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
Large Group of Mainly U.S. Medals, Hat Pins, Ladder Badges & More,
Lot # 928 - Large Group of Mainly U.S. Medals, Hat Pins, Ladder Badges & More,
45 items. Includes both the silver star and the Bronze star of Jack G. Moss, Korean War, with the silver star still in original leather case, PLUS an unmarked silver star, PLUS miniature versions of both silver and bronze stars, likely Moss's, PLUS a sterling enameled Spanish American War era Combat... > Item Details
M1902 U.S. Army Officers Cap,
Lot # 895 - M1902 U.S. Army Officers Cap,
blue wool body with bronze bullion patriotic eagle clutching arrows in its left talon and an olive twig in its right talon. In its beak is a pennant that reads E. Pluribus Unum. Bronze bullion band encompasses the front half of the hat secured by two brass buttons with patriotic eagles. Interior of ... > Item Details
Civil War Colt M1851 Navy 4th Model
Lot # 107 - Civil War Colt M1851 Navy 4th Model
.36 caliber, 7.5" barrel, serial number 150136. All serial numbers are matching. Brass backstrap and trigger guard, six-shot cylinder, and walnut grips. > 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
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
French Indian War Carved Powder Horn Belonging to <i>L.S. DuBois,  With Docs
Lot # 3 - French Indian War Carved Powder Horn Belonging to L.S. DuBois, With Docs
primitively carved in three lines Ls DuBois/AU Carillon/EAN 1756. Carved image of a flag bearing a fleur-de-lis image. Complete with plug in tip. Overall 18.5". Documents include copied records of Major Lewis DuBois of New York State Revolutionary War service dated Sept 1778 as well as pension recor... > Item Details
Model 1836 Flintlock Pistol by <i>A. Waters</i>,Converted to Percussion,
Lot # 146 - Model 1836 Flintlock Pistol by A. Waters,Converted to Percussion,
.54 caliber, 8.5" barrel. Converted from flint to percussion most likely in the 1840's. Lockplate stamped A. Waters, Milbury, MS 1843. Walnut stock. > Item Details
Marked George Kilbourn Civil War Era Drum
Lot # 239 - Marked George Kilbourn Civil War Era Drum
brown wood body with brass tacks forming geometric patterns. Eight brown leather tension braces (ears) affixed to ropes. Paper label on inside of drum reads Bass and Snare Drums Tambourines & Banjos Made and Repaired by George Kilbourn at His Premium Drum Factory 119 Orange Street Albany. Top and bo... > Item Details
4844 Lindsay Two-Shot Large Pistol,
Lot # 124 - 4844 Lindsay Two-Shot Large Pistol,
.45 caliber smoothbore, 8.5" part-round, part-octagonal blued barrel. Top of barrel with crisp markings denoted in three lines Lindsay's/Young America/Patented October 9th, 1860. Brass frame, trigger guard and straps on handle. Handle is composed of two-piece ivory grips, which are hard to find. App... > 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
Pattern of 1839 Pistol Cartridge Box,
Lot # 209 - Pattern of 1839 Pistol Cartridge Box,
leather box with tin liners. Brass US oval plate on the front of the leather box. This type of box was used with the Model 1842 pistol and sometimes used with the pistol-carbine. > Item Details
Confederate Tin  Drum Canteen,
Lot # 504 - Confederate Tin Drum Canteen,
butternut wool cover, hand-stiched around top half, tan cotton straps with base of one strap stamped in black stenciled lettering C.S. Insp. 1862. Complete with spout and chain. This canteen is modeled after a U.S. regulation Model 1858 canteen. [See Sylvia, 1990: 60; Graf, 2006: 16] > 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
Civil War Officer's Sword,
Lot # 268 - Civil War Officer's Sword,
31.5" blade retailed Willard & Hawley, Syracuse, N.Y. etched on both sides with U.S. Right side of blade having Victory etched in a banner with image of a soldier waving a flag. Left side of blade having inscription etched in center panel, Capt. John F. Crouse 24th Brigade A.G.S.N.Y. Brass hilt wit... > Item Details
<i>T. Wilson</i> of Lexington, KY, Half-Stock Percussion Rifle,
Lot # 559 - T. Wilson of Lexington, KY, Half-Stock Percussion Rifle,
.50 caliber, 29" octagonal barrel. Patent breech, back-action lock, double-set trigger, crescent butt, and steel hardware. Thomas Wilson was a gun manufacturer from Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky who flourished from 1857-1860. > Item Details
Militia Belt,
Lot # 187 - Militia Belt,
ca 1840-1850. Black leather belt with red trim. Brass two-piece brass buckle marked with 3. Stamped on back of the belt in gold Castine. > Item Details
Myles Keogh's 1860 Papal Medal, the <i>Pro Petri Sede</i>,
Lot # 676 - Myles Keogh's 1860 Papal Medal, the Pro Petri Sede,
a silver medal with pivot type ribbon mount with cross in open center and inscription reading Pro Petri Sede/Pio IX P.M.A. XV and reverse with Victoria Qvae Vincit Mundum Fidas Nostra, 1.5" x 2", lacks ribbon and pinback. This medal is not the original that he received from the Pope; he lost those i... > Item Details
Civil War Archive and Sword of Lt. Henry Winship 122 US CT
Lot # 283 - Civil War Archive and Sword of Lt. Henry Winship 122 US CT
the M1850 Foot Officer's sword has 31.25" single-edged blade with 6" false-edge and 4/5 length fuller, with etched scroll work and U.S., on left face and eagle, flag and E. Pluribus Unum with floral scroll work on right, unmarked ricasso; single-piece cast brass quillon/guard/knuckle bow with scroll... > Item Details
Poultney & Trimble Carbine,
Lot # 391 - Poultney & Trimble Carbine,
.50 caliber, 21.5" octagon-to-round barrel, serial number 24994. Left side of frame stamped Poultney & Trimble Baltimore, USA.. Walnut stock and forearm. > Item Details
Smith & Wesson 38 Double-Action, Third Model Revolver,
Lot # 747 - Smith & Wesson 38 Double-Action, Third Model Revolver,
.38 caliber, 3.25" barrel, serial number 230031. Nickel finish, blued trigger guard, case colored hammer and trigger. Hard rubber grips. > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20
SKIP TO PAGE: