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Woodwork find Civil War officer shoulder boards help please

Started by warguy , Jul 25 2017 12:02 PM

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#1 warguy

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 12:02 PM

I was contacted by a local woman last week who had heard I collect militaria. She said her father passed many years ago, but had purchased some items years ago at an estate sale I might be interested in. I was able to acquire what I think are probably Civil War Captains infantry shoulder boards along with eight frock coat buttons and three cuff buttons. In the grouping was also an old cigar, the two tin type photos depicted below, and an old stone that appears was used to sharpen a knife. No name attributed however. The photos depict two different men (I think different men, one has a beard the other doesnt). They are not uniform photos but civilian. The buttons all match in terms of age and condition and all have the same back mark, Thomas N. Dale in New York. They are "I" marked officers buttons. To me it appears that the frock coat was likely stripped, perhaps because of mothing and the buttons saved as well as the shoulder boards. If that is the case, I would be missing one breast button and three more cuff buttons for a complete set.

 

I know there is a bit of a science to these boards to date them to the CW. I think that is what they are but would love to hear opinions. They measure 4 inches long, and are 1 5/8 inches wide including the bullion border and embellishments. It does appear the bullion, while now toned, possesses the dull and bright finish that makes these "sparkle" if you know what I mean. The backs are open, and appear similar to other CW vintage boards I have seen here ion the forum, in terms of construction and materials. Comments welcome and thanks in advance. Kevin

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#2 grrrldoc

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 02:42 PM

They look CW to me!  Nice score!!!



#3 Dirk

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 02:48 PM

Kevin not my area but they look very nice to me. Great pick up!

#4 warguy

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 03:06 PM

Thank you guys!

#5 sundance

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 03:57 PM

Very nice find. Anything Civil War, to me, is worth grabbing (if reasonable). The shoulder boards are particularly nice. Fun to imagine where they have been.



#6 ludwigh1980

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 05:25 PM

Yup, Civil War examples, sold a few examples over the years. Nice little group.



#7 Sgt. Stubby

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 05:27 PM

Looks good to me! And also reminds me of an old joke, "She looked good from far, but when I got closer she looked far from good.
I definitely would have bought those, congratulations!
Now let's see a good close up of the back of the buttons and see if they existed in 1865.

Good luck!
- Comstock

#8 Sgt. Stubby

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 05:46 PM

I'd like to see the whetstone and cigar too. Without provenance you'll never know their significance, but I'd always include them in the grouping. Seriously, post them if you can.

Best Civil War cigar story: Right after the Rebel victory at 2nd Bull Run, a Union sergeant found 3 seegars wrapped in paper. Score! He then realized the paper was Lee's immediate battle plans for dividing his army and moving them into position. With this info the Federal Army could attack Lee piecemeal and destroy the Army of Virginia in 1862. The plans where sent to Major General of the Federal Army, George McClellan. Little Mac, as usual, sat on his a** and did nothing, prolonging the war until 1865.

That's a cigar I'd like to see. Maybe go in the Smithsonian next to Bill Clinton's.

Edited by Sgt. Stubby, 25 July 2017 - 05:48 PM.


#9 Sgt. Stubby

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 05:58 PM

Do the buttons look EXACTLY like this?
If so, you scored my friend!
- Comstock

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  • Thomas N Dale button.jpg


#10 warguy

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 06:40 PM

Do the buttons look EXACTLY like this?
If so, you scored my friend!
- Comstock


Very close but not exact. Eagles head is a bit different on mine and there is no hyphen between New stork on the back. I will post photos of the button and cigar and whetstone shortly. Kevin

#11 Sgt. Stubby

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 06:59 PM

Please post BOTH button backs?

This is what the CW cuff buttons "should" look like. Notice stars.
T.N. DALE & CO.
* N.Y. *

T.N. Dale & Co. was bought out in 1867 by Harrington & Goodman, and evidently went "huge" after that. Since I can find no record of H&G buttons, I imagine they continued under the Thomas N. Dale branding.

They might be INDIAN WARS era. Very very nice grouping!

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  • T.N.Dale button.jpg
  • H&G Business.jpg


#12 warguy

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 07:16 PM

Well thank you all for the nice comments and the interest in this little grouping. On the buttons....All of the larger breast buttons visually look the same on the front, style of eagle is the same, I see no differences. However, on the back, I found that the backmarks are the same with the exception that two of the 8 have a hyphen between New and York, while six do not. On the smaller cuff buttions, the back mark looks identical to what was depicted above in post 11, including the little stars. Here are some pics of the buttons, whetstone, cigar and a small flattened pice of what appears to be lead. I thought at first that was a spent bullet, but you can make out the number 62 and maybe 1 on the front. There is also a small leather strap or thong of some sport neatly tied up. Have no idea on the flattened metal or thong. Sorry for the blurry pics of the smaller cuff button.

 

Button guys, please let me know what I have here.

 

I have also heard the story about the war plans wrapped around the cigars. A real missed opportunity to perhaps end this bloody conflict early. I started collecting militaries thirty years ago following a life long passion for military history, but in particular Civil War history. I don't have a lot of CW items today, but sure wish I did. The collection has grown in different directions primarily due to availability and cost.

 

Thanks again, Kevin

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Edited by warguy, 25 July 2017 - 07:20 PM.


#13 warguy

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 07:17 PM

Here are pics of front and back of the cuff button and rest.

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#14 b_hinch

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 09:50 PM

Very cool and fascinating grouping Kevin! Hope you get more feedback.



#15 M24 Chaffee

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 05:09 AM

Here is a link to a Civil War website with a nice reference section on buttons as well as other items. The owner is a respected CW dealer as well.

http://www.relicman....rch Center.html


Looks like you have a very nice grouping.


Frank

#16 warguy

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 05:28 AM

Thank you Frank. I stumbled across the relicman site last night and spent some time there. Neat reference tool. On the buttons, looks like Thomas N. Dale made them "from the 1840's to well past the Civil War". Many of the ones shown simply state "ca. 1860's". Not much clarity on the date of the many variations in their backmarks. I have a couple Civil War price books and guides as well and the Thomas Dale backmarks on Federal buttons sure seem prolific.

#17 mdk0911

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 03:28 PM

sweet civil war grouping - well done!!




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