Believed to have borrowed the name of the French city of Bayonne, the bayonet rose to prominence as a vital military weapon during the last half of the 17th c. Arriving in Virginia in the 1670s, the first of the type are referred to as “plug” bayonets, being little more than daggers with tapered handles which were “plugged” into the muzzles of the muskets. Earlier iron-mounted examples were quickly replaced by cast-brass hilted bayonets by the late 1680s, and all were obsolete shortly thereafter.
Here’s another interesting item I found in the Cowan’s auction records, which pertains to local history here in the Greenbrier Valley: a fugitive slave “broadside,” dated 1829 seeking the return of an escaped slave, and giving a detailed description of the individual. Here’s the information from Cowan’s:
This is an interesting old wood-carved bird decoy. I’m not sure if it was artwork or a functional decoy. It has sort of a cartoonish look to it, but on close inspection, has some well-executed artistic features. Some of the attachments indicate that perhaps it was functional. That’s about all I know about it. I can’t seem to find others that closely resemble it.
A newer addition to the Scavengeology Museum History Bunker, a Model 1878 Sharps-Borchardt Rifle. It was cutting-edge technology for the time, being a hammerless single-shot rifle with an internal firing pin. The sleek, modern rifle was designed by Hugo Borchardt, who would later become famous for the design of the early semi-automatic “Borchardt Pistol,” the predecessor to the German Lugar – much later popularized in the Red Dead Redemption video game series.