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Hessian Bayonet?

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Hey guys, I picked this bayonet up the other day and wanted to see what you think. I bought this one and a civil war one from a guy I get stuff from, and I think the one might be Hessian in style, but you decide. The bayonet is exactly 12 inches long, and the socket is aout 2 and 3/4. The only mark I see is "A No. 86" on the socket. Does anyone know about this bayonet?







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The style seems to be that called by collectors "Dutch," which is shorthand not only for Holland but for the various German states as well: relatively flat hexagonal blade, bar shoulder, heavy socket with three-step mortise. These are associated with early imports to Britain to supplement Brown Bess production as well as use by German states. I don't think anyone has untangled it all, but Erik Goldstein's book on Brown Bess bayonets deals with them. For a brief time it looked liked the versions of this bayonet that shift to a flat rectangular bar instead of edged blade near the base were Hessian (from an excavated relic find), but American use of an earlier "Dutch" variant could not be ruled out.

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This is the later short shank variant of the Dutch/Liege socket bayonet, ca. 1750. Very nice find. As Steve indicates, Goldstein's book, The Socket Bayonet in the British Army 1687-1783, covers these bayonets very well.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello JCF - Great find for 100 bucks. What you have is exactly what the other threads state it is. Dutch/Germanic bayonet/French and Indian Wars/Rev War. I wanted to add a little comment regarding the NO. 86 on the socket. The number generally references the individual in the company/regiment. The 86th man for instance. I have seen variations on the sockets C/86 on other bayonets. Company C, 86th man. I collect Rev War bayonets and I am always interested in seeing pictures of new finds as well as purchasing bayonets for the collection. Thanks for sharing.

Mark P. Fraterrigo


Yankee Trader Relics

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  • 6 months later...

I have an almost twin to the OP's bayonet. The 2 3/4", bottom stud, open socket is marked with "!P 14" with a 12 1/2" flat blade that is six sided, having a small guard like the OP's blade. Even the almost open weld seam shows on my socket. The inside of the socket is much larger than an 1795 Springfield musket barrel.

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