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Early American Militaria

on October 26, 2011 – 3:31 am

Bonhams & Butterfields’ Antique Arms and Armor and Modern Sporting Guns sale in San Francisco will feature a single-owner collection of more than 400 lots of American militaria, including military headgear, uniforms, edged weapons, firearms and accoutrements, illustrating all facets of military life, from the Federal Period through the Civil War. Highlighting the auction will be a number of uniform ensembles from the early Federal Period and Civil War, as well as a historic, Paris-made Confederate artillery officer’s frock coat of Lt. Col. Richard Snowden Andrews.

The sale will also feature more than 30 examples of rare headgear, many from the prestigious William H. Guthman Collection, including early Federal period dragoon helmets, elegant bell-topped shakos of the 1820s and 1830s, kepis and Hardee hats of the Civil War and elegant chapeau-de-bras bicornes, several with their original boxes.

Edged weapons from the period will include a group of early contract cavalry sabers by Rose and Starr, fine examples of regulation weapons and a selection of bayonets, while firearms will include a nearly complete sample of U.S. military, from surcharged Revolutionary War muskets to Civil War-era rifle muskets and carbines, as well has a selection of early single shot martial pistols through percussion revolvers by Colt, Butterfield and others.

American military accoutrements will be represented by a large group of militia and regular army waistbelts, cartridge boxes, cap boxes, shoulder belts knapsacks, haversacks and powder horns. The prosaic side of soldiering will also be represented by every day items such as mess and shaving equipment, and even one lot of Civil War era tobacco.

Other items in the sale will include a group of cased Colt 1849 pocket revolvers, a single owner collection featuring Colt single action army revolvers, 19th century American cartridge revolvers and a group of American and continental sporting guns, featuring a large
group of bolt action and single shot rifles.

The company’s Antique Arms and Armor and Modern Sporting Guns illustrated auction catalog will be available online for review and purchase in the weeks preceding the sale at www.bonhams.com.