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Lot 0529
Circa 1867-1875. 14-1/4†overall. 9-3/16†long relief ground clip point blade, etched on the ricasso ROBY / M’F’G CO. / W CHELMSFORD / MASS. Blade etched on both sides with sword style etching; the obverse with acanthus leaf scroll, the reverse with a grape vine motif and a bunch of grapes. Waisted ebony handle octagonal in cross section. Ornately shaped thin steel crossguard; ferrule and crown shaped pommel appear to be of silver plated brass. Original leather scabbard; silver plated brass throat with frog stud, nickel silver tip. Blade with light sharpening, some spotting, the handle very good with a few small cracks and dings, much of the silver plating is worn away. The sheath is fair with some bends and cracks in the leather, tip fitting is a replacement. Ex. Tim Kaspar, Peter McMickle collections.A scythe maker from the Boston area, on the eve of the Civil War Christopher Roby changed his production over to supply swords for government contracts, also producing the famous eaglehead pommel bowie knives that seem to have been produced for private sale to Union soldiers. In 1867, after the Civil War, C. Roby &?Co. became caught up in the affairs of Blodget, Brown &?Co. and fell into bankruptcy, reemerging in late 1867 as the Roby Manufacturing Co. – the company indicated by the marking on this knife. A December 1867 ad confirms the company’s continued production of swords as the Roby Mfg. Co. (Bezdek, 1999). In 1875 the Roby Manufacturing Co. was purchased by Hiscox File Co.This is the only known Roby knife of this type and the only Roby knife with this particular marking.Bazelon, Bruce S. and William F. McGuinn, A Directory of American Military Goods Dealers &?Makers 1785-1915. 1990, published by the authors. p.140 (on Roby Mfg. Co.)Bezdek, Richard H. American Swords &?Sword Makers. 1994, Paladin Press, p.185-187. (on Roby Mfg. Co.)Bezdek, Richard H. American Swords &?Sword Makers Vol. II. 1999, Paladin Press, p.74. (on Roby Mfg. Co.)Levine, Bernard, “Whut Izzit†in Knife World, June 1995, pp.9-10 (this knife)Levine, Bernard, “Whut Izzit†in Knife World, August 1995, p.9 (this knife)This item is from the collection of, described by, and authenticated by Herbert G. Ratner, Jr.Blade Length: 9 - 3/16"Overall Length: 15"Paperwork: NoSerial Number: NSN

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Only Known Bowie Knife by Roby M’f’g Co., W.

Estimate $8,000 - $10,000Nov 3, 2017