Sunday, March 7, 2010

Civil War Grouping

When we do appraisal shows we never know what is going to show up. Sometimes really great and interesting items come out of the most unexpected places. These items were brought to us contained in an old covered cookie tin.

This grouping of civil war era accouterments was brought to us at the Aurora / Hudson Home and Garden Show. The owner found these in a house that he had purchased as a restoration project. What a great little unexpected gift. Among the items in the group were:

Civil War Union Belt Buckle

Two Powder Horns

A Set of Spurs

Bullet Mold

Cap Box

One Brass Epaulet

What are they worth? A lot of that questions answer lies in what additional information (if any)is available. The first question that we always ask when confronted with this type of collectible is do you have any provenance for the items? Who was the original owner? Where did they come from? Do you have any photography or documentation that might lead us to the original owner? These questions are very important in determining a valuation. A definable history can take a simple group of army surplus items and turn them into a gold mine. History can and will enhance the value of these types of military items. Always keep this in mind for your own collections. Every piece of information that you can obtain on these types of items will increase their value.

On this particular civil war grouping the owner had no additional information. Or so he thought. I dug a little further and found out the home that they came out of was an old family homestead that had been in one family up until the time that he purchased it. He believed that the home was originally built in the mid 1800's.

This great clue could help us in identifying the original owner of this grouping. Because of the strong history of the homestead we may be able to trace back and find out potential owners of the artifacts. I suggested to him that he should look into the history of the home and try to determine if there were any civil war veterans in the family. He said that he would look into it and contact me when he found out.

Valuation of this group will have to be based on intrinsic value only. Civil War belt buckles similar to the one shown sell for around $150, cap boxes sell for $150, powder horns $75 each, spurs $250, epaulets $4-500 and the bullet mold around $50. Total value for the group $1,250...not bad for something just left behind in the house. If these items can be traced to a decorated veteran the price can jump by 2 to 3 times or even more. Positively worth putting in a little research. Definitely a CASH IT.

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