Old South Military Antiques

William J. McElroy Knife
Item #: OS-7014





William John McElroy was born in New York Cityin 1822. It is not known when he moved to the South, but by 1845 he was in Savannah, Georgia working as a tinner, and in 1850 he was a merchant in Macon, Georgia. Apparently, Georgia was very good to McElroy; the 1860 Macon census lists him as a 37 year old merchant with $5,500 in real estate and $17,550 of personal estate.

When the War Between the States began, he put his talents to work making war material for his adopted home. Wm J. McElroy & Co was making war accoutrements as early as September, 1861. During the course of the War he made swords, knives, cutlasses, spurs, belts, bits, buckles, brass crossed cannon, cap letters, gun and sword parts. In short, he made anything and everything military that he could produce and sell. He is best known for his beautifully made and etched swords. Because of the quality of the swords he produced and because many of his products carry his name, they are among the most desirable Confederate antiques in the world.

McElroy was a remarkable man in many respects; not only was he an astute, successful business man, he was also a philanthropist. After the War, he donated his property for use as an orphan’s home.

McElroy marked knives are extremely, extremely rare, with I believe, less than five known to exist.

This example is 16.25 inches in length, with approximately a quarter inch of the tip having been broken off. Its only detraction is that someone foolishly repointed it in modern times. The blade width is wider than any known, being 1 7/8 inch wide at the ricasso. It has most pronounced taper to the blade of any example known, but to be clear, only the bottom .25 inch has been altered. Another deviation is that the grip is not the original factory grip, but it was replaced during its service life (these had a propensity to crack) with the same wood. The blade has an exceptionally good, crisp W.J. McELROY MACON GA. Two line stamp.

This knife when one rarely becomes available generally sells in the 20 thousand plus range, but because this one has been repointed, and has a period replaced grip, you can buy it for only $12,000.00

Price $12,000.00 USD