MINT CIVIL WAR CAP BOX BY REUBEN NECE WITH INSPECTOR STAMP, WOOL AND PICK

$975.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1216-94

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

This is a great example of a Federal cap box in pretty much new condition, as it would have come out of the crate for issue. The black finish is superb, with strong color and no flaking. Seams are tight. The inner flap with side ears is in place. The interior still has the small wire pick used to clear the vent of debris and all the interior fleece is there, which usually has fallen victim to moths over the years, used to keep the percussion caps from being jostled out of the box if the flaps were open. The belt loops are in place and excellent. The box still shows a very thin, narrow border line on the left of the outer flap, and very sharp markings on the inner flap: “F.A. SNIFFEN / U.S. / ORD. DEPT. / SUB INSPECTOR” over “R. NECE.” We see only some minor crazing to the finish on the end of the tab and on the belt loops from handling and some verdigris on finial and rivets that could be cleaned.

This is the one-piece, “shield front” style that replaced the square front version carrying a separate, sewn latch tab in early 1862. Reuben Nece, started out as a tailor and apparently got into the accoutrement business through his brother, a saddler. He ended up with army contracts for many thousands of accoutrements and accoutrement sets, both infantry and cavalry, as well as horse equipment, etc. Paul Johnson, in his wonderful book on U.S. cartridge boxes, has identified the oval stamp as one of those instituted for his sub-inspectors by Capt. Julian McAllister, appointed “Inspector of Horse Equipments, Infantry and Cavalry Accoutrements” in July 1864. Sniffen was assigned to inspect not only the work of Nece, but contractors J. Cummings and H.G. Haedrich as well.

This is a nice untouched example of the regulation cap box for the percussion cap primers used on the majority of Civil War weapons- a piece of gear instantly recognized by any veteran. This would make a very good addition to an accoutrement display for any branch of service, and a stand-out example in a display of Nece’s work or cap boxes in particular, which offer a large variety for the collector and student of material culture.  [sr] [ph:L]

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