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Old South Military Antiques

Confederate D Guard Knife
Item #: OS-7637

Every soldier North and South needed a knife when they marched off to war, and in the South, it was fashionable, if not practical to carry a large fighting knife, the bigger the better judging from war era photographs.

The Confederates preferred a knife with a "D” shaped knuckle guard that curved around the hand. The knife takes its name from the "D” shaped knuckle guard and is known simply as a "D” Guard to the modern collector.

"D” Guards were designed as fighting knives; they served no civilian purpose. These knives were brought from home or were made at Confederate Arsenals, by private cutlers, blacksmiths and mechanically oriented entrepreneurs. Some of these were practical; some were cumbersome and absurdly large. The knife shown here is one of the more practical in size and was wrought by a true craftsman.

It is fourteen and a half inches long and the double edged blade is an inch and a half wide. What is impressive about it is the detailed work to form the "D”, part flat, part round and the finely shaped wooden grip that is decorated with inscribed, encircling lines, even to the pommel. There is a crack in the wooden grip but the grip and the guard remain completely tight. The blade has some light pitting, and much dark staining.