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Produced by an unknown maker, the intended use of this very distinctive Confederate weapon is a matter of some speculation; Abels' "Classic Bowie Knives" (page 66) asserts that it was likely intended as a combat knife that could also double as a pike head or bayonet, while Albaugh's "Confederate Edged Weapons" (page 165) suggest that the rings integral to the guard and pommel are too small for an appropriate rifle barrel or pike staff. The Confederates were known to have explored the pike as a combat weapon, as well as having experimented with non-standard bayonets for the variety of sporting rifles and shotguns pressed into combat service. The unfinished interior of the rings may have been intended to be fitted out by an end-user or armorer to match a specific barrel or staff, though some form of retention hardware would need to be provided. These knifes were believed to have been sold by Potts, a military outfitter in New Orleans, and similar examples are known to have been made by Rees Fitzpatrick of Natchez, Mississippi. The heart of the weapon is a large bowie knife in the archetypical Confederate style, approximately 17 5/8 inches overall with an impressive 12 5/16 inch long clip point blade, fitted with a fine flat-sided wood handle and brass furniture. The guard and pommel are both thick and rugged brass with dual "quillions" on both, an upturned hook on the front and a brass ring on the back. The front ring has a 1 5/16 inch exterior and 13/16 inch interior diameter, and the rear ring has a 1 3/8 inch exterior and a 3/4 inch interior.
Fine overall, with the iron blade retaining a sharp edge and showing mostly bright with some scattered patches of minor surface oxidation, attractive golden aged patina on the brass, and some light scratches and handling marks on the walnut handle with defined edges.
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