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From the William Fagan Premier Collection

By the 18th century, hunting for sport had evolved into a favorite pastime of the nobility who owned the land and the right to hunt. Among the adversaries which could test a hunters prowess were boar, bear, and stag each of which could turn on a hunter with a fatal attack. The plug bayonet, inspired by its 17th century military model, provided a weapon after the gun had discharged. Its popularity was nearly exclusive to Italy. In France, it emerged again after mid-century as a convertible hunting knife with a grip which could be reversed to the plug bayonet form. Very few examples are known, suggesting that they were the production of a single maker, probably made to order as they vary in detail. This example is mounted in silver with an ebony grip. It lacks any silver marks reinforcing a bespoke order. The blade is decorated with classic military trophies and retains considerable original gold. That decoration is evidently unique on surviving examples and suggests an owner with a military background.

Stock Number: U279

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