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

Libbey Glass Co. WWII Land Mine Prototype,
Lot # 921 - Libbey Glass Co. WWII Land Mine Prototype,
unit composed of three stacking clear glass parts, each is disk-shaped. This lot includes an affidavit relating World War II Glass Land Mine Prototype developed at Libby Glass Company during the early 1940's, for the department of defense by Wayne McCreery, Chief Engineer of Libbey Glass Company du... > Item Details
Flintlock Kentucky Patchbox Rifle,
Lot # 541 - Flintlock Kentucky Patchbox Rifle,
.40 caliber, 43" octagonal flared barrel. Maple stock, brass patchbox, brass trigger guard buttplate and barrel ferrules. Double set trigger. > 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
Mixed Group of Various Metal Militia Insignia,
Lot # 81 - Mixed Group of Various Metal Militia Insignia,
comprising four different brass hat eagle and shield emblems including one for a rifleman, three types of hat devices--stars and shields--representing New York militia regiments including the desirable "Albany Zouave Cadets-1860", a brass lyre and two different wreaths, plus nine various metal compa... > Item Details
* 4865 US Model 1917 Eddystone  Bolt-Action Rifle With Bayonet,
Lot # 973 - * 4865 US Model 1917 Eddystone Bolt-Action Rifle With Bayonet,
.30 caliber, serial number 1220730, 26" barrel. Breech stamped U.S. Model of 1917 Eddystone. Left frame stamped RIA FK/S in a square, plus additional stampings of RA-P/AAS. Faint encircled cartouche behind trigger guard. Complete with two sling swivels and stacking swivel. PLUS, fullered bayonet s... > Item Details
Smith & Wesson Pearl Grip Revolver,
Lot # 743 - Smith & Wesson Pearl Grip Revolver,
.22 caliber, 3" barrel, serial number 98947. Ivory grips, nickel-plated, top of barrel stamped Smith & Wesson Springfield Mass. with respective patent date. > Item Details
Tenn. Milita? Dress Frock Coat,
Lot # 251 - Tenn. Milita? Dress Frock Coat,
cadet jacket with groups of 9 buttons in three columns going down the front of the jacket. Each button with the Great Seal of Tennessee. Ornate frog pattern stitched horizontally across the front in green wool thread. Gold bullion on both collars plus green loops stitched into each shoulder. Both s... > Item Details
966 Bronze Spanish Lantaka Naval Cannon,
Lot # 870 - 966 Bronze Spanish Lantaka Naval Cannon,
swivel gun with octagonal-to-round barrels with symmetrical 4" triangular relief pattern with intricate beaded pattern on each of the octagonal sides. This pattern is repeated symmetrically in four different regions of the barrel. Top of the barrel with pair of attached dolphin ornamental handles. S... > Item Details
228/756  C. Sharps&Co. Pepperbox Pistol and Moore Teat-Fire Revolver,
Lot # 138 - 228/756 C. Sharps&Co. Pepperbox Pistol and Moore Teat-Fire Revolver,
Sharps gun is a .22 caliber, 2.5" barrel. Steel barrel, brass frame, rosewood grips. Stamped near hammer screws C. Sharps & Co. Philadelphia. Moore Teatfire Revolver .30 caliber, 2.25" barrel, serial number 4324. Steel barrel and cylinder, engraved brass frame, rosewood grips, backstrap engraved We... > Item Details
German Hunting Sword
Lot # 843 - German Hunting Sword
Brass knucklebow with ram's head and a quillon terminating in a leopard's head. Ferrule region with relief images of a fox on one side and a dog on opposite side. Langet with relief image of three playful deer upon a stippled background. 22.25" fullered blade with etched latticework designs. > Item Details
Smith & Wesson  Model 1 1/2, First Issue AKA <i>Old Model</i>,
Lot # 741 - Smith & Wesson Model 1 1/2, First Issue AKA Old Model,
32 rimfire short, 3.5" barrel with blued finish, serial number 14517. Stamped on top of barrel Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Mass. with respective patent dates. Rosewood grips. > Item Details
Gettysburg Souvenir Shell Fragment,
Lot # 527 - Gettysburg Souvenir Shell Fragment,
a 5” long piece of recovered shell fragment crudely inscribed “Gettysburg 1863”, bolted to a homemade oak plinth by means of a decorative cast iron American eagle with chased feathers. The wooden base measures about 6” long and 3.25” wide with the drilled fragment secured by a shank and nut in the ... > Item Details
Curly Maple Half Stock Long Rifle,
Lot # 572 - Curly Maple Half Stock Long Rifle,
.40 caliber, 36" octagonal barrel. Maple stock, brass thimble, trigger guard, toe plate and sideplate. Fine regimental engraving on the toe. > Item Details
US Springfield Model 1873 Trapdoor Rifle,
Lot # 616 - US Springfield Model 1873 Trapdoor Rifle,
.45-70 caliber, 32.5" barrel, serial number 57805. Small VP and eagle barrel proof marks. 1873 dated lockplate. Two-band configuration, long-wrist walnut stock and smooth trigger. PLUS, angular socket bayonet and scabbard. Ricasso stamped U.S with brown leather frog. > Item Details
Remington Carbine,
Lot # 381 - Remington Carbine,
AKA "Mule Ear", .54 caliber, 24.5" barrel. Markings on lockplate and elliptical loading aperture. > Item Details
Civil War Sword Presented to <i>1st Lieut James R. Mulliken</i>,
Lot # 267 - Civil War Sword Presented to 1st Lieut James R. Mulliken,
32" blade retailed by Evans & Hassall, Philadelphia etched on both sides with U.S. and with E. Pluribus Unum. Brass hilt, ribbed brass handle wrapped in brass wire. Metal scabbard with fancy ornate brass fittings with acanthus leaves and scrollwork. Metal scabbard with lengthy inscription that reads... > Item Details
* Lot of Two WWI Handguns,
Lot # 954 - * Lot of Two WWI Handguns,
first gun is a Model 1917 Roth Styer semi-automatic pistol, 9mm, barrel length 5", serial number 4268V. Blued finish with checkered wood grips. Second gun is a Mark IV Webley Revolver, .455 caliber, 6" barrel serial number 291652. Walnut wood grips. > Item Details
Smiths Pocket Model Revolver,
Lot # 765 - Smiths Pocket Model Revolver,
.38 rimfire caliber, 2.5" barrel, serial number 1427. Barrel stamped Smith's Patent April 15, 1875 No. 38. Nickel-plated finish, rosewood grips. > Item Details
Model 1873 Winchester Rifle,
Lot # 630 - Model 1873 Winchester Rifle,
.32-20 caliber, 20" barrel, serial number 110050. Walnut stock and forearm. > Item Details
1839 White Buff Leather Belt
Lot # 162 - 1839 White Buff Leather Belt
buff leather belt and two-piece brass buckle with a letter G. Belt and buckle are of the pattern used by the 7th Regiment of New York. Possibly belonging to either a cavalry or mounted rifle unit. > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20
SKIP TO PAGE: