9th ABS Knife Exposition Update By James Batson, ABS President and Chairman


From the desk of James Batson, Chairman and President of the American Bladesmith Society 

The 9th ABS Knife Exposition is a full fledge knife Exposition with close to 100 tables of forged blades. There will be knife making classes, venders, ABS Stamp judging, a banquet, a raffle and auction. There will be a makers choice award for the Best of Show. And above all outstanding forged blades will be available for the descriminating collector as well as using knives for the sportsman.

To make this an outstanding and memorable event, I am asking the table holders to make a special knife or knives of their choosing to be made especially for the 2012 San Antonio Exposition set for January 27-29, 2012. The knives will be pictured and described by the ABS bladesmith in a special Album in the ABS Forum Gallery. Each maker will describe the knife and provide pictures, still or moving, of the knife and how it was made. In addition, these pictures will be posted by the table holders on the various forums so that the collectors may have a sneak preview of the Expo.

To get this idea started I am in the process of recreating two knives from the past for the Expo. The first is one of the largest antique Bowies that I have had the honor of holding. It belongs to William Myers.The blade is nearly 14 inches long and belonged to Thomas Wells of Nashville, TN. Thomas was born in 1802 in Virginia but was raised near Nashville. He trained as a druggist and aphothacarist and early in his career became a respected and successful businessman who counted among his weathy clients, Andrew Jackson.

This knife was described in a Butterfield & Butterfield auction catalog as a:”Rare Silver Mounted Bowie Knife American, Circa 1835, The 13 5/8 inch clip point blade with bevelled sharpened false edge and Spanish notch. Silver mounted hilt inscribed T. Wells on pommel cap and
Nashville on ferrule. Silver quillons and chain knuckle bow, incised carved ivory scales. The original silver scabbard with delicate engraved wavy lines and festoons on either side’ Inscribed near the throat T. Wells and Nashville. The reverse mounted with belt loop.”

The second knife is a rare American front opening lockback dirk folder made by Samuel
Jackson of Baltimore, Md. This exceptional example of the early American Cutler is owned by Mark Zalesky.This 5 inch long closed ivory mounted pocket knife is like no other that I have seen. The blade and spring are 1/4 of an inch wide. It is a lift front opening lock without a lock bar. The spring is also the lockbar. The rear spring support is silver wire inlayed horn. Samuel Jackson made knives from 1833-1870.

Thank You,

James Batson, MS
President, American Bladesmith Society


Original Big Bowie Pictures


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Knife & Sheath

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Bottom View

Original Jackson Folding Dirk Pictures

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Right side view

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Left side view

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Top view

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End view

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