The ever controversial Musso Bowie knife

Triton

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For an educational read on a little known aspect of the Texas revolution, actually read the book Sea of Mud by Gregg J. Dimmick.

Now, as for the 3 part story appearing in Blade Magazine concerning the archeological find known as the Sea of Mud Bowie, the author wasn't so much leading, or suggesting, the knife was the original Bowie, as he was asking, in Part 1 of the series, if this might be the case. In Part 3 he lays out the case that the knife may have been Crockett's. Both scenarios are plausible.

He was asking a very leading question wanting the reader to agree with his obvious conclusion. As for plausibility that's very much in the eye of the beholder, in order to be plausible the reader has to take a whole lot of leaps of faith that the author blithely launches himself into.

The knife was found at an encampment site of the Mexican army, after the battles of Goliad and the Alamo; and was composed of divisions led by Gen. Urrea and Col. Juan Morales. Col. Morales' men were the soldiers who stormed the Alamo's low barracks where Bowie lay in bed in his room. The suggestion is that Bowie's knife was picked up by one of Col. Morales' soldiers and subsequently lost or discarded at the encampment, where it was found during excavation of the site in 1996.

That was certainly the author's suggestion, but how much merit does that suggestion have? Consider, because a knife of a particular pattern is found in a place where the Mexican Army encamped post Alamo of necessity it must be either Crockett's or Bowie's knife? (Never mind that we don't even know that Crockett owned a knife made by James Black we'll get there in a moment). This supposition demands that we believe a host of unsubstantiated details as facts.

1) That Bowie (or Crockett) owned a knife of this particular pattern. - We don't know that. What if the knife that either one of them MAY have purchased from James Black was of an entirely different pattern? Do we even know that either one of them was carrying a James Black knife at the Alamo?

2) Do we know that James Black is the only possible person that was creating this particular pattern? - No we don't. He might have produced this pattern but that doesn't mean he had a patent on it or that someone else didn't see some of his work and copy it.

3) That Bowie (or Crockett) owned this particular knife. I.e. it was not only taken as spoils of war at the Alamo but that Bowie (or Crocket's) knife was somehow discarded or lost at this place along the river. - We don't know that either. What if any putative knife that either man owned was lost in the melee / still resides in the attic of some old time hacienda somewhere in Mexico / was traded to someone for a bottle of cheap whiskey / lot in a game of mumbelty peg / etc. etc. Is it possible that said artifact belonged to some Mexican soldier that purchased from some unknown traveler / adventurer / trader before the outbreak of hostilities?

4) That Bowie (or Crockett) were the ONLY people at the Alamo that owned such a knife - Were these two the only people that possibly owned such a knife? Of course not. Were they the only people that might have purchased a knife from James Black? Of course not. Are they the only two people that might have been at the Alamo that owned such a knife? Of course not.

5) That NO ONE but someone who had a knife owned by Bowie (or Crockett) ever stopped at that particular camping spot and lost said knife - Do we have any idea when this knife was left where it was found? Was it left by the Mexican Army? Was it left by someone 5 years before the Mexican army encamped on that spot or was it left by someone 20 years later? How popular was that spot and how often did the mud get deep?

The case for the knife being Crockett's is equally plausible. Crockett and his Tennesseans stayed overnight in Elijah Stuart's tavern, adjacent to Black's shop, in Washington, Arkansas, before continuing their trip into Texas. It's suggested that Black may have presented the knife to Crockett, or possibly Crockett may have purchased it. The price for Black's fancy knives was $20, approximately $500 today; and the knife found in the Sea of Mud had detectable amounts of silver.

Well I agree that it's equally plausible, i.e. it's just as based on conjecture theory and supposition. Black might have presented Crockett with a knife, but we have absolutely no evidence that he did. Crockett might have purchased a knife but again we have absolutely no evidence that he did and in fact as I recall the article even admitted that Crockett was in dire financial straits and was headed out West in an attempt to rebuild his fortunes, not exactly a guy in a position to be purchasing expensive knives. The fact that the so called "Sea of Mud" bowie might have once been an expensive piece in no way adds any credibility to the theory that it belonged to Crockett, it merely means that someone lost a knife along the river that might once have had fancy silver mounts.

How else could one of James Black's knives have found its way from Washington, Arkansas into the hands of a Mexican soldier; and subsequently been lost and then found, in the Sea of Mud?

How indeed... of course we don't know that it's a James Black knife, that it came from Washington Arkansas, that it was ever in the hands of a Mexican soldier, when it was lost or that Bowie or Crockett ever owned it. Other than that the theory is highly plausible.

Look I'm not saying it's impossible. Anything is possible but this tale of theory and unsubstantiated conjecture and "would have, could have should have" is completely unprovable and taken in aggregate suggests that it is based more on hope and dreams then on anything remotely resembling actual evidence.
 
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Musso had a psychic look at it, and the psychic confirmed it :). Part of the psychic story taken from Gun Digest 2nd edition, they go on for pages about it -

"Musso had long been a student of the Bowie legend and pondered whether the initials and star really meant anything. Could they stand for James Black as the maker or even Jim Bowie as the owner? Or was it just another phony copy of a Bowie knife? Musso pondered this for some time and finally contacted Peter Hurkos, believed by many to be the world's greatest psychic.

For those who may not be familiar with Hurkos and his seeming powers, he is supposed to have acquired his psychic powers after he fell from a ladder in his native Holland in 1941. He lay unconscious in a hospital for four days. When he regained consciousness, it is reported, he had developed a talent for piercing the past, present and even the future. The hospital staff, according to reports of the time, was stunned; there was no medical explanation, no logical reason for Hurkos' seeming powers. The Hollander has gained a degree of fame in his country and in Europe as what might best be described as a "psychic detective," working on cases involving missing persons and murder victims.

He has worked on a number of cases with various police departments, helping to solve the mysteries including the murders committed by the Charles Manson followers in which actress Sharon Tate died. Incidentally, Queen Julianna of Holland decorated Hurkos for his work with the Dutch underground during World War II and there is a statue commemorating his work in Rotterdam. Hurkos — born Pieter Van der Hurk — was brought to the United States in 1956 to be tested at the Round Table Foundation Research Laboratory in Glen Cove, Maine. He spent more than two years taking part in experiments under scientifically controlled conditions. The doctors and experts apparently were convinced that Hurkos' psychic faculties were the greatest they ever had tested. His feats of seeing past, present and future have been reported on in Time, Newsweek, Life, Look, Reader's Digest and countless other publications. The International Police Associations made Hurkos a member and His Holiness, Pope Pius XII, decorated him, stating at the time, "I hope you will use your God-given gift for the betterment of mankind...use it as an instrument to touch people, to help them."

Whether the reader chooses to believe in Peter Hurkos' powers is up to the individual. Joseph Musso, however, is a believer. Since Hurkos resides now in Studio City, not far from Hollywood, the owner of the Bowie decided to contact him, not telling him the reason. "Hurkos agreed to see me," Musso recalls.

"I took the knife to him in a brown paper bag. I still had told him nothing about what I was bringing to him or my reasons for wanting to see him. "I simply laid the bag in front of him and asked what hecould tell me about it. Peter Hurkos told me that my knife was the largest and the favorite of at least fourteen knives owned by Colonel James Bowie. He allowed me to tape record the entire event. "Hurkos said that this knife was made for Bowie by James Black and Bob Lovel Snowden and was the only knife Bowie had with a brass strip along the back of the blade." The knife was still inside the brown paper bag, on a table in front of Hurkos. It had not been opened. ..and the knife did have the brass strip described! James Black, the Arkansas blacksmith mentioned at some length earlier, "had a process for hardening steel," according to Hurkos and used the process on this knife....."
 

unwisefool

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He was asking a very leading question wanting the reader to agree with his obvious conclusion. As for plausibility that's very much in the eye of the beholder, in order to be plausible the reader has to take a whole lot of leaps of faith that the author blithely launches himself into.



That was certainly the author's suggestion, but how much merit does that suggestion have? Consider, because a knife of a particular pattern is found in a place where the Mexican Army encamped post Alamo of necessity it must be either Crockett's or Bowie's knife? (Never mind that we don't even know that Crockett owned a knife made by James Black we'll get there in a moment). This supposition demands that we believe a host of unsubstantiated details as facts.

1) That Bowie (or Crockett) owned a knife of this particular pattern. - We don't know that. What if the knife that either one of them MAY have purchased from James Black was of an entirely different pattern? Do we even know that either one of them was carrying a James Black knife at the Alamo?

2) Do we know that James Black is the only possible person that was creating this particular pattern? - No we don't. He might have produced this pattern but that doesn't mean he had a patent on it or that someone else didn't see some of his work and copy it.

3) That Bowie (or Crockett) owned this particular knife. I.e. it was not only taken as spoils of war at the Alamo but that Bowie (or Crocket's) knife was somehow discarded or lost at this place along the river. - We don't know that either. What if any putative knife that either man owned was lost in the melee / still resides in the attic of some old time hacienda somewhere in Mexico / was traded to someone for a bottle of cheap whiskey / lot in a game of mumbelty peg / etc. etc. Is it possible that said artifact belonged to some Mexican soldier that purchased from some unknown traveler / adventurer / trader before the outbreak of hostilities?

4) That Bowie (or Crockett) were the ONLY people at the Alamo that owned such a knife - Were these two the only people that possibly owned such a knife? Of course not. Were they the only people that might have purchased a knife from James Black? Of course not. Are they the only two people that might have been at the Alamo that owned such a knife? Of course not.

5) That NO ONE but someone who had a knife owned by Bowie (or Crockett) ever stopped at that particular camping spot and lost said knife - Do we have any idea when this knife was left where it was found? Was it left by the Mexican Army? Was it left by someone 5 years before the Mexican army encamped on that spot or was it left by someone 20 years later? How popular was that spot and how often did the mud get deep?



Well I agree that it's equally plausible, i.e. it's just as based on conjecture theory and supposition. Black might have presented Crockett with a knife, but we have absolutely no evidence that he did. Crockett might have purchased a knife but again we have absolutely no evidence that he did and in fact as I recall the article even admitted that Crockett was in dire financial straits and was headed out West in an attempt to rebuild his fortunes, not exactly a guy in a position to be purchasing expensive knives. The fact that the so called "Sea of Mud" bowie might have once been an expensive piece in no way adds any credibility to the theory that it belonged to Crockett, it merely means that someone lost a knife along the river that might once have had fancy silver mounts.



How indeed... of course we don't know that it's a James Black knife, that it came from Washington Arkansas, that it was ever in the hands of a Mexican soldier, when it was lost or that Bowie or Crockett ever owned it. Other than that the theory is highly plausible.

Look I'm not saying it's impossible. Anything is possible but this tale of theory and unsubstantiated conjecture and "would have, could have should have" is completely unprovable and taken in aggregate suggests that it is based more on hope and dreams then on anything remotely resembling actual evidence.
That's exactly what I meant by supposition
 

Bob Denman

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So lacking any documentation or proof: we might as well discuss who shot J.F.K., or where Amelia Earhart crashed...
Personally speaking: I hope that is his knife, and has found it's way home
 
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3fifty7

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I don’t know if I’ve seen this linked here on BF before but being from Bunkie and farming the land across the bayou from where the Bowie plantation once stood I’m partial to this account.


I always get a chuckle when the “first” Bowie Knife comes up. As in the first knife Bowie commissioned, the first knife made for him, the first knife he ever owned, etc.
Personally I believe the legend began with the knife used in the Sandbar fight and if giver the choice I’d rather have the Sandbar Bowie.
EC7BFB87-F321-47DA-B534-E5F784F815CE.jpeg
 
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It's so huge and clunky looking, yet so elaborate with that brass back. Makes me kinda doubt that it was ever brought into a battle.
 
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What is a "Bowie knife"? Simply any knife owned or carried by Rezin or James?

Except in popular culture, a Bowie knife, a knife owned by Rezin or James, does not have a clipped double edge point and does not have a cross-guard. A Bowie knife is nothing more, as documented, than a hunting knife with the appearance of a large butcher knife. And, of course, there were the many, various presentation knives Rezin had made up, but were still the same, basic, butcher knife, design.

I just can't wrap my mind around how the popular fighting knives of the early 1830's made the transition from Rezin's butcher knife design to, what is now, the traditional bowie knife? And why, whom ever came up with this innovative design, would this person call it a "Bowie" knife when it had no connection to the Bowies? Purely a marketing scheme?
 

Cobalt

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What is a "Bowie knife"? Simply any knife owned or carried by Rezin or James?

Except in popular culture, a Bowie knife, a knife owned by Rezin or James, does not have a clipped double edge point and does not have a cross-guard. A Bowie knife is nothing more, as documented, than a hunting knife with the appearance of a large butcher knife. And, of course, there were the many, various presentation knives Rezin had made up, but were still the same, basic, butcher knife, design.

I just can't wrap my mind around how the popular fighting knives of the early 1830's made the transition from Rezin's butcher knife design to, what is now, the traditional bowie knife? And why, whom ever came up with this innovative design, would this person call it a "Bowie" knife when it had no connection to the Bowies? Purely a marketing scheme?

Bingo, I agree with you on all accounts. But lets face it, the Bowies were such personalities that putting their name on the ugly clip point knife with the ugly brass spine made it sell. who would want a good ole butcher knife. :D Besides the Sandbar knife is what made Bowie famous not, whatever knife he had at the Alamo.

The reality is that the Alamo knife in all likelyhood ended up in Mexico, probably taken by one of the soldiers that killed Bowie.

I remember someone have an exact replica of the sandbar bowie made to the specs in the letter written by the bowie family, can't remember who wrote it, but it explicitly describes the knife has having a 9.xxx" blade length with a taper in the tang and blade and being near 3/8" thick. This may be the jesse clift repro of the original

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and a potential candidate
hiSmZIh.jpg


Then the Forest Bowie which was longer
0zWWmU6.jpg
 
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I just can't wrap my mind around how the popular fighting knives of the early 1830's made the transition from Rezin's butcher knife design to, what is now, the traditional bowie knife? And why, whom ever came up with this innovative design, would this person call it a "Bowie" knife when it had no connection to the Bowies? Purely a marketing scheme?
At one time, before the southwest became part of the US, the European immigrant population there was mainly Spanish in origin. The Spaniards, and other cultures from the same southern European area, had knife fighting techniques that used large navajas with a sharpened clip. This style used the Mediterranean grip, holding the knife edge up, and featured slashing attacks with the tip and quick punch-like stabs. This hold allows the blade to be withdrawn from a stabbing attack more easily using the natural mechanics of the body, ie pulling out and up, making a large cut on the way out.
Given that the southwest had a fairly large Spanish population, its entirely conceivable that somebody possibly not at all related to Bowie or Black applied the navaja designs and techniques to the large American "bowie" knife and created the "fighting knife" that everyone knows today...
 

Cobalt

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At one time, before the southwest became part of the US, the European immigrant population there was mainly Spanish in origin. The Spaniards, and other cultures from the same southern European area, had knife fighting techniques that used large navajas with a sharpened clip. This style used the Mediterranean grip, holding the knife edge up, and featured slashing attacks with the tip and quick punch-like stabs. This hold allows the blade to be withdrawn from a stabbing attack more easily using the natural mechanics of the body, ie pulling out and up, making a large cut on the way out.
Given that the southwest had a fairly large Spanish population, its entirely conceivable that somebody possibly not at all related to Bowie or Black applied the navaja designs and techniques to the large American "bowie" knife and created the "fighting knife" that everyone knows today...

Very true about navajas. However, there were larger frontier style blades, that lacked clip points/swedges, that the Spanish brought with them to south america and in particular, Argentina, where the Gauchos became the primary carriers of large blades, as guns were not available like they were in North America, was the Facon and associated smaller knives. They cane in sizes up to 12 blade lengths and all the way down to 3-4" lengths. They used these knives for everything from cooking to fighting.

jkfg1hZ0nshcK4E66r2r8ih54WCfkGHK5uBHeLbjkGkwKwK6ZT8R33BI_feDUpr3QJnEsPaYpzbnDTGwMgEPY9dtBacCYMlJNyyeGlT4_A
 
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Very true about navajas. However, there were larger frontier style blades, that lacked clip points/swedges, that the Spanish brought with them to south america and in particular, Argentina, where the Gauchos became the primary carriers of large blades, as guns were not available like they were in North America, was the Facon and associated smaller knives. They cane in sizes up to 12 blade lengths and all the way down to 3-4" lengths. They used these knives for everything from cooking to fighting.

jkfg1hZ0nshcK4E66r2r8ih54WCfkGHK5uBHeLbjkGkwKwK6ZT8R33BI_feDUpr3QJnEsPaYpzbnDTGwMgEPY9dtBacCYMlJNyyeGlT4_A
Gaucho knives are of varied origin, design and use. Many of the originals were brought from various countries in Europe and the designs were copied by local knife makers. Those shown above are cuchilla or punales, basic all purpose knives. The Facón is a longer weapon, single or sometimes double edged, usually with some sort of cross guard, more of a short sword. The name facón isn't Spanish either, it was derived from the Portuguese word for long knife. There was much Portuguese influence in parts of South America, and many early Spanish-speaking gauchos adopted the Portuguese facao for self defense.
 

Cobalt

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Gaucho knives are of varied origin, design and use. Many of the originals were brought from various countries in Europe and the designs were copied by local knife makers. Those shown above are cuchilla or punales, basic all purpose knives. The Facón is a longer weapon, single or sometimes double edged, usually with some sort of cross guard, more of a short sword. The name facón isn't Spanish either, it was derived from the Portuguese word for long knife. There was much Portuguese influence in parts of South America, and many early Spanish-speaking gauchos adopted the Portuguese facao for self defense.

Actually the second one down is a Facon and they mostly did not come with guards. In fact guards were fairly uncommon, except for military use.
Facons they used, mostly did not have swedges and still don't. The swedge was not useful from a utilitarian point of view when you consider how the goucho used them.

Here is a large mexican blade from what appears to be late 1800's ish.
 
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A brief overview of Gaucho knives by Abel Domenech, who actually wrote a book on this subject.......


The blade of a typical facón is very long and slim, single-edged, and sometimes with a short double-edge near its point. The presence of a fuller is common in these long blades. Facones also feature a double guard, usually "S" shaped, though sometimes with the form of an inverted "U", or a simple short crossguard. The guards were intended to protect the hand of the bearer during a fight, or to deflect an opponent's thrust.
In fact, that picture is from the link above, and all the knives in that picture are labeled as cuchillo de campo.....not facon.....
 
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Triton

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Musso had a psychic look at it, and the psychic confirmed it :). Part of the psychic story taken from Gun Digest 2nd edition, they go on for pages about it -

"Musso had long been a student of the Bowie legend and pondered whether the initials and star really meant anything. Could they stand for James Black as the maker or even Jim Bowie as the owner? Or was it just another phony copy of a Bowie knife? Musso pondered this for some time and finally contacted Peter Hurkos, believed by many to be the world's greatest psychic.

For those who may not be familiar with Hurkos and his seeming powers, he is supposed to have acquired his psychic powers after he fell from a ladder in his native Holland in 1941. He lay unconscious in a hospital for four days. When he regained consciousness, it is reported, he had developed a talent for piercing the past, present and even the future. The hospital staff, according to reports of the time, was stunned; there was no medical explanation, no logical reason for Hurkos' seeming powers. The Hollander has gained a degree of fame in his country and in Europe as what might best be described as a "psychic detective," working on cases involving missing persons and murder victims.

He has worked on a number of cases with various police departments, helping to solve the mysteries including the murders committed by the Charles Manson followers in which actress Sharon Tate died. Incidentally, Queen Julianna of Holland decorated Hurkos for his work with the Dutch underground during World War II and there is a statue commemorating his work in Rotterdam. Hurkos — born Pieter Van der Hurk — was brought to the United States in 1956 to be tested at the Round Table Foundation Research Laboratory in Glen Cove, Maine. He spent more than two years taking part in experiments under scientifically controlled conditions. The doctors and experts apparently were convinced that Hurkos' psychic faculties were the greatest they ever had tested. His feats of seeing past, present and future have been reported on in Time, Newsweek, Life, Look, Reader's Digest and countless other publications. The International Police Associations made Hurkos a member and His Holiness, Pope Pius XII, decorated him, stating at the time, "I hope you will use your God-given gift for the betterment of mankind...use it as an instrument to touch people, to help them."

Whether the reader chooses to believe in Peter Hurkos' powers is up to the individual. Joseph Musso, however, is a believer. Since Hurkos resides now in Studio City, not far from Hollywood, the owner of the Bowie decided to contact him, not telling him the reason. "Hurkos agreed to see me," Musso recalls.

"I took the knife to him in a brown paper bag. I still had told him nothing about what I was bringing to him or my reasons for wanting to see him. "I simply laid the bag in front of him and asked what hecould tell me about it. Peter Hurkos told me that my knife was the largest and the favorite of at least fourteen knives owned by Colonel James Bowie. He allowed me to tape record the entire event. "Hurkos said that this knife was made for Bowie by James Black and Bob Lovel Snowden and was the only knife Bowie had with a brass strip along the back of the blade." The knife was still inside the brown paper bag, on a table in front of Hurkos. It had not been opened. ..and the knife did have the brass strip described! James Black, the Arkansas blacksmith mentioned at some length earlier, "had a process for hardening steel," according to Hurkos and used the process on this knife....."

Oh my heck... I had never heard that one. Poor, poor... (well at least poorer) Phil Collins if he really bought that load of horse hockey....
 

Triton

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So lacking any documentation or proof: we might as well discuss who shot J.F.K., or where Amelia Earhart crashed...
Personally speaking: I hope that is his knife, and has found it's way home

I don't think anyone's saying that. The conversation is always fun, but we shouldn't confuse possible with plausible. Many things are possible. For example it's possible that JFK was killed by the mafia, Fidel Castro, Big Foot and Amelia Earhart acting as a hit squad, but it's extremely implausible and really beggar's belief.

In this case the facts are these. Jim Bowie died at the Alamo. Jim Bowie is famous because a knife of unspecified appearance had his name attached. Them's the facts...

There are various knives about including the Searles, Forrest and now apparently "Sea of Mud" (I won't dignify that "Musso" bowie by suggesting it's even in the same category as those) which various proponents would like to think are THE bowie knife. Some are more plausible candidates than others but none of them are provably anything other than a knife. In this case the "Sea of Mud" bowie's provenance is so tenuous that we really know nothing more about it than it has a particular pattern and that it was found in a location where the Mexican Army once camped. That's ALL we KNOW.
 
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Triton

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What is a "Bowie knife"? Simply any knife owned or carried by Rezin or James?

Except in popular culture, a Bowie knife, a knife owned by Rezin or James, does not have a clipped double edge point and does not have a cross-guard. A Bowie knife is nothing more, as documented, than a hunting knife with the appearance of a large butcher knife. And, of course, there were the many, various presentation knives Rezin had made up, but were still the same, basic, butcher knife, design.

I just can't wrap my mind around how the popular fighting knives of the early 1830's made the transition from Rezin's butcher knife design to, what is now, the traditional bowie knife? And why, whom ever came up with this innovative design, would this person call it a "Bowie" knife when it had no connection to the Bowies? Purely a marketing scheme?

I like Bernard Levine's definition:

Bowie knife is not defined by shape or proportions. It is not a pattern.

Bowie knife is defined by period (1827-1872 mainly), function (sidearm mainly), and original market (North America mainly).

Mainly means there are exceptions to all three rules, but the beginner MUST not concern himself with those... until he is no longer a beginner.
 

Cobalt

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A brief overview of Gaucho knives by Abel Domenech, who actually wrote a book on this subject.......



In fact, that picture is from the link above, and all the knives in that picture are labeled as cuchillo de campo.....not facon.....

Thanks for posting the article, good to see that no clip points posted in any pics like I said before.

Also, the article had incorrect name in it. The River Plate? Plate is not correct, el Rio de la plata is translated properly to the River of Silver. Regardless, the article states that the big knives were called facon. So, again, big knives no clip points, more common. As I said.
 

Bob Denman

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I don't think anyone's saying that. The conversation is always fun, but we shouldn't confuse possible with plausible. Many things are possible. For example it's possible that JFK was killed by the mafia, Fidel Castro, Big Foot and Amelia Earhart acting as a hit squad, but it's extremely implausible and really beggar's belief.

In this case the facts are these. Jim Bowie died at the Alamo. Jim Bowie is famous because a knife of unspecified appearance had his name attached. Them's the facts...

There are various knives about including the Searles, Forrest and now apparently "Sea of Mud" (I won't dignify that "Musso" bowie by suggesting it's even in the same category as those) which various proponents would like to think are THE bowie knife. Some are more plausible candidates than others but none of them are provably anything other than a knife. In this case the "Sea of Mud" bowie's provenance is so tenuous that we really know nothing more about it than it has a particular pattern and that it was found in a location where the Mexican Army once camped. That's ALL we KNOW.
I'll be the first to admit that the discussions are more fun than watching piglets play in the mud...
But when there are few to no proven facts present: things often degrade to folks simply hanging on to their long-held hopes and beliefs.
I'll also admit that the entertainment factor is high off the charts!
 

Cobalt

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I don't think anyone's saying that. The conversation is always fun, but we shouldn't confuse possible with plausible. Many things are possible. For example it's possible that JFK was killed by the mafia, Fidel Castro, Big Foot and Amelia Earhart acting as a hit squad, but it's extremely implausible and really beggar's belief.

In this case the facts are these. Jim Bowie died at the Alamo. Jim Bowie is famous because a knife of unspecified appearance had his name attached. Them's the facts...

There are various knives about including the Searles, Forrest and now apparently "Sea of Mud" (I won't dignify that "Musso" bowie by suggesting it's even in the same category as those) which various proponents would like to think are THE bowie knife. Some are more plausible candidates than others but none of them are provably anything other than a knife. In this case the "Sea of Mud" bowie's provenance is so tenuous that we really know nothing more about it than it has a particular pattern and that it was found in a location where the Mexican Army once camped. That's ALL we KNOW.

All we do know is that the knife that made Bowie famous, or the knife that bowie made famous at the sandbar fight has nothing to do with what people believe a bowie knife is today. The Clift bowie is the original and it is likely that the followup to that knife is probably just a fancier knife of the same or similar style as the clift, such as the folwar or shively bowie. It is fun to speculate though



I'll be the first to admit that the discussions are more fun than watching piglets play in the mud...
But when there are few to no proven facts present: things often degrade to folks simply hanging on to their long-held hopes and beliefs.
I'll also admit that the entertainment factor is high off the charts!

True, it is fun to speculate. Sometimes very good information comes out of such discussions.
 
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