Pattern 1861 "Dahlgren" Bowie Knife - Inventory Number: EDG 072 / Sold
This edged weapon is a rare, original Pattern 1861 'Dahlgren' bowie knife often referred to as the Plymouth Naval Rifle Bowie Knife Bayonet. Designed in 1856 by U.S. Navy Admiral John A. B. Dahlgren for use aboard his ship, the USS Plymouth, this Ames-marked knife replaced the saber-style bayonet that was first issued with the Plymouth Whitney Rifle musket.
The Dahlgren bowie knife bayonet is considered to be one of the best bayonet designs of the nineteenth century. Produced for the Navy by well-known arms maker Ames Manufacturing Co of Chicopee, Massachusetts in September 1861, this finely-crafted weapon features an unfullered, bowie-shaped, spear point blade 12 1/8" long with a modified clipped point tip on the obverse side. Still quite sharp, the hefty, 3/8" thick steel blade is in excellent condition with just scattered areas of surface rust and pinprick pitting.
Knife has a one-piece pommel, guard and back strap of heavy brass with a one-piece walnut grip fitted between the pommel back strap and the guard. Butt of the brass pommel is stamped with the government armory sub-inspector's initials "DR" (David Rice - ASI), in script within a small oval. All brass has acquired dark bronze patina. Bottom of the walnut grip features four finger grooves for a positive grasp. Brass hilt is secured to the grips by a long brass wood screw vertically traversing the hilt.
Admiral Dahlgren's own description of this foreboding weapon states "The special bayonet is a short, broad and stout knife of the well-known bowie-pattern, the principal use of which I designed to be in the hand in close conflict as in boarding."
Stamped on the center obverse ricasso is the markings "U.S.N. / D.R. / 1863" while the reverse ricasso bears the maker's three-line mark of "AMES MFG & CO / CHICOPEE / MASS".
The accompanying rare, original leather scabbard is unmarked and in good condition. Both the throat and tip are constructed of brass while the sheath portion is of black bridle leather. A rare and unique edged weapon specimen of the American Navy in the Civil War. From the personal collection of Don Troaini.
Inventory Number: EDG 072 / Sold