Saturday, June 21, 2014

Cowan's Auction Items: Civil War Clothing

Sixth Plate Tintype of a Vermont Soldier or Fireman with American Flag, Bowie Knife, & Warner Pocket Percussion Revolver

Sixth plate tintype of a bearded gentleman wearing an elaborately embroidered shirt, possibly a Union soldier or fireman, holding a small American parade flag in one hand and displaying a Bowie knife in the other. A scarce, Charles Warner pocket percussion revolver is tucked in his belt. A penciled inscription behind the case, which is difficult to decipher, reads in part: Miron Buck (or Bush?), Esq./ Ste. Albans/ Vermont/ USA. Tintype is still sealed with disintegrating paper tape. Housed in full case.


No Vermont soldiers identified as "Miron Buck" or "Miron Bush" are listed in HDS. However, a "Myron Buck" of St. Albans, VT is referenced in an 1866 US IRS Tax Assessment list. 


Provenance:  
The Rick Mach Collection of Civil War & Western Photography
 


Condition:  
Some surface wear to plate, especially near lower left corner and along left edge; tintype still sealed with disintegrating paper tape; housed in full case.

Est $1500 - $2500


Sixth Plate Tintype of Enlisted Man Wearing Nine-Button Frock Coat with Unusually Large Wagon Wheel Insignia, Displaying M1849 Colt Pistol

Sixth plate tintype of a seated, enlisted man holding an M1849 Colt pistol, wearing a nine-button frock coat with unusually large wagon wheel insignia. The wagon wheel is decidedly non-regulation for the Civil War period but later morphed into the insignia for the Quartermaster Dept. It may also indicate the functional role of its unidentified wearer as a wagon master. A rare example in either case. The inside of the case is inscribedJennison, and although the figure bears a resemblance to Charles "Doc" Jennison, an anti-slavery hero during the Bleeding Kansas affair and Union Colonel and leader of the 7th Kansas and 15th Kansas Cavalries, this identification cannot be confirmed. Housed in half case. 


Provenance:  
The Rick Mach Collection of Civil War & Western Photography
 


Condition:  
Housed in half case. Tintype with semi-circular crease/indentation in top left corner, small pin-sized protrusion in plate, near subject's left hand, few small blemishes on surface of plate, corners of plate clipped.

Est $1200 - $2500

 
Sixth Plate Ambrotype of Confederate Infantry Officer, Possibly from the 11th Mississippi Infantry

Sixth plate ambrotype portrait of an unidentified Confederate infantry officer, possibly from the 11th Mississippi Infantry, as indicated by consignor, wearing civilian dress, buttons and belt highlighted in gold. The officer is shown holding an officer's sword and wears a hat pinned up on one side with what appears to be a metal star and adorned with a plume. The gilded hat insignia, which looks to be a star ornament was very common among early Mississippi troops and is documented in numerous early war photographs. The upturned hat brim is also a common feature noted in early Mississippi photography (See R. Field, The Confederate Army, p.37). Ron Field's book entitled Uniforms of the Civil War provides a description of the uniform worn by the Lamar Rifles, Co. G of the 11th Mississippi, including the hats, which were "pinned up one side only...and adorned with infantry bugle horn insignia, and, in some cases, a single black ostrich feather" (p.167). Although the subject wears a hat with insignia and feather similar to that worn by members of the 11th Mississippi, as described in Field's book, we cannot confirm that this unidentified officer was from the regiment. Ca 1861. Housed in a pressed paper case, separated at the spine.


Formed in Corinth, MS, on May 4, 1861, the 11th Mississippi participated in several major battles, including the First Battle of Bull Run, or First Manassas, near Manassas, VA, Battle at Seven Pines, near Richmond, VA, Gaines Mill, and the 2nd Battle of Manassas. In Sept. 1862, under John Bell Hood, the 11th MS met Federal Joseph Hooker's First Corps near Sharpsburg, suffering 117 casualties. In Nov., the 2nd, 11th, and 42nd MS formed a new brigade with the 55th North Carolina led by Joseph Robert Davis, Jefferson Davis' nephew. In July 1863, the 11th suffered its greatest losses, incurring 340 casualties. The 11th went on to participate in the battles of Wilderness, Talle's Mill, Spotsylvania Court House, and Bethesda Church. In April 1865 after defending the area around the city of Petersburg, the 11th MS was captured by Gen. Grant's forces.


Condition:  
Solarization at mat edges.  Series of thin vertical scratches on the right side of the subject's face and beard.  Flaking of backing lacquer.  Case brittle and missing three edges of one cover.


Est $1500 - $2500

Copy and photos from Cowan's Auction.

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