CRANSTON, R.I. – Bruneau & Co.’s fall Historic Arms & Militaria auction, planned for Saturday, November 20, features more than 500 items focusing on the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, as well as modern firearms. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
The auction will begin promptly at 10 am Eastern time. It will be the second Historic Arms & Militaria auction for Bruneau & Co., in the firm’s newly created Arms & Militaria department headed by director Joel Bohy, a veteran of the arms and militaria scene.
“I’m thrilled to be presenting my second Historic Arms & Militaria auction with the team at Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers,” Mr. Bohy said. Company president Kevin Bruneau added, “I am so excited to be preparing for this auction. It has a noteworthy highlight from every period from the French & Indian War to WWII. I can’t wait to see what the Hindenburg insignia sells for.”
He was referring to lot 319: a German officer’s cap, a badge with a silver eagle over a blue-enameled globe with a silver airship in the center, and a swastika at the bottom mounted on an embroidered wreath, sewn to a piece of worsted vertical ribbing, plus a piece of the superstructure of the airship Hindenburg and two stones picked up at Lakehurst Naval Air Station, the site of the Hindenburg disaster in 1937, which ended air travel by zeppelin. The lot has an estimate of $10,000-$15,000.
It is descended from Chief Petty Officer Thomas J. Evans, United States Coast Guard, who was stationed at Ocean City, New Jersey, when, on the morning of May 6, 1937, a message from the Naval Air Station at Lakehurst requested men for active duty for when the Hindenburg arrived. He scooped up the items in the auction as the ship exploded in flames around him. He barely escaped with his life.
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 has a lofty estimate of $20,000-$30,000. The obverse depicts Captain Isaac Hull, who received a gold version of the medal that is in the collection of the Constitution Museum. The reverse depicts 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.
A Rev War powder horn from 1775, carved near the base “The Royal Artillery” and owned by minute man Thomas Smith, should realize $10,000-$15,000. The cow horn is marked, “Thomas Smith, His Horne Made at Brookline Fort August the XV: MDCC: LXXV 1775” and is carved with a hunter firing his musket and other depictions.
Thomas Smith was born in Rowley, Massachusetts in 1748. In April 1775 he marched to Boston with Captain Thomas Mighill’s company of minute men, and enlisted in Captain Thomas Mighill’s company, Colonel Samuel Gerrish’s regiment. Four of Gerrish’s companies were stationed at Sewall’s Point in Brookline, site of Brookline Fort where the horn was made.
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, should hit $7,000-$9,000.
A Schuylkill Arsenal 1832-pattern U.S. sergeant’s coatee – one of only two regular army coatees of this pattern, the other being in the Smithsonian Institution – has an estimate of $3,000-$5,000. The garment boasts a dark blue cloth body with white worsted vertical ribbing tape and white woolen cording on the collar, cuffs and pocket flaps. There is also an embroidered three-point star at the center top of the rear skirts.
A circa-1864 Civil War regulation painted rope tension drum, with the original rope and nine original leather ears, plus a pair of sticks, is estimated at $2,000-$3,000. The drum has red-painted upper and lower hoops and a shell painted blue with an eagle, shield, sunburst, and banner marked “REGT./U.S./ INFANTRY,” with brass tacks around the vent. A paper label inside the shell indicates it was made by Vogt Mfg., a company based in Philadelphia.
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