A Fine Antique Third Republic Model 1866 Chassepot Bayonet with Scabbard Dated 1874, #3267 Edged Weapons
A Fine Antique Third Republic Model 1866 Chassepot Bayonet with original scabbard, dated 1872. Made at the Saint Etienne Arsenal. Many inspector's and inventory marks. See photos. Matching #'s 33844. Minty blade with a thick layer of grease.
The classic French bayonet, the fifth in the Yataghan series of bayonets. Lighter than the original 1840 bayonet that started the family, the bayonet has the same brass hilt and double curved yataghan blade. Manufactured from 1866 until some time after the introduction of the 1874 Gras, the blade remained in service until around 1900 in ceremonial usage. The history of the Chassepot is somewhat confused due to three changes in the markings applied to the bayonet as production started in the 2nd empire period, continued through the Franco Prussian war Defense Nationale government and on into the 3rd Republic. In addition the blade was manufactured by several foreign suppliers during the FP war - including German manufacturers. I hope on this page to be able to identify the various markings found on the type, however this is probably never never to be completely resolved as there are several essentially similar bayonets that are often taken as being 1866's
To further confuse the situation, during the Franco Prussian war, especially during the siege of Paris, many Chassepot blades were utilized to make bayonets for Remington rifles bought in from the USA (originally destined for Egypt), giving rise to Remington hilted bayonets with Markings appropriate to the Chassepot bayonets.
There are large numbers of unknown markings, these may or may not be 1866 Chassepot bayonets, and the lack of identification may be a political move by Belgian and Dutch suppliers to provide France with blades but not upset the Germans. Similarly the German supplied blades were often remarked with French markings to hide their history.
An unconfirmed story has it that the Kaiser at the time in Germany, was asked if it was OK to supply France with bayonets during the Franco Prussian war. The answer apparently was, that it was perfectly alright as they would be getting them back soon enough anyway. Says something for the Kaisers confidence.
Please Note; This item is on exhibit 'for sale' at a Gallery called "GUY STUFF'. Please check on the availability before purchasing.