Cowan’s Historic Firearms and Early Militaria Auction

On April 28-29, 2010, Cowan’s salesroom in Cincinnati, Ohio, will offer over 1200 lots of relics and weaponry from the Civil War to WWII. Featured in the auction are nearly 500 lots related to the U.S. Cavalry, from the Estate of Thomas Adlon, Visalia, California, the Estate of Richard R. Lea, Ft. Collins, Colorado, and The Portsmouth Museum of Military History, Portsmouth, Virginia.

An 1861 Colt navy revolver is featured in Cowan’s April 28-29 auction of firearms and early militaria. This item includes six pieces of accoutrement and a paper archive including M1850 staff and field sword, an inscribed ’61 Colt Navy with its original holster, sword belt, a cap box with the pick and a Colt-style powder flask. Originally owned by Calvary Lieutenant Patrick S. Gardner, the lot is estimated to sell for $10,000/15,000.

M1860 Colt Army revolver with standard round cylinder, engraved with naval scenes and Gardner’s initials on the backstrap. Belt also includes sword rig attachments and an unmarked leather cap pouch. Also included, is an unmarked, but likely Colt, brass pistol powder flask with a spread-winged shield-breasted U.S. eagle with stars above and crossed pistols below.

Another item of interest is a Pattern 1872 Enlisted Calvary Dress Helmet. Estimated to sell between $6,000/8,000, this item is comprised of a black wool body with a brass planchet and a plume holder with yellow horsehair plume. It is complete with the original white, braided cords. The interior contains a brown leather sweat band with the visor and brim painted green.

An 1876 Campaign Hat is estimated to sell between $6,000/8,000. Made of black wool with brass side ventilators, this item is in excellent condition with only a slight tear through the stiching on the outer edge of the brim. Inside is a complete 1.75 inch leather sweat band. The maker’s mark resides inside the dome of the hat. It is complete with the original black silk band at the base of the dome.

Another item of interest is an 1847 Grimsley Dragoon Saddle. Made with fine black leather and a quilted padding, this saddle was inspired by the Spanish/Mexican saddles that were popular at the time. It has brass moldings, escutcheons and stirrups. The underside is composed of brown leather and measures 21 inches from the pommel to the cantle and is 39 inches in overall height. The maker, Thronton Grimsley of St. Louis, MO, was a well-known saddle-maker, and his saddles were used by General U.S. Grant, General Thomas Sherman and General Robert E. Lee. This saddle is estimated to sell at $6,000/8,000.

A 2nd U.S. Cavalry Regimental Colors, ca. 1884, is another item up for bid. Estimated at $5,000/10,000, the Cavalry flag is made of yellow silk over cotton construction. It is hand-painted on both sides with a motto, banner, and typical U.S. martial reversed en volant. Its area is 52 inches by 39 inches, and the item shows both hand and machine stitching. It generally conforms to the Regulations of 1887 described under the “specifications for cavalry standards,” but may be slightly earlier.

The 2nd Dragoons were first organized in May 1836 and saw their first combat during the Seminole War. Since their inception, the 2nd Dragoons, or the 2nd Calvary as they were later called, were involved in numerous battles and campaigns to the present day. These endeavors include the Mexican War, the Battle of Gettysburg, the ninetenth century Indian Wars, the Spanish American War, two tours of duty in the Philippines, World War II, and Desert Storm.

Today, the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment (2SCR), as it is now known, “has the distinction of being the longest continuously serving Regiment in the United States Army.” Elements of 2SCR have deployed to operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan adding battle honors to a modern day yellow regimental standard that has hardly changed from this hallowed nineteenth-century predecessor.

This auction includes nearly 500 items related to the U.S. Cavalry from Civil War up through World War I. Also featured is over 100 Civil War items, 250 American and European Sporting Arms, and 150 historical items from World War I-World War II. This auction takes place in Cowan’s Saleroom and is broken up into two days with the Historic Militaria Lots 1-694 on Wednesday, April 28, and the Sporting Arms Lots 695-1007 on Thursday, April 29. Other items of interest are available to view online on Cowan’s website