Lot 701    

Display of Custer Little Big Horn Relics,
2006, Firearms and Early Militaria Auction, Dec 7
comprising an ummounted 2” x 3.25” albumen photograph of “Lt. Col. G.A. Custer” tipped to paper along with a purported silk “remnant” of 7th Cavalry colors and newspaper clipping referring to a “Mr. Schirmacher, one the heroes of the Yellowstone campaign under Custer,” and three spent .45-70 “brass shell casings” said to be relics from “the Custer battlefield at the Little Big Horn,” all mounted together under modern glass. With a photocopied notarized “Letter of Authenticity” given November 15, 2000 by a noted national dealer in Civil War militaria. The albumen is from the March 1876 series by photographer D.F. Barry (see Katz) showing Custer in the full dress uniform (helmet trimmed away) of his famous 7th Cavalry Regiment while the three .45-70s are correct cartridges for the issue Model 1873 Springfield trapdoor carbine with provenance not specified.

The section of silk bunting sits adjacent to a description that reads in full: Remnant of the only one of the colors of the 7th US cavalry saved from the Battle of the Little Big Horn, June 25, 1876 (picked up on the field). The accompanying “letter of authenticity” states that the fragment was at one time owned by the Goodspeed Book Shop at which time it was framed. It was originally owned by Pvt. Schirmacher, one of Colonel Custer’s troopers, referred to in the undated newspaper clipping. Despite the stated provenance the “flag remnant" could not possibly have been recovered from the Little Big Horn battlefield and is more likely a period piece of worn red/white/blue bunting imbued with late 19th century Custer mystique by Schirmacher, if indeed, we accept that he was the original owner. First and foremost, the remnant, roughly 3” x 5”, is made of thin silk, a material too fragile for field use, lightly machine stitched with a single strand of white cotton thread suitable only for a parade. Second, the precise details of both flags carried by the 7th Cavalry at the Little Big Horn are known and neither can physically match the cut and configuration of this purported narrow red/white/blue piece. The 7th Cavalry carried a regulation swallow-tail guidon made of heavy reinforced silk having a fly of red and white stripes with square blue union upper left containing two circular rows of 31 gold stars with four more stars at each corner. The second flag carried at Little Big Horn was Custer’s personal headquarters banner made by Libby Custer and it, too, was a swallow-tail design with equal horizontal stripes of red over blue with two large white crossed sabers in the center.

The regimental standard of the 7th Cavalry was not carried at the Little Big Horn while cavalry regiments were not authorized national colors—stars and stripes—until 1895. An examination of a photograph or diagram of a regulation cavalry guidon (which remained essentially unchanged from 1862 until 1885) it is evident that it is quite impossible to duplicate—even by selective cutting—the configuration of this remnant. It is speculative to suggest what Schirmacher’s symbolic remnant might be, but it is with a high degree of certainly not a relic of the 1876 Custer battlefield.

Provenance:  
Property of the former First National Bank of Fremont, Indiana


Condition:  
Silk and cartridges RELIC, heavily trimmed albumen VG.
Sold: $977.50
Price includes
Buyer's Premium
      Ask a Question

All Images

don't miss

an opportunity to bid. You can't win if you're not in.

sign up to bid

what's it worth?

ask the experts

sell your item

start selling
1832 Belt with Sabre Frog Hanger State of New York
Lot # 164 - 1832 Belt with Sabre Frog Hanger State of New York
two-piece brass buckle marked S.N.Y. White buff leather belt and sword hanger. [See O'Donnell, 1996: 175, pl. 257]. > Item Details
Militia Belt and Buckle
Lot # 192 - Militia Belt and Buckle
brass buckle with silver arabesque monogram GHG. Brown leather belt with saber hangers. > Item Details
Pair of Civil War Shackles,
Lot # 517 - Pair of Civil War Shackles,
first pair stamped Prov Tool Co. on both cuffs. Complete with functional key. Second item with single iron cuff and functional key. > Item Details
Smith & Wesson Revolver,
Lot # 758 - Smith & Wesson Revolver,
.32 rimfire caliber, 6" barrel, serial number 537. Missing its ejector rod. > Item Details
Civil War Smith &Wesson No. 2 Revolver Inscribed to <i>Capt. A.H. Bogardus, 145th Illinois,</i>
Lot # 140 - Civil War Smith &Wesson No. 2 Revolver Inscribed to Capt. A.H. Bogardus, 145th Illinois,
.32 caliber, 5” barrel, serial number 33026 and bears the owner’s inscription Capt. A. H. Bogardus/145th Regt. Ill Vol. in two lines on the reverse frame behind the cylinder. This six-shot Smith & Wesson No. 2 was a widely popular private purchase weapon using advanced rimfire cartridges first manuf... > Item Details
Colt 3rd Model Dragoon Percusion Revolver in a Contemporary Wood Box,
Lot # 100 - Colt 3rd Model Dragoon Percusion Revolver in a Contemporary Wood Box,
.44 caliber, 7.5" octagonal-to-round barrel, serial number 15637. Barrel stamped Address Samuel Colt New York City. Left side of frame stamped Colt's Patent U.S. > Item Details
Shooting Exhibition Tin With Indian Head Bullet-Rendered Profile with Docs,
Lot # 640 - Shooting Exhibition Tin With Indian Head Bullet-Rendered Profile with Docs,
shot by Ken Beegle who was an expert hired by Remington Firearms to go around the country to put on shooting exhibitions. Tin is signed and dated at the top Best Wishes to "Orme" Hdw from Ken Beegle Remington Arms Co. 7-21-55. 29.5" x 23". Lot further includes photo of Ken Beegle and his assistant i... > Item Details
Cabinet Card of Winfield Scott Edgerly, 7th Cavalry,
Lot # 667 - Cabinet Card of Winfield Scott Edgerly, 7th Cavalry,
shoulder-length uniformed portrait with imprint of C.M. Bell, Washington D.C. Winfield Scott Edgerly (1846-1927) was born in Farmington, New Hampshire. In 1866 he was appointed to West Point, graduating in 1870, 50th in a class of 58. We was appointed 2nd Lieutenant, and assigned to Company D of ... > Item Details
<i>E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co. Indian Rife Gunpowder</i> Red Powder Tin,
Lot # 650 - E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co. Indian Rife Gunpowder Red Powder Tin,
front with chromolithographed decal label with image of gun-wielding Indian. Patent date on decal is Nov 12 DE 1908. Reverse side with white ovoid label with DuPont with superimposed black lettering FFFG. 6.5" height, 3.75" width. > Item Details
Collection WWI German and Austrian Sleeve and Shoulder Patches
Lot # 917 - Collection WWI German and Austrian Sleeve and Shoulder Patches
32 sleeve and shoulder cloth insignia. Lot includes; 205 ordnance board, 39 board, five crowned artillery boards, 476 board, 466 board, 193 board, 39 board, 158 board, 13 artillery board, 2 board, MW VIII board, 618 board, 132 board, 51 ordnance board, 18 board, 416 cloth insignia, 416 cloth insign... > Item Details
Lot of Ten Civil War Artillery Hat Insignias, Plus Five Barrel Tampions,
* WWI German Artillery Luger,
Lot # 955 - * WWI German Artillery Luger,
9mm caliber, 8" barrel, serial number 3399. Top of chamber dated 1917. Blued finish, checkered wood grips. Original hoster with take-down tool and cleaning rod. > Item Details
<i>Turner Kirkland</i> Modern Made Flintlock Rifle,
Lot # 579 - Turner Kirkland Modern Made Flintlock Rifle,
made in Belgium, .44 caliber, 40" barrel. Brass hardware. > Item Details
297 Presentation Grade Civil War Knights Helm Pommel Sword
Lot # 19 - 297 Presentation Grade Civil War Knights Helm Pommel Sword
ca 1845. Manufactured by N.P. Ames Co. Springfield, MA. 31.25" blade with blood fuller on both sides of blade in the center. Fancy etched panels on both sides of blade. Brass gold gilded cross guard, brass handle with silver plating, brass knight's head with gold gilt, and brass chain running from g... > Item Details
Initialed Painted Stave Canteen,
Lot # 507 - Initialed Painted Stave Canteen,
two painted wrought iron straps encompassing eleven aqua colored staves. 5" height x 8.75" diameter. Faintly carved initials on each side BL. Complete with bung on topside with rectangular block on opposite side for balancing. Wood handle upon iron carrying fixture. > Item Details
Section of Virginia Central R.R. Iron,
Lot # 520 - Section of Virginia Central R.R. Iron,
a 5.5” piece of rail weighting 5lb. said to have come from a torn up section of Virginia Central Railroad track near Mechanicsville. No provenance. > Item Details
Group of Books from the Library of  Lt.  E.G. Mathey, U.S. 7th Cavalry,
Lot # 663 - Group of Books from the Library of Lt. E.G. Mathey, U.S. 7th Cavalry,
lot of 6, includes Napoleon and His Campaigns. anonymous, n.d. John E. Potter & Co., Philadelphia, 12mo in embossed maroon cloth boards, illustrated with E.G. Mathey U.S.A. on title page in his hand, 422pp with 10pp appendix and adds, PLUS The American Conflict: A history of The Great Rebellion in t... > Item Details
Sharps Percussion Carbine,
Lot # 603 - Sharps Percussion Carbine,
.50-70 caliber, 22" barrel, serial number 25346. > Item Details
Colt Revolver,
Lot # 121 - Colt Revolver,
.44 caliber, 8" barrel, serial number 37844, barrel stamped Colt Address Saml Colt New York. Four-screw frame with wood grips. All serial numbers match. Accompanying this revolver is a document that reads Indianapolis, Ind. Sept. 20, 1865 This is to certify that William Rider Sergt. Co. D 6th Ind. ... > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20
SKIP TO PAGE: