Born in Limerick, Ireland, Michael Price was himself the son of an Irish knifemaker, and in the 1850s decided to take his chances in the New World. Exact estimates on when he arrived in San Francisco and how he established himself are varied; some have him earning his initial capital as a water pipe foreman, others have him setting up in the corner of the shop of A.J. Taylor, arms dealer and Deringer agent. By 1860 he was a top name in the California market, producing a full spectrum from the tough but simple knife of the settler or prospector to the finely furnished but still deadly sidearm of the urban gentleman and were advertised as being able to be driven through a stack of three silver dollars without losing the point or edge. This particular Price specimen is a fine belt knife, 10 1/4 inches long overall, with a 6 inch spear point blade marked "M.PRICE/SAN FRANCISCO" (the "S" in "SAN" cut off by the edged portion of the blade) on the left ricasso. The guard is a simple German silver oval. The grip is antique ivory carved with grooves and links of rope. The brown leather sheath is lightly tooled.
Fine, the blade showing mostly a grey patina with some scattered very light surface pitting and oxidation, slightly loose guard, and a few hairline cracks in the attractively aged fine relief carved grip. The sheath is very good with moderate wear and mostly tight stitching.
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