I am typing this from my phone so this probably won't look very formal. Sorry.
But I spend a lot of my time out in the woods and in creeks/rivers. Today I was bow fishing a somewhat rural part of a creek nearby. (I live in central pa) and while on my journey I arrived at a deep hole that I had never been to. I decided to investigate to see what lurked below. There was a massive drop off from a rock that had a ledge. There was weeds and rocks tucked under this boulder. I kept snooping around this rock and saw something that didn't seems quite right. I reached in and pull out a knife. A large Bowie knife to be exact. The hand gurd below the base of the blad was shaped like an S with the points of the S facing up and down. I had this weird feeling when I found it that it was probably from around the time of the civil war. The knife was extremely rusted and had been there so long, rocks actually were encrusted by the rust. I guess some people would prefer to find a mint condition knife in the water...but this knife is just plain beautiful to me. The rust and rocks allow the mind to wonder how it got there and what stories this knife would tell if it could talk...instead of being kept in a case all it's life. I know many items have been found in the surrounding area, espically since I live 15-20 min away from gettisburg. I will include a picture and any facts or opinions would be greatly appreciated.! Thanks a bunch
There seems a bit of a problem to me with he knife. It's too perfect for a knife from the war pulled out of a creek. That is the handle is too perfect as it looks to be a wooden handle. Now water has preserved wooden timbers from ships, but that is usually I deep water where the temperatures are cold and where sediment may have already covered the timbers. Creeks usually aren't deep enough for the kinds of temperatures I'm talking about. If it had been a knife from the war that was lost during the war then I'd think that the handle would have rotted away years ago. On the other hand a knife from the war that has been well care for might still have the original wooden handle or it might have had the handle replaced once or twice in the past hundred years. Such a knife could be recently lost, which would explain the handle being in such good shape.
My personal guess is it's a more recent Bowie, maybe a reproduction of a period Bowie knife but just as likely something made for todays market without an intention to reproduce any particular historic design. For that matter it might not even be a Bowie knife at all. WWII US Marine Corps Ka-Bar's were based on the design of the Bowie knife, though the blade isn't quite as wide. But the point is the Bowie design has influenced the design of other knives
I agree with what you are saying about the handle...the design of it seems much too modern. But the only reproduction blades that look similar are stainless steel blade...which this one isn't. And had flimsy thin fake brass hand guards...while the one I found if very thigh and looks to be made of iron. The blad and hand guard match identical ins fry and with to the Union hassam bowie. But the handle is not correct...also the blade appears to have been used heavily due to on the few tiny spots where rust didn't grow...there are scratches and pits.....but I agree...the handle seems much newer than the blad itself...maybe a new handle was put on like you said and "grandson" took grandpaps knife not knowing what it was and lost it in the creek...who knows...but I would still like a rough identification of the type of knife I have...any info is appreciated
Sorry for the spelling errors...by the way...I am not trying to act like I have a trillion dollar knife...even of it was worth a couple hundred I won't be selling it...it is wayyyy too cool and the story on how I got it is worth much more than cash. I didn't want anyone getting the idea that I'm trying to falseify the worth of this knife...I just am give my opinions on it
Well there are certainly some on here better than I who could probably give you the kind of ID you want. You already know what I've said and I'm not going to complain about your view in response to my initial post. You're entitled to disagree and that's perfectly fine. It seems obvious from what you said both of us have a problem with the handle being original and I dare say that we can both agree that if the knife is from the period that the handle is newer. Beyond getting some of the other folks on here to give you their opinion I would suggest trying to seek out an appraiser for their idea. It'll probably cost you to get an appraisal but it would still be worth it.
It is not a period knofe pulled from a creek. Water destroys metal in fairly short order, it would not have survived in anywhere near that form. I agree w/ Hellcat and would add it's likely closer to 15 years old than 150.