The Finest Richmond Virginia Confederate Bowie Knife

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May 12, 13, 14, & 15, 2023

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The Finest Richmond Virginia Confederate Bowie Knife


17″ overall, 11.75″ clip point blade, 3″ sharpened clip, .34″ thick, classic lap seamed soldered tinned sheet iron sheath with belt loop, sculpted octagonal walnut grip, beveled octagonal steel pommel, 3″ x 1.5″ steel oval crossguard.

Richmond fell April 3, 1865, no doubt this knife was captured and displayed with red painted sheath with large gold “Richmond Va. 1865” likely at one of the large Union expositions where similar lettered items known. This massive Confederate fighting knife has few peers for surviving condition or aesthetic of any Confederate bowie. It is the only knife in 2012 text “CONFEDERATE BOWIE KNIVES” given 2 full pages (109-110).

Clearly Richmond in style, better crafted than Burger Brothers or Boyle & Gamble, saber ground with no forging flaws, polished in the bright. This knife is probable product of “Lau & Shuman” who advertised in May 27, 1861 Richmond Dispatch “BOWIE KNIVES / BOWIE KNIVES / BOWIE KNIVES / Made in our manufactory of the finest English file cast steel are now ready for sale. This is in answer to many inquiries and letters / LAU & SHUMAN / File Manufacturers Richmond / Cary Street above 9th”.

Regardless of the Richmond maker, this is among the finest of all surviving knives crafted in the Confederacy. This knife has graced 3 prominent Confederate collections over past 50 years starting with Bill Turner, Josh Phillipos, and Compton LaBauve. 

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