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

Belt and Cartridge Box Ensemble for a Military Cadet,
Lot # 822 - Belt and Cartridge Box Ensemble for a Military Cadet,
cartridge box with crossed sabers and letter A, the boxes leather has brass fittings, leather shoulder strap with a brass buckle. > Item Details
<i>Powell and Son</i> Percussion Double-Barreled Shotgun,
Lot # 837 - Powell and Son Percussion Double-Barreled Shotgun,
10 gauge, 32" barrels. Locks are stamped P. Powell and Sons. Steel hardware, walnut stock and wood ramrod. Palemon Powell was a gun maker who went into business in 1835 in Cincinnati. [See Gardner, 1963: 154]. > Item Details
318 <i>Barone Bros. & Co.</i> Clipped Point Knife,
Lot # 435 - 318 Barone Bros. & Co. Clipped Point Knife,
7" single-edged blade with clipped point. Composite handles with grooved molded ridges. Stamped maker's name Barone Bros. is lightly worn. Maker's logo of a sedent lion. Steel quillon. Red leather scabbard with gold leaf borders and one side with small scroll inlay in center. Brass drag. > Item Details
E.G.  Mathey's M1860 Cavalry Saber, With Docs,
Lot # 657 - E.G. Mathey's M1860 Cavalry Saber, With Docs,
ricasso stamped on left side D. J. Millard Clayville, NY. Superimposed on this maker's name is C74. Right side stamped U.S./CEW/1862 (Charles E. Wilson). 35" blade not etched. Black leather handle with brass wire wraps. Guard with flourished letters 7L 28 72. Brass hilt with nickeled finish. Steel s... > Item Details
M 1855 Sabre Bayonet
Lot # 480 - M 1855 Sabre Bayonet
brass handle saber bayonet with steel blade. Leather scabbard with brass fittings. Unmarked blade. Blade length is 21.75". Overall length is 16.75". Top of the brass handle stamped with a number 4. > Item Details
4835 Model 1860 Colt Army  Revolver,
Lot # 116 - 4835 Model 1860 Colt Army Revolver,
.44 caliber, serial number 39651, 8" barrel, with sub-inspector's markings. Grips marked Co. E. 8th Cav. Three screw frame. Cylinder stamped Colt's Patent 4368 with faint scene of Battle of Campeche. Mismatched serial numbers as follows; frame 39651, trigger guard 39363, and backstrap 39651. More... > Item Details
* 4814 Remington Model 12-CS  Pump-Action Rifle,
Lot # 986 - * 4814 Remington Model 12-CS Pump-Action Rifle,
.22 Rem. Special caliber, serial number 574885, 24" octagonal barrel with top of barrel stamped Model 12 CS Remington Arms-Union Metallic Cartridge Co. Remington Works, Ilion, NY, U.S.A. with respective patent dates. Buttplate stamped Remington UMC Trademark. Walnut stock and forearm. > Item Details
English Import Civil War
Lot # 160 - English Import Civil War "Snake" Belt
brass snake buckle that has been nickel-plated. Bridle leather belt. > Item Details
Remington Rolling Block Rifle,
Lot # 597 - Remington Rolling Block Rifle,
.43 Spanish caliber, 35" barrel. Three-band configuration. Tang stamped Remington. Walnut stock and forearm. > Item Details
Elizabeth Custer Manuscript Relating to Captain George Yates, 7th Cavalry,
Lot # 670 - Elizabeth Custer Manuscript Relating to Captain George Yates, 7th Cavalry,
lot of 7. Includes a 6 page manuscript account written in the hand of Elizabeth Custer (though not signed by her) describing the military career of Capt. George W. Yates, ending with his death at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, PLUS a fragment of a manuscript list of officers who have recommended... > Item Details
Lot of Three Shackles,
Lot # 516 - Lot of Three Shackles,
first set stamped with J and 131. Cuff stamped 2.75" J. Opposite cuff stamped 131. Second set of shackles is an unstamped set. Third set stamped Patent Applied For. > Item Details
Spencer Repeating Carbine,
Lot # 395 - Spencer Repeating Carbine,
.50 caliber, 20" barrel, serial number 4261. Top of receiver stamped Burnside Rifle Company and stamped Model 1865. > Item Details
Rough Riders & WWI Uniform and Archive Lot of Col. Ode C. Nichols,
Lot # 904 - Rough Riders & WWI Uniform and Archive Lot of Col. Ode C. Nichols,
archive includes a TLS to My dear Lt. Nichols on VP stationary and signed in ink Theodore Roosevelt. This letter acknowledges the receipt of his letter stating how proud at how Nichols, a representative of my old regiment, has advanced in the Philippines, PLUS 4 issued campaign medals including the ... > Item Details
Grouping of Military Shoulder Boards,
Lot # 816 - Grouping of Military Shoulder Boards,
first pair is an Artillery Major's shoulder boards with silver bullion oak leaf on red finely regimentally ribbed background with rectangular gold bullion border. Obverse with sewn black felt. Second mismatched pair has a lieutenant's and captain's rank bars rendered in bronze bullion on grey velvet... > Item Details
Northern Cheyenne Beaded Holster with Revolver,
Lot # 700 - Northern Cheyenne Beaded Holster with Revolver,
.30 rimfire caliber, 3" barrel, serial number 2074. Walnut grips. Holster and gun fit together very well. Flap designed holster covered with hand-sewn beads rendered in blue, gold, brick and green colors forming geometric patterns. Outer edge of holster lined with 5" fringe. > Item Details
Boxed Colt and Flask Set Presented to John Sappington Marmaduke, C.S.A.,
Lot # 112 - Boxed Colt and Flask Set Presented to John Sappington Marmaduke, C.S.A.,
.36 caliber, 7.5" barrel, serial number 2775, barrel address Col. Colt London. Colt patent markings on the left side of frame. Iron backstrap and trigger guard. British proofs on cylinder. Walnut grips. Oak case with green lining. Cased set complete with flask, mold and nipple wrench. There is a sp... > Item Details
Moore's Pocket Pistol,
Lot # 737 - Moore's Pocket Pistol,
.41 rimfire, 2.5" steel barrel, serial number 3632. Barrel stamped Moore's Patented Firearms Co. Brooklyn, NY. Arrows are engraved on both sides of barrel. Brass frame is scroll engraved. Underside of barrel stamped Pat. Feb. 24, 1863. > Item Details
Framed Lot of 14 Custer Battlefield Relics PLUS Relic Horshoe From Little Big Horn,
Lot # 702 - Framed Lot of 14 Custer Battlefield Relics PLUS Relic Horshoe From Little Big Horn,
dug items. Relics are accompanied by 14 individual manila envelopes with signed historical records denoting the history of the piece and change in ownership, including: S88 Pocket Knife 7" cavalry trooper knife broken probably trying to extract cartridge from carbine; S93 45/70 After battle troopers... > Item Details
Civil War Rope and Tension Drum,
Lot # 238 - Civil War Rope and Tension Drum,
with roping for 11 leather tension braces (ears). Marquetry design rendered in brown, gold, green and yellow of a cross inside an octagon. Vestige of original label inside reads Hogan & Thompson North and Fourth Street Philadelphia. Ten red strings (snares) run across center of bottom end of drum, f... > Item Details
223 Model 1851 Colt Navy Revolver, Fourth Model,
Lot # 108 - 223 Model 1851 Colt Navy Revolver, Fourth Model,
.36 caliber, 7.5" octagonal barrel stamped on top Address Saml Colt New York US America, serial number 192682. All serial numbers match. Brass backstrap and trigger guard with original grips. > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20
SKIP TO PAGE: