Currency:USD Category:Collectibles Start Price:7,500.00 USD Estimated At:25,000.00 - 50,000.00 USD
Important spear point Bowie knife marked “Joseph Hawksley’s celebrated” and period script inscribed “In 1856 Col. Thomas Buford of Ala pledged himself to kill John Brown with this knife. Failing in his purpose he gave it to Clay Pate a noted Border Ruffian to do the work. Pate was defeated at Black Jack and surrendered the knife to Brown. The last time Brown and Mr. Stearne met in 1859, he gave the knife to his friend as having some little historical value”. The historical facts concur with this inscription. Geo Luther Stearns to whom Brown presented this knife was a successful industrialist from Medford, Mass. He was Chief financier of the emigrant aid co. which helped settle Kansas. Also he was 1 of the “Secret Six” who financed John Brown and also established an underground railway station for fleeing slaves in Medford. He bankrolled the purchase of Breecher’s bible Sharps and John Brown pikes. He was instrumental in facilitating recruitment of black soldiers in the Union Army.
Provenance: Elmer Holmes Bobst of Bobst Foundation. Benefactors to cancer research, hospitals and other public institutions. Sotheby New York 14 June 2016.
Physical Description: This knife measures 14 ¼” overall with a 9 5/8” blade with spear point blade and semi coffin hilt with pearl grip. Neatly period inscribed around entire hilt extending unto the pommel. The knife is in very good plus condition with most of its original polish showing just minor erosion and some slight pitting. Completely uncleaned with great patina. Original scabbard with leather hanger or frog which is deteriorated but scabbard is good to very good.
In conclusion we believe this to be among the most important Civil War artifacts ever offered for sale at public auction. Est.: $25,000-$50,000