The Civil War Collector – April 2014
by John Sexton
Q: Dear John, I stumbled across your website whilst trying to research two sabres I have recently acquired here in England. I am an antique furniture dealer based in the U.K. and was passed a pair of what I think are Confederate sabres from someone selling off their grandparent’s estate. The have apparently been stored in an attic for 80+ years and are both complete with scabbard. I have contacted a few other dealers in the U.S., but none have been able to assist identifying them.
Would you mind if I sent you some emails with images attached and details of the markings, to try and help identify them and give an indication of value? Many thanks in advance.
Graeme S, Wiltshire, England
Your scabbard without pins in the throat appears much like those manufactured by Ames in Massachusetts. Unmarked cavalries are quite common to market here in the U.S. and typically sell in auction for $300-$400.
Q: Hello, John! I have a question about a coin that has been in my possession since I was very young. Here is a list of what I know about it:
-It is gold (as far as I can tell)
-The size of a dime
-1861 is on heads
-13 stars around the edge
-Lady Liberty is on heads
-“MI” is inscribed on tails inside in an oblong, open circle
-Outer edge of coin is ridged
-It was made to be a pendant
I have attached pictures of the coin. Can you let me know if it is really from the Civil War? From my research, all I can find is that it may have been a love token.
Q: I’ve owned this compass for about 20 years. Purchased it at a NYC flea market.
An estimated value range would be appreciated. It is a Brinton compass with these markings: C.S.A., Ross Evans, London, MK1, 1862. Has a hinge at the top and bottom Underside has an armature which controls range finder inside compass. All heavy metal; the mirror and glass are intact. “Ross Evans” and “London” are in script on face dial. The mirror has a line down the center to align with N-S. Small circle allows light through the top, perhaps. No significant damage. Patina intact.
John Sexton is an independent appraiser and expert of Civil War memorabilia. He is an accredited member of various appraiser organizations. He can be contacted at 770-329-4984 or www.CivilWarDealer.com. If you have a Civil War item for him to appraise, email a photo and a description to email@example.com.