Posted 5 months ago
Here is yet another relic I bought having no idea what it really was.
Back in the 1980s, I was vacationing on the Costa Brava in Spain and made a day trip to Barcelona. Along the way I stopped at a farmer’s market. A vegetable vendor spotted me as a tourist and started waiving this thing around from behind his tomatoes, calling out “Napoleon! Napoleon!” I asked through someone who translated for us, and he said he turned it up while working his garden not far from the market. Well, I kind of doubted it was an artifact of the peninsular war, but he only wanted a few bucks for it, and once again I thought it might be fun to research. It looked American, but about two feet long! My Trapdoor Springfield bayonet looks puny beside it (photo 4).
It turns out it’s a bayonet for the 1871 Spanish Rolling Block rifle. Remington U.S.A. made huge numbers of rolling block rifles for export all over the globe, and they were also manufactured in Spain under license from Remington. The Spanish Rolling Block ended up facing American troops during the Spanish American War as not all Spanish Forces were equipped with the new Mauser yet.
So, what was it doing in a garden plot outside Barcelona? I’ve read that the Catalonia region was a hotbed of support for the rival Carlos VII against the King of Spain during the third Carlist War (1872–1876). According to Wiki, that four year caused between 7,000 and 50,000 casualties.