J. WARD & CO. BRONXVILLE NEW YORK COMBINATION MESS SET

$365.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 809-108

J. Ward and Company of Bronxville will ring a bell with some collectors. They were the makers of a combination knife presented to Abraham Lincoln in 1864. In this case they are the maker on a more prosaic combination mess set. This was a popular wartime form privately purchased by soldiers or presented by family as a parting gift. Salesmen touted their convenience, ease of carry, and lesser chance of losing a an implement in the depths of a haversack.

This consists of two sections that lock together using studs and keyholes or slide apart to form a knife one hand and the other holding the fork and spoon. (The spoon is alloy, necessary in forming the bowl.) The company name is stamped at the base of the knife blade. Issue mess gear came from recruiting services, state or federal and was of varied pattern and quality. Sutlers and peddlers offered alternatives like this for private purchase by new soldiers or by their well-wishers as parting gifts. We sometimes see them proudly displayed in photos for the folks back home. This is complete and in very good condition with spotting on the interior stud and keyhole metal panels, but clean blades and good markings. This would display nicely with a canteen, cup, and the contents of a typical soldier’s haversack. Lincoln’s knife brought something around $90,000 at auction years ago. This is considerably less expensive.  [sr]

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