What is this? Clipped Point Bowie, Brass Hilt/handle

Joined
Feb 24, 2021
I am brand new to this site, a novice collector, spending time and money on items of interest. I have been looking at Confederate D handle bowies for quite a while (with great interest). I recently purchased what I would think might be an authentic period piece. If I can figure how to upload photos, I will include them. I'd be interested to learn, from anyone nice enough to reply, their opinions on this Bowie. Best clue would be the Hallmark on the blade "W & Co". I have not been able to find the origin. Brief descrition, 20 1/2" end to end, Blade 15 7/16", clipped point, 5/16" thick blade/top at hilt. D handle, solid Brass. Have not been able to find another similar in appearance and spec.. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. BILL
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ucvrelics

Lt. Colonel
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Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
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Alabama
CS D-Guard knives were typically made by local blacksmith using old iron files. What you have is a Swiss Infantry Briquet Saber made by Isaac Wester & Co of Solingen, Germany, they were modeled after the French Infantry Briquette 1817. The tip of the guard is also broken off.
 

Peter Stines

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Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
Yep a worked over briquet. The European powers liked this design for artillery, grenadiers and some line troops. France used these for all of the above and for Navy Cutlasses. Mexico used similar ones during the Texas & Mexican Wars and probably at the Battle of Puebla.
Just don't try "mumblety peg" with it.
 

Sundance

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Oct 11, 2020
Ucvrelics, Am I understanding you correctly - are you saying the Swiss Briquets were made from 1842 - 1854? I'm guessing the modification to a bowie could have been done any time. This bowie isn't a factory made item, or is it? Nice blade in any case. I have a briquet - I think it's French. It's hiding somewhere.
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
I would think that carries a hefty swing. Nice looking overall. @ucvrelics is there any way of guessing the date it was banged together?
Lubliner.
Lubliner, Thanks for your reply.......too much of a novice to know manufacture date. Looked for a while on-line for info, was b glad to find CWT........Good luck to you. Bill
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
CS D-Guard knives were typically made by local blacksmith using old iron files. What you have is a Swiss Infantry Briquet Saber made by Isaac Wester & Co of Solingen, Germany, they were modeled after the French Infantry Briquette 1817. The tip of the guard is also broken off.
ucvrelics, Thanks for the great comeback, very interesting, informative fact in regard to this weapon......could not find any "hallmark" iinformation locally (US). Will explore more on that maker, Wester & Co. Could you clarify on comment made in regard to "tip of guard" broken off. Found that curious also. Thanks again for spending the time. It is appreciated. Good luck to you. Bill
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
CS D-Guard knives were typically made by local blacksmith using old iron files. What you have is a Swiss Infantry Briquet Saber made by Isaac Wester & Co of Solingen, Germany, they were modeled after the French Infantry Briquette 1817. The tip of the guard is also broken off.
ucvrelics, Spent some time searching Wester & Co., lo and behold a great example of blade (Briquette) mentioned in your message, and I saw the "clip" of the guard also mentioned..........I think the clipped blade end "adds" to the allure of this weapon........I am assuming this may certainly have been carried in the American Civil War (?) I am a Marine Corps veteran, using this weapon in close encounter is quite a stark contrast, as, to say the K-bar, standard issue side knife. Thanks again, Bill
 

ucvrelics

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are you saying the Swiss Briquets were made from 1842 - 1854?
Wester & Co only made these from 1842-1854.
could not find any "hallmark" iinformation locally (US). Will explore more on that maker, Wester & Co. Could you clarify on comment made in regard to "tip of guard" broken off. Found that curious also.
Its a Germany made sword not US and if you look at the originals there was a ball or bulb on that end, yours has that broken off.
 

A. Roy

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I think this might have been discussed before elsewhere, but how prevalent and useful was the bowie knife on the battlefield? It's a mean-looking weapon for sure, but did it really pull its "weight"?

Roy B.
 

Lubliner

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Chattanooga, Tennessee
I think this might have been discussed before elsewhere, but how prevalent and useful was the bowie knife on the battlefield? It's a mean-looking weapon for sure, but did it really pull its "weight"?

Roy B.
I could see where night contact, such as waylaid picket points, and use of capture or kill when a scouting patrol needs to remain silent. One blow and the enemy is mortally wounded.
Lubliner.
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Yep a worked over briquet. The European powers liked this design for artillery, grenadiers and some line troops. France used these for all of the above and for Navy Cutlasses. Mexico used similar ones during the Texas & Mexican Wars and probably at the Battle of Puebla.
Just don't try "mumblety peg" with it.
Maybe the battle of Puebla (Date?) accounts for this blade making it's way to the Confederate States(?). Maybe a possibility? Thanks for your input.
 

Ralph Heinz

Corporal
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Feb 14, 2016
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Pacific Northwest
This item came from a major dealer on eBay. Need I say more? Ask knowledgeable collectors like Package4 and ucvrelics what they think of that dealer if they care to offer an opinion. They know who I am referring to as we've discussed it before. Along with Conf. Bowies there are CS brass saddle pommel shields and crossed sabres with Custer's 7 attached and these sell over and over again to people who don't seem to realize these have been cheap repros available for decades from S & S Firearms and others. The eBay dealer occasionally does get some very good items mixed in with the repros. LET THE BUYER BEWARE!

Authentic Confederate Bowie knives bring thousands of dollars and you had better have years of experience and buy it from a reputable dealer with a guarantee. Selling Conf. Bowies and cut down swords (and Indian tomahawks) for bids in the hundreds of dollars should tell you all you need to know. The supply of them never seems to run out. The reality is that Conf. soldiers were photographed with these huge knives when the war started but found that they were a heavy item to carry and which they never got to use so they abandoned them early in the war. Northern soldiers took them home as souvenirs picked up in Conf. camps like Shiloh. Some Conf. units reportedly had a later problem with soldiers throwing away their bayonets and those weighed far less than a large Bowie!

Making authentic looking Conf. Bowies today that are aged to look old isn't hard to do by an expert faker or by converting a foreign sword into a Bowie. I knew a blacksmith for years who gave up horse shoeing to make hand-forged fake knives and tomahawks full time. His were aged to look authentic. He got really upset at shows when I'd point out his fakes to others. He's dead now but there are others engaged in the same nefarious business. Todays magic word is "Confederate" that sells.

In Viet Nam, many soldiers in the field carried small hunting knives brought from home. You could cut fatigues off wounded men to rapidly expose their wounds. We weren't issued bayonets. Ranger School graduates carried huge heavy Randall knives that were basically as useless as Conf. Bowies and were soon left in foot lockers.

Remember you don't take a knife to a gun fight. If you didn't have time to reload and were that close, you used your musket as a club.
 

Skilledhunter

Private
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Most of the heavy D-Guard Bowie’s we discarded after long marches. They were to cumbersome and heavy. And Mr. Heinz is spot on. You better know what you are buying. The fakers are getting better and better. I’m not really into the D-guard stuff. But if I ever decide to, I’m lucky as I have resources to the most knowledgable collectors who I would consult and get the thumbs up before a purchase.
 

Lanyard Puller

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Nov 29, 2017
Location
South Carolina
@Firecarpenter,

Do yourself a big favor, save loads of time and lots of money in your quest and interest in CS D-Guards. Ralph Heinz gave some sage advise. I'd offer a bit more. You're getting in to a snake pit with these things, and knowledge will win out over taking a chance on a purchase. I'll post some photos of mine if I ever get my 2020 taxes into some state of legality !!!

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Semper Fi, Bill
Dave
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
@Firecarpenter,

Do yourself a big favor, save loads of time and lots of money in your quest and interest in CS D-Guards. Ralph Heinz gave some sage advise. I'd offer a bit more. You're getting in to a snake pit with these things, and knowledge will win out over taking a chance on a purchase. I'll post some photos of mine if I ever get my 2020 taxes into some state of legality !!!

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Semper Fi, Bill
Dave
Thank you Dave, I learn something new each day, and I am thankful for it! Semper Fi.
 
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