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    William Rodgers "I cut my way"



    Here's a William Rodgers Bowie, one of my favorite Bowies. But don't know a thing about it. Appreciate any info.

    Ted

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    Re: William Rodgers "I cut my way"

    wow!
    that's a really spectacular knife!
    i have a couple of william rodgers knives that are, quite frankly, pretty disappointing.
    however, i know stan shaw worked there for a time, so they clearly made an effort to make higher quality knives.
    i wonder who might have made yours?

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    Re: William Rodgers "I cut my way"

    Still trying to find out info on this knife, can post more pics. It came with a nicely tooled and suede lined leather sheath set up for a lefty, so I don't think it was the original.

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    Re: William Rodgers "I cut my way"

    Modern copy of a Victorian Bowie. Certainly made after WWII. The brass mounts "scream" MODERN!

    Decent quality knife by most standards, but does not approach those of Sheffield's golden age.

    Jim Taylor.

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    Re: William Rodgers "I cut my way"

    Nice, would love to see more pictures, perhaps some with it along side a ruler for scale?

    how did you come to own it?
    thanks

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    Re: William Rodgers "I cut my way"

    Here's some more pics. the blade is 8.5 inches long. The blade etch says "America Land of the free, Home of the brave" Guard is brass all other fittings are nickel silver. Hard to take pics because of the mirror finish.













    Last edited by fisherman; 06-06-09 at 05:51 AM.

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    Re: William Rodgers "I cut my way"

    Nice looking knife.

    The RODGERS mark is currently owned by the EGGINTON group. http://www.eggintongroup.co.uk/rogers1.htm

    I think Jim Taylor is quite right, looks to be a modern copy of the classic Victorian bowies made for the American market. Still a fine example though, it will have been made using the same traditional techniques.

    At the time this one was made the RODGERS mark would probably have been owned by John Clarke & Sons. The original company of William Rodgers was founded in 1830, and the business and trade marks were aquired by Clarke sometime in the late 1800's, who continued to make knives with the RODGERS mark up untill about 1983, when they ceased trading.
    OIL THE JOINTS KEEP THE FAITH

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    Re: William Rodgers "I cut my way"

    Quote Originally Posted by sebago View Post
    Modern copy of a Victorian Bowie. Certainly made after WWII. The brass mounts "scream" MODERN!

    Decent quality knife by most standards, but does not approach those of Sheffield's golden age.

    Jim Taylor.



    Cold struck as well Jim, which tells us quite a lot.

    The Half horse half alligator pommel gives a fair idea as to who might have made it.

    In which case Doris Walsh would have acid etched it and Roland Swindon would have done the grinding.

    The vegetable tanned sheath was probably carved at the same time. I personally made many for friends - but it isn't one of mine I hasten to add. The oak leaf and acorn pattern was one of Al Stolman's in the U.S. and was popular in the late 70/80's.

    Tom.

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    Re: William Rodgers "I cut my way"

    At the time this one was made the RODGERS mark would probably have been owned by John Clarke & Sons. The original company of William Rodgers was founded in 1830, and the business and trade marks were aquired by Clarke sometime in the late 1800's, who continued to make knives with the RODGERS mark up untill about 1983, when they ceased trading.[/QUOTE]


    A very reasonble assumption to make - based as you say on 'probability'.

    There was however a great deal of activity in Sheffield each time cutlery companies closed their doors for the last time in the seventies. Maker's punch-marks, Bowie blades and all manner of associated items were hoovered up by the barrow load; finding their way into garden shed workshops all over the city.

    From then on the market for "old/original" Bowies took off and many buyers both here and in the States, were caught out. I knew one man - now dead - who after he'd made them, buried them under a pear tree for six months to 'distress them a little' as he put it!

    I'll be with Reggie Cooper in the next day or two so I'll ask him what he thinks. Reg worked at Clarke's for many years and in the latter stages he made up display cabinets like the one below which passed through my hands about twenty years ago. A similar showcase, but bigger and containig in addition scissors and open razors, hung in Peter Maturi's hardware shop on Vicar Lane, Leeds. Try as I might over the years, he wouldn't sell it to me. I believe it is now gathering dust in an attic somewhere - still in Leeds.

    Tom.



    Last edited by OWDTOM; 06-06-09 at 04:23 PM.

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    Re: William Rodgers "I cut my way"

    Quote Originally Posted by OWDTOM View Post
    In which case Doris Walsh would have acid etched it and Roland Swindon would have done the grinding.
    Tom.
    Interesting times Tom.

    Those names reminded me of Fred James, quite a character by all accounts.
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    Re: William Rodgers "I cut my way"

    The Half Horse-Half Alligator pommel on this "William Rodgers" Bowie is obviously a casting-and a VERY bad one at that- this would never have happened with a correct knife. The early cutlers used nothing but sheet nickel silver for such pommels. These were rolled through dies and filled with lead, or some similar compound.

    The brass guard is totally wrong for a correct Bowie knife. The sheath, (as you state,) is also wrong for the knife. The correct way for the knife to sit in the sheath is for the mark side to be "down." Quite apart from the obvious "newness" of the sheath.

    The more that I look at the knife, the more convinced I am that it was made in the last 25 years. It is what it is, a modern copy of an antique Bowie knife.

    Jim Taylor.

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    Re: William Rodgers "I cut my way"

    Quote Originally Posted by OWDTOM View Post
    The oak leaf and acorn pattern was one of Al Stolman's in the U.S. and was popular in the late 70/80's.
    The pattern is shown in his book How to Make Holsters, copyright 1962, which might be helpful relative to earliest possible date.

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    Re: William Rodgers "I cut my way"

    Quote Originally Posted by sebago View Post
    The sheath, (as you state,) is also wrong for the knife. The correct way for the knife to sit in the sheath is for the mark side to be "down." Quite apart from the obvious "newness" of the sheath.

    The more that I look at the knife, the more convinced I am that it was made in the last 25 years. It is what it is, a modern copy of an antique Bowie knife.

    Jim Taylor.





    If the sheath was intended for actual use rather than ornamentation, then it was made for a left-hander i.e. to hang on the left side of a man's belt. Either that, or else the carver felt it necessary to make it that way in order to show the escutcheon when the knife was sheathed

    Added to that, the back edge of the sheathed knife would be facing backwards if it were hung on the right hand side of a belt.

    Tom.

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    Re: William Rodgers "I cut my way"

    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    The pattern is shown in his book How to Make Holsters, copyright 1962, which might be helpful relative to earliest possible date.




    A logical thought Berkeley, but we have to bear in mind also that I personally could make a sheath to fit that knife right now in 2009; and carved with say a 2000 years old Celtic pattern. Unfortunately the design would neither serve to indicate the age of the knife, nor of the sheath.

    The sheath in question could have been made to order at anytime in the past few years - we'll never know. Now I come to think of it I put the same oakleaf and acorn pattern on a wallet for my wife just a couple of years ago.

    Tom.

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    Re: William Rodgers "I cut my way"

    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    copyright 1962, which might be helpful relative to earliestpossible date
    of manufacture for the sheath with Stohlman's pattern, assuming the pattern was originated by Stohlman.
    2009 would indeed be the latest possible date of manufacture.
    Last edited by Berkley; 06-06-09 at 10:11 PM. Reason: Clarity (it is hoped); spehling

 

 

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