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  #1  
Old 09-17-2017, 08:42 PM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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One of a kind Early 1950's Bowie!

Here is a rare one!



Made within the first part of the 1950's is this 9" Randall Made Knives Bowie.





The original owner created a wooden model of a knife that fit his requirements of a Bowie knife. Modeled after a Marbles Trail Maker, but rather than the 10 1/4" length of a Marbles version, with a 9" blade length.



The hilt is a nickel/silver Model 1 fighter type, seven spacers and a Belgian Congo Ivory Commando handle.



The aluminum butt cap is another unique piece, which too, was modeled after the Trail Maker version by Marbles. Notice the early style brass nut and washer.



After receiving the knife from Bo Randall, it was then sent off to George Lawrence, a premier sheath maker of the time, for a new custom fitted sheath.







As shown in this photograph, the box is dated in pencil, which makes the timeframe very easy to determine. The shipping label has the same name as the initials etched on the blade's ricasso.

I'm not sure if I have even seen a duplicate in the vast Randall museum during past visits, but I will certainly be looking closely the next time, now that I own this one!

Last edited by Ta2bill; 10-06-2017 at 07:40 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2017, 10:17 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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That is an awesome one-off. Randall must have been committed to customer design. Amazing you have the wooden model, boxes, and sheath documentation. Doubt you will find anything else quite like this... great get. Congratulations..
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  #3  
Old 09-18-2017, 01:44 AM
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samg samg is offline
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Excellent find Bill. I have not seen one like it! Nice hardware and style. The shop had incredible talent in the day. That's a work of art.
Thanks for posting it Bill.
Sam
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  #4  
Old 09-18-2017, 07:11 AM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
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Bill,

IMO that is one of the nicest oldies I've had the privilege of seeing. Thanks so much for posting it.

Ron
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  #5  
Old 09-18-2017, 07:43 AM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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Thank you Gentlemen. This is why I love collecting RMK's! Always something new popping up.



At first, I was hesitant to accept the Lawrence sheath, until the model and box were presented!


Last edited by Ta2bill; 09-18-2017 at 09:17 AM.
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  #6  
Old 09-18-2017, 09:50 PM
jeepster jeepster is offline
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This is a fantastic Randall. You are the man Bill.
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  #7  
Old 10-05-2017, 07:12 PM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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More information

I believe that the original owner (Frank Wardell) carved the model blade and sent to Bo Randall to use as a template. The wood model is the exact scale of a Marbles Trail Maker of the same period. (10.25") The Wardell Randall has a 9" blade length. I'm certain Bo would have no desire to make an exact duplicate of another manufacturer's item, and constructed this as a result.



My theory is that this knife precedes the Model 12-9" Sportsman, which made it's debut in 1954. It seems that Bo would have sold the customer a Sportsman instead of making this one.

Also, if the Sportsman was available at the time of this knife being made, it would have fit perfectly in a 12-9" sheath, meaning that it would not have had to go to a Geo. Lawrence for one to be made
.
I'm still doing research with the grandson.....

Last edited by Ta2bill; 10-05-2017 at 10:50 PM.
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  #8  
Old 10-05-2017, 10:35 PM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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I have seen at least one very similar blade. I believe Tom Clinton had one and perhaps another.

Difficult to say whether it preceded the first Sportsman, but I don't think during this time frame Bo would push someone away from a custom design, particularly when they went through the trouble to carve a template.
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Old 10-05-2017, 11:11 PM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crutchtip View Post
I have seen at least one very similar blade. I believe Tom Clinton had one and perhaps another.

I will be looking for it's mate the next time I visit the museum. If there's at least one other to be found, in all likelihood, it would be there. It's unfortunate that the Tom Clinton collection got divided up and scattered about

Difficult to say whether it preceded the first Sportsman, but I don't think during this time frame Bo would push someone away from a custom design, particularly when they went through the trouble to carve a template.
I love the way Bo did business by putting the customer's wants first and foremost. But I sincerely doubt that he would have used the wooden template to make a carbon copy of W.L. Marble's own design.


One thing we all know is there were at least 2 people who knew the history, and they ain't talking! Hopefully, I can find some correspondence letters to help solve another Randall mystery.

Thank you for your input Joe. I appreciate what you do.
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  #10  
Old 10-06-2017, 06:31 AM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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I agree Bill, I do not believe he would have made a "carbon copy" of the Marble's, but his own take on what was sent to him. When you think about it, many of the knives that are now standard models started as customer requests and/or even designs. Some of those as you know were based on customer supplied drawings.

I think your knife is the first I have seen where someone carved an example. I guess he was pretty sure what he wanted!

Cool piece.
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  #11  
Old 10-06-2017, 07:34 AM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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Thanks Joe. What I think is really cool is the butt cap with brass nut and washer!
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  #12  
Old 10-06-2017, 02:49 PM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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Yeah it is different.

I had a neat pair of Smiths in black Moore sheaths, on left hand and one right hand. IIRC at least one was a brass back.

What was different is not only did both have leather handles which seems kinda rare for the period with the majority being stag, ivory, or wood. One was a standard #1 handle with duralumin butt with brass nut and washer, and the other was a concave handle with a huge duralumin butt with brass nut and washer.

I have some photos I think. If I can locate them I will send them to someone that can post them.
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  #13  
Old 10-06-2017, 03:12 PM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crutchtip View Post
Yeah it is different.

I had a neat pair of Smiths in black Moore sheaths, on left hand and one right hand. IIRC at least one was a brass back.

What was different is not only did both have leather handles which seems kinda rare for the period with the majority being stag, ivory, or wood. One was a standard #1 handle with duralumin butt with brass nut and washer, and the other was a concave handle with a huge duralumin butt with brass nut and washer.

I have some photos I think. If I can locate them I will send them to someone that can post them.

I would love to see them!

Here is a matching pair of left and right hand Moore sheathed Smiths that you may have seen in the past.










Could you imagine this pair hanging off your belt!
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  #14  
Old 10-07-2017, 08:02 PM
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samg samg is offline
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Very cool Bill. These 2 were obviously made as a matching pair, and intended to be worn together. Would counterbalance the weight of each. Probably have to wear a harness/suspender to keep the danged things from pulling ones britches down
Were the Moore sheaths made without keepers? Can't tell with the knives on top.
Great set Bill!

Sam
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