Austrian M1895 Letter Opener – George Bernard Shaw


An interesting Austrian M1895 bayonet letter opener of George Bernard Shaw interest, the 24.5cm fullered blade stamped OE over WG at the forte, indicative of the Austrian State Weapons Manufacturing Company in Steyr, made for the 8mm Mannlicher rifle, the grip now converted to a two-piece triple riveted bone scaled grip on a bronze frame, contained in its leather sheathed steel scabbard. The reverse of the leather scabbard with ink marked inscription George Bernard Shaw’s Letter Opener and while manufactured by Steyr the bayonet has a handle reminiscent of some Italian Fascist daggers and could possibly have been a gift from the Italian Bureaucrat Carlo Basile whom he met at Lake Baggiore and after whom having met wrote and published a long letter defending Mussolini in the British national press.

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