Antler-Handled Frontier Knife by Darcy QuappKatie Horn
For black powder enthusiasts, there’s nothing quite like the ubiquitous antler-handled knife of the early frontier. Crafted from readily available materials, these knives saw heavy use in the backcountry, and continue to be a blade of choice for the modern frontiersman.
This year’s CLF Live Fundraising Auction will feature an excellent example of this popular knife by Canadian bladesmith Darcy Quapp. Hand-forged from 5160 steel, the blade is married to an antler handle harvested from a prime Alberta whitetail.
The entire knife features tasteful embellishments. The blade itself was engraved with colonial-era motifs inspired by similar designs that appear on the famous McClellan pipe tomahawk dating to the 1760’s. The steel on this knife features a rich patina which Quapp achieved with his own proprietary “witches brew.”
The knife also features a poured pewter bolster decorated with chisel engraving; the pommel cap, which doubles as a handy ball starter, is made from mild steel and features a subdued petal pattern. The knife is accompanied with a custom sheath made from hand-stitched, vegetable-tanned leather which the artist textured and aged.
The knife is also accompanied with a unique custom display stand. The base of the stand is made from reclaimed livestock corral lumber straight from the Canadian prairie. The stand’s upright portion is made from whitetail antler, wrapped with a decorative twist of braided rawhide cord. The stand also comes with a pair of decorative feathers which were fashioned from annealed copper.
For more information on the work of Darcy Quapp, contact the artist directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Text by Joshua Shepherd
Photography by David Wright