Last weekend I had the good fortune to acquire a few nice older knives, one of which is a reproduction 1850 Sheffield Bowie built by Larry Brandstetter. This falls well outside of my normal interests but when I saw the knife I couldn’t resist. Being a fan of Jim Bridger, Davy Crockett and other early frontiersman, I wasn’t totally unfamiliar with the 1850 Sheffield Bowie, this is as close as I’d gotten to one.
While I’m not familiar with Larry Brandstetter, he gained notoriety in the 1970’s and 80’s building reproduction Sheffield Bowie’s. Not a lot of information is available online about him but he what I’ve gathered he was from Paducah, KY. Few mentions of him are made in some of the discussion groups. The piece I acquired is absolutely gorgeous.
The knife measures 15″ OAL with a blade measuring 10.1875″ tip to guard. From what I’ve read, I assume the blade is 440C as that was one of his common blade steel choices.
I’m not sure of the handle material but it appears to be wood capped off with a nickel silver “Half Horse, Half Alligator” pommel. Residents of Kentucky and Tennessee with a bit of an interest in history know, the half horse, half alligator was a symbol of the toughness of the Frontiersman. Best summed up by Davy Crockett, “I’m Davy Crockett fresh from the backwoods. I’m half horse, half alligator and a touch of snappin’ turtle. I’ve got the fastest horse, the prettiest sister, the surest rifle and the ugliest dog in the state of Tennessee.”
The coffin handle is tapered with an exposed tang.
The makers initials L.D.B. and the number 007 is stamped in choil. I have no idea if the 007 is a serial number or model number.
The sheath is a piece of art in and of itself. The folded leather is joined at the back with an almost invisible seam.
The fittings on the sheath are nickel silver.
The Nickel Silver frog clip is an outstanding detail that really adds to the overall look.
When the knife is sheathed, the fit is perfect. The sheath appears to be lined with velvet and holds the knife securely in place.
It’s just a gorgeous piece in fantastic condition. Always fun to be able to offer a piece like this for sale.