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An Award Bayonet

Sooner or later all of us will run into awards that are not medals. Most often these are pocket watches, engraved trophy cups, plaques, certificates and engraved edged weapons. The engraved weapons are usually swords and daggers. In this case a German bayonet. At first glance it looks like an old used German Model 1871 but closer examination shows that this bayonet is not government issue and could not have been used as a real bayonet. It lacks the groove in the top of the handle and any of the arsenal and unit marks normally found on German edged weapons. This would indicate that it is a privately manufactured piece sold for presentation purposes only. The inscription engraved on the blade is “GEFREITER SCHTU(E)PNER II COMP. INFTR. REG. N. 16”. The letter “u” in the last name Schtupner has the two dot umlaut above it which is why I added the letter “e” to the spelling. “Gefreiter” was his rank equal to our private first class.
Part of the VII Army Corps, the 16th Infantry Regiment (3rd Westphalian) with the honorary title “Baron von Sparr” was established in 1813 and based in the Cologne metropolitan area.

Since the named man was only a Pfc. I would guess that this bayonet was presented to him by his family or buddies on the completion of his enlistment some time in the 1870’s-1880’s.

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