Under the Hammer: A Type 62 Pattern 1907 Siamese Bayonet
Blog by Tessa & Moog
We often see rare, exciting, and unique items come through the Auction Barn doors - especially when it comes to swords, daggers, bayonets, and the many other types of edged weapons out there. We’ve previously had some stunning pieces, including a sword associated with the Light Horse, blades from the Luftwaffe, an Indian Rajput Katar and a Napoleonic Era French Sabre.
Last week we were very happy to receive another incredibly cool piece of history, with another Bayonet coming through the front door. A fairly common bayonet, the British Pattern 1907 Sword Bayonet - which was used with the .303 short magazine Lee-Enfield rifle (SMLE) - were widely used by the British, Australia and the rest of the Commonwealth, both in World War I and World War II.
To Left: Our Star Piece - a Type 92 Pattern 1907 Bayonet, in excellent condition
The story doesn’t end there. Whilst we’ve handled British Pattern 1907 Bayonets before, this one featured some unusual markings to the ricasso, including the face of a roaring tiger and Tamil writing, despite the very British make. Thanks to the research efforts of our vendor, we discovered quickly it was a Type 62, a rebadged form of the Pattern 1907, and marked with the tiger figural of the Wild Tiger Corps of Siam. In 1919, Siam purchased 10,000 SMLE rifles and Pattern 1907 bayonets from British stocks for the Wild Tiger Corps, the personal bodyguards of Vajiravudh or King Rama VI (who reigned 1910-1925). The Wild Tiger Corps also established a branch for children called Tiger Cubs inspired by the American Boy Scout movement!
Produced earlier in the war, and then rebadged with the Tiger Corps figural by the Birmingham Small Arms (BSA), the bayonets were shipped from England in their standard leather steel-mounted scabbards. What they didn’t anticipate was the ability of leather to survive the humid, tropical climate of Siam - and soon many of the scabbards had deteriorated completely, with the Siamese then produced their own replacement scabbards by brazing the original steel mounts such as the throat and chape.
To Right: Detail of the Ricasso, featuring the Roaring Tiger of the Wild Tiger Corps
Unfortunately, our example does not include its replacement scabbard - However, the condition of the bayonet overall easily outshines this fact. This bayonet has been well looked after with minimal surface rust and pitting on the blade and hilt, and the tiger face and Thai script is easily recognisable. Measuring 56cm in length, this bayonet makes a fine, highly sought-after collectors’ piece and a rare appearance in the Australian Militaria market.
Keep your eyes peeled for this bayonet, amongst other pieces of militaria and collectables, in our December Militaria auction, just in time for a great late Christmas present! We're still taking late consignments for this auction, so please let us know if you'd like to enter a piece or to get an evaluation.
If you have any questions about this item, or any others, please email our Militaria specialist at [email protected], or give us a call on (02) 6239 2095.
Beechworth RSL Sub-Branch (2021) 'Bayonet, 1907', identifier 0029.1, via. Victorian Collections, VIC, Australia, accessed via: <https://victoriancollections.net.au/items/5d43841a21ea6714d414b7d4>
Warwick & Warwick Auctioneers (2021, April 18th), 'Lot 93: A Siamese Type 62 British Pattern 1907 Bayonet', in Coins, Medals, and Banknotes Sale 916, England (Online Auction) accessed via: <https://www.warwickandwarwick.com/auctions/archived/275489>