Readers of the Shooter’s Log know better than most the media’s vilification of a symbol or a piece of history to prop up a political agenda. Such has been the case of blaming firearms for the actions of the mentally ill or criminally minded. In one such recent high profile event, that symbol was a flag. Understanding the difference between historical relics and symbols and something more sinister is key to understanding the historical value of this offering.
James D. Julia, Inc. To Offer A Collection of Iconic and Important American Civil War Era Flags As Part Of The Company’s Recent October 2015, $17 Million Firearms Event
These flags, each an outstanding piece of history in their own right, have never appeared at auction before, and offer historians, museums, and collectors the opportunity to own a remarkable piece of America’s past.
James D. Julia, Inc., one of the nation’s top 10 antique auction houses, was excited to present this collection of Civil War era flags as one of the many highlights associated with their two spectacular firearms sales on October 5th-7th with a pre-event preview on October 2nd-4th. The first, the inaugural Sporting and Collector Firearms auction, includes over 730 lots and focuses on more affordable firearms and related collectibles in the $2,000-8,000 range. The second, the two-day Extraordinary Firearms Auction, included over 1,300 lots and offers the world’s finest rare and historic firearms.
This collection consisted of four remarkable American Civil War era Confederate battle flags. They included a fine and historic Army of Northern Virginia Battle Flag Carried By Tucker’s Navel Brigade At the Battle of Sailor’s Creek, which was estimated at $125,000-250,000; a Confederate 1st National Battle Flag of the 15th South Caroline Heavy Artillery Battalion “Lucas Artillery,” which was estimated at $40,000-60,000; and a fine and historic Confederate 2nd National Naval Flag Captured By the 121st New York Infantry During The Civil War Possibly From Tucker’s Naval Battalion at Sailor’s Creek, which was estimated at $20,000-30,000. The fourth example, an important Flag of The All Black 38th Regiment US Infantry, was estimated at $6,000-8,000, is among the very few Civil War era black units flags known and probably the only example ever to come to auction.
These flags also each have provenance equal to their historical importance. The Army of Northern Virginia battle flag was used gallantly and heroically by a handful of Confederate seaman and marines at the last major battle of the Civil War, Saylor’s Creek. The Lucas Artillery “Stars and Bars” is from the Charleston family of a commander of the Lucas Battalion Artillery and is among the few unit marked Confederate Artillery flags ever offered. The Confederate Stainless Banner is de-accessed by a New York historical society who had loaned this flag to the US Naval Museum in Washington for many years; it still bears their tag with history from Saylor’s Creek battle. The African-American National colors of the 38th U.S. Infantry is the only flag known privately held to ever come to auction. The short lived all Black 38th fought Indians along side Buffalo soldiers in New Mexico from 1867 to 1869 before being consolidated.
According to John Sexton, Civil War Historian who handled these flags on behalf of James D. Julia, “This collection of Civil War flags is unquestionably the most important group to come to public auction in memory. Just seeing these remarkable articles transports me back a century and half to this turning point in American history. I believe that the 38th U.S. Infantry example is truly among the rarest American flags James Julia auctions will ever offer.” About James D. Julia, Inc.: James D. Julia, Inc., one of the top 10 auction antique houses in the nation, is headquartered in Fairfield, Maine. The company also has an office in Woburn, Massachusetts. In business for over 40 years, the company conducts high-end antique, collectible, and decorative arts auctions throughout the year. Julia’s routinely establishes new world records through its sales events. Julia’s has three key divisions, including rare firearms and militaria; fine and Asian art and antiques; and lamps and glass. Each division has been ranked nationally for excellence and is staffed with world-class specialists to insure fair and professional authentication, identification, and valuation services.