81. Early and Previously Unknown Maine-Made Stag Handle Bowie Knife

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This interesting large Bowie boasts a 9" clip-point blade, without fuller or relief grind. The blade proper is a very pleasing tarnished pewter patina with scattered light oxidation staining, some scattered pinprick pits and some scattered light remnants of sharpening from the years. It is maker marked: "THOMASTON ME / MALLET" on the reverse of blade along the top flat using two one-piece, die-sinker made stamps, one of-which was stamped inverted. The clip is about 3 1/4" long, the blade is nice and straight and is just over 3/16" thick. The heavy tri-lobated circular iron guard is nearly 3/16" thick and is about 2 3/4" in length with a pleasing plum brown and gray patina, also showing a bit of light oxidation here and there. The one-piece antler handle is doubtless of Maine white-tailed deer and rates very fine with some light handling marks and is an overall cream-tan color with a circular brass pommel at the butt; some very light shrinkage has resulted in the crossguard loosening slightly over the years.John L Mallet, born March 1807 in Warren Maine, was the son of blacksmith Thomas Mallet. A documented property deed shows him in the town of Thomaston Maine in 1842, the town being renamed East Thomaston in 1848 and then eventually in 1850, Rockland Maine. Mallet was listed as an edge tool maker and would have primarily made nautical items serving the shipbuilding trade, chisels, draw knives, spoke shaves, etc. Utilizing the Thomaston Maine stamping, one could reasonably draw the conclusion that it was made between 1842 and 1850, after which time he likely would have made, or had made, a new stamp to reflect the re-naming of the town to "Rockland". Maine-maker J.B. Rogers' knives are demonstrably later than Mallets, making Mallet likely the earliest and first-known antebellum era maker of Bowie knives; it could easily be surmised he is also the norther-most maker of such arms in the United States. The knife itself was the cover feature of Antique Bowie Journal No. 2, 2014, the quarterly journal of the Antique Bowie Knife Association. A heavy, quality-made, classic-styled Bowie overall, from this recently-discovered Maine maker. (38610-4) (3000/5000) SOLD FOR $3,162.50

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