23: An Ivory Relic Cane From U.S. Grant's Funeral Car
A great ivory relic cane from U.S. Grant's funeral car. The walrus ivory "L" handle is 1 3/8" high and 3" to the side. It has a fine yellow age patina. There is a 3/4" silver collar that is inscribed: "Wood of Grant's Funeral Car." The relic shaft is oak that terminates with a 1 1/4" bi-metal ferrule. The overall length is 33 1/2" and the condition is very good with some cracks in the silver collar that are stable, and the inscription is fully readable. (President U.S. Grant died on July 23, 1885. He was given one of the grandest funerals in America's history, in New York City. His body was delivered by train in an elegant funeral car. An article in the New York Times entitled "Relics From The Catafalque" dated August 11 1885, recounted some of the elaborate undertaking costs, and listed some of the mourning goods left over. The article states in part: "....The woodwork to the funeral car has been taken apart and removed to the yard of J. L. Hamilton, joiner and builder at No. 350 West Twenty-Seventh Street. He has not decided what will be done with it....". [Thus it appears we may have discovered the source and the maker of this cane.] Included with the lot is a copy of the Times article plus a copy of a picture of Grant's funeral procession.) It is indeed a wonderful part of America's rich history. Estimate: $3000-$4000.