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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Cutting Edge (Moderator: St. George)  |  Topic: Searles Bowie 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Searles Bowie  (Read 19789 times)
Ten Bears
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« on: January 28, 2010, 04:14:44 pm »


I liked its design so much, I bought one, and its the last knife Ill ever own.

Believed to be the Bowie brothers first design. Made by George Searles of Baton Rouge LA.

Today you can get two production models. Below is Imperials model. Its the prettier, and a tad more authentic than
Dixie Gun Works model. Dixies model has superior steel. The reason I bought mine.

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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 10:29:07 pm »

I too have always liked the Searles Bowie, Ten Bears. It is a classic.
You have a very nice bowie there, I hope it serves you well.

 Shotgun Steve
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2010, 07:36:09 am »

I like the looks alot!
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2010, 12:12:28 pm »

Thats beautifull, did it or the dixie model come sharpened?
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Dave Cole
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2010, 01:32:21 pm »

One of my favorite styles of Bowie's.I have been planning on making one soon.Dave Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2010, 01:43:12 pm »

Beautiful !
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The Elderly Kid
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2010, 09:07:10 pm »

This is the one design we can confidently associate with the Bowie brothers.  It's probably much like the one James used at the Sandbar fight, though the original probably had a plainer handle. I've seen the Searles at the Alamo museum and it's a trip seeing a knife that was undoubtedly handled by Rezin Bowie. The big, broad, clip-pointed blade most people think of as a "Bowie" is only one of many designs called Bowies in the 19th century, though it was the most popular. But the Sheffield cutlers had far more influence on its design than Jim Bowie ever did. The Searles has both elegance and utility. It is a gentleman's weapon, and in those days gentlemen could be total bada**es.
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Ten Wolves Fiveshooter
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2010, 01:14:21 am »



       Very nice Grin
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2010, 08:14:08 am »

Ten Bears, is Imperials the company who makes this version?
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Ten Bears
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2010, 01:38:08 pm »

Ten Bears, is Imperials the company who makes this version?

Yes that is Imperials knife shown above, they dont make it, only sell it, its imported.

Thats beautifull, did it or the dixie model come sharpened?

I had to cut a mud flap that got stuck up inside a wheel well. It cut it like butter, but the steel lacing dulled it

It was sharp, but not like it is now. I took the 35 degree edge down to 23degrees, and its now nasty sharp.

Ive had a standing bet, if you can put the point on your finger, and let go of the handle, if it does not cut right thru your finger, and stick to the table, you can have it. No one has taken me up on it yet. It has to do with the fact that I can slide it right though a one inch steak, with its own weight  Shocked

Ive shown it to two different knife smiths, they both said the same thing. It was the finest blade anyone has walked in with.

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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2010, 01:58:50 pm »

Thank you for the info.
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Ten Bears
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2010, 02:13:56 pm »

Here is the real one.

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"It's sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues
There is iron in your words of death for all Comanche to see, and so there is iron in your words of life.
 No signed paper can hold the iron. It must come from men."
rebsr52339
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2010, 06:28:49 pm »

If my memory serves me right this knife went "missing" (stolen) a bunch, 40 maybe 50 years ago. It was returned after about 10 years I think. While visiting the Alamo with another "well-known" Bowie collector I was privileged to hold this knife. The curator was kind enough to remove it from the display for us to “see close up”. What a thrill that was. It has been one of my favorites along with the Schively I owned. Great stuff.
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Bowie Knife Dick
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Ten Bears
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2010, 06:32:42 pm »

Your lucky Bro, When I was there I just wanted to bring Mine in and set it on top of the glass.
They told me for security reason they could not. I told them the owners of the one under glass would be so disappointed.
That didn't work either, so I left.
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"It's sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues
There is iron in your words of death for all Comanche to see, and so there is iron in your words of life.
 No signed paper can hold the iron. It must come from men."
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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2010, 06:57:21 pm »

Ten Bears, is your knife the Dixie Gun Works item or the Imperial shown in the first post? I have a Searles blade that I bought from DGW years ago and had hilted in a different fashion, and now I'm considering getting the Imperial version for its authenticity. I have Imperial Musso Bowies, both their older design and the new, full-sized version, and both are outstanding.
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rebsr52339
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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2010, 07:16:11 pm »

Ten Bears, as I recall the knife was in a glass case on the left as you went into the Museum. I understood a new "case" was being made to display the knife. I think it was in the late 70s when I was last there. They were VERY apprehensive about letting people near the case never mind the knife. I like the one I made and I have a photo of another Searles "with" a sharpened false edge. I believe the swage is on the right side of the blade only like the Schively.
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Bowie Knife Dick
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Ten Bears
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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2010, 01:49:22 am »

The one pictured is the Imperial version. I own the Dixie version. Id buy the Imperial, but cant really see owning two of them. If I ever sell mine, then Ill get the other. Im darn sure mine will go with me to the grave.

When I was there a hand full of years ago, it was in a glass fronted case, behind a roped off area.
I could not even get to the case.
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"It's sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues
There is iron in your words of death for all Comanche to see, and so there is iron in your words of life.
 No signed paper can hold the iron. It must come from men."
rebsr52339
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« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2010, 08:40:56 am »

Ten Bears, here is another Searles Bowie. I can’t remember “where” I downloaded this from. If anybody knows refresh my memory. It shows a very fancy guard with file work on the edges. The hilt appears to be ebony with silver pins. The blade has the swaged sharpened false edge and as I said, can’t prove it, but I think it is only on the right side. Simply a gorgeous looking knife. The Alamo Searles Bowie also has silver pins embedded in each of the diamonds of the checkered panels on the four sides of the hilt. You can hardly see them. There is a great photo of this knife, the Alamo Searles, in my Texas Gun Collectors book and I will see if I can find it.


* Searles styleIMG_3826-full;init_.jpg (15.9 KB, 640x190 - viewed 1079 times.)
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Bowie Knife Dick
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« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2010, 12:50:47 pm »

rebsr:  That knife is to be found at:
http://southernantique.googlepages.com/knives
It is identified only as "unmarked Louisiana style hunting knife." It certainly has the Searles look, complete with that little crescent cutout at the base of the blade. But then, maybe those Rezin-commissioned Searles presentation knives were widely copied in the South. Without markings, it's hard to know.
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« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2010, 01:12:31 pm »

Not sure if the sale is still on, but CrazyCrow had their handforged searless blade on sale for under 20, you add the handle and the guard.  If you are looking for a "I had the smith in town make it for me", this is it.   
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rebsr52339
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« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2010, 01:45:59 pm »

Your right Kid. I should have said Searles "style" knife.    Embarrassed    I'm getting too old I guess.   Cry
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Bowie Knife Dick
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« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2010, 03:32:31 pm »

Ok, here is the photo I “promised” you. It shows the Searles/Fowler Bowie at the Alamo. I am including it here to show the hilt and the pains taking effort it took of installing tiny silver pins in each of the diamonds in the checkering pattern on the hilt panels. The other photo is a shot of the Alamo taken in 1860. The photos are from the 1971, 1st edition, of the Antique Arms Annual, sponsored by the Texas Gun Collectors Assoc. This is a remarkable book, full of color photos. There is also an article in there by Bill Williamson on the Wostenholm  knife factory with a boatload of Wostenholm knives. I’ll try and answer any questions you got.


* Fowler bowie 007.jpg (64.64 KB, 600x450 - viewed 989 times.)

* Fowler bowie 008.jpg (59.14 KB, 600x450 - viewed 1092 times.)

* Fowler bowie 005.jpg (55.16 KB, 600x450 - viewed 605 times.)
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Bowie Knife Dick
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« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2010, 03:43:20 pm »

Anyone else notice the remarkable similarity between the Searles Bowie and a Belduque?  To my eye, the only specific difference is the presence of a guard on the Searles.
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« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2010, 04:25:27 pm »

Sir Charles, I think if one can "rationalize" it, Searles was a maker in Baton Rouge La. That would put him pretty close in the mix of French/ Spanish influence as far as knife making goes. The knives of this style would remind one of a “French” carving knife of today. This knife and ones similar to them have a certain Ambiance about them. A good feeling to hold one.
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« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2013, 02:39:14 pm »

I was in San Antonio a couple of months ago and naturally visited the Alamo a couple of times (only a block or two from my hotel, a good thing since it was 104 degrees outside). I am pleased to report that the Fowler Searles is now in a side room in a case and you can walk right up to it and lean over the glass for a close look. Most edifying. Also, in the gift shop, there is a sizable display of Bowie and other knives, bot vintage and replica. It's good to see these weapons getting the attention they have long deserved.
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