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  #31  
Old 01-27-2016, 08:15 PM
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Thanks Ta2bill. It fits.
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  #32  
Old 01-27-2016, 09:47 PM
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What follows is strictly my opinion formed by a LOT of looking at flutes, scallops, collars, coolie caps, and flanged butt caps. I hope this is useful for others to continue more detailed analysis... nothing here is carved in stone.

Bill's knife has been widely reported as "1965" or mid-'60s. It has appeared in Hunt's "Randall Military Models" and in Wickersham's book. Both are probably a little off on the date and that knife is more likely to be a year older or so (yeah, I know, '64 vs '65...really?).

I will post some pictures already used to try to illustrate the three or four phases of flutes and scallops. Note: most of these feature the flutes carved into coolie caps, not the scallops in the flanged butt caps that were introduced first in the King Feisel set. The carving of the flutes in the coolie caps seems to mirror the type of scallops used on the flanged caps... see Rocky's Sun Valley vs a later Bear Bowie, hence the relevance of the relationship.

However I caution... do not rely on the shape of the flutes and scallops or the fineness etc alone to date the knife because there was considerable overlap. The leather or fiber spacers used with ivory are very telling (at least 3 distinct types not counting standard spacers) as is the guard construction and size, etc. Anyway, here is the first phase of scallops and flutes introduced with the Bowies in 1953 and continued as hand made unique types until 1959-60 or so.

This is one of earliest Bowies I've seen, certainly first year of production. Note the large flutes.




More early Bowies from Gary Clinton, mid 50s







About 1960 or so there was a transition , or maybe more properly labeled "an evolution" in the flutes on coolie caps and the scallops on flanged butt caps and collars. Next post.

Last edited by Jacknola; 01-28-2016 at 08:41 PM.
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  #33  
Old 01-27-2016, 09:54 PM
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Transition/evolution to the smaller scallops and smaller tear drop flutes, and the irregular shaped coolie cap occured in about 1960, though there was apparently overlap of the larger, hand shapped flutes and scallops from the earlier era. This smaller tear drop shaped flute and the tighter scallops on the collar lasted, or should I say continued to evolve until about 1964. This is one reason Bill's Bowie is earlier than the oft reported date of 1965.

Gary Clinton:



Advertised as 1959 - smaller tear drop - I think a little later, 60-61, whatever, it is a second type flute



These are old scanned pictures of Bill's knife... a real beauty. It is unlikely to be as late as 1965 and is much more likely to be 63-64 at latest.





This knife was extensively studied, likely late 1963-early 1964



Sometime about 1965 a new method of cutting the flutes and also a finer mesh of cuts for the collar was introduced. It was obviously a method that saved considerable man hours...and indeed the entire evolution of the genre was probably driven by the man hours required to produce the product.

By 1965, the "flute" and collars were simply cut in a straight line, irregularly spaced it is true, consistent with hand production.. but not "tear drop" shaped any longer. This became the standard, and was generally progressively better done until what almost looks like machine program cutting was introduced.... which appeared after I no longer cared about tracking the changes. See next post.

Again let me advise about the overlap in techniques... this general "straight groove" method was used earlier, but became the default in early 1965 or so and it is particularly obvious paired with the change in the construction of the coolie cap.

Last edited by Jacknola; 01-28-2016 at 08:47 PM.
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  #34  
Old 01-27-2016, 10:03 PM
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1963 vs 69/70
And this is the combo that started the question, probable 1963 vs 68-70.





1971



I have concentrated more on the flutes rather than the scallops because that is what is already posted that I can recycle. I have extensive files on the collar scallops on my work computer that I have not put together into a composite time line. I'll do it sometime, but am going to be unavailable for a while. Anyway, you can look at these dated knives and their pictures and get an idea of the progression according to the school-of-Jack, take it for what it is (or isn't) worth. Hope this helps... not as much detail as I usually like, but want to share my general ideas now. Regards.

Last edited by Jacknola; 01-28-2016 at 09:22 AM.
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  #35  
Old 01-28-2016, 06:21 AM
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Thanks Jack for bringing all this to the table again. Very helpful. I finally get your "teardrop" description, as it applies to the coolie caps



I will take this info and find as much as I can on it. Fun stuff.
Again Jack, thanks for giving a considerable amount of time in using your professional training to bring order to dating these knives.
You have been accurate, whether it be dating and identifying sheath maker, dating blade stamps, escutcheon plates, or dating knives by the hardware taking all the above in consideration to do so.
I appreciate all you have brought to our community.

Regards, Samg
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  #36  
Old 01-28-2016, 10:54 AM
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Good looking Bowie, Sam, and an interesting thread all in all. You knows, maybe the original owner of your knife was the actor, Robert Wagner. His middle initial is J.
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  #37  
Old 01-28-2016, 01:15 PM
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My original pics at the start of this thread really don't capture the beauty of this knife, so I would like to share a couple more with better light. The shop did an outstanding job on this one.
It truely amazing to me that I picked this vintage 60's up for less than many new ones on ebay are going for.






Last edited by samg; 01-28-2016 at 01:28 PM.
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  #38  
Old 01-28-2016, 01:18 PM
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Thanks Tom. Right place at the right time for this one.
Robert Wagner huh? Who knows? If it was, I hope it never was on a boat with him!

Regards, Sam
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  #39  
Old 01-28-2016, 03:29 PM
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Fascinating study of the early Big Bears guys!

Congrats to Sam on making a fine acquisition. By the way, I would bet on Rosewood being the handle material.

You've inspired me to start another thread on Big Bears of the Modern Randall Era.

Stay tuned....

Cheers!

David


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  #40  
Old 01-28-2016, 03:32 PM
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Sam, curious, will you leave the initials on the escutcheon plate or remove them?
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  #41  
Old 01-28-2016, 03:52 PM
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Thanks David, I look forward to that 12-8 thread. I have been studying the grinds of the Big Bears from different eras. Not a lot of change except in the area of the ricasso. Subtle differences, to my eyes at least. I will weigh in on that at some point.
Anyone have an opinion on the differences thru the years?

I wonder if the young man who came into the shop all those years ago and inspired this knife, if he ever got his bear?

Tom, I will definitely leave the initials intact. Part of the history of it. Besides, I don't know how thick those plates are, so I would be ticked if I did remove it and went through the plate :-(((

Regards, Samg

Last edited by samg; 01-28-2016 at 04:09 PM.
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  #42  
Old 01-28-2016, 04:13 PM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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Jacknola, Is that King Faisal set the standard size knives or the 6" version?
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  #43  
Old 01-28-2016, 05:21 PM
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To add to Jacks comment about the pixilation of the initials on the escutcheon plates:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacknola
I haven't done the deep research, but the pixilation of the letters on the escutcheon plate is a style that I THINK could be associated with the mid 1960s or so. Please take that as an impression, not an avowal.
This first pic is from Ta2bills Smith, estimated 1964-65



This one from mine estimated 1964-66. Same pixilation.



Regards, Samg

Last edited by samg; 01-28-2016 at 07:25 PM.
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  #44  
Old 01-28-2016, 05:48 PM
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In Jacks thread Randall Knives-Escutcheon Plates, he posted a picture of a Bowie, given to Dick Van Sickle by Randall in 1965, documenting that the finer hand done scalloping was being done as early as Dec 1965. I love the tooling on that sheath. Don't think it's a Johnson though.

More info about this Bowie:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Van Sickle
This Randall Bowie was presented to my father, Dick W. Van Sickle, by Bo and Gary Randall in December, 1965, in the presence of foreman William Platts and the rest of the ?Gang?. The blade carries the inscription ?Our largest Bowie to our largest Bowie Dealer? and the knife handle includes a brass plate with my father?s initials DWVS. During the 1960?s and early 1970?s, my father was Randall?s largest dealer. Dad died as a result of injuries from a car accident in 1971. This Randall Bowie was pictured in the 1973 issue of The Gun Digest Book of Knives (by B.R. Hughes and Jack Lewis) within section 3. THE RANDALL LOOK: W.D. Randall, Jr., a pioneer in his own right, was the first of today?s custom knifemakers. I displayed it at various gun shows in Texas a number of years ago but it has been ?in storage? most of the time. Recently, I met with Gary and Jason Randall in their shop in Orlando. Gary remembers the building of this Bowie and the presentation to my father. This Bowie has been authenticated by Perry Miller as the second largest known Randall Bowie (the largest Bowie being the one displayed in the Randall museum). This Bowie is made from ?? stock, has a 15? blade, is 22? long, and weighs 6 lbs. My father had a sheath custom made by Cheney from Oklahoma to fit the Bowie. I decided to post pictures of the Bowie and information relating to it after learning from Perry that it is likely many Randall collectors do not know of its existence.

Frank Van Sickle








Regards, Samg

Last edited by samg; 01-30-2016 at 12:44 PM.
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  #45  
Old 01-29-2016, 08:29 PM
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Sam, where did all your pictures go? Did your picture hosting site go corrupt?
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