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LARGE 19TH CENTURY BELT KNIFE – IMPRESSIVE LONG BLADED KNIFE WITH STAG HORN GRIP:  This knife makes a bold statement laying on a display table and one can only imagine that it must have communicated a serious threat as it hung from the belt of an obviously large man on the frontier.     

Measuring over 20” in overall length, the 13” clip-point blade is fashioned from heavy steel stock – Ό” thick at the spine - perhaps a wagon’s spring or wheel tire.  The blade retains some tool marks, but is overall smooth with no significant pitting and a nice aged color.  There is a false edge along the top that runs back from the tip almost a full half the length of the blade.  The knife was well cared for during its period of use with no nicks or damage to the edge.   

The grip is a full 7” long and fashioned from the butt end of a large antler, mounted on the tang and secured by peening the end of the tang over a large brass or copper washer. The blade is well set in the grip with no play.  The surface of stag horn has a beautiful patina with a rich color and the surfaces are polished smooth from years of carry and handling.  The length and heft of the handle suggests that this knife was designed so that it could be held with a two-handed grip in extreme situations.  Coupled with the heavy weight of this knife, a two handed swing would cause some severe damage.   

The guard is fashioned from a substantial slab of brass profiled in an elongated oval 4” long and just over an inch wide at its widest point, and features a nice patina and color.  There is a set of initials “V.T.” stamped on surface of the guard, applied with multiple strikes with a straight edged tool such as a chisel – perhaps the initials of the original owner.  

To provide you with some perspective on the size of this knife, I’ve included a photograph of the knife alongside a Model 1851 Colt Navy Revolver (unfortunately, this has to be said – the pistol is not included with the sale of this knife).  If worn on a belt, with the brass guard level with my hip, the tip of the knife hangs along side my knee.  

This knife is typical of those carried on the antebellum frontier and along the Mississippi River, then during the Civil War, and eventually onto the Western Frontier.  Faced with the shear size of this knife, any 19TH Century opponent or miscreant would have had ample pause to reconsider his choices and quite possibly, his very limited future.  A knife that was born of necessity and created to face the demands of the battlefield and the expanding frontier, this blade will be an impressive addition to your collection.  (1001) $1375

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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