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Many of these Knives hold prestigious awards! See Shows and Awards
Considered the “King of Knives,” the bowie knife has roots that extend from Northern Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, and the United States. From humble utilitarian beginnings, it was not until it emerged well into the Industrial Revolution as a weapon of sinister elegance that its significance as America’s signature cutlery statement solidified. Although it remains shrouded in legend, today the bowie knife is viewed in a much friendlier spotlight, the result of persistent historians who continue to unravel the truth and its many secrets.
By 1830 the bowies were mired in fiction, started by creative speculation about James Bowie and the legendary Sandbar Duel in 1827. By the time Bowie was killed in 1836 defending the Alamo, fiction far outweighed fact surrounding both the man and his knife. In the 1850′s, styles popularized in San Francisco bestowed on the bowie elegance and flair it once lacked, creating a new art form in the process. Following the Civil War, incessant demand for manufactured heroes, villains, and deeds during westward expansion up to about 1900 further eroded the truth. Eventually, the bowie knife came under the scrutiny of lawmakers who banned it. Surprisingly, many of these laws remain on the books after more than a century.
Although rich in both legend and historical fact, truth and fiction surrounding the bowie are steadily being separated by a gallery of dedicated experts. Stressing the importance of bowie evolution seen through the eyes of important cutlers such as Schively & Searles, or Will & Finck among others, and putting into proper perspective the efforts of James Black (who may have created knives for James Bowie), contemporary historians and authors have created a legitimate renaissance of this cutlery icon. Absent this effort, the modern bowie knife likely would not exist in all its many forms, and those who make them could not contribute meaningfully to the unique place in history the bowie knife occupies. To be a part of this is a rewarding and, quite honestly, humbling experience.
Among those I would like to thank for helping me keep artistic expression in perspective: Mark Zalesky, Editor of Knife World, bowie knife collector and acknowledged authority on the history and evolution of the bowie knife; Dr. Jim Batson, one of the country’s prolific collectors of, and author and lecturer on, bowie knives; Bernard Levine, author, lecturer, collector and columnist whose knowledge of and accuracy about knives keeps the field level; B. R. Hughes, a gentleman whose judgement in and about knives, and those who make them, is a study in perspective; Butch Winter, twinkled-eyed native Tennesseean, knife lover and feature writer quick to give the new kid on the block a break; William F. “Bill” Moran, whose work exemplifies the spirit of the bowie knife and who, as he told me, “likes a real nice clip point” on a bowie; and last but by no means least, Ken Warner, Former Editor of “Knives”, first to publish photos of my work that put me in front of a worldwide audience. Much of what I know and feel about the bowie knife is the result of the collective wisdom of these fine men, each of whom has helped me immeasurably.