"Standing Our Ground"
An Extraordinary Custom Collaboration Ivory Handled Bowie
If fully implemented, the ban would unnecessarily hurt owners of any items containing elephant ivory already legally imported into this country prior to the existing import ban decades ago (known as "pre-ban" ivory) by stripping the value from those items, resulting in a taking of billions of dollars of law-abiding Americans' investments. The domestic ivory ban would instantly render the current legal market in worked ivory within the U.S. illegal. This ban would cover items with even the smallest amount of ivory decoration, not just solid ivory pieces.
Knife Rights supports efforts to end the poaching of African elephants and the illicit trade in ivory, but banning the domestic sale and trade of legal pre-ban ivory already in the United States will not stop poaching, nor save one living elephant. It may well contribute to increased poaching.
The proposed rules put the entire onus on the seller to prove the ivory is legal, the seller is presumed guilty, NOT innocent. The seller must provide documentation to the satisfaction of the government, which may be difficult at best for many pieces, not affordable and likely impossible in the vast majority of cases, because the required documentation is simply unavailable because it was never required originally.
Because it is often difficult for anyone but an expert to distinguish elephant ivory from other forms of ivory, fossil ivory or faux ivory, it is likely that many non-elephant ivory items would be seized and sellers charged as criminals under this scheme.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency that is now implementing this Administration's politically-driven ban has long maintained the position that virtually all elephant ivory in the U.S. has been legally imported and that its sale in the U.S. has no impact on poaching in Africa. Other studies support that original position.
Read more about this proposed ivory ban at: www.KnifeRights.org/ivory
Mark Knapp - Concept & Organization
Gary House - Twisted Damascus
Bill Burke - Blade Forging & Grinding
Don Hanson - Handle, Guard & Spacer
Boone Trading Co. - Documented Elephant Ivory for Handle
Linda Karst Stone - Scrimshaw
Paul Long - Sheath
Jim Cooper - Photography
GunAuction.com - Auction Services
The stunning Twisted Damascus steel for the blade was forged by American Bladesmith Society Master Smith Gary House and is comprised of layers of 15N20 and 1080 high carbon steel. The two steels were layered through multiple forgings into a form of basket weave. The final basket weave pattern was forged into a round bar and then twisted into a tight twist. This twisted bar was then forged flat and a deep ladder pattern forged in. The resulting high ladder bar was ground off, resulting in the final flat bar of twisted Damascus.
The Twisted Damascus bar was shipped off to American Bladesmith Society Master Smith Bill Burke for his expert hand forging of the 9-inch blade on the anvil. Burke forged the steel into a bowie in near final form before final grinding and heat treat. He then engraved both his and House's marks on the tang.
From there the finished blade was shipped to American Bladesmith Society Master Smith Don Hanson for fitting of the Damascus guard and spacer and the Ivory handle. The Damascus for the Guard and Spacer was hand forged by Hanson from 1084, 15N20 and 203E high carbon steels. Hanson hand-worked the ivory into a beautifully elegant and ergonomic handle.
The fully documented pre-ban Elephant Ivory for the handle was donated by David Boone at Boone Trading Company. The ivory came from one of the tusks taken on a March 4, 1959, during a safari in Kenya, booked through White Hunters LTD of Nairobi. The 30-day hunt for Daryl Howell and Allen Burt was $3,540 in 1959. The tusks were purchased from Daryl Howell's daughter in Portland, Oregon, on February 10, 2013.
The now functionally finished knife was then shipped to Scrimshaw Artist Linda Karst Stone for her part of this elaborate project. Choosing a raging bull elephant for her scrimshaw design, she first drew the wrap-around design in pencil. Her scrimshaw was created in the traditional method, entirely by hand. The black lines were incised using a carbide-tipped scribe, scratching into the surface and then filling the voids with black India ink. Each color area was incised one at a time, dark to light and then the Winsor & Newton pigments are applied. Finally, Renaissance wax was applied to help protect the finished design.
Custom Leather Maker Paul F. Long handcrafted the sheath to compliment this extraordinary knife. The sheath features top grain, vegetable tanned Black American Cowhide with Black Elephant Skin inlay and retention strap. It is fully lined with top grain leather to protect the blade. Long hand-tooled the geometric embellishments.
Finally, the completed Bowie was handed off to Jim Cooper for his stunning photography.
A photo of the knife with the signatures of the collaborators is included, along with a Certificate of Authenticity. All the documentation for the ivory is included.
We are indebted to knifemaker Mark Knapp who conceived of this fundraiser and shepherded the knife from concept through completion. Without his support and dedication this would never have happened.
GunAuction.com has generously donated their auction services. 100% of the funds bid on this auction will go directly to Knife Rights, Inc. to be used in opposing the proposed ban on domestic sale and trade in elephant ivory.
DISCLAIMER: Because the winner of this auction is receiving the knife in a financial exchange, this is not a charitable donation according to IRS rules. Buyer is cautioned that since the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Agency is not expected to issue its proposed notice of rulemaking on the ivory ban, which includes the requirements for documentation of legal ivory, prior to the close of the auction, seller cannot guarantee that this knife will be able to be legally sold in the future.