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RARE AND UNIQUE SIGNED SAMUEL BELL SAN ANTONIO SILVER MOUNTED BOWIE KNIFE.
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This knife is classic in its configuration 13" overall with thick 9" fullered blade that form fits silver sheath with indention for fuller and 4-1/2" beveled sharp top edge. Bell's blade design is unique with one side totally flat and other side saber ground with distinctive fuller and sharpened "false edge". Samuel Bell is no doubt among the finest and most unique craftsmen of Bowie knives known to America and also a noted antebellum silver smith. Though he made his first knives in Knoxville, Tennessee, by 1852 he was making knives in San Antonio. Two of his sons were in the gold fields of California and based on family letters, they were shipping Comstock Silver back home for their father to make knives and sheaths. Son Edward was taking orders for silver mounted knives in California. There is a well-known California Congressional Presentation Bell Knife circa 1862 to Union General R. B. Ayres which is the most likely date of this knife. An article December 31, 1935 in the San Antonio Express underscores the importance and desirability of Bell's Bowie knives during the early years in San Antonio. "In the year 1852, when San Antonio was still a small community of less than 5,000 citizens, Samuel Bell and his two sons, David and James, founded what we know today as The Bell Jewelry CompanyÖThe Bells soon became noted for their exquisite craftsmanship, and many a treasured heirloom. In the possession of some of San Antonio's pioneer families represent the handicraft of the BellsÖ He (Samuel) had a sterner side, and this was devoted to the manufacture of the famous Bowie knife. As in jewelry, a Bowie knife carrying the trade mark of Samuel Bell was considered the best that could be secured. Bell became famous for its fine workmanship, the quality of its materials, and the exquisite pieces of jewelry that were produced here, and such famous men as Robert E. Lee, U.S. Grant and Jefferson Davis are numbered among the customersÖ." In the recent 2014 monumental Bowie knife exhibit at the historic Arkansas State Museum a majority of the finest American Bowie knives assembled from noted institutions and collectors were displayed. Eight Bell Bowie's of all genres were displayed together and none signed like subject "S. BELL MAKER SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS". There are approximately 25 Samuel Bell made Bowie knives and of these only seven are known with silver handles and sheaths. Samuel Bell's engraving is noted on all these knives though each one is a unique piece of art with varying designs on grip, sheaths, frog buttons and skirted guards. This newly discovered knife is the only example privately owned. As a matter of fact, this is only the second knife noted with signature, city and state. There are three knives known simply signed "S. Bell". The other fully signed knife is in a prominent San Antonio family (see provenance file) with an interesting 1862 history also and will never be sold. If you want the only fully signed Samuel Bell Bowie, this is your only opportunity. Accompanying this knife is a large file of documentation on Samuel Bell and his Bowie knives. CONDITION: Overall very good to fine. Knife is un-cleaned and "as found". Silver grip and sheath have dark patina with numerous small nicks, scratches and dents unaffecting aesthetics or engraving.??Blade still exhibits areas of original polish with old sharpening (knife is extremely sharp). Engraving is all fine and easily discerned. The three initials on one side of grip have been "scratched out" such that they are non-discernible. San Antonio in the maker's mark was also scratched, however marking is still quite discernible. Silver has dark patina and could easily be polished to bright such that makers mark would appear quite crisp. Blade and knife could be polished and restored to "like new" condition which is popular with many collectors today, but not some purists but this is the only example like this. 8-76409
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*Vänligen notera att att priset inte är omräknat till dagens värde, utan avser slutpriset vid tidpunkten när föremålet såldes.


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