Revolutionary War British Cartridge Box, ca. 1776
Appraised Value: $20,000 - $25,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:56)
Arms & Militaria
Shiloh Civil War Relics
GUEST: It's what I believe is a Civil War cartridge pouch. It has a regimental number on it, and I don't know if that's a New York regiment or a Massachusetts regiment.
APPRAISER: Where'd you get it at?
GUEST: It was in the house that my parents bought down on the Cape at the very end of World War II. So we've had the house for a long time, and there were a bunch of things in the attic, and that's where it came from.
APPRAISER: Would you be surprised if I told you it's a little earlier than Civil War?
GUEST: Yeah, I would be.
APPRAISER: Well, in a century before then, we had some guys come over from England, and they wore red coats. And if you notice in the center of the plate, it's got some red.
GUEST: I noticed that.
APPRAISER: That's because this is an original Revolutionary War soldier's cartridge box.
GUEST: No kidding.
APPRAISER: And it's not 43rd New York, and it's not 43rd Massachusetts.
GUEST: 43rd light infantry.
APPRAISER: It's the 43rd light infantry of the British soldiers from the Revolutionary War.
GUEST: My Lord.
APPRAISER: They were not only in Boston, they were at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
APPRAISER: They were at the Battle of Lexington. And we don't know for sure, but it's quite possible that this cartridge box that's sitting between us today was at those battles.
APPRAISER: And not only is it an original Revolutionary War cartridge box, it's a fantastic Revolutionary War cartridge box. It's got everything you could possibly want on one. When you do encounter these, usually they're worn out, thrown away. This one is above spectacular. There aren't enough superlatives for this box.
APPRAISER: It's got the original buff leather shoulder sling. Did you ever notice this?
APPRAISER: It held a pick on a hook to clean out a hole in the musket so it would keep firing.
APPRAISER: We have the brass plate with "43rd Light Infantry." We have the red cloth behind it. The box is solid as a rock. It's just flawless. It's got the original closure tab still present. It's got the original wooden block on the inside of it.
APPRAISER: It's got the original finial on the bottom, the metal finial.
GUEST: Right, right.
APPRAISER: And finding all of those things together is like lining up all of those numbers on the lottery ticket. It doesn't happen but once every so often.
APPRAISER: If this was a Civil War cartridge box, with the sling and everything, you're talking around $1,000, maybe $1,500 if it's really pretty. This is a whole different ballgame with this one. This one on today's market would retail for between $20,000 and $25,000.
GUEST: My Lord. That's amazing. I mean, it's amazing that it's Revolutionary War.
APPRAISER: I love this one.
GUEST: Never expected that.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 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.