Premier Firearms Auction
May 12, 13, 14, & 15, 2023
Finest Hicks Bowie Known
14.5”overall, 9.75” clip point slightly upswept blade, unique to Hicks. Grip is made by encasing walnut slabs with brass side pieces each attached with 6 iron screws, the heavier gauge brass pommel with turned sculpted 2” turned down hook is attached with 2 larger iron screws. Stamped in 3 lines in wood “A.G. HICKS / MAKER / CLEVELAND, O”. The original and unique design sheath is 3-layered tarred leather sewn at edges with pinned & soldered 3-piece brass tip and pinned brass reinforcement at throat, integral belt loop.
Once thought to be Mexican war era rifleman’s knives as speculated by Berkeley Lewis in his 1956 “Small Arms & Ammunition in the United States Service”, later reinforced by Harold Peterson in his 1958 “American Knives”, these knives are now known to have been made no earlier than 1856. Mark Zalesky wrote wonderfully researched article in November 2015 “Knife Magazine” “The A.G. Hicks “Rifleman’s Knife” A Sixty Year Old Mystery Finally Solved”. The most interesting part of the article Is a quote from the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper July 18, 1861 telling of confiscation of trunk with 102 of these knives, “A Walking Arsenal” was title in newspaper. The confiscated trunk was sent to Governor Morton of Indiana. Another news article referring to these knives “He said he expected to find a ready sale for his knives among the Indiana volunteers. It is suspected that he designed taking them South.” of the approximately 20 known survivors, one is inscribed to a “Louisiana Tiger” captured at Manassas. There are several images of Union soldiers with Hicks Bowies, so they did get around. Hicks died in 1866 at age of 59. A lifetime maker of planes and other cutting tools, he also made some of the most desired of all American Civil War Bowies and this is the best survivor of them all.