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ENGLISH RODDA & CO. CALCUTTA MAPPIN BROTHERS BOWIE KNIFE
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This rare "Mappin Brothers" "Queen's Cutlery Works" dirk-knife was retailed by the famous firm of R.B.Rodda & Co., Calcutta, which supplied the big game hunters in India with all type of hunting and survival gear from the 1830s onward.
The legendary Sheffield firm of Mappin Brothers had established the Queen's Cutlery Works in the 1850s, a manufactory which employed hundreds of workers in production of some of the best known Sheffield cutlery and blades.
This knife was made specifically for Rodda's store in Calcutta, and is of the "hunter's companion" type, which they sold in India.
The knife measures 27 cm overall, with 15 cm blade, which has dark stains and retains much of its factory shine. The edges are quite sharp as is the point. The leather on the scabbard has some top-coat wear. I would date this excellent, expressive piece ca.1850s-1890s.
Rudyard Kipling immortalized the Rodda knife in his WHAT HAPPENED poem:
...Hurree Chunder Mookerjee went to Rodda's and
Bought the tubes of Lancaster, Ballard, Dean, and Bland,
Bought a shiny bowie-knife, bought a town-made sword,
Jingled like a carriage-horse when he went abroad...





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