Unique & Fine Inscribed A.G. Hicks Officer’s Bowie Knife, LT. Henry Austin, 16th Indiana Infantry

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Unique & Fine Inscribed A.G. Hicks Officer’s Bowie Knife, LT. Henry Austin, 16th Indiana Infantry.


14 1/8” overall, 9 5/8” slightly upswept clip point blade, .25” thick, 2 ½” wide at sharpened clip. Cast brass reinforced cross guard, curly maple & walnut grip bound in brass attached with 14 iron screws.

This highest grade of all Hicks Bowies has “fishtail pommel with matching fishtail terminations to inset German silver escutcheons, one on maple side engraved “H. B. Austin”. This knife is only example that deviates from the standard form utilizing 2 separate pieces of wood instead of single walnut block, the pommel has “fishtail” with lanyard ring inset instead of flat heavy pommel often seen with integral cast hook. The sheath is made like standard Hicks bowies but upgraded with tooled brown leather instead waterproof tar coated leather, heavier gauge German silver mounts instead of brass. Josh Phillips who purchased this knife direct from family descendants wrote a detailed article detailing its history and the knife is picture on cover of “ANTIQUE BOWIE KNIFE ASSOCIATION JOURNAL 2017, No. 2”, pages 6-24. A copy can be read online.

Henry Benton Austin born in 1842 was commissioned as 1st lieutenant in Company C, 16th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He served one year in the Civil War, went home, recruited, then got married and moved to Florida and became a pioneer citrus farmer in Volusia County. Four generations stayed in Florida with last in line dying in 2012. His papers are archived at University of Florida with other pioneering Floridians.

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