October 25, 2023 The Paul Friedrich Collection of Firearms & Gold Rush
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/25/2023
In his 1855 book "Land of Gold, Reality vs. Fiction", Hinton R. Helper wrote “I have seen purer liquors, better segars [sic], finer tobacco, truer guns and pistols, larger dirk and Bowie knives, and prettier courtesans here in San Francisco than in any other place I have ever visited, and it is my un-biased opinion that California can and does furnish the best bad things that are obtainable in America." This mindset of "the best bad things" made companies like Will & Finck quite successful in dealing in items ranging from gambler's cheating equipment to making high-end cutlery for California's booming upper class. In an 1896 advertisement, Will & Finck advertises themselves as "Manufacturing Cutlers, Electrical Contractors, Steamboat Bellhangers, and Locksmiths" with "Faro Tools on Hand and Made to Order". One of the most desirable of the products made by this firm is their bowie knives, a symbol of the Old West made by a company that was also a symbol of the Old West. This knife is photographed on page 131 of “California’s Best: Old West Art & Antiques” by Brian and Brad Witherell. 5" drop point blade with sharpened false edge marked "WILL & FINCK / S.F. CAL" on ricasso with die breaks in the "C" and "S". Scalloped, bulbous, walrus ivory handle studded with approximately 100 silver studs. Complete with a reproduction silver scabbard with correct type of belt clip. Accompanied by a reproduction of an 1896 Will & Finck catalog with explanatory text and illustrations by Bernard Levine (who wrote "Knifemakers of Old San Francsico") and a copy of a photo of the Interior of Will & Finck's Store. CONDITION: Very good, with light, age-related freckling throughout over top of what appears to be factory polish. Scabbard is mostly cleaned bright with consistent areas of patination near throat and behind clip. Grip is very good with small age-related cracks throughout, especially near guard and some of the studs.
Blade Length
Overall Length
Catalog, Photograph, Info
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $26,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $62,400.00
Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000
Number Bids: 19
Auction closed on Wednesday, October 25, 2023.
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