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

* Harrington & Richardson Arms Co. Revolver,
Lot # 962 - * Harrington & Richardson Arms Co. Revolver,
.22 caliber, break-top nine-shot, 6" barrel, serial number 21216. Left side of barrel stamped H&R Sportsman Double-Action. Blued finish and walnut grips. > Item Details
Frazier 50-70 Cartridge  Box Made by <i>J. H. McKenney</i>,
Lot # 823 - Frazier 50-70 Cartridge Box Made by J. H. McKenney,
exterior with brass plate with flourished initials NG. Brass rivets on exterior, complete with leather fastening strap. Inside of box stamped in leather Ridabook & Co Successors to J. H. McKenney & Co. New York and Frazier's Patent Feby. 5th 1872 Re-issued Mch 5 1876 Patent April 23, 1878. With wood... > Item Details
Snieder  Breech Loading Rifle Musket Plus Bayonet,
Lot # 355 - Snieder Breech Loading Rifle Musket Plus Bayonet,
577 caliber, 40" barrel length, three-band configuration. Long range rear sight. Brass buttplate and rear guard. Walnut stock and leather rifle sling. > Item Details
Cattleman's Association New Mexico Double-Barreled Shotgun by Neuman Brothers,,
Lot # 838 - Cattleman's Association New Mexico Double-Barreled Shotgun by Neuman Brothers,,
12 gauge, 20" barrels. Belgian proofs on the bottom of barrel. Back-action locks. Top of rib stamped Belgian Lamenated Steel Left lock stamped Neumann Bros. Right lockplate stamped Machine Made. Walnut stock and forearm with checkering on pistol grip and forearm. Left buttstock with silver oval bad... > Item Details
Lt. John L. Ogle, 97th O.V.I. Presentation Sword,
Lot # 278 - Lt. John L. Ogle, 97th O.V.I. Presentation Sword,
blade approximately 31.5" is seized in scabbard. The sword is a typical non-regulation European import retailed by military outfitter's during the Civil War with brass hilt and wire-wrapped shagreen handle. This specimen with German silver scabbard and brass fittings. Top of the scabbard is engraved... > Item Details
1839 Belt and Buckle with OVM Markings
Lot # 168 - 1839 Belt and Buckle with OVM Markings
oval brass buckle with OVM markings (Ohio Volunteer Militia). Leather belt complete with leather tong keeper. [See Kerksis, 1982: 148, fig. 138]. > Item Details
Inscribed French Model 1840 Locking Ring Bayonet,
Lot # 848 - Inscribed French Model 1840 Locking Ring Bayonet,
22.5" single-edged fullered blade, 4.5" brass ribbed gripped hilt, iron cross guard, flattened bird's head form pommel. Back of blade with flourished inscription More Nle Chut St Avril, 1871. Complete with iron scabbard. [See Brayley;2004, p.70]. > Item Details
* Winchester Model 67 Bolt-Action Rifle,
Lot # 991 - * Winchester Model 67 Bolt-Action Rifle,
.22 caliber, 30" barrel stamped Made in U.S.A. Winchester Repeating Arms Co. New Haven, Conn/Model 67-22 Short Winchester Long and Long Rifle. > Item Details
<i>Amasa Buck  1775</i>  Revolutionary War Powder Horn,
Lot # 4 - Amasa Buck 1775 Revolutionary War Powder Horn,
single line engraved Amasa Buck His Horn 1775. Below this line is another line depicting a row of homes, churches and municipal buildings. Another line of three tall ships upon stylized undulating water with five fish in a row depicted undersea. Other voluted designs with floral ornament attached. I... > Item Details
U.S. Army Regulation M1853/55 Non-Rigid Knapsack,
Lot # 339 - U.S. Army Regulation M1853/55 Non-Rigid Knapsack,
that folded into a partial envelope and rear section made of four triangular flaps that buckled together, joined by a top strip with two sewn leather loops for the blanket straps. Knapsack was fitted with 2" wide leather shoulder straps that terminated with brass attachment points allowing for conn... > Item Details
Civil War Remington 1861 <i>Old Model Army</i> Revolver,
Lot # 133 - Civil War Remington 1861 Old Model Army Revolver,
.44 caliber, 7.5" barrel, six-shot pistol of which about 6,000 were produced in 1862 under government contract. This gray gun shows heavy but honest wear with faint serial number 1708 and Remington’s Ilion, N.Y. barrel address mostly obliterated. Void of US inspector’s marking if any were origina... > Item Details
Militia Officer's Sword Belt, possibly 1830-1840
Lot # 188 - Militia Officer's Sword Belt, possibly 1830-1840
ca 1830-1840. Image of an eagle clutching olive branches and arrows, with stars encompassing the outer edge. > Item Details
U.S. NY Cartridge Box Plate,
Lot # 222 - U.S. NY Cartridge Box Plate,
ca 1861. Stamped SNY. 2.1" x 3.3". [See Kerksis, 1974: 136, fig. 130]. > Item Details
* Colts <i>Police Positive 38 Special</i>,
Lot # 950 - * Colts Police Positive 38 Special,
.38 caliber, 4" barrel, stamped on top Colt's PT F.A. MFG Co. Hartford CT, USA with respective patent dates. Left side of barrel stamped Police Positive 38 Special. Composite grips. > Item Details
* 4864 US Model 1896 Krag Bolt-Action Rifle with Bayonet,
Lot # 881 - * 4864 US Model 1896 Krag Bolt-Action Rifle with Bayonet,
.30 caliber, three land-and-groove rifling, 30" barrel, serial number 57450. Receiver stamped US Model 1896 Springfield Armory. Walnut stock. Plus 1900 dated bayonet retaining most of its blue finish on scabbard. It is the correct scabbard for a '97 bayonet. > Item Details
* 4780 Ballard Carbine,
Lot # 371 - * 4780 Ballard Carbine,
.44 caliber, serial number 5105, 22" part- octagonal, part-round barrel. Top of the barrel stamped Worcester, Mass. Left flat stamped Merwin & Bray Agts, New York. Right flat stamped Ballard's Patent Nov. 5, 1861. Complete with two swivel rings. > 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
4859 <i>P & E.W. Blake</i> Model 1816 Flintlock Contract Musket, Third Type, PLUS Bayonet,
Lot # 38 - 4859 P & E.W. Blake Model 1816 Flintlock Contract Musket, Third Type, PLUS Bayonet,
.69 smoothbore, 42" barrel. Contract musket by P. & E.W. Blake. Lockplate stamped New Haven and dated 1828. Front of lockplate stamped US and P&EW Blake. Steel buttplate, trigger guard and bands. Walnut stock. > 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
German WWII SA Dagger,
Lot # 933 - German WWII SA Dagger,
with original wood grips. Blade stamped with Ulles Fur Deutchland, a reproduction that has been later attached. > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20
SKIP TO PAGE: