Civil War revolver could top $50K at June 7 auction

Civil War revolver

J.H. Dance & Bros. Confederate percussion single-action revolver with history of use by Horace G. Young, 5th Texas Cavalry. Estimate: $40,000-$60,000. Heritage Auctions image

DALLAS – A rare .44-caliber revolver used in the Civil War could bring $50,000 or more in Heritage Auctions’ Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Auction June 7. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

J.H. Dance & Bros. Confederate percussion single action revolver with history of use by Horace G. Young, 5th Texas Cavalry (estimate: $50,000+) was given by Young shortly after the Civil War ended to a recipient whose family held on to it for more than 140 years. The rarity of the weapon can be traced to its low production numbers. It is believed Dance & Bros. produced no more than 500 guns, with just 275-350 in this .44-caliber configuration.

Young enlisted in Capt. Willis Lang’s Lancer Corps, which was incorporated as Company B of the 5th Texas Cavalry, in 1861. He served with the regiment through the New Mexico campaign before returning to Texas to defend Galveston Bay. The unit, including Young and doubtless this revolver, then moved into western Louisiana, and was engaged throughout the latter part of 1863 and 1864 along the Sabine River. In May of 1864, at the Battle of Yellow Bayou, where his military career ended because of severe injury.

“This auction has an extraordinary array of firearms from different eras to appeal to collectors of all levels,” said David Carde, Heritage Auctions arms and armor consignment director said. “It also features a fascinating array of custom knives, highlighted by a pair of Pre-Tact Ernie Emerson knives and more than 70 others, including knives by Paul Fox, Frank Centofante, Mel Pardue and Gene Baskett, each of whom is a member of the Knifemakers Guild.”

A Civil War: State of New Hampshire forage cap (estimate: $19,500+) is a commercially produced cap issued by the state for its troops. The cap is rare, one of only four examples known to remain in existence, and is adorned with a specially produced set of silver insignia that includes the original “N.H.V.” – “New Hampshire Volunteers” – in letters that measure five-eighths of an inch high. This particular hat is published, along with two other examples, on page 133 in U.S. Army Headgear 1812-1872 by C. Paul Loane and John P. Langellier.

Civil War revolver

State of New Hampshire Civil War forage cap. Estimate: $15,600-$23,400. Heritage Auctions image

Like others of its era, a complete suit of armor in the 16th-17th century style (estimate: $15,000+) followed civilian fashion, including, for a time, prominent codpieces like the one on this suit. The offered suit stands roughly 67 inches high – 81 inches high including the wooden base on which it stands. The armor works as designed, with fully articulated arms, elbows and leg joints, as well as a pair of full leg defenses and complete gauntlets. The suit also is fitted with 17th century-style spurs, a codpiece and a lance-rest, and is topped by a Maximillian closed helmet.

Civil War revolver

Complete suit of armor in the 16th-17th century style. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Heritage Auctions image

A large mounted albumen print of Gen. Robert E. Lee on his warhorse, Traveller (estimate: $6,000+), was taken in the summer of 1866 by A.H. Plecker at Rockbridge Baths, near Lexington, Virginia. It is a popular image, but usually is found in smaller sizes. Examples from Miley’s studio in this large format are unquestionably rare.

Civil War revolver

Large mounted albumen photo of Gen. Robert E. Lee and his horse Traveller, 19 x 15½ in. Estimate: $4,800-$7,200. Heritage Auctions image

A Civil War-era Navy coat and vest set belonging to 2nd assistant engineer Theodore Deklyne (estimate: $15,000+) belonged to an engineer who served aboard the U.S.S. Mystic, which was acquired by the Navy just before the Civil War and was used by the Union as a gunboat in support of the blockade of Confederate waterways, an effort that included the capture or destruction of four blockade runners off the coast of the Carolinas. The double-breasted blue wool coat has nine buttons down the front, and a green glazed cotton lining. The name “T. W. Deklyne” is stenciled in each sleeve lining, and the shoulder straps indicate a rank of Chief Engineer with fewer than 12 years of service. Deklyne served from March 5, 1864, to Aug. 28, 1868. The single-breasted vest also boasts nine front buttons on the same blue wool, and also shows the owner’s name.

Civil War revolver

Civil War-era Navy coat and vest set belonging to 2nd Assistant Engineer Theodore Deklyne. Estimate: $12,000-$18,000. Heritage Auctions image

A Civil War “McDowell” Pattern forage cap, promotion certificate & hand-drawn map (estimate: $15,000+) was owned and worn by George W. Flagg, Company E 1st Regiment Massachusetts Cavalry.

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