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Roger Gregory
01-09-2003, 02:36 PM
Henry Morton Stanley?s ?Useful? Knife

At 'The Africa Sale' at Christie's on 24 September 2002, the Royal Armouries Museum acquired an important hunting knife, originally owned by one of the 19th century's greatest explorers, Henry Morton Stanley.

* Born John Rowlands in North Wales in 1841, Stanley emigrated to the United States and went on to have a varied and colourful life, including 16 years in the wilds of Africa. The knife was one of the personal mementoes held by his family since his death in 1904.

* The knife was carried by Stanley during the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition, 1887-1890, and was described by him as his 'useful' knife. The blade and grip show signs of sustained hard use.

* Retailed by Watson Bros. in London, this knife was of the type popular with hunter-explorers for a variety of tasks; everything from preparing shelters and other general tasks, to hunting and self-defence.

* This is an important addition to the collection, since while the Royal Armouries has a Winchester sporting rifle carried by one of Stanley's officers, Arthur Mounteney-Jephson, in this same expedition, until now it had nothing originally belonging to Stanley himself.

* Mark Murray-Flutter, Senior Curator of Firearms, Hunting and Sporting, said; "We are delighted to have acquired such a significant object. It will provide a fascinating and useful insight into the weapons and equipment used by hunters and explorers of the 19th century".

Text 'borrowed' from the Royal Armouries website

I'll see what can be done about getting some images from the Royal Armouries. Let's hope they don't lock me in the Tower :)


Chuck Burrows
01-12-2003, 07:57 PM
Thanks Roger, I guess I missed this one. Late nineteenth century African explorers are of a real interest.
Stanley's knife really has a very similar shape and size to the Marine Kabar. I guess when something works it works.

I really like the sheath and it has given me some ideas. BTW that style buckle is like the ones used on 18th century shoes. Should be available from such places as Jas Townsend and Sons (