TAYLOR FUR COMPANY “AMERICAN PELT KNIFE”

$150.00

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Item Code: 30-2183

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The Taylor Fur Company was established in St. Louis about 1870 and still exists as part of another company. Their specialty was hunting and trapping supplies, and were perhaps best known for their trap or “set” guns, which could be fixed in place and fired by a baited trigger. It was often said that the best knife to remove a pelt was surgeon’s knife and the company here seems to have taken it quite literally, though whether this was a production item or a show piece is unclear. This is literally a scalpel such as we see in Civil War surgical kits, measuring about 9 ½ inches overall, with a 5 ½ inch blade. The handle is a checkered ebony or dark wood, such as went out of use for surgeons when they finally came to appreciate the virtues of sterilization. The blade is etched with the motto, “American Pelt Knife” over “Taylor Fur Co.” with some flourishes at either end.

Whether this was simply made on the same pattern as an early scalpel or actually uses one is unclear. If the later, it explains why so many Civil War era surgical kits show up lacking instruments.  [sr]

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