April 30, 2010
Ben Lilly's Knife Goes Up on the Auction Block
By Chad Love
In the annals of southwestern mountain man and desert rat lore, few loom as large as Ben Lilly. The life and exploits of this mysterious and peculiar lion and bear hunter has captured the imagination of generations of readers. Bill Tarrant devoted a chapter to Lilly in his book Pick of the Litter, and another fascinating Ben Lilly story, written by Frank Hibben and first published in F&S in 1954, can be found in the book The Best of Field & Stream, 100 Years of Great Writing.
But if you're a die-hard collector of American sporting history and want something beyond books, this knife might pique your interest. But you better be prepared to bring your checkbook...
From the website:
Historically important hunting knife attributed to the mountain man and hunting guide to Theodore Roosevelt, Ben Lilly. Hand made 6.5 inch blade with stag horn grip and brass guard. The blade shows minor pitting although there is little wear. The knife overall is in very good condition. The knife is contained in a presentation box and has paperwork relating to Lilly. There is also a letter of authentication written by Glen Lambert P.O.I.C.B. and notarized in 1997. Lilly was born in Alabama in 1856, the son of North Carolina natives who moved to Mississippi shortly after his birth. He attended a military academy, but he ran away and worked as a blacksmith in Memphis. President Teddy Roosevelt, who hired Lilly to be his chief huntsman in Louisiana , summed him up as a "religious fanatic," He died in 1936.