Gettysburg Civil War Auction Realizes $1.5 Million

. July 12, 2008

Dallas – Heritage Auction Galleries’ latest auction of Civil War-era collectibles, held June 30, 2008 in Gettysburg, PA, realized $1,541,812 for 848 lots offered, with after-auction sales still ongoing and expected to raise the final total to even higher levels. (Click here to view after-auction buys.) The auction featured photographs, autographs, uniforms, firearms, edged weapons, and flags, as well as a number of historic items relating to the watershed Battle of Gettysburg.

“This was a wonderful event, held on the site of one of the most important battles of the American Civil War,” said Dennis Lowe, Director of Civil War Auctions for Dallas-based Heritage. “Results were strong across all categories, with avid bidding for everything from important paintings and edged weapons to vintage photography and battle-carried flags.”

“The top item in the auction was Thomas Buchanan Read’s painting, Sheridan’s Sheridan’s Ride From Winchester,” Lowe said, “which brought $149,375. A celebrated artist, poet, and sculptor, Read served on the staff of General Lew Wallace – author of the best-selling novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ – and was well-known for his historical paintings, many of which demonstrated a marked poetic flair. This spectacular work is considered by many to be his masterpiece, so the outstanding result comes as no surprise.”

Several magnificent swords were also among the top sellers in this auction, including a jeweled Ames presentation sword given to Captain Allen Lowd for his action at Fort Texas in 1846, in which he led the defense of the fort against attack by a well-armed force of Mexican troops, and a Confederate Naval Officer’s sword, which was consigned by descendants of Robert Baker Pegram, the commander of the Confederate Steamer CSS Nashville. The Lowd sword realized $77,675, while the Naval Officer’s sword sold for $59,750.

“We were pleased to see such enthusiastic bidding, both in the auction room and on the Internet, especially through our new live bidding platform, Heritage Live, which enables participants to follow the auction remotely from anywhere in the world and participate in real time” Lowe said. “Bringing the auction to the bidders in this way has proven invaluable, as these results attest.”

“We’re already at work putting together our next auction,” Lowe said, “which is scheduled for December 6 & 7, 2008. Those interested in fine Civil War material should keep an eye on our website at for more information and previews as the auction develops.”

Highlights of the auction included:

Sheridan’s Ride From Winchester by Thomas Buchanan Read: Realized: $149,375.
Magnificent Jeweled Ames Presentation Sword to Captain Allen Lowd for Action at Fort Texas (Brown) in 1846: Realized: $77,675.
Confederate Naval Officer’s Sword, Patterned After the U.S. M1852, by Firmin & Sons of London, Consigned by Descendants of Robert Baker Pegram, Commander of the Confederate Steamer CSS Nashville: Realized: $59,750.
Impeccably Provenanced and Authenticated Confederate Civil War Enlisted Man’s Jacket. Accompanied by a Period Ink Tag which is Inscribed. “Rebel Coat Captured by the Union Soldiers at Cumberland Gap”: Realized: $41,825.
Xanthus Smith, Sinking of the Alabama, circa 1865-1870, Oil on canvas: Realized: $38,837.
Impeccably Provenanced Gauntlets of Major General Philip H. Sheridan Presented by Him to Captain Augustus C. Paul: Realized: $32,862.
Rare Pattern Character Laden 32-Star American Flag Captured at 1st Bull Run by Thomas Cawood, Co. K, 3d Tennessee Infantry (Mounted) CSA: Realized: $28,680.
100 Identified Confederate CDVs in Photo Album, ca. 1860s: Realized: $28,680.
Unquestionably the Rarest of the Colt Numbered Model Dragoon Series are those Martially Marked 2d Models Bearing “New Hampshire” on the Side Flat of the Barrel Housing: Realized: $26,887.
Sheffield Bowie Knife by Joseph Hawksley with the engraved legend on the ½” X 2¾” silver plaque inset on the grip, “Presented to Chas. E. Dilkes by Dan’l J. Doyle/ Co. C Ellsworth’s Fire Zouaves/ Captured by him from one of the Black Horse Cavalry/ at Bull’s Run, Va. July 21st 1861”: Realized: $23,900.
Striking Plaster Bust of John Singleton Mosby by American Master Sculptor Herbert Barbee:
Realized: $21,510.
Scoped Heavy Barrel Sharpshooter’s Rifle By Horace Fox, Hydetown, Pennsylvania, with the Original Form Fitted Wooden Case: Realized: $20,315.
Walker Replacement Dragoon, Bearing the Moniker “Fluck” Dragoon in Honor of the Collector who First Identified this Distinct Model: Realized: $19,120.
Historical Inscribed Civil War Military Sharpshooter’s Issue Rifle: Realized: $17,925.
Exceedingly Rare US Contract Navy Cutlass, ca. 1800: Realized: $16,730.
Heritage Auction Galleries is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales of over $600 million, and over 375,000 registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage’s auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

Category: Auction News

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