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British Knives and Bowies

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Victorian / Edwardian Era English Crookes & Crookes Sheffield Folding Multi Tool Gamekeeper’s / Shooter’s Clasp Knife With 12 and 16 Bore Shotgun Cartridge Extractor’s & Spratt’s Patent Game Meal Advertising Livery. Sn 17785 - 17785
In 1859 the Sheffield cutlers John Brookes & Thomas Crookes appear in Melville & Co’s Commercial directory of Sheffield as manufacturers of knives and dressing case instruments. The Company had a warehouse, workshops, engine house & grinding wheel behind a house on St Philip’s Road on the outskirts of the cutlery making district of Sheffield. The workshop / factory was named the Atlantic works and was previously the address of knife maker Thomas Wigfall. The Company took advantage of the booming American market making Bowies for the British & American markets (see pages 161-163 of The Sheffield Knife Book by Tweedale). Established in London circa 1860 Spratt’s pioneered the concept of animal life stages with appropriate foods for each stage. This is a nice Multi Bladed Clasp Knife by Southern & Richardson in the form popular in the Victorian / Edwardian era advertising Spratt’s game meal. The knife has 7 tools and blades (1 single edged blade, corkscrew, screwdriver tip frame, hook, 12 & 16 bore shotgun cartridge extractor bolsters, removable spike or tweezers). The blade and hook are signed by the makers ‘Crookes & Crookes Sheffield’ and have their bell trademark. The 3” single edged blade is etched ‘Spratt’s Game Meal’ on both sides (one side mostly rubbed). The hook is marked with bell trade mark alongside ‘Patent’ & ‘Graduating Extractor’. The knife has undamaged Stag horn scales. Both scales are mounted with German Silver plates embossed ‘Spratt’s Patent’ together with ‘X’ mark One scale is mounted with void German Silver oval disc. One end of the frame has a screwdriver tip. The German Silver bolsters act as shotgun cartridge extractors. One bolster has the bell trademark alongside ‘Patent’ and ‘12’ (bore). The other has the bell trademark alongside ‘Patent’ and ‘16’ (bore) The block hinge of the corkscrew is German Silver. One scale is slotted for accessory which holds a steel spike or tweezers (the accessory is firmly lodged in the scale and we do not want to risk damage by forcibly removing it). The blades & accessories have staining to be expected with age. With the 3” blade unfolded the knife measures 8” overall length. All blades and tools fold neatly into its steel frame which is reinforced with brass inserts. The price includes UK delivery. Sn 17785

Victorian Era English Southern & Richardson Sheffield Folding Multi Bladed Sportsman’s ‘Nest Knife’. Sn 17786 - 17786
Mr Southern and Mr Wilson founded the company in 1828, with Mr Wilson as the works manager and Mr Southern as the travelling salesman. A centenary booklet by the company pointed out that ‘Travelling in those days was a long… [and] very tedious business, as it had to be done by horse and trap’ and that Mr Southern was away for very long periods of time, because he had to travel throughout the country and to the Mediterranean markets. In 1847 Mr Wilson retired and was replaced by Mr Samuel Richardson, which was when the company name changed to Southern & Richardson. In 1851 the company moved from Wheeldon Works, Solly Street to the Don Cutlery Works on Doncaster Street, where they stayed for over 70 years. During the First World War the company made cutlery for the Army and Navy, continuing when 65% of their employees joined up, a figure that was the highest for all firms in Sheffield. In total, 18 employees were killed during their service.In 1919 Southern & Richardson joined Sheffield Cutlery Manufacturers Ltd, a merger led by Needham, Veall & Tyzack. This venture was not a success and in order to rationalise production, Southern and Richardson moved to the Needham, Veall & Tyzack site on Thomas Street and Milton Street. This is a nice Multi Bladed Clasp Knife by Southern & Richardson in the form popular in the Victorian era. The knife has 10 tools and blades (2 single edged blades,1 saw blade, gimlet, corkscrew, file with screwdriver tip, triangular spike, hook, removable spike and tweezers). Some of the blades and tools are signed by the makers ‘Southern & Richardson Sheffield’ and have ‘Birds nest with eggs’ devices. One blade is marked ‘Nest Knife’ together with nest device . The knife has undamaged Stag horn scales. One scale is mounted with void German Silver oval disc. The frame of the knife has German Silver edges and reinforcing pin to one end and it has a German Silver shackle. The scales are slotted for accessories which securely hold the removable steel spike and tweezers. The blades & accessories have staining to be expected with age. With the largest large 3” blade unfolded the knife measures 8 ¼” overall length. All blades and tools fold neatly into its steel frame which is reinforced with brass inserts. The price includes UK delivery. Sn 17786

Victorian, Prostitute's Garter Belt Dagger With Polished Buffalo Horn Handle, German Silver Ferrule & Leather Sheath. Sn 17781 - 17781
This is a Ladies garter belt dagger made in the Victorian era. These small concealable daggers were favoured by prostitutes to defend themselves against attack. It measures 8 ¼” overall with a 4 ¾” flat diamond section stabbing blade which has staining consistent with age. It has an elegant polished Buffalo horn hilt with small German Silver ferrule and finger guard with ball finials. There are no manufacturer marks on the dagger. The dagger comes with its original open top leather sheath with German Silver throat mount which has 2 small fixed hanging rings and chape with ball end.. The dagger fits the sheath snugly. The price includes UK delivery. Sn 17781

Large, English Fred James Sheffield Made 'THE HUNTER’S COMPANION' Bowie Knife With Etched Blade, Ivorine Hilt With Embossed Mythical Hybrid Horse / Leopard Brass Pommel & Brass Mounted Leather Scabbard. Sn 17727 - 17727
Before his death in 1986 Fred James was Sheffield's best known Bowie Knife maker. He began his career in 1935 at Johnson's Portobello Works & continued work at Wolstenholme’s Washington Works in 1956. In 1971 when the companies of Wolstenholme and Rodgers merged, James began his own knife making business (see pages 214-215 of The Sheffield Knife Book By Tweedale). This Fred James Sheffield made Bowie Knife & scabbard are in excellent condition. The knife has a solid Ivorine hilt secured with pins. One side has an inlaid void brass shield. The brass pommel is embossed on both sides with a mythical hybrid Horse / Leopard device. It has a brass cross guard and the 10” Bowie blade is polished steel (15 ½” overall). One side of the blade is etched with American Eagle and wording 'THE HUNTER’S COMPANION'. The ricasso is signed ‘F. W. James Sheffield’. The scabbard is wood covered with black leather and has brass throat mount with round frog stud and chape. The price for this impressive Bowie by a famous Sheffield cutler includes UK delivery. Sn 17727

Victorian Era English Mitchell Manchester Coachman's Multi Bladed Folding Knife With 11 Blades / Tools & Antique Ivory Scales. Sn 17739 - 17739
This is a nice Victorian era Coachman’s Multi Bladed Clasp Knife. The knife has 11 tools / blades including a removable spike tool, tweezers and screw driver tip. The 3” single edged blade, 3” saw blade, 1 ½” blade and hook tool are signed by the maker or retailer ‘Mitchell Manchester’. The knife also has folding holed gladius form blade/ tool, gimlet, corkscrew, and Coach door key. The blades and tools fold securely into the steel frame. The antique ivory scales are undamaged & secured by steel pins. One scale has an inlaid void white metal escutcheon. The knife has steel bolsters and German Silver shackle. Closed the knife measures 5 ¾” length. The length with larger blade open measures 9 ¼” overall. The price for this Coachman’s knife worthy of further research regarding the maker / retailer includes UK delivery. Sn 17739

Nowill & Sons Sheffield Scottish Sgian Dubh Knife With Stag Antler Hilt & Scabbard. Sn 17711 - 17711
Scottish Sgian Dubh 'Gaelic- Black Knife' were carred by heavily armed Scottish Clansmen. Tucked into the sock, this was reputed to be the weapon of last resort. Today it remains an essential part of traditional Highland wear. This is a quality Scottish Sgian Dubh knife by John Nowill & Sons of Sheffield who have been making quality knives in Sheffield since 1700. This example has a polished steel 3 ¾” single edged blade with fullers on both sides & a scalloped section back edge. One side of the blade has a rubbed light etching signature ‘Nowill & Sons Sheffield’. The knife measures 8 ¼” overall length. Its solid polished stag antler hit has a brass ferrule and white metal pommel cap. The Sgian Dubh is complete with black leather covered wood open top scabbard. The scabbard’s white metal fittings have embossed traditional Scottish designs including Scottish Thistle device . The price includes UK delivery. Sn 17711

** WW2 VICTORIA CROSS RECIPIENT MIDGET SUBMARINE TIRPITZ ATTACK ** George VI Royal Navy Midshipman's Dirk With Bullion Cord, Scabbard & Foul Weather / Transit Cover To Rear Admiral Basil Charles Godfrey Place VC, CB, CVO, DSC. With Provenance From Family - 17618
Rear Admiral Basil Charles Godfrey Place, VC, CB, CVO, DSC (19 July 1921 – 27 December 1994), known as Godfrey Place, was an officer in the Royal Navy and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was 22 years old, and a lieutenant in the Royal Navy during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC. On 22 September 1943 at Kåfjord, North Norway, Lieutenant Place, commanding Midget Submarine X7, and another lieutenant (Donald Cameron) commanding Midget Submarine X.6, carried out a most daring and successful attack on the German Battleship Tirpitz. The two submarines had to travel at least 1,000 miles from base, negotiate a mine-field, dodge nets, gun defences and enemy listening posts. Having eluded all these hazards they finally placed the charges underneath the ship where they went off an hour later, doing so much damage that Tirpitz was out of action for months. The full citation was published in a supplement to the London Gazette of 18 February 1944 (dated 22 February 1944) and read: The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the VICTORIA CROSS for valour to: Lieutenant Basil Charles Godfrey Place, D.S.C., Royal Navy. Lieutenant Donald Cameron, R.N.R. Lieutenants Place and Cameron were the Commanding Officers of two of His Majesty's Midget Submarines X 7 and X 6 which on 22nd September 1943 carried out a most daring and successful attack on the German Battleship Tirpitz, moored in the protected anchorage of Kaafiord, North Norway. To reach the anchorage necessitated the penetration of an enemy minefield and a passage of fifty miles up the fiord, known to be vigilantly patrolled by the enemy and to be guarded by nets, gun defences and listening posts, this after a passage of at least a thousand miles from base. Having successfully eluded all these hazards and entered the fleet anchorage, Lieutenants Place and Cameron, with a complete disregard for danger, worked their small craft past the close anti-submarine and torpedo nets surrounding the Tirpitz, and from a position inside these nets, carried out a cool and determined attack. Whilst they were still inside the nets a fierce enemy counter attack by guns and depth charges developed which made their withdrawal impossible. Lieutenants Place and Cameron therefore scuttled their craft to prevent them falling into the hands of the enemy. Before doing so they took every measure to ensure the safety of their crews, the majority of whom, together with themselves, were subsequently taken prisoner. In the course of the operation these very small craft pressed home their attack to the full, in doing so accepting all the dangers inherent in such vessels and facing every possible hazard which ingenuity could devise for the protection in harbour of vitally important Capital Ships. The courage, endurance and utter contempt for danger in the immediate face of the enemy shown by Lieutenants Place and Cameron during this determined and successful attack were supreme. Later Godfrey Place was awarded the Polish Cross of Valour for his service as liaison officer in the Polish submarine ORP Sokół and the Distinguished Service Cross for his role in the sinking of the Italian submarine Guglielmotti by HMS Unbeaten off Sicily in March 1942. In 1950, he took the unusual step for a submariner of transferring to the Fleet Air Arm, training as a pilot and gaining his "wings" in 1952. Later that year he saw action in the Korean War, flying the Sea Fury in 801 Squadron from the deck of the carrier HMS Glory. He later achieved the rank of rear-admiral. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Imperial War Museum in London. This is Rear Admiral Godfey’s Naval Dirk awarded to him on passing out from the Britannia Royal Naval College in 1938. A note signed by the Officer’s son Charles Place dated 14th February 2020 describes how the dirk was presented to his father, mentions his award of the VC and describes his Father as “an unusual Naval officer who saw active service, below on and above the waves”. The note also describes his biography ; Midget Submarine Commander The Life Of Godrey Place by Paul Watkins being published in 2012. The signed note accompanies the dirk and a copy of a period image of the Officer is illustrated in image 2. The Odfficer’s George VI Royal Navy Dirk measures 23 ½” overall and has an 18" etched steel blade with blued decorative foliate panels on both sides. On one side the panels incorporate the Kings Crown and Naval fouled anchor motif together with heraldic arms. The other side has the King George VI Royal Cypher and foliate panels. There is no visible manufacturer mark. It has a Brass hilt with wire bound shark skin grip, lion head pommel with lanyard ring & cross guard with Anchor & Rope centre piece & acorn finials. The hilt is fitted with original bullion cord. It is complete with its original black leather scabbard with brass locket & chape. The mounts are decoratively engraved. The upper mount also has 2 hanging rings and is fitted with locking catch which snugly fits into a slot in the cross guard of the dirk and securely retains the dirk in the scabbard. The dirk comes with original lined leather foul weather /transit cover with flap and retaining strap with buckle. The price for this historic piece to a WW2 VC submariner hero includes UK delivery. Sn 17618

Victorian William Morton & Sons Sheffield Folding Bowie Knife With Buffalo Horn Scales, German Silver ‘TW’ Monogram Escutcheon, German Silver Folding Cross Guard & Open Top Leather Scabbard With ‘J.W’ Monogram. Sn 17628 - 17628
The date William Morton launched his knife making business is unknown but he is listed as a spring knife maker in Darnall in 1868. William Morton & Sons Sheffield were first listed in directories in 1876 at the old Rockingham Works 175 Rockingham Street, Sheffield as makers of pocket knives and sports knives (see page 231 of the Sheffield Knife Book by Tweedale). This is an excellent Victorian era folding Bowie Knife by William Morton & Sons in its original leather scabbard. The knife's 7 ¼” bowie blade has just light staining consistent with age. The knife measures 11 ¾” overall length when open (8 ¼” length closed). The blade is crisply marked on one side with the manufacturer’s name ‘W. Morton & Sons Sheffield’. It has chequered Buffalo horn scales. One scale is inlaid with German Silver escutcheon engraved with ‘T.W.’ monogram. It has a folding German Silver folding cross guard. The knife is complete with original open top brown leather scabbard which has an integral single leather belt loop. The front of the scabbard is impressed with ‘J.W.’ monogram (the monograms are most likely the initials of the original owner (s). All leather and stitching are intact. The price includes UK Delivery. Sn 17628

1970’s William Rodgers Sheffield ‘I Cut My Way’ Trade Mark Stainless Steel Saw Back ‘Amphibian’ Fishing Knife With Cork Hilt & Leather Scabbard. ED 2516 - ED 2516
The Sheffield cutler William Rodgers was recorded in the 1852 directory. His trade mark was ‘I Cut My Way’ together with mincing knife device. The company ceased trading towards the late 19th Century. In 1911 John Clarke advertised the trademark as his own & used it to good effect in the 20th century. The Eggington group acquired the trademark in the 1980’s. This form of Rodgers fishing knife featured in a 1970 William Rodgers catalogue, an picture of the catalogue can be seen in image 3. It has lightweight cork hilt to assist buoyance if dropped into water, the hilt has a ringed hole for lanyard and brass bar finger guard. It has a clean 6” stainless steel blade with 4”saw back section. One side of the blade is crisply marked by the manufacturer together with Company trademark ‘stainless’ and model designation ‘Amphibian’ (all illustrated). The tan leather scabbard has a belt loop with retaining strap & press stud fastener. The price includes UK delivery. ED 2516

Victorian British Joseph Rodgers & Sons Sheffield Cutlers To Their Majesties Folding Bowie Knife With German Silver Cross Guard, Release Button & Open Top Leather Scabbard. Sn 17280 - 17280
Joseph Rodgers had an unsurpassed reputation for knife making. The Star and Maltese cross trademarks were granted to Rodgers by the The Cutlers Company in 1764. Both he and later his sons produced quality knives at various premises in Sheffield including the world famous 6 Norfolk Street (as early as 1800 Joseph Rodgers and Sons had been established at Norfolk St, Sheffield). This is an excellent folding Bowie Knife by Joseph Rodgers & Sons made at their Norfolk Street address. It is 8 ¾” overall length when folded. The knife's 7 ½” Bowie blade is undamaged and has just light staining consistent with age. The blade is crisply marked on one side with the manufacturer’s name and Norfolk Street address. It also has the Company’s Maltese cross & Star trade mark (all illustrated). It has attractive chequered wood scales which are in great condition secured by metal pins. It has a German Silver folding cross guard. One scale has a German Silver button which, when pressed releases the blade to open to its full length. When fully extended the knife measures 12” overall. The knife is complete with original open top brown leather scabbard which has an integral single leather belt loop riveted to the rear of the throat. The price includes UK Delivery. Sn 17280
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