SCARCE 1839 PATTERN CARTRIDGE BOX BY ROBERT DINGEE, 1843 OR EARLIER

$975.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1142-44

Civil War collectors will be familiar with the leather gear of Henry A. Dingee, a major contractor. This is a scarce example of his father Robert’s work. The elder Dingee worked as a saddler in NY City and had his first army contracts for leather gear in 1808 and continued supplying gear to the U.S. Army up to his death in 1843, after which the firm was run by sons Robert, Jr., and Henry A., until the former’s death in 1851.

This is a scarce example of an 1839 pattern box by Robert, marked on the inner flap, “R. DINGEE / N YORK.” Bazelon notes that, prior to his death, he had accepted U.S. contracts for the 1839 box as “R. Dingee & Sons.” He may well have kept using an older marking stamp for some time, or not bothered to mark the boxes as he signed the contract, but this is clearly a private purchase or militia cartridge box in any case, though it would date to 1843 or earlier from the marking.

The cover uses a higher quality of leather than one would see on a government contract box and appears to have two layers, bound along the edge. The fastening tab has also been secured more thoroughly with a circle of stitching rather than the conventional single straight line. Lastly the magazine tin is one-piece rather than two. The other elements, such as the implement pouch on the front and the use of loops and buckles for a shoulder belt only are typical of the 1839 boxes supplied to the government.

The condition is very good. The latch tab is broken below the fastening hole, which is not unusual. Both buckles are present, though the narrow billets securing them show losses and are partly loose. The finish is nice, with good color and just minor rubs and scrapes and some white spots on the inside of the flap from the fatty deposits of the leather. The original 1839 pattern cartridge box plate is in place, held by an old, if not the original, thong. We have not tried to remove the plate to check for markings.

This is a very nice condition early example of the 1839 pattern cartridge box that was standard through the Mexican War, into the 1850s, and is sometimes seen in early war photographs of Civil War volunteers. [sr] [ph:m]

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