Winchester model 1897 cartridge board leads Garth's antique firearms auction
Garth's antique firearms auction stars a Winchester cartridge board and General Brice's pistols
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Tuesday 3 January 2012
Garth's is starting the new year with a bang this week as 466 lots go under the hammer in their Firearms and Accoutrements auction this Friday.
In amongst the more modest lots are two items in particular which antique firearms owners are likely to find irresistible.
Firstly, there is General Benjamin Brice's Cased Pair of Fine Pinfire Revolvers. Marked with a crowned "AF" these probably hail from Belgium in the mid 19th century.
Approximately .47 caliber, the revolvers are six-shot cylinders with 6" octagonal barrels, elaborate engraving, gilt finish and carved ebony grips. The pair is held in a rosewood case with brass plaques reading "General Brice" and "M.s. S.F. Durgold" (or "Purgold") and include ebony and ivory tools and pinfire cartridges.
Benjamin Brice (1809-1892) was born in what is now Harrison County, West Virginia, attended West Point, and served in the Black Hawk War before returning to civilian life as a lawyer in Licking County, Ohio.
In 1846, he was appointed an adjutant general of the Ohio militia, but resigned to re-enlist in the US Army during the Mexican War.
It was then he began his career as a military paymaster, ultimately overseeing all military payroll during and after the Civil War. Brice is credited with modernising military pay in the later years of the Civil War.
This pair of pinfires are discussed in the November 1961 issue of The Gun Report (copies of which are included with the lot), having been found in an antique shop in Pittsburgh by the article's author, Ralph Frederick.
When Frederick purchased the pair, the brass plaque reading "M.s. S.F. Durgold" was affixed overtop the Brice plaque (the weld scar is still visible). No information has ever been found on Durgold (or Purgold), and it is not known why his plaque was placed on top of Brice's.
Brice was the contemporary of Civil War veteran General Custer, and memorabilia from their era is valuable Americana. For example, we're proud to be currently offering Custer's signed album page.
The pinfire pistols are expected to hit $5,000 - $10,000, but are not expected to be the top lot in the sale. That honour is expected to go to a Winchester Model 1897 Cartridge Board.
This is the "Double-W" version with two hundred twenty-six items affixed to the board including nine containers of caps, twenty shotgun shells, and one hundred ninety-seven rifle and revolver cartridges.
Additionally, there are chromolithographed images of a moose, a duck (his bill partially concealed), and pair of bear hunters. The piece retains the factory label, as well as "No. 635" stencilled on reverse, and is mounted in its original oak frame.
It is expected to achieve $10,000-15,000 in the Ohio auction which closes in the morning of January 6.
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