KNIFE: Bowie No.1 Guardless bowie type

James Black
Guardless coffin-shaped handle, wrapped with silver
C. 1830
18 3/8
Marked: "Bowie No.1" on escutcheon plate
Accession No: 95.33

Purchased with funds from the Gala honoring Peg Newton Smith, Loughborough Trust, Harmon Remmel, Sterling Tucker, John & Barbara Rogers, Carl Miller, Jr., Jim Hammett, Mrs. J. S. Nanson, and David Perdue

This "guardless-coffin" knife is well-known among collectors as one of the most distinctive bowie knives existing. Its characteristics - coffin shape and silver wrap of the handle, escutcheon plates, silver pins, rich burl wood scales, tapered full tang - are very similar to the Carrigan knife. While a number of guardless coffin knives exist, from a curatorial perspective the Carrigan and Bowie No.1 share so much that they are almost certainly from the same shop.