It’s a new year, so let’s see everyone’s favorite candidate for Bowie’s Alamo knife.

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by not2sharp, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. Chui

    Chui Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 10, 2012
    Have a pal here in UK, a serious collector............one of his may qualify nicely for this thread (this is a fraction of his collection)

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  2. cbach8tw

    cbach8tw Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Yup. I believe the sandbar knife was more like a Butcher knife, more like the Forest Bowie in shape and construction. Or even the Jesse Clift Bowie. No one knows for sure what it was exactly like. There was a good article in Knife magazine a long time ago comparing the Forest knife to the Clift knife, not the same maker necessarily, but in style. The Alamo Bowie that JB had is wrapped up a mystery too, though not as much as the sandbar knife. And I think it was different from the sandbar knife, maybe a Searles type knife, a more refined knife. I think the idea of the Alamo Bowie looking close to the Musso Bowie with a clip point and brass spine guard is remnant of the Iron Mistress movie magic. More Hollywood than historical fact. We went to San Antonio and the Alamo in 2017, and to the right of the front entrance, they had a good presentation about Bowie and the Bowie knife in general, and the different styles that developed. There is also a lot theories of what happened to the Alamo Bowie after the battle. Makes for some good reading.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
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  3. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    Chilean Corvo 19th century horn scales.jpg

    This is where they start getting tricky. I collected this in Chile several decades back, but suspect that it may actually be from Guam, where the Chamorro population has been known to have produce similar knives until recently. Since Guam would have been a part of the Spanish Empire through the Spanish American War, we can see where the traits we associate with the Bowie may have originated.

    profile both knives- small.jpg

    The two knives shown above are more "modern" Chamorro knives from the Inter-War years

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  4. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    Mvc-012f.jpg

    The knives above were still being made in Guam during the late 1990s. Their last traditional knife maker has since passed. It had been a long standing family tradition, but none of his heirs were interesting in taking up the trade at the time.

    This was he:
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    I had the opportunity to correspond with him and he was confident that his relatives had made the two knifes pictured above (c. 1920-30s).

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  5. Ernie1980

    Ernie1980 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    This is the original Bowie knife, which I discovered at a flea market on vacation last year:
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    The letters engraved in the handle represent his first kills at the Alamo.
     
  6. Modoc ED

    Modoc ED Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Bought this Case Bowie back in 1964 in Martin's Hardware Store on U.S. Route 1 just south of Alexandria, Virginia. Davy Crockett himself engraved his likeness on the blade and while engraving his likeness, said it was a "Bold Faced Lie" that he had been killed at the Alamo and went on to say that Jim Bowie hadn't been killed there either. He said they were camping over at Fort Hunt Park over near Mt. Vernon - the home of George Washington.

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  7. kamagong

    kamagong Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 13, 2001
    Jim Bowie looks an awful lot like Fess Parker. o_O
     
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  8. Modoc ED

    Modoc ED Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Funny you should bring that up Christian. While Davy was engraving the knife he did mention that the Producers of the TV Show "Davy Crockett" and Fess Parker were paying him a small royalty which kept he and Jim Bowie flush with enough money for tobacco, liquor, beans, and the occasional dalliance in wine, women, and song.
     
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  9. kamagong

    kamagong Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 13, 2001
    Excellent. :thumbsup:
     
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  10. cbach8tw

    cbach8tw Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Those knives from Guam look heavy, how did they feel in use? More like a cleaver or a barong? You know these look great but have to be eliminated as an Alamo Enterprise Bowie, they had no idea where Guam was or even if it existed at that time. I was wondering what traditional Filipino or Montagnard weapons looked like, they also could be an Alamo knife. If Guam can, why not other SE Asia indigenous knives? Just for fun of course. :D
     
  11. knowtracks

    knowtracks Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 16, 2006
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    :rolleyes::D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D


    Dave
     
  12. Sidehill Gouger

    Sidehill Gouger

    Dec 29, 2007
    I've read about the Guam connection of that knife design but I can tell you from first hand experience they sell the same pattern in some Mexican cutlery stores in several sizes. Not sure who did it first.
     
  13. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
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    I let this one slip right through my fingers. Someone will probably discover that it is smeared all over with Bowie's DNA...

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  14. tongueriver

    tongueriver Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    These knives were all at the Alamo, but not at the sand bar. Jim Bowie had a concubine of Spanish descent with him at the Alamo who was not amused at his flirtations with ‘another’ in that reputable old missión at the time, and conveyed a secret message by dove to her second cousin, “Billy Bob” El Que Arrebata Los Cuchillos Que No Les Pertenecen. The message: “ Please to bring several thousand men to punish my unfaithful lover and I will give you these precious knives from his collection. And some tamales." Long story short: Her cousin’s great great grandson contacted me and we struck a deal for mucho pesos (and some tamales) on the knives which you see here. Can’t help you on the sandbar.
    30A1 (Large).jpg BB001 (Large).jpg camp1 (Large).jpg fancy1 (Large).jpg fisherfighter (Large).jpg ran2 (Large).jpg RH38 Remington001 (Large).jpg vic6 (Large).jpg
     
  15. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    I Wilson 19th century knife.jpg I wilson machete.jpg

    Here are a couple of old I Wilson knives that might just fit the timeframe.

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  16. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    primitive butcher knife.jpg

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    Here is yet another old charmer.

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  17. cbach8tw

    cbach8tw Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2006
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    Some other possible candidates.
     
  18. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Cool thread, with some great-looking knives :) :thumbsup:

    This is a knife from the wall of the Jim Bowie Diner in Sheffield ;)

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  19. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    They feel like most modern camp knives. They are heavy but not oppressively so. These were made to be carried and used. There is a small segment in the classic documentary Victory at Sea that shows a local in Guam using one of these to repair and thatch his roof.

    n2s
     
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  20. Augie

    Augie Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 23, 2014
    These 2 were his Sunday Go To Meeting knives.


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