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Geoff Keyes

Antique Bowie

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You know me.  I love all  historic Bowies.  This one leaves me with more  than a little scepticism however.  Should a prominence prove it's authenticity I will be surprised.  Resin Bowie was known to  give away other knives and even to have them engraved but this  one  doesn't have either the blade nor hilt design  that Resin  Bowie showed a preference  for in his other knives.  Also, William Lacy seems to be an unknown to the history  of the  times.  This  in itself means little but I would feel better if a link between Lacy and the Bowie family could be found. 

Let's hope that the knife is  authentic but I have my doubts.

Edited by Gary Mulkey
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I call fake.  Why?  The handle looks wrong (well, the whole thing looks wrong), but the main thing is the engraving.  Whoever did it did what I do for script: in Microsoft Word, set the font to "Kunstler Script," size it the way you want, type out what you want, print it, and transfer it to the piece to be engraved.  Trace the letters with your graver, done.  Try it and see for yourself.  It's the exact same font.  It also doesn't match the antiquing of the scabbard. 

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2 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

I call fake.  Why?  The handle looks wrong (well, the whole thing looks wrong), but the main thing is the engraving.  Whoever did it did what I do for script: in Microsoft Word, set the font to "Kunstler Script," size it the way you want, type out what you want, print it, and transfer it to the piece to be engraved.  Trace the letters with your graver, done.  Try it and see for yourself.  It's the exact same font.  It also doesn't match the antiquing of the scabbard. 

This !

handle is yucky (sorry to be harsh)

looks like an old fake

R.P had better taste in knives than this

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Lacey (or Lacy) is known, though from this quote he may have been a prodigious liar.  https://books.google.com/books?id=LHXlBgAAQBAJ&pg=PT114&lpg=PT114&dq=William+Y.+Lacey&source=bl&ots=ysLziWb1Ci&sig=-OH7vAZL-ZKHCKh8ZYdN1n6LREY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwif1sju3uTYAhUMyGMKHa6vDXkQ6AEIRjAJ#v=onepage&q=William Y. Lacey&f=false

I too thought the knife, taken as a whole, looks wrong.   Parts get modified, broken, lost, reworked over time, but the guard looks wrong to me, no ferrule or other transition, the handle shape is crude and not convincing.

 

Interesting news though.

 

Geoff 

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The more I look at it the more wrong and recent it looks.  That's water buffalo horn rolls from India if I'm not mistaken, not something you'd see on an American knife from the 1830s.  Especially not still shiny.  If it doesn't have the word India or Pakistan crudely filed off the ricasso I wouldn't be surprised.  It actually looks like somebody got hold of a rotten old scabbard and put that silver collar on, then used a bunch of parts from Jantz or Texas Knifemaker's supply.  That blade looks suspiciously like their "southwest bowie" model.  Except it's probably not 420J stainless...  I hope.  :rolleyes:

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6 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

I call fake.  Why?  The handle looks wrong (well, the whole thing looks wrong), but the main thing is the engraving.  Whoever did it did what I do for script: in Microsoft Word, set the font to "Kunstler Script," size it the way you want, type out what you want, print it, and transfer it to the piece to be engraved.  Trace the letters with your graver, done.  Try it and see for yourself.  It's the exact same font.  It also doesn't match the antiquing of the scabbard. 

I don't know how I kept missing this font!!!  I kept looking for an old style engraving script for the guy who does my engraving to follow.  I'm not trying to fake anything, but I just think it looks much classier as a presentation piece than the standard double line block script that they normally use.  Thanks dude!

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You're welcome!  It's based on an 1890s formal copperplate for invitations.  Yet another way you know it doesn't belong on an 1830s knife. :lol:  I do think the knife is slightly older than the engraving, like 1960s-1970s.  The engraving and in fact the whole throat (which is made wrong) looks to be ca. 2000s to me.  I'd love to be in the room if the Waco folks ever took it to Arkansas for authentication.

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IIRC, in the article the owner said that he got the piece in the '80's.

Quote

Gleichman, a former insurance underwriter who served as president of the Maryland Arms Collectors Association, spent about $400 for the knife in 1982.

The silver collar is heavy, the ends stand out from the scabbard a good 1/8th, period ones I've seen have all been much thinner.  I am also suspicious of the sharpness of the grind of the clip.  Old ones tend to have the sharpness washed out by polishing.

Anyone live in the area?  Maybe we could fund a fact finding commission, in the interests of historical knowledge.

 

Geoff

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What I notice about it is the style of clip on the back. It appears similar to the Sheffield imports that came after the demise of J. Bowie and bears little resemblence to any rightfully attributed to Rezin Bowie. The handle actually reminds me strongly of a 1920-30's letter opener, Art Deco, style I once had. It had polished or laqcuered Bakelite segments seperated by brass spacers- very similar to that knife. I'm with Alan, either not period correct, not buffalo, or neither. 

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