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WW1 German Ersatz Socket (ERSOC) ES7 -14 Bayonet (Published Example)

WW1 German Ersatz Socket (ERSOC) ES7 -14 Bayonet (Published Example)

$1,125.00
Product code: 12

Availability: SOLD

Quick Overview:

Extremely Rare Ersatz Socket ‘ERSOC’ Type ES 7 utilising the blade from a Swiss Canton C.1850 bayonet made in Liège.  This actual bayonet is pictured on page 275 of Roy Williams seminal reference ‘The Collectors Book of German Bayonets 1680-1945 Part Two’ as bayonet number 621.  It has been classified as ES7 14 by Roy Williamswho states that its fitted with a ‘Type A hilt using the blade from a Swiss Canton C.1850 socket bayonet made in Liège (Belgium). This bayonet is fitted with a Type VII ersatz scabbard, now missing its frogstud, but otherwise in very good condition.  These Ersatz (German for substitute) Socket bayonets are often described by collectors as ERSOC bayonets, a name derived from combining the two words Ersatz and Socket. Roy Williams comments that ES7 examples are ‘very rare’.

Details

Extremely Rare Ersatz Socket ‘ERSOC’ Type ES 7 utilising the blade from a Swiss Canton C.1850 bayonet made in Liège. 

This actual bayonet is pictured on page 275 of Roy Williams seminal reference ‘The Collectors Book of German Bayonets 1680-1945 Part Two’ as bayonet number 621.  It has been classified as ES7 14 by Roy Williamswho states that its fitted with a ‘Type A hilt using the blade from a Swiss Canton C.1850 socket bayonet made in Liège (Belgium). This bayonet is fitted with a Type VII ersatz scabbard, now missing its frogstud, but otherwise in very good condition.  These Ersatz (German for substitute) Socket bayonets are often described by collectors as ERSOC bayonets, a name derived from combining the two words Ersatz and Socket. Roy Williams comments that ES7 examples are ‘very rare’. 

The introduction of these 'Ersatz' bayonets dates back to the early days of WW1, when Germany could not meet, from existing stocks and production facilities, the increased demand for equipment from the rapidly expanding Imperial German Forces. Attempts were therefore made to supplement the regular issue with simplified patterns. As no approved pattern was defined, many different variants exist, amongst these was an assortment of old socket bayonets that were completely re-hilted by the Germans. The socket was removed, the elbow reshaped to form a new blade tang, then fitted with either a cast brass or steel hilt to fit the Gewehr 88 and 98 rifles and also some captured weapons. Ersatz bayonets were by definition simple, mass produced and by pre-war standards, crude, weapons designed to fill a gap.  Many different types were produced and most, had plain steel hilts with integral pommel and grips and fullered or plain blades. Socket bladed types are rare.  All were issued with a field-grey painted finish, although very few socket bladed types still retain their original finish.  The combination of hilt and socket blade on this bayonet makes it very unusual. 

Ersatz Socket bladed bayonets were issued with one of ten different variants of thin zinc coated or steel scabbards, soldered down the side seam and fitted with a throat shaped for the issued socket blade. This example is fitted with a Type VII scabbard of painted zinc coated steel, with a large shaped scabbard throat, rounded finial and now missing small steel teardrop frogstud.  A simple riveted internal spring secures the bayonet in the scabbard.  These scabbards were relatively fragile and are very often missing even when the bayonet exists.  This Type VII scabbard is in very good condition with evidence of use consistent with age and use and still retains traces of its original painted finish around the frogstud (see picture).  A photograph of a two Landwehr soldiers, the right hand one carrying a similar pattern bayonet, is attached for reference.

Roy Williams describes this bayonet as ‘ a two piece cast steel hilt with seven diagonal grooves and open type muzzle ring. Triangular steel blade with an almost square shaped fuller, the ricasso stamped with a single German Crown A acceptance mark below the Swiss number 90’ (see pictures).

It is generally accepted amongst collectors that Ersatz bayonets with obsolete socket blades are amongst the rarest of First World War bayonets. What makes this example particularly special, apart from its rarity, is the fact that it’s a published example.  Bayonets used to illustrate reference works rarely come up for sale and a bayonet like this which appears in the definitive reference for German Ersatz types is even less common.

Additional Information

Weight (kg) 1.0000
Country of Origin German
Pattern Ersatz Socket ES7 14
Bayonet Type Socket
Maker U/k utilising Swiss Canton C.1850 with single German acceptance mark
Year of Manufacture (circa) No
Overall Length (mm) 561
Blade Length (mm) 444
Blade Width (at guard) (mm) 21.9
Scabbard Type VII, Painted zinc with fixing stud - see picture
Overall Length of Scabbard (mm) 490
Frog No