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Traveler: knife and sheath

Updated: Mar 29

Curly maple, wire inlay, blade , sheath, quillwork
Traveler by Iron John and Copperrein

Traveler by Iron John and Copperrein of Iron Tree Forge is this years donation to the Contemporary longrifle association 27th annual live auction August 9th 2023.

Traveler: knife and quillwork sheath is the combined work of two of today's most prolific contemporary historical artists Iron John and Copperrein of Iron Tree Forge. Their individual tastes and styles shine through this historically inspired set and highlight some of the highest handcraft in the nation today. Each piece, technique, and material used helps tell the story bringing the viewer or user through the story and into the shoes of a possible one time owner someplace in the dim corners of history.

Iron John's expertly hand forged blade is forged close for superior cutting geometry with a robust spine dramatically tapering to point and edge. Convex ground and hand finished it is tempered hard for long use between sharpenings. Witness marks from hammer and anvil and a deep cartouche of the makers touchmark attest to the hand craft. Handle of exquisitely hand carved curly maple with gadrooned molding corners and terminus of hand carved cove molding with pewter finial. Poured pewter bolster and silver wire inlay (reverse carved in folk art script "cla 27") complete the beautiful 18th century architecture. Stained and finished with traditional aqua Fortis and hand rubbed linseed oil the figure of the maple truly pops! Copperrein's (Stephanie Aust) beautiful sheath is entirely hand crafted using both harness techniques and those of the Native Americans in the northern woodlands. Porcupine quill embroidery of bright but faded colors adorn it's front along with a row of beaded tin cones on sinew ties. Core with suspended belt loop of harness leather with fringe. Age and patina by artists

As with many dimly lit corners of history the exact who, what, and where are hard to nail down. Pieces moved across contentnents in the hands of those who used them. What might once have been a fine dandy in the early American colonial style was moved by man through foot travel, by river and canoe, by pack horse and mule, across mountains and across prairies to new lives never dreamed of before. Old European ideas of idyllic line and weight of silver reached places deeper in the interior than one might think, spanning horizons, watersheds and language barriers pieces were carried and traded faster than a man himself could walk as was noted in many original journals.

Traveler is a what if that spans culture and time in early American from east to west in the Woodlands period from colonial beginnings to Midwestern roots in the upper Mississippi watershed. He could have been a Scottish trader, or a halfbreed that lived in the French style, who ever he was he was high born into one of the top families in the new colony. Supped on a silver spoon only the finest american materials could do - curly maple stained dark with iron water and rubbed to a luster as fine as the silver set in the grip. The fine carvings faceted against the light and the white glint of the pewter gleams softly against the clean shaven young man as he makes up his mind to seak his future in the west. Many years pass and though he carries the same knife now grey glints in his bread. He has been given a wife by the father of local People and now sits among the counsel fire. He has seen a much bigger world than those around him but he is happy here and calls it home. His name? Traveler

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