Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 86: Dufilho New Orleans Ivory Hilted Push Dagger with Sheath

Auction Date: April 13, 2018

Extremely Rare Dufilho New Orleans Ivory Hilted Push Dagger with Sheath

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $7,500 - $12,000

Extremely Rare Dufilho New Orleans Ivory Hilted Push Dagger with Sheath

Manufacturer: None
Model: None
Type: Other
Item Views: 2788
Item Interest: Active
Catalog Page: 53
Class: Other

Produced at an unknown date, hard information on "Dufilho" is very scarce; William Albaugh III's "Confederate Edged Weapons" places him as active in New Orleans during the Civil War, with recorded specimens of Confederate swords of style and quality sufficient for officers that appeared to use the same etcher as noted CSA arms supplier Thomas Griswold & Company. Measuring 6 1/2 inches overall, the dagger is fitted with a 3 5/8 inch long double edged spear point blade, which is hollow ground in a diamond profile with a ricasso marked with a stylized arrow point on one side and "DUFILHO/N.ORLEANS" on the reverse. The grip is smooth one-piece antique ivory, 3 inches long with an oval profile, flat sides and a German silver ferrule for the blade tang. The tang is German silver construction, with a small frog stud on one side. While the identity of the original user of this knife is lost to time, push daggers were one of the signature weapons of the riverboat gambler, being more concealable than a traditional bowie knife and handy in a tight spot, and New Orleans, prime destination for boats headed down the Mississippi, an ideal place to pick one up.

Rating Definition:

Fine overall. There are a few small nicks on one of the edges, as well as some mild spotting and scratches on the otherwise fine original polish blade. The fine grip shows some dark age cracks, with an attractive color and grain, especially along the back. The sheath is also fine, with mild wear and dents. An interesting dagger from a known maker of Confederate weapons, and a fine artifact of both the Mississippi River trade and the bladesmith's art.

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