EARLY WAR CONFEDERATE SERGEANT WITH SABER EX-BILL TURNER

$3,250.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1138-1838

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Call 717-334-0347,
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This sixth plate ambrotype shows a seated sergeant from the knees up, wearing a brimmed hat and a dark frock coat that shows both sergeant’s chevrons and shoulder straps. He also wears a white buff dragoon saber belt that he has turned inside out and shifted to give the appearance in the reversed image of his saber being properly on his left side. He rests one hand on the sword grip, as if about the draw it. It is clearly an 1840 pattern, possibly artillery, but perhaps the cavalry or dragoon pattern with its guard branches hidden on the side toward his body.

The photographer has gilded the chevrons, sword hilt, edges of his shoulder straps, and his buttons. Five buttons show down the front of his coat, which appears to be a frock coat and there were likely nine total. Two smaller buttons show on one cuff. At the base of his collar the photographer also placed two other spots of gold, likely indicating two other buttons or some sort of collar insignia.

This comes from the collection of noted Virginia collector and dealer Bill Turner and likely portrays an early war, or perhaps even slightly prewar Virginia militia sergeant. Blue coats were not unusual in the antebellum Virginia militia. In fact, they were specified in 1858, though existing companies could retain distinctive uniforms and in March 1860 distinctive uniforms were again permitted for new companies also. The frock coat would also not be unusual in a mounted unit, especially one styling itself dragoons and adopting the frock coats worn by that service in the early 1850s, though an artillery connection cannot be ruled out, given the saber. The collar insignia or buttons, and the shoulder straps, of course, would likely be specific to that company. Our man wears a hat with a somewhat flaring crown, suggesting a civilian style top hat, but he has turned up one side of the brim in military fashion.

The image is very clear and the condition is excellent. We see only one small emulsion spot on the left of his forehead. It is housed in a thermoplastic case showing a young boy in a boat. The mat, glass, frame and facing pad are in place. Bill’s paperwork suggests a connection with the Captain James Thompson image we offer elsewhere, but it does not appear to be Thompson and if not a family member or friend may simply have been something Bill acquired at the same time.   [sr] [ph:L]

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