Top 5 American independence memorabilia

Here is Paul Fraser Collectibles' look at the top 5 American independence memorabilia to appear at auction.

Continental Army battleflag

American independence battleflag


A Continental Army battleflag, captured by British troops, sold for $12.3m at Sotheby's in 2006. The 2nd Continental Light Dragoons flag was captured by Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton at Pound Ridge, New York on July 2, 1779. It is the earliest surviving known flag of any kind to feature the 13 red and white stripes of the 13 rebellious states, the new design having been introduced just two years previously. It was also the last American revolutionary war flag to remain in British hands, having been passed through the generations of the Tarleton family.

Declaration of Independence

Declaration of independence broadside


The original 1776 Declaration of Independence signed by Congress can be seen at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. However, many other early examples of the declaration exist, including a number of "broadsides" - announcements of the declaration printed by newspapers in the days following July 4. A July 10 1776 Pennsylvania Journal broadside sold for $230,000 at a US auction in November 2006. You can buy this rare version of the Declaration of Independence today.

Last American revolution flag in private ownership

Last American revolution flag in private ownership


What is thought to be the last American revolution battleflag in private ownership is set to auction in November. The silk battle flag was carried by the Continental Army's Eighth Virginia Regiment , which was commanded by "the fighting clergyman" Colonel Peter Muhlenberg. Samuel M "Beau" Freeman II, the auction house's chairman, commented: "Revolutionary battle flags are rare and those in private hands are almost unknown or only fragments have survived - this is an extraordinary discovery."

Although the salmon-red colour has faded to gold, the intact flag is expected to sell for $600,000.

Paul Revere silver

Paul Revere coffee pot


Where would the revolution have been without silversmith Paul Revere - the man who rode through the night to warn Patriots of the movement of British ships towards Cambridge in April 1775? Consequently, Revere's silver is of great value today to collectors.

A circa 1760 silver coffee pot, featuring engraving by Revere, sold for $265,600 at Sotheby's in 2003, while a circa 1762 Revere sugar bowl made $232,000 with the same auction house in January 2004.

George Washington's personal copy of the Acts of Congress

George Washington Acts of Congress


A direct result of America's victory in the war of independence was the adoption of the US constitution in 1787.

George Washington's personal copy of the 1789 Acts of Congress, featuring his own annotations on the US constitution, sold for $9.8m in New York in June. In doing so it became the most valuable American book or manuscript ever sold.

The Mount Vernon Ladies Association of the Union, a non-profit organisation, were the successful bidders. The book will now return to the Mount Vernon library, where it was previously housed until 1876.

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