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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at an Imperial German bayonet made in WWI. It has what appears to be all the proper and expected German markings, cypher, etc. But it also has a four digit numeral stamped on the ricasso. What would be the meaning of the 4 digit number and why would it have that? It's not in the format of the typical regimental marking and it's clearly stamped. It's also not 1920, by the way, and does not appear to be a date. It looks more like the numeric stamp you typically see on WWII bayonets, but has no letter suffix.

I've noticed more than one like this, so I'm sure some of you guys will know the explanation. I'm still relatively new with my bayonet interests and continuing with my learning curve.
 

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That may be the case Carl, but I suspect from the description that it is one of a group of 98/05 bayonets with matching ricasso and scabbard serial numbers like the one below belonging to our mate Sawdoc, in this case marked on the reverse of the ricasso and the reverse of the scabbard.



In addition to that one I have recorded four others marked like it in the same style:

[A] one marked '6078' on the reverse ricasso and the reverse of the scabbard
one marked '1516' on the reverse of the scabbard, and '2289' on the
obverse of the ricasso, but in a somewhat different font and style than what is used on the others.
[C] one marked
'174' on the reverse of the scabbard, and (according to the seller) also on the obverse of the ricasso (this is the only example I know of that is also '1920' marked).
[D] one marked '1681' on the reverse ricasso.

Photographs and other details of all of these can be seen at:
http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=210098&hl=

The general opinion among some bayonet collectors is that as all of these seem to have been blued, they are post WW1 re-issues to the police, even though only one has the '1920' marking'.

Trajan
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, the bayonet I'm considering is a 98/05. The 4 digit stamp is on the ricasso opposite the manufacturer's mark. The scabbard doesn't have a similar number, but who's to say for sure how long they've been together. And there is no sign of it ever having been blued that I can see.
 

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As far as I know, the 4 digit accountability numbers were from WW1 German use, some say they are Bavarian but I have no confirmation of that. I have seen several with the numbers that were said to be bring backs by US veterans of the First World War including one Sg98/05 with matching scabbard that was in the trunk with a complete uniform and other items in the estate of a WW1 veteran of the 29th Division. It was a local auction about 25 years ago and the family was selling the estate of the recently deceased vet, a family member purchased the trunk with all items so fortunately it stayed with the family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Pics Added

So, I did eventually acquire the bayonet I was considering. Now I can show you the 4 digit number stamped on the blade in a pic. It is a Bavarian bayonet, TP, if that adds any useful data to a hypothesis about the explanation for the stamping.

I'd appreciate any comments on the bayonet more generally. I'm still new to this field and learning. This bayonet is in above average condition from what I've been seeing. The blade is really nice with no pitting and very little discoloration. Guard and pommel do show discoloration, but no pitting to speak of. Grips are in good condition and not beat up. There are a few dents on the flashguard. And importantly, it fits quite nicely on my Bavarian rifle (GEW98 Amberg 1916).

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The scabbard is too serialed? on ball finial ? the serial numbers looks like inventory it could be made postwar too.
No, there is no number on the scabbard. The only mark I find on the scabbard is one pictured on the throat. And I'm not sure what that one is called either, though I see it there an many if not most of the scabbards. I assume it's an inspection mark.
 

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No, there is no number on the scabbard. The only mark I find on the scabbard is one pictured on the throat. And I'm not sure what that one is called either, though I see it there an many if not most of the scabbards. I assume it's an inspection mark.
Well, I for one, can't recall having seen that throat mark before, nor any others like it... But you, costnsg, seem to have a knack at finding odd-marked bayonets!

Trajan
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, it could be I'm lucky to find unusual ones, or it could also be I'm picking up the ones no one else wants! I won't fret over it much one way or the other. Thanks again for the interest and feedback. :)

Well, I for one, can't recall having seen that throat mark before, nor any others like it... But you, costnsg, seem to have a knack at finding odd-marked bayonets!

Trajan
 
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