COLLECTION: Mechanical Arts & Arms

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"Dutch" flat-bladed bayonet

ca.1740-1760
Origin: Europe, Low Countries
Socket: 2 7/8" Blade: 11 7/8" x 1 3/16" Overall: 15 7/8"
Iron & steel
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2004-6
Classic, unaltered form of the "Dutch" flat-bladed bayonet of the middle part of the 18th century with a two-step mortise and a hexagonal section blade.
Label:The British Board of Ordnance had been purchasing arms from the Low Countries at least since the reign of Henry VIII. Tens of thousands of so-called "Dutch" muskets & bayonets had arrived at the Tower of London between 1706 and 1759, where they were put into store.

Compared to a British "Brown Bess" bayonet, these Dutch flat-bladed bayonets don't even come close to measuring up. They are much shorter, much lighter in construction, and weaker in design.

Since these arms were clearly second-rate, many of them were sent to North America to satisfy the demands of the colonial governments who needed arms to fight the French & Indian War. Documents in the Public Record Office in London show that Virginia received 2000 Dutch muskets with their flat-bladed bayonets in 1754, while North Carolina received 1000 sets at the same time.
Mark(s):Small sickle shaped mark on the front of the shank where it joins the socket.
Inscription(s):Rear of the socket engraved with a very large "45" (a weapon number).