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19TH CENTURY SMALL BOWIE SHAPED KNIFE AND ORIGINAL SHEATH –BLADE ENGRAVED WITH A PRESENTATION – WELL MADE ATTRACTIVE KNIFE WITH A HISTORY:  This knife is styled in the manner of the large clip point Bowie Knives, however it was made on a smaller scale.  More diminutive than its larger cousins, this knife is of a size that a gentleman could comfortably carry in the tail pocket of his frock coat, and the substantial blade has a keen edge fully capable of discouraging an attacker.     

The blade bears an engraved inscription on both sides documenting a presentation of the  knife which reads “Presented by I. Ingham” on the right side of the blade and “Lionel H. Hazling” on the left side.  I have been unable to determine who these men were or what the relationship was between them, but such a gift must have commemorated a strong friendship or a healthy business connection.   

Measuring 9” in overall length, with an 5” blade, the knife features a clipped point, a strengthening rib running down the center of the blade on both sides, and some decorative work along the spine.  As mentioned above, the blade is heavy and stiff and obviously intended for use rather than decoration.  The blade retains sharp edge, but it retains its form with no loss due to over sharpening.  The surface of the metal is clean and overall bright with only some minor darkened spots and no pitting.  The grip is fashioned from a horn tip and the butt is artfully capped with a matching horn disc.  The horn is overall smooth with a nice patina, has no cracks or splits, and has only a couple of points of light wear.  There is a sheet brass guard between the blade and the grip and the brass has a very nice aged deep mustard colored patina.  

The sheath which accompanies the knife is old and its profile indicates it was obviously made to fit this blade.  I can’t decide if the sheath is original to the period of use of the knife, and it might well be a later replacement after the original sheath wore out.  In either case it fits the blade perfectly and serves to protect it well.    

This knife has a great look and feel to it, and no doubt it was made in a small knife shop during the 19TH Century.  With the added value of the engraved inscription documenting the presentation, this small Bowie-shaped knife would display well in a number of different collection groupings related to the Western Frontier.  (0350)  $450


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