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John, Here is what Im calling a Bowie, maybe mid to late Bowie period as defined by Levine, what do you think? Its unmarked, finish was a bright bluing with some gold details. The blade is 5 1/8" long, handle 4 1/4" . Not sure of handle material, wood or other. No makers marke or words of any kind. The cross guard is steel, was polished originally. The feule on hadle looks like a very bright nickle. When looking down on the spine it tapers nicely to the tip, its a very nicely made knife. The sheat is a very simple leather with a zig zag pattern on it, it apears to have been darker originaly. The tang hoes thru the handle and is flush peaned at the end. let me know if you need any more pics, thanks, this should keep you out of trouble for a little while. 

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Great looking knife!

Michael- Sorry about the long overdue reply, but this knife has had me pounding my head against the wall trying to get an inkling about its origins.Nothing seems to lead anywhere and a bunch of contradictions.

1- fancy presentation style knife and a basic rather rustic sheath

2-Bluing a blade is not a very effective way to protect a knife as it only provides a very thin layer of protection on the blade which scratches easily and can wear off even taking it in & out of the sheath-It's main advantage is in preventing a reflective glare from the sun, which is why it was used on bayonets in WW2 to avoid exposing concealment.  If that is the case, why put  bright gold  details on the blade? The blue could be just to highlight the gold embellishment.

3-Could be a presentation piece, possibly military, but why leave it unsigned ?

4- Finally, as a kind of last resort, I started playing with the image itself a little with my photo enhancing software. The result is a magnified negative image of the gold highlights which I believe may lead to solving the mystery .

In the photo it will reveal a image of a leaning L with stars inside and possibly a crown above it. The circle below the L has an S in it. Up near the spine their appear to be 3 numbers possibly 222 or 272.Although not shown well in the photo down near the edge their appears to be the date 1888 or 1899 , and nearer the blade tip what might be a word written in script running uphill at a 45 degree angle.

The star flanked by laurel leaves could possibly denote the rank of brigadier general or it could have another meaning. Possibly a presentation knife to an officer of the civil war,even presented post war.

Michael, if you can provide some more photos of the blade, trying to get the best images of the gold you can, perhaps I can reveal some more details through image enhancement and help solve the mystery. Here is the enlarged negative image I made.

 Thanks John. Very interesting so far. I will take more pics for you, both sides of blade this time. 

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