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What types of wood may have been used on the original Bowie knife?


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Depends on where it came from. Since it no longer exists, that's a problem! :lol: The ONLY printed source from eyewitness accounts describes the knife used in the sandbar fight as "a large butcher knife." The "Bowie" knives made afterwards, whether by Rezin Bowie or James Black or Daniel Searles or Schively are all just big knives made for James Bowie to capitalize on the buzz.

 

So: your question is really "what kind of wood was likely to be found on a large butcher knife in the southern USA in the 1830s?" The answer is still "It depends." Common knife handle woods for American-made knives of the period were walnut, American beech, pecan, maple, or even oak. On English-made knives, rosewood was not unknown, nor was boxwood, European beech, or even ebony on a presentation piece. A fairly plain handle, perhaps with some homemade checkering, whatever the wood.

 

The best approximation of "a large butcher knife" of the 1830s in the southern USA is probably the Chicago Cutlery 13" chef's knife, believe it or not. Integral bolsters are possible, but that basic shape with a stick tang rather than a full tang and possibly a slightly upturned point is about as close as you're gonna get. Hope I didn't ruin the romance for you! :lol:

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Other likely candidates, especially to a rural bladesmith in that part of the country, would be hickory, locust and osage orange.

"I'm not anti-gun. I'm pro-knife." Molly Ivins

NT Limpin' Cat Prokopp

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(read in Monty Python accent) Scotch Broom would be right out! :wacko:

Edited by B Finnigan

Everything I need to know I learned from the people trapped in my basement.

 

 

I'm out of my mind but feel free to leave a message.

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