Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • ON TV
  • ON TOUR
  • WATCH ONLINE
  • WEB EXCLUSIVES
  • RESOURCES
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    Cook & Brothers Bayonet from the Civil War

    Appraised Value:

    $1,500 - $2,000

    Appraised on: July 16, 2005

    Appraised in: Houston, Texas

    Appraised by: Christopher Mitchell

    Category: Arms & Militaria

    Episode Info: Houston, Hour 3 (#1006)

    Originally Aired: February 13, 2006

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Material: Metal, Brass
    Period / Style: 19th Century, Civil War
    Value Range: $1,500 - $2,000

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW

    Comment

    Appraisal Video: (2:24)

    appraiser

    Appraised By:

    Christopher Mitchell
    Arms & Militaria
    Owner
    J. Christopher Mitchell American Antiques & Militaria

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: I had an uncle who was a collector of bladed weapons back through World War I and World War II-- all over the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. It was part of his collection, and then when he died, I actually inherited it. And I've always thought it was probably a Civil War bayonet. So I'm here to find out whether it really is or not.

    APPRAISER: Well, it is a Civil War bayonet.

    GUEST: All right.

    APPRAISER: And it's a Confederate-made bayonet. It would have been produced either in New Orleans, Louisiana, or in Athens, Georgia. It was made by a company by the name of Cook & Brothers. They provided a tremendous amount of weaponry to the Confederacy. They made cutlasses, rifles, carbines and, of course, bayonets. These are actually quite hard to come by.

    GUEST: Oh, really?

    APPRAISER: There're not a lot of these around. Normally, if we were encountering a Union-made bayonet, or a Northern-made bayonet, in this type of condition, we'd be thinking maybe in the $150 range. So, one of the things we want to talk about is the condition. We have some active, living rust here on the blade, so that's a concern. So what I would advise is that you do get some good quality oil, maybe a really soft cloth and let's kill that rust before it starts to pit the blade.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: I don't want you to clean the hilt at all, because the collectors like to see brass in its original patina. That's a desirable color. It's got a nice, wonderful patination. Another thing-- the locking mechanism has gone missing over time, but that's not uncommon. It just happens. One of the telltale features of a Confederate-made item is kind of the crude process in the way it's done. I think you had even mentioned, you know, these things are just kind of slammed out.

    GUEST: They sort of look like it, yeah.

    APPRAISER: If you look-- the casting, it's very poorly done, but for a Confederate item, it's pretty good quality.

    GUEST (laughs): Okay.

    APPRAISER: So, Cook & Brothers was... they were a quality manufacturer. These bayonets with scabbards-- will retail somewhere in the $5,000 to $7,000 range.

    GUEST: Whoa, okay!

    APPRAISER: But we have to take into account that we're missing the scabbard and the locking mechanism...

    GUEST: Sure.

    APPRAISER: So if I had this in my shop with the way it sets, I would want around $2,000 for it.

    GUEST: Wow. That's amazing.

    APPRAISER: It's a nice bayonet. It's a nice artifact.

    GUEST: It's unbelievable. I really kind of thought it was Civil War. I didn't know for sure... but I'm delighted.



    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2013 WGBH Educational Foundation.
    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
    WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
    PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube