1861 Confederate Ammunition Crate
Appraised Value: $7,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (58:20)
Arms & Militaria
Shiloh Civil War Relics
GUEST: I brought this box from the Augusta Arsenal that I picked up a few years back and really wasn't sure if it was a genuine item or if it was a, uh, Civil War reenactment piece.
APPRAISER: Where did you pick it up at?
GUEST: I bought it from a Goodwill store in southern Michigan.
APPRAISER: And what did it cost you?
GUEST: Uh, under five dollars.
APPRAISER: We have beautiful markings. On the lid, we have "600 Cartridges Caliber 44." They measured the size of the bore of the gun in hundredths of an inch-- 44 one-hundredths- of-an-inch caliber. And we have "Conical Ball," meaning that it's a true bullet, not a round ball. And we have "Augusta Arsenal," Augusta being in Georgia. They do make reproductions of this. They do make them for reenactment units, for display pieces. This one is not.
APPRAISER: This one's a real one. And there's a few things that we like to see on it. The nice paint. We have square-headed nails throughout. Nicely constructed. And this one, it's marked on the ends-- 600. That's how many it held. It held 600 of them. We have a little bit of damage here, where it chipped off. They would attach the lid with four screws that held it in place. These have a very low survival rate. And there's a good reason for that. After you use the cartridges out of it, what are you going to do with it? You're going to burn the wood and get rid of it,
APPRAISER: or use the wood for something else. Therefore, very few of them survive. Even a smaller number survive with the lid, because once you take those screws,
APPRAISER: Yeah, there's no... there's nothing...
GUEST: No hinge or anything to hold it.
APPRAISER: No hinge.
APPRAISER: No. And they didn't use a hinge, because it was more expensive. This was the most inexpensive way that they could attach it. This one is spectacular.
GUEST: Oh, wow.
APPRAISER: For a Civil War collector, it sends chills up your arms to see it, because it's Confederate. Augusta Arsenal in Georgia is a Southern-made one. You run into more of these that are Northern made. Southern pieces-- very minuscule survival rate. This one is gorgeous. Have you ever had it appraised?
GUEST: No, I haven't. I, uh, had it in the basement and always was going to get it checked out, and I just didn't know who to really go to, and when you guys came to town, I said, "Those are the guys I'm going to see."
APPRAISER: Well, what was your hope when you left the house this morning?
GUEST: Uh, I thought if it was genuine, and it was not a reenactment piece, I might get lucky and it might be, uh, you know, $500.
APPRAISER: Because there's few of them, because the condition is fantastic, this is a piece that would retail for about $7,000.
GUEST: Oh, Lord! Well, that was a pretty good pick. (laughing) I have to say I'm very pleased. Yes, very pleased.
APPRAISER: It's a beautiful box.
GUEST: Thank you. I had no idea it was worth that much. I really didn't.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 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.