CRANSTON, R.I. – Two powder horns dating to the American Revolution and earlier sold for a combined $66,420 and a silver Captain Isaac Hull presentation medal from 1812 achieved $40,590 in Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers’ fall Historic Arms & Militaria auction held on November 20.
The sale featured more than 500 items focusing on the French & Indian War, American Revolution, Civil War, World Wars I and II and modern firearms. “It was a fantastic sale with strong results,” said Bruneau & Co. president Kevin Bruneau. “I was happy that the Hull medal found a home at a New England institution where patrons can enjoy it for years to come.”
He was referring to lot 75, a circa-1812 silver medal presented by the US Congress to Lt. Alexander Scammel Wadsworth, for gallantry in the naval battle USS Constitution vs. HMS Guerriere. The obverse depicted Captain Isaac Hull, who received a gold version of the medal that is now in the collection of the Constitution Museum. The reverse depicted the naval battle.
Alexander Scammel Wadsworth was the son of Revolutionary War General Peleg Wadsworth. Born in 1790 in Portland, Maine, he became a midshipman on April 2, 1804, and a lieutenant on April 21, 1810. He went on to have a distinguished naval career and died on April 5, 1851. He was also the uncle of author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
The sale’s top lot was a Revolutionary War powder horn from 1775, which had been owned by Siege of Boston minute man Thomas Smith. It achieved $44,280. The horn was marked, “Thomas Smith, His Horne Made at Brookline Fort August XV: MDCC: LXXV 1775” and it had carvings of a hunter firing his musket and other scenes.
The other powder horn that piqued bidder interest was even older, a circa-1746 example identified to Moses Brewer, who was just 18 and serving in the Provincial militia around the time the horn was carved and marked. He later served as a captain in the French & Indian War, one of Rogers’ Rangers. The powder horn went for $22,140.
A circa-1760 British pattern light infantry carbine with a .69 bore, having a walnut stock with a storekeeper’s stamp on the right side of the butt, assembly marks in the ramrod channel and a “10” stamped just behind the side plate hit the mark for $19,680.
Other British weapons included a circa-1742 long land musket with a storekeeper’s stamp on the right side of the butt, which sold for $23,370, and a pattern 1757 militia (or marine) musket, .78 bore, which realized $9,225.
An early 20th-century South Carolina marked Dutch musket, .78 bore, having a walnut stock, brass butt plate, and a trigger guard marked “S. ROLFE SC,” made $8,610.
A circa-1864 Civil War regulation painted rope tension drum, which retained its original rope and nine original leather ears, found a new home for $7,995. The drum had red-painted upper and lower hoops, a shell painted blue with eagle, shield, sunburst, and a banner marked “REGT./U.S./ INFANTRY”/ It also had brass tacks around the vent.
Lastly, a circa-1820-1840 U.S. militia artillery coatee with a blue plain woven light weight woolen body and red twill woven facings, collar, cuffs, and false pocket flaps, rose to $5,535.
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