Lot #1529
Lot #1531

Lot 1530: Al Mar Knives Anniversary Bowie Knife Presented to Rex Applegate

Auction Location: Rock Island, IL

Auction Date: August 26, 2023

Lot 1530: Al Mar Knives Anniversary Bowie Knife Presented to Rex Applegate

Auction Location: Rock Island, IL

Auction Date: August 26, 2023

Estimated Price: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized:

Rare Historic Documented Al Mar Knives 10th Anniversary Commemorative Bowie Knife Presented to Founder of the Office of Strategic Services "School for Spies and Assassins", Colonel Rex Applegate

Manufacturer: None
Model: None
Type: Other
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Item Views: 405
Item Interest: Active
Catalog Page: 423
Class: Other
Description:

This massive and attractive commemorative Bowie knife includes a 1990 dated letter from Al Mar knives addressed to colonel Rex Applegate stating that it was being presented to him in appreciation for his support of the company through some of their toughest times. Colonel Rex Applegate was in the U.S. army in World War II and was developing various forms of close quarters combat techniques at Camp Ritchie when he was recruited by William "Wild Bill" Donovan to establish and run "The School for Spies and Assassins" for the newly created Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Applegate in cooperation with William Fairbairn learned all he could about armed and unarmed combat to develop a training regimen for the OSS. After the war he went on to promote and teach his combat techniques in various circles, including law enforcement and Hollywood. He wrote multiple books regarding his close combat techniques including "Kill or Get Killed" and "Riot Control: Material and Techniques", copies of which are included with this lot. In the 1980s, Applegate developed a modified version of the legendary Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife which had been carried by commandos of the SAS and OSS during World War II. The Applegate-Fairbairn knife, as he called it, featured many improvements upon the shortcomings of its predecessor which had been found during combat use. The improved fighting knife was initially offered as a handmade piece by Bill Harsey, Jr., later by Wells Creek Gun and Knife Works, and eventually by Al Mar Knives. It is likely this design that garnered the appreciation of the Al Mar company and what led to this presentation. One of the included copies of "Knives Illustrated" features an article about Applegate and the development of this the improved combat knife. The knife itself is a massive, classic Bowie knife design measuring 17 1/4 inches overall, with a 12 inch clip point blade. The blade is etched on the left with "COLONEL REX APPLEGATE", and the right is etched with the standard Al Mar 10th anniversary markings. There is a floral engraved brass bolster on the spine, a brass oval guard with matching engraving, and a two-piece black and white micarta, coffin shaped grip with engraved brass divider and pins. Includes the two books mentioned above, two copies of "Knives Illustrated", and a hardwood display stand for the knife.

Rating Definition:

Excellent, the blade bright with a few scattered very light handling marks and crisp etching. The brass shows an attractive, very lightly aged patina and crisp engraving. The grip is also excellent with some very fine, hairline age cracks visible in the white portion, and otherwise minimal handling marks. The books are very fine with some light wear (mostly on the dust covers) and the stand is excellent with only the slightest handling/storage marks.



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