This small 5" double-edged blade has the "IXL" (I Excel) company logo on both ricassoalong with "George Westenholm Celebrated Cuttlery. Retains its original cardboard "leather" IXL marked scabbard in reasonable state of preservation for its GREAT AGE missing its chape and a stud for mounting to the top ferrule, but I owuld EXPECT that most knives this OLD will have long ago lost their factory provided scabbard or sheath. Excellent condition for a knife of this age the stag's antler deer horn handle slabs show a nice age patina. Handle and crossguard are absolutely FIRM on the blade with no movement or play at all a SIGN of the original manufacture quality.
Blade condition NICE and exactly as-seen in my many up-close images which ARE the most important part of my condition description. George Wostenholm Arguably Sheffield's finest cutler, forever associated with the IXL Bowies of the great American Bowie Knife era.
Wostenholm's Early History In the mid-1700s, there was reputedly a cutler by the name of George Wolstenholme (b 1717) working in the village of Stannington, near Sheffield (the supposed birthplace of the Barlow pocket knife). However it took three generations and one name change for the company to really make its mark on Sheffields cutlery history. Georges son Henry was apprenticed to his father and in the 1750s was granted the use of the words spring knife by the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire - spring knife being the term of the day for what is known now as a folding pocket knife. Henrys son, a second George (b 1775), after having been apprenticed to another cutler, John Mickelthwaite, joined his fathers concern and the two continued in cutlery production until Henry died in 1803. Originally the family name was spelt Wolstenholme but, story has it that the second George found this name too long for smaller knives so he omitted the letters l and e.
The name has been spelt Wostenholm ever since. The second George moved production to Sheffield where he built the fabled Rockingham Works (known locally as the Rockingham Wheel) in around 1810. Knives made in this factory and marked Rockingham Works are highly prized by knife collectors to this day. The first entry in The Sheffield City Directory which incorrectly spells the name! Confirming the father and son partnership comes from 1825; "WOLSTENHOLME, GEORGE & SON, manufacturers of table knives and forks, pen, pocket and sportsmans knives, and general dealers in cutlery, 78 Rockingham Street" In 1834, following is fathers death, the third George Wostenholm took the company reins.
Although the company had achieved considerable success under his father, it was the third George that catapulted Wostenholms to the head of Sheffield knife making. He was an incredibly astute and fiercely determined businessman. Georges sales trips to America began soon after, and subsequently he established offices from New York across to San Fransisco through which he could service growing demand for his craftsmen made IXL knives. George himself is reported to have made a great many visits to America at a time when trans-Atlantic passage would have been arduous to say the least.
Washington Works The company, driven by Georges domination of the American market, expanded rapidly such that it was moved, in 1848 to the larger Washington Works on Wellington Street. This left the firm perfectly placed to cope with demand from the following decade; the 1850s would prove to be the peak of the great American Bowie knife era. The name of the factory was a clue to how enamoured George had become with America.
Earlier, in 1845, he had built his home, Kenwood Hall, amongst leafy streets of Sharrow and Nether Edge which he also designed, in collaboration with a Thomas Steade, to replicate those of Kenwood Village by Oneida Lake in New York State. Washington Works was the largest cutlery works of its time, placing cutlery manufacture under one roof of a reported 800 employees and breaking with the established method of small scale cutlery production by Sheffields Little Mesters. The Great Exhibition Bowie Knives It is important to note that expansion was never to the detriment of quality. To demonstrate his firms mastery of the art of cutlery, for The Great Exhibition of 1851, Wostenholm made three exquisite Bowie Knives which he had commissioned the eminent English artist Alfred Stevens to design.
The company won the highest prize medal; the first of many awards bestowed upon Wostenholms throughout the world for outstanding quality. George served as Master Cutler to the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire in 1856.
His dedication to his company had meant that he had previously declined the role on two separate occasions. Sheffield lost one of its most famous sons George died in 1876 but his legacy lives on and Wostenholm is still one of the worlds most instantly recognisable knife brands to this day. The mark books of The Company of Cutlers show IXL being registered to Wostenholms in 1831. IXL was not only present on Wostenholms Bowie Knives.
Wostenholm also made a vast range of folding knives which also proudly bore the IXL markings and were carried in the pockets of a great many Americans. The condition has been shown faithfully in the many photographs in my listing These IMAGES ARE my actual CONDITION DESCRIPTION So if I have failed to show anything clearly? Receipt will be issued on request. Add a map to your own listings. The item "SMALL Antique IXL 5 Double Edge DAGGER Circa 1850 US Civil War era Bowie Knife" is in sale since Friday, April 20, 2018.This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Civil War (1861-65)\Original Period Items\Edged Weapons". The seller is "phillip_in_new_zealand" and is located in Auckland (aprox. 12,000 "clicks" from USA). This item can be shipped worldwide.