A Wrought Iron Oyster Knife that Rounded Cape Horn 57 Times!
2015 ELISSA Plankowners' Auction Oyster Knife
2021 ELISSA / MOSHULULU Oyster Knife
1877 barque ELISSA
1904 barque Moshululu
While I was director of the 1877 barque ELISSA and Texas Seaport Museum, I
made an oyster shucking and bottle opener knife for the 2015 annual Plankowners'
Party and fundraising auction. The oyster knife and bottle opener was made from
a section of cropped out ELISSA 1877 Low Moor wrought iron and teak salvaged
from the 1980 deckhouse galley sill. I guarantee that this is the only sexy, salty,
square-rig sailor oyster shucking knife on the planet made from 1877 Low Moor
iron. Notice the slag inclusions in the 1877 Low Moor wrought iron - I think any
oyster would feel honored to be shucked by such a fine and salty seagoing tool.
The high bidder was Linda Murray – a long time ELISSA volunteer and supporter.
The wrought iron blade was made from a section of hull plating that had been
removed during the vessel’s second restoration (2012-13) when we renewed
almost 1,200 square feet of underwater hull plating. I kept a small section to one
day make an oyster knife for me.
This past week that day finally arrived, and I pulled out the old piece of 1877
wrought iron hull plating and went to work. This time instead of using a piece of
teak from ELISSA, I decided to use a piece of the original 1904 Longleaf Yellow
Pine decking from the interior of the Liverpool house on the mighty four-masted
steel barque MOSHULU, built as Kurt by William Hamilton and Company at Port
Glasgow in Scotland in 1904. This oyster knife is very special to me as I was
ELISSA’s director from 2010-16 and supervised the 1995 rig restoration of
MOSHULU in Camden, New Jersey (MOSHULU is now alongside Penn’s Landing
Since the ELISSA wrought iron hull plating had rounded Cape Horn three times and
the original 1904 Longleaf Yellow Pine wood decking of MOSHULU had rounded
Cape Horn fifty four times… this oyster knife has rounded Cape Horn a combined
total of fifty seven times!
The first several photos show the 2015 ELISSA Plankowners auction knife and the
last illustrate the crafting and end result of my new ELISSA/MOSHULU oyster
knife…now to find some oysters worthy of such a fine instrument!