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Andersonville Prisoner made Token of War


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freakjeep73

This is a Napkin Ring made during the Civil War in the infamous Andersonville Prison that I have been tasked with finding the value of. Unfortunately, this is a one of a kind piece, which gives me nothing to compare it to. It comes with this note and a name, a Mr. Lyell, or some other sort of spelling. If anybody could give me a rough estimate or a link to a page that mentions Mr. Lyell that would be extremely helpful

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-Tyler

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freakjeep73

The Note reads "This napkin ring was carved by my uncle in Andersonville Military Prison in Civil War from a Beefsteak bone."

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freakjeep73

I have a first name on the way, the lady had to find a paper with the name on it, but besides that this is all i have for now. She is looking for any other papers or items.

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Handmade items are extremely difficult to price, as they are generally one-of-a-kind and have nothing to compare it to. The ultimate value on something like this is whatever someone is willing to pay, usually at a well known and frequented auction site. Civil War dealers may be able to help, but will probably want an appraisal fee, and then appraise it at top dollar, where it would sit on their shelves for years before the guy comes in who just has to have it

 

You might want to look into dealers in the Gettysburg area, there are quite a few, several who specialize in high end and unique items

 

Sorry it's not ultra-helpful, but it's a start. Just so hard to set a price to something as unique as this

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freakjeep73

Alright, i am going to Gettysburg for the big 150, so i should be able to get information there, any ideas on the identity of the man who made it, Mr. Lyell?

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ludwigh1980

Well..since I have handled a few of these civil war pow items in the past I will add by 2 cents.

 

The big things with these is subject matter and provenance. Unfortunately a hand written letter written by anyone other than the original vet does not do to much for the piece, or at least someone contemporary to the piece. Also to garner the most interest it has to have some sort of military or personal ID. I have seen carvings with American Flags, Cannons, sometimes a date and sometimes with the soldiers initials. If you had say a bone ring with masonic symbols, an American flag, and initials as well as a written notes by the original vet referencing the exact piece, maybe several hundred dollars maybe over a thousand if it is an exceptional piece with period letters. This stuff varies widely and pieces with little decoration and vague provenance is difficult to sale. To a civil war pow carving collector maybe $100 maybe more if they feel that it matches other known examples from Andersonville.

 

Terry in Colorado

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freakjeep73

Thank you very much Terry, there are no visible markings on the ring itself. With the information I have gathered today, I would say $100 seems like a fair value. The help has been very appreciated, perhaps I may pick this one up myself if i could a little more info behind it :rolleyes:

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