D Guard Knife
|Description and Photograph||
The Pistol Grip D Guard shown here is from the Norm Flayderman Collection, and is published in his book, The Bowie Knife on page 233. Mr. Flayderman describes the knife thus:
“ENORMOUS CONFEDERATE D GUARD BOWIE WITH UNIQUELY SHAPED ‘PISTOL GRIP’ HANDLE.
Weighing over 2 ½ pounds, this remarkable piece displays skilled professional workmanship. 22 inches overall. The broad blade is over 2 inches wide, single edged, with a long arched clip point and lengthy 11-inch false edge. Large, oval iron crossguard forged integral with the octagon faceted, slender knuckle guard: in turn, forming the flat, round pommel cap. One piece, round curly maple handle with a light tiger-striped grain; wide pewter ferrules top and bottom. Two large pewter pins fasten grip to tang. Leather sheath; reverse slotted for belt.”
I would add a couple of things to the above; it is usually accepted that knives of this size were generally sent home early in the War, however it is evident that this one was carried for a long time. The original belt hanger eventually gave out and the soldier slotted the back; this too shows great wear. Frequently we find Confederate scabbards to have been reinforced at the seam with lead rivets in order to prevent the cutting of the thread, in this case copper rivets were used for the same purpose.
I would also like to note that Mr. Flayderman’s “Uniquely Shaped ‘Pistol Grip’ Handle” can be misinterpreted. This particular shape with the octagon faceted knuckle guard is probably unique; however pistol grip knives are rare, but not unique. In fact I have in the past had an image of a soldier from Philadelphia, North Carolina holding one virtually identical to this.
Whether you want one stellar Confederate knife, or desire to add to finest of collections, this is among the best of this rare variant, in fact, I have never seen an example to equal it.