English Plug Bayonet by John Hathaway, ca. 1690
Featuring tapering 11 ½" single-edged wedge-section blade, double-edged for the last 5
1/4". The forte is deeply stamped on one side with the Blazing Star mark assigned to John
Hathaway by the Worshipful Company of Cutlers of London on September 26, 1689 and
also an unidentified King’s Head mark (KH18 in R.D.C. Evans’ “The Plug Bayonet”).
While the King’s Head was a mark used by Solingen makers Weyersberg and Wundes,
this mark is clearly different, as all the German Kings Head marks are left facing profiles,
whereas this one is right facing. The brass hilt is of the type known as the Winged Figure
Series in Evans’ book and the slightly upturned quillons and pommel both feature this
three-dimensional figure. The grip is of turned walnut with a brass ferrule at the base and
tapering crimped pommel cap with integral winged figure finial. Overall length 17 5/8".
Blade with light pitting, hilt and grip near excellent. A very fine example of a classic English
plug bayonet of the period of James II and the ascension of William of Orange. Another
example by this maker, formerly in the 2003 catalog of Peter Finer, Ltd. is currently being
offered by a UK dealer for 2825 British Pounds (nearly $4000 USD).