Civil War Stencil & Homefront Group
Appraised Value: $2,000 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 16
Appraisal Video: (2:32)
Arms & Militaria
Shiloh Civil War Relics
GUEST: I brought in what I believe to be a Civil War sewing basket, and it was filled with all of these trinkets.
APPRAISER: And how did you come by them?
GUEST: It was given to me by a neighbor. It was a family friend.
APPRAISER: Was it her family?
GUEST: It belonged to her family.
APPRAISER: Well, we have some pieces from the Civil War. These pieces are of a quality that you usually see in large cities with nice manufacturing capabilities: possibly New York, Philadelphia, one of those major centers. This is actually a stencil for a soldier in the 27th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. And the soldiers would buy these and they would mark their pieces because you can imagine, everybody had a hat, everybody had a haversack, they had all the stuff, and that way you could mark it and know it's yours. What about the other pieces?
GUEST: The other pieces came in the little sewing basket. They all unscrew, they all seem to have a little something: a needle, thimble, measuring tape. The other items, I'm not sure the bracelets, but...
APPRAISER: What I like about them is it shows pieces from the home front, because this is way too ornate for a soldier to be able to carry. These are especially interesting. Here we have two bracelets, but what's neat is what's inlaid in the bracelets. We have images of Union generals from the Civil War. The images of the generals are actually done on what they call a tintype. We have General Burnside, we have General McClellan. It was their way to be patriotic from the home front and to support the troops because as anybody that has served will know, the people at home are every bit as important as the people that are on the front lines. During the Civil War, you saw it a few different ways. You saw pieces like this with the general images, and you also had patriotic designs on a lot of things. These are envelopes that were sent from home to the soldier in the field, and they would have patriotic designs, often have mottos, pictures of generals, just a little bit of everything patriotic. It's a group that appeals to a few different people because it's not only a beautiful piece that an antique collector would love, but it has that military connection on these pieces. As a group, I would say the retail value on it would be about $2,000.
GUEST: Oh, very nice, very nice. Very surprised.
APPRAISER: The majority of that value is in the stencil.
GUEST: Oh, for goodness sakes.
APPRAISER: Because it is such a personal piece. That's worth about $750.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
APPRAISER: Because it's in great shape.
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.