Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 183: Charles Congreve, Sheffield "Celebrated Hunting Knife"

Auction Date: August 26, 2022

Scarce Early Charles Congreve, Sheffield "Celebrated Hunting Knife" with Sheath

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $1,600 - $2,500

Scarce Early Charles Congreve, Sheffield "Celebrated Hunting Knife" with Sheath

Manufacturer: None
Model: None
Type: Other
Item Views: 329
Item Interest: Average
Catalog Page: 189
Class: Other

Manufactured prior to 1838 by the Charles Congreve firm of Sheffield, Congreve is often pointed to as one of the first manufacturers of English Bowie knives along with the Butcher brothers, Unwin & Rodgers, and Robert Bunting. It measures 11 1/4 inches overall with a 7 inch drop point blade with a false edge on top. The left of the blade just below the spine is marked "CELEBRATED/HUNTING KNIFE" and the left ricasso is marked "W[crown]R/C.CONGREVE/SHEFFIELD". The "WR" crown symbol is the royal cypher of William IV, dating the knife to prior to Queen Victoria's ascension to the thrown in June of 1837. The German silver guard is elliptical with round finials and an ornate case ferrule at the top of the grip which is antique ivory carved with flutes and capped with a plain silver pommel. An inventory number, "132", is painted on the blade opposite the maker. Includes a black leather sheath with German silver fittings.

Rating Definition:

Very good, the blade mostly a bright grey patina with some scattered patches of light pitting, a light nick in the edge, and clear markings. The German silver and silver show an attractive lightly aged patina. The grip, otherwise very good, has a large crack in the left along with two hairline cracks, and otherwise light handling marks and an attractively aged tone. The sheath is good with moderate wear and minor dents in the fittings. A rarely encountered, early example from one of the first Sheffield Bowie knife manufacturers!

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