Collins Alamo Collection

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by hso, May 12, 2021.

  1. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    61,263
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2811417/Phil-Collins-brings-world-s-largest-private-Alamo-collection-including-gun-used-Davy-Crockett-home-Texas.html

    In 2014 Phil Collins donated one of the largest collections of Alamo militaria to the Museum. The collection was given to Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, the state steward of the Alamo, at the time.

    One controversial item was a knife supposed to have been James Bowie's at the time of the siege.
    1414547405149_Image_galleryImage_The_Brass_Back_Bowie_Knif.jpg
    Such claims are always controversial since no one really knows what Bowie carried at the time. One thing that is sure, there are no other examples of "brass backed" knives until much later making this a hot topic to historical bowie collectors/researchers.

    A new set of publications will be coming out soon to add to the controversy.

    Be on the lookout for something in Texas Monthly's June or July edition.
     
  2. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Messages:
    1,346
    Collins usually had an eye toward excellent provenance. I’m guessing this knife at very least belonged to Bowie at one point. I do not think it’s “the knife”, and don’t think any of the usual Bowie suspects are “the knife”. Bowie was aware of his celebrity and quite likely owned many knives made by makers from wherever his travels took him. Like famous lawmen who used to buy guns at pawnshops and give them away as gifts as “this gun belonged to so-n-so”. I’d bet folding money Bowie did the same thing.

    fascinating topic!
     
    ApacheCoTodd likes this.
  3. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    61,263
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    Don't bet on that. "Bowie" knives are rife with wishful thinking, family mythology, and forged paperwork dating back to the 1800s.

    THAT you can bet on. The Bowie brothers realized the great value in giving a "Bowie knife" they had made to various would be business associates. But there was nothing stopping others from doing the same thing and claiming "I was given this by my great friend ...".
     
  4. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Messages:
    1,346
    lol that’s a good point. Like i said bowie knew what he was, and his family certainly knew to try and capitalize on him if possible.

    i still think the collins collection is well-provenanced, but i will admit i’m not very familiar w the brass-backed hot topic.
     
  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    61,263
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    You'll be interested in the magazine when it comes out.
     
    ApacheCoTodd and Sovblocgunfan like this.
  6. Ranger99

    Ranger99 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2021
    Messages:
    170
    Yeah, I remember when Mr. Collins made
    his generous donations
    There were a few articles about it then

    As far as "THE " Bowie knife, JMHO it's
    like the who killed Kennedy thing.
    Nobody will ever know for sure

    I'm in the big butcher knife camp myself.
    The Rezin Bowie newspaper letter about
    " not brought about through my agency "
    or however he put it is what makes me
    think that way
     
  7. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,969
    Location:
    Kansas
    I would guess that the knife Mr. Bowie used at the Alamo is sitting right next to the ark of the covenant.
     
    hso likes this.
  8. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    10,948
    Location:
    Alabama
    Whether the original Jim Bowie knife still exists, who knows. It is only wishful thinking to assume it does. I do believe that the knife that Resin Bowie made, and gave to Jim, and used at the sandbar fight, would have been similar in construction to this one

    56dkevy.jpg

    The Edwin Forrest Bowie is the closest "reputed" knife (or disputed knife) to what I think Jim Bowie would have had, given the period and the style. And it is not the sandbar knife, which Resin Bowie described. The sandbar knife had a shorter blade.

    EjpeXoe.jpg

    This is basically a big butcher's knife.

    This is one of the very earliest documented "bowie knives", sold for $27,000 in 2012. One dated 1835 sold for $40,000

    https://www.morphyauctions.com/jamesdjulia/item/4407-394/

    uqoI7Vt.jpg

    The Gravely & Wreaks Bowie was described in an ad from the 1830's, and this one was dated 1839. But Gravely & Wreaks sold Sheffield made knives, and probably never met Jim Bowie or saw what he had on his belt. And Gravely & Wreaks sold other patterns before 1840.

    https://www.thefifthfield.com/swt/graveley-wreaks-bowie-knife/
     
  9. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Messages:
    8,610
    Location:
    Arizona
    Wait a doggone minute here.... I thought that I had J.B.'s knife!:cuss:

    Now on second thought, maybe it's Jesse James' pistol that I have - or was it George Washinton's axe?:evil:

    All three being items that I have been *assured* were held by sellers.;)

    Todd.
     
  10. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    61,263
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    The history is that Resin had it made to his specifications. Gentlemen didn't get their hands dirty in the forge. ;)
     
  11. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    10,948
    Location:
    Alabama
    Flayderman quotes the Resin letter establishing the size of the famous first Bowie knife. Resin Bowie says he made it. Maybe he did. Or maybe he had it made. Either way, it was to his design.
     
  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    61,263
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    Jesse Cleft was the smith that made the knife that Rezin designed, but John Bowie claimed that another smith, Snowdon, made the knife use by Jim Bowie at the infamous Sandbar Fight.

    Then there's the idea that the sharpened clip is a much later addition. Instead the first "Bowie knife" still extant that fits Rezin's description is the Schively Bowie.
    perkins.jpg
    The sharpened swedge supposedly develops with James Black who supposedly made the knife for Jim Bowie based on a wooden model Bowie provided. Legend has it that Bowies model didn't have a sharpened back and Black decided to offer a version to his client. Bowie accepted it and a new version is born. See how complicated these stories get.
     
    Slamfire likes this.
  13. THEWELSHM

    THEWELSHM Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2016
    Messages:
    215
    Collins did a good thing donating his collection, I didn’t appreciate his controversial remarks towards the President in his “not dead yet Tampa show” other than that he is a good artist...

    Thewelshm
     
    ApacheCoTodd likes this.
  14. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    10,948
    Location:
    Alabama
    Similar pattern to the Edwin Forrest bowie, maybe Edwin actually got his knife off Jim Bowie, or purchased one that looked like it.

    From what Flayderman wrote about James Black, I am of the opinion that James Black is one of those false glory guys. As an example Roland Sperry, who was a real WW2 airman, wanted more fame. So he wrote a book, "China through the eyes of a Tiger" and pretended to an original pilot of the famous Flying Tigers. Roland Sperry showed up at Flying Tiger meetings, sold his book, bathed in the glory of his claims to be a Flying Tiger. He was a B24 gunner, but not a Flying Tiger. http://blogs.dailybreeze.com/history/2013/08/09/roland-sperrys-dangerous-flight/

    History is full of these characters, and from what I have read of James Black, he is one of them.
     
  15. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    61,263
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    I cynically expect that most of the knives attributed to Rezin and/or James Bowie never touched their hands. The Bowies exploited the myth so why shouldn't others. ;)
     
    Slamfire and ApacheCoTodd like this.
  16. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    10,948
    Location:
    Alabama
    I agree. The old saw is "History is the lie we agree on". There is a lot of truth in that.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice