CONFEDERATE SOLDIER DRAWING A COFFIN-HILTED, GUARDLESS BOWIE

$2,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1138-1903

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

This ninth plate ambrotype is housed in figural thermoplastic case with a scene of farm implements: a plough, rake, scythe, and beehive with bees. In contrast to that pacific scene, the soldier in the portrait holds up in front of him a Bowie knife that he is drawing from its sheath.

The image shows a young man with neatly trimmed, thin mustache and lightly tinted cheeks, from the knees up, seated, and wearing dark trousers with gray jacket and hat. The hat has rather square sides and a narrow brim he has turned up at right and left. His jacket is loose fitting, perhaps newly issued and a bit too large, and has narrow dark cording around the edge of the collar, which he wears partially turned down, with one side intent on standing up. The cording extends down the jacket lapel. Four small brass buttons are visible. From their spacing the jacket may have a six-button front.

The clarity of the image is excellent. He grips the knife handle with one hand, which obscures the grip, but the pommel seems to be flat on the top with edges slanting down and there seems to be no guard beneath his small finger at the bottom of the grip, the image captures the upper mount of what was likely a pasteboard and leather scabbard and shows a clear definition between the lower cutting edge of the blade, which shows darker and the upper side flat, which has caught the light more and shows brighter. To us this appears to be a guardless Bowie with a coffin hilt, but interested parties should make up their own minds on that point. It is a rare image in any case. Soldiers wearing knives or even holding them unsheathed for the camera are scarce, but encountered. A soldier freezing time to convey the threatening gesture of drawing a knife, is much rarer thing.

There are a few light spots at the top of the plate, along the upper curve of the mat and not affecting the figure. The clarity is excellent and the case is good, with facing pad, mat, frame and glass. This comes from the collection of the late Bill Turner, who had a wonderful eye.  [sr] [ph:m]

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