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Dave Taylor
P.O. Box 87
Sylvania, OH 43560

11-10-01 - Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Officer’s Mexican War Inscribed Sword:
Fresh to the market is this elegant Widmann, Philadelphia presentation knightshead-pommel sword. Has full brass scabbard with floral motifs engraved along its length. Nice deep “F.W. WIDMANN/ PHILAD.” Maker’s stamp on the reverse. Excellent condition overall with much eye appeal. Reeded bone grip with ferrules top and bottom. Knightshead pommel with a properly restored triple-chain guard linking it to the crossguard. (The simple chain is the only replacement on the sword.) Guard, quillons, and langets are all deeply cast with strikingly handsome floral motifs. Two carrying rings on the upper mount and one on the lower. Lots of gilding remaining on the scabbard and guard. Blade is bright, double edged, with a narrow central fuller for part of its length. Engraved just above the upper mount is: “Presented by the / Niagara Fire Company / of Pittsburgh, to / James M'Clean Jr.” The Niagara Fire Company seems to have been formed in 1838, so the presentation would date between then and the death of F.W. Widmann in 1848. Many members of the fire company served in the Mexican War and the Civil War. A roster of the engine company has not yet been located.
Intense research by one of the most adept researchers in this hobby included searches into Pittsburgh records, census records, and county records. The fruits of the work give us a likely candidate, but more research is needed to confirm. I believe our likely Mexican War candidate is Second Lieutenant James McLean, who served under Captain Thomas A. Rowley in a company of Pittsburgh volunteers that was attached to the First Regiment of Maryland and District of Columbia Volunteers from October 1847 to July 1848. You will note that the records spell the name McLean and the sword inscription reads either M'Clean or McClean. Also we need to confirm that the Lieutenant’s father was also named James since the sword carries the suffix “Jr.” at the end of the name. I have not had enough time to take the research further. Suffice it to say, this is a very handsome, beautifully inscribed Mexican War officer’s sword in fine solid condition. The hard part of the research has been done, now the time consuming part we will leave to you. Priced friendly at… $2,500.00

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11-10-02 - Classic Civil War US 1860 pattern light cavalry saber and scabbard:

The quintessential Civil War collector’s piece. This pattern was actually first introduced in 1857 to replace the 1840 heavy cavalry saber, aka the “wrist-breaker,” and was carried throughout the Civil War and right through the Indian War period by cavalry on the plains. This example is very nice, with a great grip being properly restored with new leather and proper twisted wire.  It retains the original buff leather washer at the base of the blade on the guard to seal the scabbard when sheathed.  The blade is nice and bright with just the faintest of graying. Good edge with no significant nicks. The scabbard, likewise, is bright with virtually all the nickel plating intact from its days in the Indian War service. (The ’60 Cav’ sabers were polished and the scabbards plated when they were reissued to the troopers on the western frontier.)  The markings are clear and legible: U.S. over 1865 over A.G.M. on the obverse, and G. Roby over W. CHELMSFORD (in an arc) over MASS. Roby was one of the big contractors to the US government for cavalry sabers.  If you are looking for a handsome Civil War cavalry saber for display or careful use, here is an excellent specimen and at a great price.  $595.00

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11-10-03 - US 1840 pattern light artillery saber and scabbard:

This was introduced as a sidearm for mounted enlistedmen in light artil­lery units: drivers, sergeants, etc. in the light artillery units, and for all enlistedmen in the horse artillery which was assigned to duty with cavalry units and where every man was mounted. It served from the Mexican War through the Civil War and beyond. However none were made after 1865 due to the huge number held in government stores. This example is the way we collectors like to find them: an attic find with nice subtle aged patina to the brass hilt and the scabbard mostly gray that shows its age, but a nice bright blade with good edge when drawn and very good leather grip with just some age flaking and the original wire. Like the cavalry saber above, this even retains the leather washer at the base of the blade. Nicely marked U.S. / MM / 1864 on the obverse and AMES MFG CO./ CHICOPEE/ MASS. on the reverse. One of those sabers that really looks like it was put away 150 years ago and not touched. If you want to know what the gunners carried who galloped into battle to support Custer’s cavalry charges in the war, this is the saber. $725.00

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11-10-04 - Another 1840 light artilleryman’s saber, STATE OF CONN.!!!
This one with desirable early war 1862 date, still retaining the leather washer, grip very handsome with nicely restored leather and twisted wire wrap. Scabbard is bright with some graying, mostly below the lower mount. Blade is bright, with a good edge free of major nicks. The reverse ricasso has a light Ames marking, of which MASS is very clear, and the obverse “CONN / 1862” indicating the it was purchased by the state of Connecticut for its troops. This not only has a nice patina, but has a soldier’s rack number “25” stamped in the guard showing it was issued. These numbers were assigned on a company, or in this case battery, basis to enlisted men to keep track of their issued gear. Not everything was so marked, but when you find it, it is a nice touch showing issue and use. Like the example above, these light artillery sabers are scarcer than the cavalry versions and part of the regulation artillery gear. This would look great displayed with an artillery shell jacket.........$695.00

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11-10-05 - INDIAN WAR BUGLE !
Late Indian War to Spanish-American War era Model 1892 Field Trumpet. This pattern replaced the model 1879 as the standard cavalry trumpet in 1892 and was gradually adopted by all other branches of service including the Navy and Marines. This one is very nicely marked “U.S. Regulation” in an attractive script, with a matching engraved maker’s mark “B&P N.Y.” I will let you research which firm this is. Nice condition but broken at the last extension of tubing which connects to the mouthpiece which is missing. This repair would be very easy for anyone handy with a soldering iron. I am not so handy, I would just burn myself and make a puddle of solder on the bench. A great display item as it stands. No dents, one cord ring is missing from the interior loop. Quite scarce with engraved maker’s mark. $100.00

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11-10-06 - Superb Early Indian War Cavalry “Bugle”:
Very scarce brass trumpet for mounted troops. During the Civil War this was actually the regulation horn for cavalry, be­ing pitched in “F” with the length and shape of the tubing producing a more “brilliant” tone than the copper bugle. This example is Indian War issue: I can just make out the horizontal brazed seam attaching the bell to the tube, showing construction made after the Civil War but dead center during the Indian Fights. Correct all brass construction with a floating bell garland similar to those seen on the Civil War horns. No significant dents and no maker marks. This has what appears to be a real 1887 pattern Indian War cavalry cord on it as well in about perfect condition. Has a great look and would add a lot to an display of period cavalry gear. $350.00

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11-10-07 - Very scarce 1858 dated pre-Civil War US regulation musician’s sword by Ames:

Nicely marked on the ricasso obverse: US/ADK/1858 and on the reverse: AMES MFG CO/ CHICOPEE/ MASS. The knucklebow also shows the inspector marks “ADK” and “W.A.T.” Still has the small leather washer at the base of the blade and full leather scabbard with brass mounts. Just some crazing to the leather with overall good strength and life to the leather body.  Rare not being broken yet as 90 are after a hundred and fifty years. The pre-war regular army was small and any weapons associated with them are scarce. Thillman does not give delivery figures, but Hickox says only 600 were contracted for in 1858 and delivered in January 1859. Issued to drummers and fifers, this sword could have seen service out west before the war and in just about all Civil War engagements from the very earliest.  A top notch specimen by any standards and very scarce with the early date.    $595.00

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11-10-08 - Excellent condition Civil War veteran’s Kepi - GAR cap:
Overall superb… Just a few slight moth nips, hardly visible, and a spot or two of wear around the base of the cap. Super color and still retains the chinstrap with GAR buttons, original post number “176,” full sweatband and lining, and glossy bound visor. With as many veterans as there were out there, it is amaz­ing how few of these caps come down with any kind of condition. This one was obviously worn by a veteran, but also treasured and preserved by his family as memento of his service to his country. The story of the Civil War did not end in 1865. Veterans’ memorabilia is a collecting field in itself and a complement to wartime artifacts. An affordable piece of early headgear. $265.00

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11-10-09 - Civil War / Indian War Officer’s Grade spurs:
An original pair of 1860’s - 1870’s commercially manufactured spurs with leather straps. Patterned after the CW cavalry spurs but made smaller and lighter. Original leather straps with irons buckles, and original rowels intact. Great patina. $165.00

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11-10-10 - Civil War cap box with a Putnam’s patent poncho button attached to the front:
I have no idea why our soldier attached a poncho hook button to the front of his cap box, but he did and this is just the way it was found. This is a very early war cap box with a one-piece front, but with the belt loops only stitched on the reverse, not riveted as well. Unmarked, with light finish loss overall, but still solid, with the fastening strap intact, the inner flap and ears in place. No fleece or pick. The soldier purchased a patented poncho button, apparently did not want to lose his investment, and looped it through the cover of the cap box. These buttons were patented in 1862 by Abel Putnam and made with a long spring shank and were designed to go through the grommets on issue rubber blankets so the sides could be connect­ed and the whole thing worn as a poncho in rainy weather. The Putnam buttons alone sell for $85 to $125 depending on whose pricing them. Here is a neat “as found” set priced at $150.00

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11-10-11a - Cap Box Brought Home by Capt. Wm. Rymers 41st Ohio: 

I purchased this cap box directly from the family descendants along with Rymer’s inscribed sword also offered on this list.  Very nice condition cap box, pre-war or early war manufacture. Rymers served only in 1861 and 1862.    The box bears the manufacturer’s mark on the lower edge of the inner flap: “Wm. J. A.” and on the reverse is stamped  “J.G.A.” probably the inspector.  In consulting ALL the experts these markings are unrecorded and very rare.  I theorize the box was made here in Ohio.   Nice finish and well made with a narrow impressed line along the front edge, inner flap, and belt loops.  Of some interest is that an identical cap box, in relic condition, lacking a finial, with the same “Wm.J.A.” marking  came out of the Geiselman collection of Gettysburg relics and was identified as a Confederate cap box by an unknown maker.  That relic cap box is offered on a Gettysburg friend’s web site priced at $1500.00 due to the Geiselman attribution.  Per­haps when Fred Gaede’s book on cap pouches appears we’ll know the answer, but when I emailed Fred last week he had never encountered the “Wm.J.A.” marking in his travels. (Nor had Paul Johnson.) I am hoping one of those two research fiends will ferret out the data.   In any case, you can be sure it was a made in time to be carried around that Pennsylvania Battlefield, and any and all other CW battlefields as well for that matter.  I do not personally believe the cap box is Confederate,  but do feel it is a rare and significant piece of Civil War equipment that needs to be researched.  Rare  “Wm. J. A.” cap box… $375.00

 

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11-10-11b - Shiloh Battle Carried Sword - 41st Ohio Officer’s Inscribed Sword Freshly Found:
At our last local gun show a pair of brothers brought in a plain import foot officer’s sword and wanted an offer on it. They related that it had belonged to their G.G. Grandfather William Rymers who was an Officer in one of the local Ohio regiments. I told them that the sword with no scabbard had a limited value and asked them if they knew where the scabbard might be. One brother said he believed it was at home but felt it was of little value because it was broken and in poor condition. I asked if there was any engraving on it and he responded that it bore his Gt. Gt. Grandfather’s name. I told them that if they went home and brought it back I would make them an offer far better than what I could pay for just a loose sword. They went home and came back the the broken scabbard and a nice cap box which is listed above. The sword is a regulation US foot officer’s sword, French made, with US motifs etched on the blade. The shagreen grip covering is VG with light wear. It lacks the twisted wire wrap but this can be restored with ease if you wish to do so. Brass on guard lightly cleaned years ago / Overall tight and solid / Blade is dull grey steel with nice patriotic US etching / Scabbard is badly damaged in the center, but leather is still very solid and pliable. All three scabbard mounts are intact. Top mount is finely engraved in professional script with G.G. Grandpa’s name … “W. Rymers”. There is only one W. Rymers listed in the entire Union Army and he is indeed the local Ohio man whose G.G. Grandsons brought me the sword. In mid September 1861, at the age of 33 Rymers was mustered into the 41st Ohio Regiment as Lieutenant of Company “I”. In March of 1862 he was promoted to Captain. He served until September of 1862 and then came home.

During this time period the regiment saw hard action at the Battle of Shiloh while commanded by Col. Wm. B. Hazen who would later be promoted to General of course. Here is the 41st Ohio report of that battle…

Report of Lieut. Col. George S. Mygatt, Forty-first Ohio Infantry.

BATTLE-FIELD OF PITTSBURG LANDING, April 9, 1862.

SIR: In compliance with orders received from Col. W. B. Hazen,

commanding brigade, my command lay upon their arms all the night of the 6th, and at daybreak on the morning of the 7th I advanced, formed in column by division, as a reserve, on the line of advance up to that point where the skirmishers were driven in and where the advanced line engaged the enemy.

I then deployed my command, still holding it as a reserve, and twice

during the early part of the engagement changed front to the rear on the ninth company, to avoid an enfilading fire of a battery on the enemy’s right center. Both of these movements were executed promptly and without confusion. In fact, every movement made by the regiment was executed with as much coolness as upon our ordinary drill ground, and great credit is due for its perfect obedience to all orders, though the regiment was under a heavy fire for nearly four hours without being able to return a single shot. About 11 o’clock a. m. the enemy charged boldly and in large force upon our right, and I was then ordered by Gen. Nelson, Col. Hazen being in another part of the field, to charge upon the enemy. At this command the regiment rushed upon the enemy, firing as it advanced, and drove them back at the point of the bayonet for over a half mile, in the face of a galling infantry and artillery fire, when our advance was checked, the retreating enemy being supported by two additional regiments of infantry, and the regiment retired in good order, ready to renew the struggle wherever its assistance might be needed. It was in this part of the engagement that we sustained our heaviest loss….

RECAPITULATION.

Engaged, 18 officers, 355 enlisted men-373.

Killed, 22; seriously wounded, 49; slightly wounded, 62; missing, 7.

All of the officers behaved with the greatest gallantry, and many

instances of personal courage and daring were displayed. Four different persons were shot down in carrying our colors through that destructive charge. Great credit is due Capt. A. Wiley, acting lieutenant-colonel, and Capt. E. Opdycke for the promptness with which they repeated all commands and for the valuable assistance they rendered during the engagement.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO S. MYGATT,

Lieut.-Col., Cmdg. Forty-first Ohio Volunteers.

This is a wonderful historical artifact from the early part of the Civil War and it is exciting to think that it was wielded in battle at one of the bloodiest engagements of the war, by an officer who served with a regiment in the thick of it. I bought this neat old sword reasonably and will offer it at a realistic price… $1,600.00

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11-10-12 - Very scarce Spencer ammunition box:
The original master cardboard box (42 rounds) plus five out of the original six smaller 7 round cardboard boxes which the trooper grabbed to make one full magazine’s worth of cartridges for the Spencer 7 shot repeating carbine and rifle. No cartridges are present, just the cardboard boxes which are a heck of a lot rarer than the cartridges. Nicely marked green label: “Forty-two, primed metallic cartridges for the Spencer Carbine, Cal. 50 – Model 1865. Manufactured by the Sage Ammunition Works, Middletown, Conn.” There is some paper loss to the label, obscuring part of the word “carbine” and the model year designation, but the box is solid and very displayable. Old tape reinforcement around the lower body of the box and on a couple of the smaller boxes, but not unsightly. Spencers saw a lot of use during the Civil War and also on the Western frontier after the war including the infamous Fetterman Massacre. Perfect to display with Civil War or Indian War items, and a must if you have a Spencer carbine. You can sell the smaller 7 round boxes for $35 each at any gun show. Here is the whole shebang for $245.00

 

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11-10-13 Original “From Life” CDVs Custer, Sheridan, Merritt, and 20th Penna Cavalry Officer:
Freshly found together and being offered far under the prices each would bring separately. Each is from life and very good showing just a little soiling as illustrated in our pictures. Custer photo bears rare Goldin Washington back mark. Sheridan and Merritt bear Matthew Brady’s back mark, and the Pennsylvanian had his picture taken in Mechanicsburg, Penna by Mr. Boss. I don’t need to recite the histories of the generals… they are the major names in the Cavalry Corps in the Army of the Potomac and each a highly desirable carte de visite to any collector. The Penna officer is Theodore Singiser Captain in the 20th Penna. Cavalry. The regiment saw service up and down the valley in Virginia. Just a few short years ago any Custer CDV would fetch $1500 and up in the blink of an eye. The market changed a bit, and this offering is an opportunity to acquire four very fine cavalry images, all rare and historic, for less than the price of Custer alone circa 2005. All four cartes priced friendly at. $1,395.00

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11-10-14 - 157th New York Items Fresh from the Family

Smooth side Canteen and GAR medals - This set came directly from the Pratt family of New York and they related that the owner was likely ancestor Melvin Pratt of the 157th NYV. The family retains the printed patriotic roster of the 157th with Melvin’s name printed thereon. I did not pursue the purchase of the memorial due to the unwieldy size and difficulty in shipping. The canteen here is stenciled 6 H A or G H A, and I do not know how that fits in with Pratt of the 157th NYV. I will leave it to you to play detective on that question. The 157th’s first battle was the disastrous one of Chancellorsville, where it lost 98 in killed, wounded and missing. The regiment sustained a fearful loss at Gettysburg, where it was heavily engaged on the first two days of the battle and was highly praised for its gallantry.
The canteen is in good condition complete with the cover, stopper, and strap, though the back side has quite a bit of wear to the wool cover. Also included are three GAR medals including a fine Gettysburg Veteran’s Medal, a standard GAR membership medal, and a New York Veteran’s medal. A fresh to the market set … $695.00 yxcejxz

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11-10-15 - Genuine 1861 Springfield Musket with matched 1862 Dates:
This model was made only in 1861 and 1862 at the Springfield Armory. A true Springfield Armory gun from muzzle to butt. This is the standard Union Army infantry weapon of the Civil War. And while the contract M1861 muskets are certainly desirable, the true Springfield made guns are scarce and the most highly sought. The barrel is marked “1862” and “V / P / Eaglehead” in VG condition with just minor surface stains. The bore is VG + with great rifling that would likely clean better with a rag run down it. The lock is fine and has crisp stampings of “1862” and “U.S. / SPRINGFIELD” and the classic spread wing eagle. The stock has the two proper Springfield inspector’s cartouches including “ESA” for Erskine S Allin, master armorer S.A. NRA “very good” condition being 100% original, 100% complete, and mechanically perfect. Here is a good solid example…. $2,450.00

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11-10-16 - Civil War Three Band Spencer Infantry Rifle:
A very solid and representative example of the most advanced rifle of its day. The Spencer was test fired by President Lincoln on the White House lawn and he was duly impressed with the new firearm. This example is overall Very Good. Totally original, genuine, and complete. No repairs, no replacements, no missing parts. A very solid example that really saw service in the Civil War. Serial number is in the 23,000 range which is a batch where most went to soldiers in the state of Massachusetts. There is no cartouche visible which is proper for a state purchased gun. Frame firm marking is clear and crisp as is the serial number. These repeaters were made famous by Custer’s men at Gettysburg where they carried these 3-band rifles at East Cavalry Field (they would not get the shorter carbines until late in 1863 and 1864) … and also made famous by Wilder’s Lightning Brigade who battled rebels in the western theater at great peril to themselves. Current armchair generals think they would have liked to have carried a Spencer had they served in the Civil War. What they do not realize is that Wilder’s men were sent into the hottest and most dangerous fights every time precisely because they were armed with such firepower. Consequently you were put in harm’s way more frequently if you were one of the “lucky ones” to have a Spencer. A very solid example you can be proud to hang on your wall. $2,950.00

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11-10-17 - Whitney Navy Revolver:
Extra nice 4th Model Whitney Navy Revolver - This has a serial number in the 20,000 range produced in the early 1860’s and has an “A” stamped on the loading lever. Walnut grips are good to very good with one repair (replaced section) in the left grip. 7 3/4 inch octagonal barrel bears crisp clear markings and has a steel grey patina. The gun is all original and mechanically perfect. Stamped into the underside of the frame is a marking I am unfamiliar with… looks like a tiny leaf stamped into the steel. Do not know why. Good solid CW Whitney… $1,350.00

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11-10-18 - Zouave Rifle Saber Bayonet:
A nice solid brass handled saber bayonet made for the M1863 Remington “Zouave” Rifle. Overall VG to fine condition. Shows age and patina, but very nice. Even comes with a goodly remnant of the scabbard. Try and find another priced at $165.00

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11-10-19 - Extremely Rare Army Version Gutta Percha Civil War Shaving Soap Dish:
We have all seen the wonderful US Navy versions of these hard rubber soap dishes, but few collectors have seen or even know of the existence of this incredibly rare Army Version. The motif --- A ferocious American Eagle, perched and holding a straight razor in one talon and a razor strop in the other. (What a wonderful piece of art!) Clenched in the raptor’s beak is a banner with the marvelous double entendre aphorism “MORNING EXERCISE”. The dish itself is 3.5” in diameter... Cast into the rubber around the mirror is the manufacturer information. “MANUFACTURED BY THE NOVELTY RUBBER CO. UNDER GOOYEAR’S PATENT MAY 6 1851. NEW BRUNSWICK NEW JERSEY”. This is truly a great find and one of only three I have owned. Perfect condition except for four miniscule and inconsequential holes drilled in the bottom section, possibly for the purpose of letting moisture out. ? To accurately stress the rarity of this personal item is difficult. I can say that I have owned many more Confederate Belt rigs than Union army soap dishes. I have owned many more Confederate uniform coats than Union Army Soap Dishes. In other words they are pretty damn scarce. About a hundred times rarer than the navy version. On Nov. 21st, 2008 the last one of these sold at Heritage Auction for $1,912.00 including the buyer’s premium and that one had a cracked mirror!!! (You can verify this on their web page. Lot 57942 ) I will sell mine which we found at auction last Friday night in Michigan very inexpensively, at a collector friendly price … $1,250.00

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11-10-20 - Superb Civil War Cavalry Shell Jacket:
One of the near mint unissued examples like we used to find for $45 back in the old days… and sometimes full bundles would surface in a surplus lot. Man those were the days. This one complete with full lining, maker and inspector’s stamps present in sleeve, all buttons intact. Just shows the slightest handling and age. The last one I have at this writing. $2,950.00

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