FANTASTIC GOLD-MOUNTED APPOMATTOX WOOD CARVED PIPE WITH CASE – 12TH WEST VIRGINIA INFANTRY

$14,500.00

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Item Code: 30-2205

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The day after Generals Grant and Lee met to arrange the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia the two Generals met again for a brief time under an apple tree and when the meeting was over soldiers descended on the tree taking parts of it as souvenirs. A legend grew over the years that the surrender actually took place during that second meeting.

The wonderful hand carved pipe offered here was fashioned by an unknown member of the 12th West Virginia Infantry while in camp near Richmond and later fitted to a fancy gold stem.

The apple wood carved bowl meas. approx. 2.25 inches high x 1.50 inches across the top. The bottom of the bowl tapers downward to attach to the stem. The bowl is carved around its sides with several figures. The two central figures are standing under a tree whose lower branches are visible just above the figures heads. The figure closest to the tree represents a bareheaded General Lee in uniform and knee high boots handing his sword to the figure facing him which is General Grant. The latter wears his slouch hat, frock coat and knee high boots with sword. Behind Grant is the figure of an aide or it may be meant to symbolize General Meade. The figure wears a forage cap, uniform and knee-high boots. General Lee stands with his back to the tree already described and behind the tree stands an aide in a forage cap, uniform and sword holding the reins to Lee’s horse “Traveler.” Beneath the scene, in the area where the bowl narrows, is carved a flower.

The top of the bowl has a gold collar fitted to its rim with a filigreed gold cap on a hinge that can be lifted to fill the pipe. The exterior face of the lid is delicately engraved “MADE FROM THE WOOD OF THE TREE UNDER WHICH GENL. LEE, SURRENDERED TO GRANT. APPOMATTOX COURTHOUSE APRIL 9TH 1865.” A close look at the gold base of the lid reveals another delicate inscription that reads “THIS PIPE WAS CARVED IN CAMP NEAR RICHMOND, MAY 27/65, BY ONE OF THE SOLDIERS OF 12 REGT WEST VA INFTY.” An interesting observation is that the soldier who carved the pipe and wrote the captions engraved on it mentions “GENERAL” Lee but addresses his own commander simply as “GRANT” with no rank designation.

Attached to the bottom of the bowl is a “U” shaped gold stem with a ball at the very bottom of the “U.” The ball has a five-pointed star on its base. And engraved on one side of the ball is “MADE BY BROWNE & SPAULDING N.Y.”  This is the company that did the gold mounting.

Atop the opposite side of the stem, across from the wood bowl, is a section of finely carved wood forming the upper end of the stem. This piece screws in place and can be removed for cleaning. The wood is chased with delicate lines done in a barber pole type spin topped with a triple ridge which has a small chip out of the top.

The top ridge has a threaded piece of wood at center for attaching a mouthpiece made of horn. The mouth piece matches the wood in color and looks to be the original, but it is loose. The thread in the bottom of the mouthpiece has worn and it no longer meshes with the thread on the wood stem. For display this is minor and can easily be fixed.

The pipe comes in a very nice case formed to the shape of the pipe. The interior is lined in the bottom with a red crushed felt while the top is lined with a green satin material. The leather case has a two brass hinges at top and a brass catch on one side. All work properly. The exterior of the case is outlined in dark leather that shows some minor wear and scuff marks. The body looks to have been made of soft leather whose surface finish has rubbed off almost completely leaving a light brown surface that feels like buff leather.

The 12th West Virginia Infantry was raised in August of 1862. The regiment fought at Winchester, New Market, Piedmont, Lynchburg, Cedar Creek and Fort Gregg during the final assault at Petersburg. They were present at Appomattox and were mustered out at Burkesville, Virginia on June 16, 1865.

One of the nicest hand carved pipes we have seen in quite a while.  [ad]

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