condition.  The blade is in first class original condition with an excellent patina consistent with age and use. 

The blade shank is stamped with an inspectors mark of a Crown over X over 5 and what appears to be a partial X blade bending proof. The Early Pattern 1853 Scabbard is War Department Broad Arrow (WD) marked which indicates that this bayonet was employed in British Imperial or Colonial service (see picture).  The original brass and leather scabbard is an 'Early Type' manufactured between 1853 and 1860 with a separate frog stud and a locket secured by four punch fixings.  The frog stud is engraved with an early Queensland Militia Forces (Volunteer) mark; Qf V 504.  This 'Early Type' scabbard which is in excellent condition would have been manufactured as part of the initial batch of 20,020 rifles and bayonets produced in 1853.

Maker: Enfield
Overall Length: 527.0 mm
Blade Length:  440.0 mm
MRD:  20.0 mm
Blade Width (at guard):  21.0 mm
Original Scabbard Length:  465.0 mm

This is a very original example of a highly sought after bayonet from the first production batch with a clear Queensland Militia Forces Mark.  You won’t find a better Australian marked example of this iconic British and Colonial blade.

Additional Information

Weight (kg) 1.0000
Country of Origin Australian, British
Pattern Pattern 1853 Bayonet
Bayonet Type Socket
Maker RSAF Enfield
Year of Manufacture (circa) 1853
Overall Length (mm) 527
Blade Length (mm) 440
Blade Width (at guard) (mm) 21
Scabbard Early Pattern 1853 Scabbard
Overall Length of Scabbard (mm) 465
Frog No