CINCINNATI – On November 12, Hindman Auctions will present The Civil War Collection of James C. Frasca, an incredibly distinguished collector and dealer of Civil War memorabilia. This carefully curated and meticulously researched collection contains relics, weaponry, uniforms, accoutrements, corps badges, photographs, documents and personal items used by soldiers on and off the battlefield. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
As a nationally known Civil War collector, Frasca spent 50 years of his life developing his collection, and he often credited his mother Ann Carmen Frasca for igniting in him the passion to search for and acquire historical objects. Frasca was recognized as an expert in the field, specializing in Civil War Federal uniforms, headgear, corps badges and other insignia. He also loved Civil War soldiers’ personal stories. As a collector, he contributed both editorially and pictorially to dozens of text and reference books, television programs and theatrical films, ranging from the voluminous Time-Life Books Civil War series to the History Channel’s Civil War documentaries. As a full-time dealer of Civil War artifacts for more than 40 years, Frasca placed outstanding material in virtually every major private Civil War collection in the country and a great many of our most prominent museums. Examples of such items include John Brown’s inscribed and annotated Bible in Harper’s Ferry to a pair of Robert E. Lee’s documented wartime gauntlets at the Civil War National Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
The auction will lead with valuable documents signed by Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, among them a partly printed document that Franklin signed (as “B. Franklin”) on August 6 1787 while serving as president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania. It is estimated at $12,000-$16,000.
Highlights also include a pair of Union Army slouch hats identified to Captain Charles E. Nash, 19th Maine Infantry. The pair are estimated at $40,000-$60,000. Also on offer is a presentation sword for Lieutenant W.H. Hamilton, Co. I, 14th Vermont Infantry, who was killed in action (KIA) at Gettysburg, estimated at $8,000-$10,000; and a gold and silver corps badge presented to Lieutenant Colonel Charles Kochersperger, 71st Pennsylvania / 1st California Regiment, estimated at $4,000-$6,000. A collection of items identified to Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Biggs, 123rd Illinois Infantry, “Wilder’s Brigade,” led by a bullet-struck frock coat and vest worn during the assault on Selma, Alabama on April 2, 1865, is another noteworthy lot, which carries an estimate of $20,000-$30,000.
Another strong piece is an 1862 chess board with accompanying pieces, estimated at $3,000-$4,000. Its playing surface is comprised of large albumen print featuring portraits of Civil War generals and other military personalities, including a beardless Abraham Lincoln.
Standout lots also include a beautifully painted drum featuring patriotic and military motifs, estimated at $8,000-$10,000, and a premier hard tack collection featuring multiple examples that survived the Civil War as well as a sixth plate tintype of federal soldiers eating hard tack.
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