A magnificent gold washed and etched clip point bowie knife made by Wragg & Son, Sheffield, England in the Civil War period.
It would hard to imagine improving on this fabulous 8 inch clip point bowie with etched blade made by WRAGG & SONS XLNT, FURNACE HILL/ SHEFFIELD.
The right side of the blade is polished bright and has a few minor blemishes. One area of old rust remains on the tip just above the gold wash on the left side. The two piece horn grips have several small areas of chipping. The scabbard finish near the silver tip, and beneath the throat mount shows light flaking and wear, with very minor wear to the scabbard overall. We have just concluded the negatives which are few!
Looking at the the knife sheathed, being 13 inches overall, you see German silver hilt and grip rivets and pins, long oval guard, as well as the furniture on the scabbard. Truly magnificent is the embossed red enameled cloth cover sheath (leather body) decorated with an early horseman scene with bull whip, herding two long horn steers. The scene is complete with tree, tall prairie grass and a floral end cap. The horseman has a European look holding on to a long spear; probably safe to say this is an foreign rendition of an American Cowboy. This same scene repeats on the opposite side. The scenes all exhibit sharp lines, and details not marred by wear.
Drawing the blade with scabbard stud face up, the 8 inch brightly polished clip point blade glistens. Turning the blade over exposes an exquisitely etched panel for nearly the entire length, with an American Eagle clutching a federal shield with a panoply of flags draped behind it at its center. A large riband reads, “THE TRUE PATRIOTS SELF DEFENDER.” A small riband extending from the eagle’s beak bears with the maker’s name. Toward the tip has the legend “AMERICA THE Land of Freedom.” Toward the ricasso, “PROTECTED By Her Brave VOLUNTEERS.” On the Ricasso is the maker’s cartouche, as mentioned previously. The gold wash shows just the slightest of wear.
Until seen, I believe this has to be one of the finest conditioned bowie knives of it type made by Wragg & Sons. Truly an awesome Civil War era bowie knife.
This knife had sold some time past at auction for $15,000.00