Old South Military Antiques

Kraft, Goldschmidt, Kraft Knife
Item #: OS-7280

This attractive twenty-five inch Bowie knife at first glance appears to be a cut down sword. However, upon closer examination it is apparent that it was originally manufactured in this configuration. The brass guard never had a third branch, it was originally cast with only two branches and the clip point was formed during the original forging process rather than having been cut and filed.

In 1861, Henry Kraft, a jeweler, his brother Peter, a gunsmith, and one of their employees, Major Maurice Goldsmith, formed Kraft, Goldsmith & Kraft military outfitters. The Columbia, South Carolina firm was a militaria retailer and manufacturer. All current published works list Lipman Goldsmith as a partner, but recent research has shown that he was merely a clerk for the company at the beginning of the War, and that he was working in Baltimore, Maryland by 1863.

The company is known for producing some of the finest swords in the Confederacy. They are best known for their field and staff officer’s swords. The company is known to have manufactured presentation spurs for Lieutenant General Ambrose Powell Hill, several presentation swords for Lieutenant General Wade Hampton and a presentation cavalry officer’s sword to be presented to Major General James Ewell Brown Stuart.

The knife is in excellent condition. The grip and wire are one hundred percent complete and original. What may appear to be missing leather on the grip is where the patent has flaked off, the leather is complete and in good condition. The blade has never been sharpened or repointed and does not have a single nick. Though the knife is rare, the knife’s scabbard is far rarer. It is in good condition. The only imperfections are that the cap of the stud has pulled off and there is a small patch of leather that has deteriorated near the tip. The rest of the leather is firm and in very good condition. It had a flat topped throat which has become detached. For its minor difficulties, it is by far the best example that I have seen for this particular maker.