France WW1 M1874 Gras bayonet fighting dagger made from the “long sword” bayonet for Model 1874/1878 rifle; original cut-down matching-serial metal scabbard included. VERY rare WW1 bayonet-to-dagger conversion in great overall condition, considering the age.
Rare and very cool looking French Army WW1 era fighting dagger made from the hilt section of the French M1886/91 Lebel bayonet. Due to the shortage of fighting knives at the beginning of WW1 this type was used extensively by the French military during the dragged-out trench warfare. These modified “bayonet trench daggers” were popular with the French infantrymen as they provided to be much handier in the close-quarters fighting than sabers or standard issue extra-long Lebel rifle bayonets.
This specimen’s original “long” bayonet’s spike blade has been cut-down; muzzle ring, original cast-metal handle, and bayonet release mechanism had been removed. This dagger is about 13″ / 33 cm overall; spike blade is about 8-3/8″ / 21.2 cm. The dual-edge blade has been sharpened to a wicked edge; the blade is super-sharp on both sides, the needle-like tip is intact. The handle is a hand-carved solid chunk of wood secured to the dagger with a wide iron lug nut at the pommel; the wood has a gorgeous original deep-brown patina throughout. The guard a simple unmarked oval disk cut from brass. The wood has a couple of age-related dry cracks but in spite of the damage all handle parts are tight with no play.
The dagger comes with the original metal scabbard modified from the long tubular Lebel scabbard. About 90% of the original black finish on the scabbard remaining. The frog is original; belt loops seem to be filed-expedient add-on as the leather looks newer than the frog’s. The D-stud for the frog’s belt is arsenal-stamped with a letter M. Overall, the scabbard is tight and problem-free. Overall, this rare WW1 French M1886/91 Lebel bayonet fighting dagger / close quarters trench knife is in 100% serviceable condition still, even after 100+ years. Today most of the surviving WW1 era French “Lebel bayonet type” trench knives are in private collections & rarely come up for sale. Don’t miss your chance to add it to your collection!
This attractive and rare WW1 French M1886/91 Lebel bayonet fighting dagger/original scabbard have not been cleaned or tampered with in any way, the set is in 100% original “as is” condition. These are the actual photos; spent brass is not included with the lot 😉 I have a few more European WW1 era military knives and bayonets, as well as several scarce WW2 fighting daggers and trench knives from other countries available for sale – please take a look in our Militaria section.
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