1863 S.D. Ramsdell Carved Wooden Box
You brought in this remarkable carved box. Let's take a look at it first and then you can tell me what you know about it. I mean, let's start with the lid here. This is this great presentation, and who's the lady it's presented to?
It's presented to M.A. Follet by her fiancé, who was a Civil War sailor on the Union ironclad the USS New Ironsides. And it was a Christmas present for 1863.
Yeah, and in fact it says right there on the front, "Christmas Present, 1863," but there's more, right? We have written on the side, "Kindness," on one panel, "Heaven keep thee happy," and then... And this one.
Think of me.
Think of me. And the best part is on the bottom, as far as I'm concerned. And we have here the name of the carver, where he was from, what ship he was on, and when he finished the box. And so his name was...? S.D. Ramsdell from the USS New Ironsides, and he was from Pittston, Maine, and he actually carved it on the bottom of the box, which was amazing. And what I find so fascinating is that he actually signed it, "Completed on December 24th, 1863." So the next day, he gave the box to his sweetheart. Now, like all good stories, there's more to this. What happened to Ramsdell?
Well, Ramsdell, after he served his term of enlistment on the USS New Ironsides, he apparently re-enlisted for the re-enlistment bonus, joined the 20th Maine Artillery, and he was a sergeant in the 20th Maine and was killed in the Battle of Petersburg in 1864, I think it was. And so they never were able to get married.
It's a tragic story. I know you want to know what it's worth. I would think that in a good auction of folk art or Civil War material, you might expect to see this sell for between $4,000 and $6,000.
Oh, my gosh!
Maybe even a little bit more.
Well, that's amazing.
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