A knife listed as a J. English & Huber “Sheffield Works” bowie will be among those put up for bid by Rock Island Auction Co. Dec. 6-8.
In addition to the knife, other knives, swords and firearms will be sold at the auction.
Some have suggested that James Bowie carried a Huber bowie. The Bowie Knife by Norm Flayderman includes parts of a dissertation by Dr. Tom Stapleton that suggests Huber made the knife that James and Rezin Bowie bought when they visited Philadelphia in the early 1830s. Those who read BLADE® know that BLADE field editor/ABS master smith Ed Fowler is a huge fan of vintage Huber bowies.
According to The Bowie Knife, examples of the J. English Huber are among the first and best looking of the American bowie style that originated in the early 1800s. Based in Philadelphia, the company that made the knives was in business circa 1831-36. The “Sheffield Works” in this instance was located in Philadelphia, not Sheffield, England. This has caused confusion among bowie authorities over the years. Sheffield Works was owned by Joseph English with Henry and Frederick A. Huber.
Also according to The Bowie Knife, bowies made by English could be in the running as the first to employ the “familiar ‘curved and hollowed’ clip point” seen on many antique examples.
The knife auction site lists the condition of the knife as “fine overall,” with the blade showing evidence of machine sharpening/polishing, with a few tiny chips on the tip and leading edge. The collar and pommel “are both very good, with some minor handling marks.” An inscription panel is missing from the right side of the grip, which also exhibits some age cracking and “a highly attractive grain and color.”
The site lists the estimated price for the knife at a low of $8,500 and a high of $13,000.
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