More Bodacious Bowie knives...

The place to talk about knives, swords, edged weapons, sticks and impact weapons, restraints, and and the techniques and tools for preparedness and survival without firearms.
Post Reply
User avatar
Denis
Posts: 6570
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:29 am

More Bodacious Bowie knives...

Post by Denis »

Mrs Denis and I were in Vienna for New Year. It's cold there, I can tell you... the "Wiener Kaffeehaus Kultur" clearly came about because no-one wanted to be outdoors for more than ten minutes at a stretch. Hence the preponderance of warm beverages laced with alcohol...
Vienna IMG_6589.JPG
A view of St Stephen's Square, with the zig-zag roof of the cathedral.

As is my wont, I went a-wandering. Vienna is particularly good for that, as it's one of the few European capitals which has not been taken over by huge retail-store chains.

There are still many mom-and-pop shops, each specialising in selling a particular product: glove & scarf shops, milliners, walking-stick sellers, locksmiths, toolsmiths, artisan-jewellers, clockmakers, saddlers, dealers in hairbrushes and shaving paraphernalia, and so on.

In my mooching, I discovered a little shop with chisels and sharp tools for woodworkers. I went in to buy a small packet of Arkansas stones, and discovered that I was in an Aladdin's cave of all things sharp and pointy; chef's knives, penknives, rasps, spokeshaves, gouges, chisels, planes of every kind imaginable, parers, and on and on... The shop was "old school" - walls covered floor-to-ceiling with labelled wooden drawers, and the glass-topped counter was also full of wooden drawers. A place for everything, and everything in its place. Of course, the emporium of sharp was run by a little old lady.

While I was comparing Arkansas stones (black, white, smooth, rough, available with or without wooden cases), I spotted something in the bottom drawer of the counter which had to be the stag handle of a hunting knife.

Of course, I asked about it. "Oh, those", said the little old lady, lifting out a drawer full of dusty leather scabbards, "these were my late husband's favourite - he was a hunter. Nobody buys them these days anymore." She proceeded to empty a half-dozen bowie knives out onto the counter, each finer than the last.

I mentioned that I was a hunter too, and would she mind if I took a closer look. Of course not...

We got to chatting, about hunting, and Austria, and travelling from Ireland, and learning German, and the weather, and how beautiful Vienna is, and how no-one hunts anymore, and how wild boar are a menace in the suburbs, and on and on...

"Do you have prices for these?"

(Looks for a big black ledger on the shelf.) "Only in Schilling... for some I'll just have to guess. How many would you like?"

"Well, that depends a bit on the price... I don't want to blow the holiday budget."

"(A substantial sum) for the lot?"

"Ah, no; I'd have to eat at McDonald's for the rest of the holidays."

"We can't have that! I'll let you have them for (a rather better price)".

"Done."

So here they are for your enlightenment and enterainment; bodacious German Bowie knives from Vienna. They were still priced in Schilling, so definitely pre-1999 stock, and some are marked "West Germany" or "Western Germany", which indicates pre-1989 manufacture - from the good old days of handcrafted Solingen steel knives. Sadly, some of the old German manufacturers whose knives you see in this lot are no more, and their trademarks were sold to modern-day Chinese importers of inferior products.
Widder Bowie with Lanyard IMG_6856.JPG
Widder Solingen, 6 1/2 inch blade. "Original Bowie Knife" in Gothic script etched on the obverse. Maker's mark on the reverse. Curved steel finger-guard; stag handle, with handmade brass rivets; leather thong/lanyard. Widder knives were made by Karl Piehl in Solingen, another artisan/ manufacturer which has since fallen by the wayside.
Widder Original Bowie without Lanyard IMG_6849.JPG
Widder, Solingen, 6 inch blade. "Original Bowie Knife" in Gothic script etched on the obverse. Straight brass finger-guard; stag handle, with handmade brass rivets. embossed scabbard, marked "Solingen, Western Germany".

More in the next post...
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by Denis on Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Denis
Posts: 6570
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:29 am

Re: More Bodacious Bowie knives...

Post by Denis »

More of those Bowies...
Hubertus Original Bowie IMG_6853.JPG
Hubertus, Solingen, 6 inch blade. "Original Bowie Knife" in non-serif font stamped on the obverse. Straight brass finger-guard, cut in a diamond-shape; stag handle, with handmade brass rivets - quite slender; perhaps a lady's knife?
Kissing Cranes Big Bowie IMG_6858.JPG
Kissing Cranes brand Bowie knife. Eight-inch blade, etched with "Original Bowie Knife" in Gothic script on the obverse. Maker's mark stamped on the ricasso. Oval brass finger guard. Massive stag grips, brass riveted. This is a big, heavy knife, for someone with big hands. It reminds me of that "this is a knife" moment in Crocodile Dundee. Sadly, Kissing Cranes is one of the old German brands that was lost to China.
Solingen Sawback Skinner IMG_6861.JPG
Finally, a 5-inch sawbacked skinner. No maker's mark, just stamped "Solingen" on the hilt. Stag grip, chromed pommel, attached with leather spacers and a brass nut. Short brass finger-guard. The embossed leather scabbard is identical in construction to that of the Widder knife, above.

Enjoy!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by Denis on Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rich Jordan
Posts: 1837
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:04 am

Re: More Bodacious Bowie knives...

Post by Rich Jordan »

Very nice. I think I remember seeing one of those Solinger sawback skinners in a catalog years ago.
User avatar
SeekHer
Posts: 2286
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:27 am

Re: More Bodacious Bowie knives...

Post by SeekHer »

Wear well and very good find...

I'm always doing the same thing and have found some amazing deals of knives that haven't been repriced since they received them in the whenever past in little, out-of-the-way shops and small town hardware stores...

Only another 400 or so to go! Nicht war!

I remember the Hubertus line of knives from the 1970s & 1980s being sold here by a couple of companies...I had a small 3 blade stockman and a medium 2 blade trapper folding knives by them that were quite nice with a jigged bone (not stag) handle...I had always liked that Bowie but never had a use for it as it was too big for hunting and hadn't started into BP events yet...When I finally got involved with reenacting the line was discontinued...IIRC the price was around $30 in 1982 or ‘83...

I think my favourite of the lot would be the Widder Solingen, 6 1/2 inch blade with lanyard for the boar hunts...
There is a certain type of mentality that thinks if you make certain inanimate objects illegal their criminal misuse will disappear!

Damn the TSA and Down with the BATF(u)E!
Support the J P F O to "Give them the Boot"!!
User avatar
Denis
Posts: 6570
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:29 am

Re: More Bodacious Bowie knives...

Post by Denis »

SeekHer wrote:Only another 400 or so to go! Nicht war!
Oh no! I'm already running out of space. I got a couple more knives in France recently, too.

It seems a pity to put them in a shoebox and forget them - somehow, they should be on display...
User avatar
SeekHer
Posts: 2286
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:27 am

Re: More Bodacious Bowie knives...

Post by SeekHer »

Denis wrote:
SeekHer wrote:Only another 400 or so to go! Nicht war!
Oh no! I'm already running out of space. I got a couple more knives in France recently, too.

It seems a pity to put them in a shoebox and forget them - somehow, they should be on display...
Do like I did and get a set of blueprint drawers...they're high enough to take 90% of the knives, open full length, very strong (paper's heavy) and display lots of blades at once...

I got mine, old wooden Quarter Sawn Oak A&C mission style ones, for free from 2 uncles who were remodelling their respective offices but the new ones aren't that expensive, especially in used office furniture stores--depending on size, amount of drawers and materials...

I have screwed the backs into the studs with long lag screws so there is no chance of tipping over if I decide to open all the drawers at once which I'm told can happen but never experienced it myself...

Both sets have lower cabinets, one with a set of doors and shelves behind and the other with a bunch of 1/2 drawers, like an apothecary case, where I store the sheaths inside the boxes they came in (if possible) and other, related stuff for sharp things like hones...
There is a certain type of mentality that thinks if you make certain inanimate objects illegal their criminal misuse will disappear!

Damn the TSA and Down with the BATF(u)E!
Support the J P F O to "Give them the Boot"!!
User avatar
Denis
Posts: 6570
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:29 am

Re: More Bodacious Bowie knives...

Post by Denis »

SeekHer wrote:
Denis wrote:
SeekHer wrote:Only another 400 or so to go! Nicht war!
Oh no! I'm already running out of space. I got a couple more knives in France recently, too.

It seems a pity to put them in a shoebox and forget them - somehow, they should be on display...
Do like I did and get a set of blueprint drawers...they're high enough to take 90% of the knives, open full length, very strong (paper's heavy) and display lots of blades at once...
Hmm, that's a plan. With the recession, architects' offices are dropping like flies. I must start reading the local "for sale" ads.
User avatar
SeekHer
Posts: 2286
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:27 am

Re: More Bodacious Bowie knives...

Post by SeekHer »

Denis wrote:
SeekHer wrote:
Denis wrote: Oh no! I'm already running out of space. I got a couple more knives in France recently, too.

It seems a pity to put them in a shoebox and forget them - somehow, they should be on display...
Do like I did and get a set of blueprint drawers...they're high enough to take 90% of the knives, open full length, very strong (paper's heavy) and display lots of blades at once...
Hmm, that's a plan. With the recession, architects' offices are dropping like flies. I must start reading the local "for sale" ads.
Don't forget engineers, draftsmen, city planners, newspapers, cartographers, poster print shops--anywhere they require large papers or blueprints.
There is a certain type of mentality that thinks if you make certain inanimate objects illegal their criminal misuse will disappear!

Damn the TSA and Down with the BATF(u)E!
Support the J P F O to "Give them the Boot"!!
Post Reply