From Guns to Drums: US Civil War militaria will fascinate collectors

Good news for militaria collectors and investors - a wide-ranging and very affordable auction of historic US Civil War memorabilia will be taking place on February 19.  Fontaine's Auction Galleries, which has been involved in the antiques and militaria market for 35 years, will be selling over 400 lots in the Civil War session alone.

Two Civil War uniforms are likely to realise the highest prices.  The first, a New York Regiment military frock coat, circa 1860, is estimated to sell for $4,000-6,000.  The grey shell jacket has seven large New York State buttons down the front, a folded collar with black trim, black shoulder straps and is in very good condition.

The second is a swallow-tailed full-dress frock coat, worn by a member of the New York State 71st Regiment.  Dark blue in colour, it has a single row of 9 eagle buttons down the front, flanked by rows of large 71st Regiment buttons. 

This beautiful period jacket features collars with single gold braids over white stripes - finished with small eagle buttons - epaulets on the shoulders and a long-swallowed tail with braided stars and matching bars.  In wonderful condition, it has an estimate of $2,000-3,000.

Swallow-tailed frock coat
Civil War-drobe: This swallow-tailed frock could go for $3,000

For gun enthusiasts, the auction includes a stunning pair of cased London-made Durs Egg percussion duelling pistols.  The 5 ½ inch octagon barrels are .62 calibre and retain their brown Damascus finish.  Protected in a walnut case, these pistols are very rare and in wonderful condition.  As such, they are likely to sell for between $3,000-5,000.

Another highlight for firearm fans is a magnificent 1860 Colt Model army revolver.  Engraved, gold-filled and with matching numbers, this unique example of the legendary model is in excellent condition and likely to realise $2,000-3,000.

This auction will also satisfy sword collectors.  A 30 inch, model 1862 Infantry presentation sword is likely to draw attention, as is an Ames Model 1832 artillery short sword, signed and dated - 1835 - on the blade, complete with scabbard.  They may well exceed $2,500 each.

Finally, an exceptional and historic metal-bodied Queen's Lancer drum could beat a path to the top of the sale.  This colourful instrument, adorned with a skull and cross bones and the phrase "or glory", is rope tensioned and comes with two drumsticks.  It is estimated to make $2,000-3,000.

This great auction has many more unique artefacts, which symbolise and commemorate one of the United States' most bitter, bloody and important military conflicts.  For collectors and alternative investors, there are a variety of great prices with a lot of potential. 

As we detail here, militaria is a buoyant market with a lot to offer.  If you are interested in history and would like to invest in it - for yourself and posterity - then the Fontaine's sale could be a good place to start.


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