James Behring Knives Miles Swelze
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#160240 - 05/12/17 01:18 PM A Knife With a Good Story
Larry Ducati Online
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Registered: 03/27/17
Posts: 28
Loc: Phoenix AZ
I always like a good story, so here's one for you. As a traveling salesman I covered all of Arizona. While in Tombstone, I met an elderly gentleman at his house. It became apparent right away that he wasn't interested in what I was selling, so we just visited for a while and got along very well. He was a long time resident there, a hunter, a hiker, and collected things he found in the desert. His outside wall displayed 25 or so pieces collected over the years like US army stamped horse bits, spurs, mining tools, etc. I like old interesting items and offered to buy them all and he agreed. Then he asked me if I might be interested in more items. He showed me an old knife with a leather-covered wooden sheath and offered it to me for almost nothing, saying he had no more use for it. I bought it and asked if there were any others. He then showed me the next knife. It was a dangerous looking double-edged dagger with no sheath, obviously sharpened and well used. I thought at first it was an ivory handle, but opinions now are that it is bone. He told me he got it from his grandfather, who was an early member of the Texas Rangers. He explained that some of the Rangers caught a horse thief along the Mexican border, and they decided to lynch him right there. When they strung him up, his boots fell off and out fell this knife. I suggested that if the boots were stolen too, they might have been too big, and that's why they would fall away easily. The knife was kept as a sort of souvenir. It was obviously old, but the story seemed outrageous. "With a family history and story like that, I'm sure you want to hold onto this knife, don't you?", I asked. He told me he had little family left, didn't care about passing it on to them, and wanted me to have it.
If someone were trying to sell something for a great deal of money, you might make up a tale like this to bolster its value, but as he was giving it to me, I had no reason to doubt the truth of it.
After taking both knives home, cleaning them a little and looking up the manufacturers, they were found to be British, made about 1850. The wooden handled bowie was a G. Wostenholm & Son IXL, and had markings from the 5th Mississippi regiment of the Civil War roughly engraved onto it and I sold it to a historical collector.
The other one is an Edward Barnes & Sons Celebrated Dirk Knife with a 6 inch blade. I keep wondering if the story is true, and who may have had this dagger used against them by the horse thief. Maybe I'll have a sheath made for it, with a design on it depicting the fateful day the Texas Rangers caught up with the horse thief with the loose boots.


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#160246 - 05/12/17 04:07 PM Re: A Knife With a Good Story [Re: Larry Ducati]
desert.snake Offline
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Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 873
Loc: the other side of the earth
Beautiful knives, you are lucky at the finds smile
Even if the dagger has no history, it is still
a good example of its time
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#160247 - 05/12/17 04:10 PM Re: A Knife With a Good Story [Re: Larry Ducati]
Sharpi Offline
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Registered: 12/01/15
Posts: 305
Amazing
Good luck finding out who got lynched
Looks like it needs a Mudbone
Sharpi

Let us know the rest off the story

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#160251 - 05/12/17 06:12 PM Re: A Knife With a Good Story [Re: Larry Ducati]
Holzinger258 Offline
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Registered: 09/14/05
Posts: 1374
Loc: The Desert Southwest
Originally Posted By: Larry Ducati
Maybe I'll have a sheath made for it, with a design on it depicting the fateful day the Texas Rangers caught up with the horse thief with the loose boots.

Seems like most of the sheaths for Barnes dirks were of a similar design.


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#160260 - 05/12/17 11:43 PM Re: A Knife With a Good Story [Re: Holzinger258]
Larry Ducati Online
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Registered: 03/27/17
Posts: 28
Loc: Phoenix AZ
Thanks for showing these sheaths.

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#160267 - 05/13/17 10:52 AM Re: A Knife With a Good Story [Re: Larry Ducati]
Neale_Jenkinson Offline
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Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 355
Loc: lincolnshire,England
The hilt on the I.XL blade is on upside down ,interesting rehandle,great old knives.


Edited by Neale_Jenkinson (05/13/17 10:53 AM)
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#160269 - 05/13/17 11:00 AM Re: A Knife With a Good Story [Re: Neale_Jenkinson]
BladesNBarrels Offline
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Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 569
Loc: Colorado
Great story!
Thanks for posting.
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#166719 - 11/30/17 05:17 AM Re: A Knife With a Good Story [Re: BladesNBarrels]
Sphinx3000 Offline
Just dropped in

Registered: 11/10/17
Posts: 8
Loc: The Netherlands
Very interesting story and knives.
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#166721 - 11/30/17 09:36 AM Re: A Knife With a Good Story [Re: Sphinx3000]
pappy19 Online
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Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 4771
Loc: Garden Valley, Idaho
Very interesting, thanks.

Pap
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