ALEXANDER SHEFFIELD Civil War Bowie knife -a desirable “NY shield” type. Polished spear-point blade, stag handle; original sheath is included. Excellent overall condition – VERY rare this nice.
Rare antique “NEW YORK SHIELD” spear-point blade Bowie knife made in the 1860th in Sheffield, England and sold in the US by C.H. Alexander, a rare type, especially in such a condition. Sheffield-made knives always played a big part in American history. During the American Civil War a lot of British-made Bowies such as this one were marketed to the Union soldiers with patriotic slogans and battle scenes – a clever marketing strategy. The ploy worked and these handy knives were hugely popular with the Union and Confederal troops alike, as evident from the numerous Civil War era photos of soldiers posing with the Bowies of various shapes and sizes.
This particular “NY / Union Shield” Bowie was undoubtedly catered to the New York state volunteers. A similar Alexander Bowie type is illustrated on page 366 of THE BOWIE KNIFE, UNSHEATHING AN AMERICAN LEGEND book by Norm Flayderman – an expert on the subject of antique American Bowies (see the scan attached).
This very attractive specimen \ is about 10-5/8” / 27 cm overall; mirror-polished blade is about 6-3/8” / 16.2 cm long; solid full-tang construction. Ricasso is stamped ALEXANDER / SHEFFIELD on one side; the edge has been very lightly re-sharpened; is very sharp still; the tip is intact. The blade’s spine is near-excellent with no typical dings or contact marks. A few minor surface rust spots by ricasso are noted for accuracy (cleanable).
Original stag handle scales are in excellent shape, considering the age; no chips, cracks, or repairs. German silver medallion is pinned on one side; the pins are German silver as well. A solid German silver cross guard is about 5 mm thick and 2-1/4” / 5.7 cm wide; all handle parts are tight with no play. Original black painted with gold borders leather sheath has a well-preserved “NY Union Shield” super-embossed on one side. Minor scuff marks on the ribs consistent with age; the throat and triangular tip are made of German silver; the frog stud is present but has a bit of a play; all other parts are tight. Original issue Bowie sheaths are hard to VERY find since they deteriorated much faster than the knives; this type is super-hard this nice and complete. The knife comes with a new soft green fabric storage pouch included – a perfect way to store and preserve this fantastic Bowie specimen for years to come.
Over 150 years later, this antique ALEXANDER SHEFFIELD Civil War Bowie knife is still in very much serviceable condition. These Bowies are VERY rare this nice, especially with the original leather sheath included. Most of the surviving “classic” Civil War era Bowies are in private collections and rarely come up for sale; don’t miss your chance to add this gorgeous specimen to your collection!
This ALEXANDER SHEFFIELD Civil War Bowie knife and its original sheath have not been cleaned or tampered with in any way. This classic Bowie is in 100% original “as is” condition; these are the actual photos. We have several vintage European knives available for sale – please check out our Collectable Blades section for similar listings.
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