TIFFANY SILVER MOUNTED HOOF FROM A 5TH MASSACHUSETTS BATTERY HORSE NAMED “FOLKO” RIDDEN DURING THE WAR BY PROMINENT BOSTONIAN LIEUTENANT NATHAN APPLETON – WOUNDED AT NORTH ANNA RIVER

$9,500.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 159-158

This interesting relic is the hoof of a horse, complete with maker marked horseshoe, with a sliver plate mounted on top that is engraved as follows:

RAPPAHANNOCK STATION

MINE RUN  THE WILDERNESS

SPOTSYLVANIA  NORTH ANNA

FIVE FORKS

SURRENDER OF GENERAL LEE

AT

APPOMATTOX COURT HOUSE.

TRIUMPHAL MARCH THROUGH

PETERSBURG AND RICHMOND

GRAND REVIEW OF THE ARMIES

AT

WASHINGTON.

EDISTO ISLAND S.C.

The hoof itself is in excellent condition with no damage caused by age or storage but there are two or three small cracks where the original horseshoe nails pushed through the bottom edge. The horseshoe itself shows light wear and is stamped with the maker’s name “L. POLLARD.” The silver mount shows a nice light patina. There is an old piece of wire wrapped around the hoof with a loop at top for mounting on the wall.

At center of the underside of the hoof is an old handwritten note. The paper has browned and chipped with age and much of it is missing, however, what text that can be made out matches an old typed label that comes framed separately. The text of the note reads:

“HOOF OF ‘FOLKO’”

MY HORSE, WHEN I WAS SECOND LIEUTENANT OF THE FIFTH MASSACHUSETTS BATTERY, ARTILLERY BRIGADE, FIFTH CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.

HE WAS DARK BROWN, HANDSOME AND SPIRITED, TROTTED AND GALLOPED SUPERBLY. AS FINE AS ANY IN THE BRIGADE. I WAS VERY PROUD OF HIM. HE WAS A VETERAN OF THE BATTLES ENGRAVED ON THE HOOF. THE HOOF WAS SILVER MOUNTED BY TIFFANY & CO. OF NEW YORK IN 1871 SHORTLY AFTER HIS DEATH.

BOSTON, SEPT. 14, 1893.

The note then goes on to repeat the battles that are engraved on the silver mount. The note is not signed. The note comes framed and mated. Frame meas. 12.25 x 12.25 inches.

When originally offered for sale the identity of “FOLKO’s” owner was not known. Through research we have discovered that the horse belonged to Lieutenant Nathan Appleton of Boston. Appleton did not join the 5th Massachusetts Battery until the end of July 1863 and his battle record begins with Rappahannock Station and matches perfectly the campaigns listed on the hoof. Also, none of the other lieutenants in the battery served as long as Appleton or else they died before the dated typed note mentioned above was written. Appleton is the only officer to meet all the criteria.

Nathan Appleton was born on February 2, 1843 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a Mayflower descendant and a part of a prominent family that founded Lowell, Massachusetts and amassed a fortune in the cotton spinning industry.

Appleton graduated from Harvard in 1862 and was immediately appointed a 2nd lieutenant in the 5th Massachusetts Battery seeing his first action at Rappahannock Station. He was wounded at North Anna River on May 25, 1864 and was discharged due to wounds on August 25, 1864. He received a brevet promotion to captain on March 13, 1865.

On April 1, 1865 Appleton received a commission as aid-de-camp on the staff of General Charles S. Wainwright with whom he served till the wars end.

After hostilities ended, Appleton spent 1866 and 1867 touring Europe. Upon his return to Boston, he entered business and served as a delegate on the Boston Board of Trade. He took an interest in the Panama Canal and befriended Count Ferdinand de Lesseps of French Panama Canal fame. He also allied himself with Bowles Brothers who were bankers in Paris, London and the United States. Nathan Appleton lost everything in the panic of 1872 but managed to pay all his debts and ended up with his good reputation still intact.

He continued to move in high society with the help of his half-brother Thomas Gold Appleton and eventually married into money. Upon Thomas’ death, Nathan inherited the bulk of his estate assuring him a comfortable life.

Nathan Appleton died in Boston on August 25, 1906 and is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.    [sr][ph:L]

Note: We were contacted by one of our customers who generously shared a scan of a cabinet card of Nathan Appleton, with a horse believed to be Falco. As indicated by the note accompanying it, the image was taken from a tintype of Appleton dating to September 1863 at Beverly Ford on the Rappahannock in VA.  He also shared a scan of a CDV of Appleton, dating to 1863. These images do not accompany the purchase of this item.

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