Published: December 20, 2016
DALLAS, TEXAS – An Omaha Beach D-Day flag that was flown on a LCT Landing Craft emerged from Heritage Auctions’ $1.1 million arms and armor, Civil War and militaria auction as the top lot on December 11. The flag, with 48 stars and frayed edges, realized $45,000. It was one of a trio of flags that brought the three highest returns on Sunday.
In the runner-up position was a Confederate Second National Flag, “The Stainless Banner,” that was captured February 16, 1865, at Battery Bee in Charleston (S.C.) Harbor. This completely hand-stitched flag, which after years of fraying has been reduced from its original 96-inch length to about 92½ inches, was coveted by more bidders than any other lot in the auction; they competed to drive the return up to $40,000. A wool World War II Royal Navy Ensign that was flown from the British Landing Ship SS Empire Crossbow at Gold Beach on D-Day (June 6, 1944), along with an engraved brass plaque detailing the flag and its background, brought $27,500.
The auction’s most sought-after items included a collection of weapons, a group that was led by a Henry lever action rifle. The .44-caliber rimfire weapon, with its octagonal barrel, smooth walnut stock, fixed front sight and adjustable rear ladder sight, was the subject of fierce bidding that drove it to a $25,000 selling price.
A 12-gauge cased and engraved J. Purdey & Sons double-barrel shotgun went to $16,250, while a Napoleonic period British officer’s saber was snatched up for $12,500. Fetching $10,000 was a Remington dog’s head rifle cane. The .32-caliber rimfire weapon includes a nickel-silver joint between the dog’s head and the shaft, and a barrel stopper that might be original to the cane, which Remington advertised as “just the thing for taxidermists [and]…protection against dogs and highway men.”
A cased Browning supernosed exhibition grade D5G engraved boxlock over and under shotgun realized $9,375. This 12-gauge firearm features a Louis XVI D5G scroll and floral engraving to coin-finished receiver, signed by Claude Baerton, a finely checkered walnut pistol grip stock and fore-end, and a checkered butt plate.
The auction also featured a wide array of items other than flags and weapons that were in high demand by collectors.
A Battle of Bunker Hill silver medal for gallantry from King George III to Captain Peter Ewing of the Royal Marines, circa June 17, 1775, sold at $16,250, and a set of eight bound volumes of Harper’s Weekly gleaned $10,625 – more than doubling its auction estimate.
A Confederate general’s collar insignia of Tomas Lafayette Rosser, with three heavy gold bullion embroidered stars, surrounded by a wreath of leaves and acorns, on a buff wool background, realized $8,125. That was the same price brought in by a Seventeenth Century-style etched suit of armor with an etched, closed helmet with finely detailed pierced, fluted and etched elements.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For further information, www.ha.com or 877-437-4824.
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