LARGE 19TH CENTURY BELT KNIFE
IMPRESSIVE LONG BLADED KNIFE WITH STAG HORN GRIP:
This knife makes a bold statement laying on a display
table and one can only imagine that it must have
communicated a serious threat as it hung from the belt
of an obviously large man on the frontier.
Measuring over 20 in overall length, the 13 clip-point
blade is fashioned from heavy steel stock Ό thick at
the spine - perhaps a wagons spring or wheel tire. The
blade retains some tool marks, but is overall smooth
with no significant pitting and a nice aged color.
There is a false edge along the top that runs back from
the tip almost a full half the length of the blade. The
knife was well cared for during its period of use with
no nicks or damage to the edge.
The grip is a full 7 long and fashioned from the butt
end of a large antler, mounted on the tang and secured
by peening the end of the tang over a large brass or
copper washer. The blade is well set in the grip with no
play. The surface of stag horn has a beautiful patina
with a rich color and the surfaces are polished smooth
from years of carry and handling. The length and heft
of the handle suggests that this knife was designed so
that it could be held with a two-handed grip in extreme
situations. Coupled with the heavy weight of this
knife, a two handed swing would cause some severe
The guard is fashioned from a substantial slab of brass
profiled in an elongated oval 4 long and just over an
inch wide at its widest point, and features a nice
patina and color. There is a set of initials V.T.
stamped on surface of the guard, applied with multiple
strikes with a straight edged tool such as a chisel
perhaps the initials of the original owner.
To provide you with some perspective on the size of this
knife, Ive included a photograph of the knife alongside
a Model 1851 Colt Navy Revolver (unfortunately, this has
to be said the pistol is not included with the sale
of this knife). If worn on a belt, with the brass
guard level with my hip, the tip of the knife hangs
along side my knee.
This knife is typical of those carried on the antebellum
frontier and along the Mississippi River, then during
the Civil War, and eventually onto the Western
Frontier. Faced with the shear size of this knife, any
19TH Century opponent or miscreant would have
had ample pause to reconsider his choices and quite
possibly, his very limited future. A knife that was
born of necessity and created to face the demands of the
battlefield and the expanding frontier, this blade will
be an impressive addition to your collection.