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Lot 0417
Circa 1830-1840’s. 5-1/2" relief ground clip point blade marked on tang "W.F. MILLS/120 HOLBORN/LONDON". Rosewood handle scales with nickel silver crossguard and coffin shaped pommel, the latter bearing the famed half horse-half alligator motif and a rarely seen escutcheon in the form of a cross. The blade with light sharpening, slightly tipped at point, the exposed area darkened but otherwise in excellent condition. The handle scales have a chip on reverse and a couple of scratches and hairline cracks, the nickel silver trim with several dents and scratches, lightly polished. Latch for lockback mechanism a replacement as is the pin that holds it. Ex. Mike Worley collection. The half horse-half alligator motif seems to have originated around the time of the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. The horse’s strength and the alligator’s toughness and fighting ability were combined into a single mythological creature, symbolic of the rough-and-tumble men on America’s frontier – men of the sort that might need a Bowie knife like this. Mills was based in London and sold a few folding Bowies probably made for him in Sheffield. Flook’s book on London knives lists his dates of operation as 1825-1840.Flook, Ron. "The London Knife Book, An A-Z Guide to London Cutlers 1820-1945". Antique Knives Ltd., 2008. p.116-117. (info on Mills)Blade Length: 5 - 3/8"Overall Length: 12 - 1/4"Paperwork: No

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Half Horse-Half Alligator Folding Bowie made for W.F.

Estimate $7,500 - $10,000Nov 3, 2017
2000 N Reading Road
Denver, PA 17517
United States
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