ALEXANDER SHEFFIELD NY dagger Civil War era Bowie knife -a desirable “NY shield” type. Stag and German silver fittings handle, original “N shield Y” leather sheath is included.
Rare antique “NEW YORK SHIELD” spear-point blade dagger made in the 1860th in Sheffield, England and sold in the US by C.H. Alexander, a rare type. 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 attractive specimen is about 10-5/8” / 27 cm overall; dual-edge blade is about 6-3/8” / 16.2 cm long; solid full-tang construction. Ricasso is stamped ALEXANDER / SHEFFIELD on one side and N “shield” Y on the other. The edge has been re-sharpened; is very sharp still; the tip is intact; minor pitting at the tip is noted for accuracy. Original stag handle scales are in great condition, 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 2-3/8” / 6 cm wide. Handle scales/pins are tight; crossguard has a bit of a play.
Original brown leather sheath has a well-preserved “NY Union Shield” super-embossed on one side. The sheath is quite used and it has been repaired – the metal tip is obviously not original; seems to be a contemporary field-expedient fix; the sheath holds the dagger tight. The throat band is made of German silver; frog stud is missing. Original issue Bowie sheaths are VERY hard to find since they deteriorated much faster than the knives; this type is super-hard this complete.
Over 150 years later, this antique ALEXANDER SHEFFIELD NY dagger Civil War era Bowie 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 NY dagger Civil War era 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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