TWO VIRGINIANS ARMED FOR CLOSE-IN WORK

$2,500.00 SOLD

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Item Code: 1138-1953

This sixth plate ambrotype has some wipes and stains, but great content. It comes from the collection of the late Bill Turner and shows two Confederate stalwarts, certainly Virginians by Bill’s collecting interests, wearing (almost) the same uniform and both displaying weapons. They are shown seated, from mid-calf up, and wear gray frock coats with low collars and visible shoulder tabs. The soldier on the right has a single-breasted coat and the fellow on the left sports three rows of buttons, likely 12 buttons in each row for both men. Their cuffs are identical: three buttons, with a line of piping running up to the top button of the cuff at the seam. Both men rest their hands in their laps. The soldier on the left raises a short-barrel Colt pocket revolver for the camera. On the right the fellow displays a drawn spearpoint Bowie knife. Both look serious. The message from the fellow on the right is clearly, “if my friend doesn’t do the job with his pistol, I will certainly finish the business.”

The figural thermoplastic case is very good and depicts a man, clearly a hunter, waving his hat over a fallen stag, certainly signaling his kill to some companions, which seems a pretty good match for the content of the image inside, though perhaps with a different victim in mind. The case is complete with facing pad, glass, mat, and frame. It might be possible to match the uniforms with a specific unit with some digging. It would be interesting to know if the triple breasted coat was meant to distinguish some rank, perhaps a non-commissioned officer.    [sr] [ph:m]

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