May 27, 2020 Founders & Patriots
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/27/2020
An extremely rare example of the "New Constructed" Cartridge Box produced beginning in 1778 for the Continental Army, but stockpiled until 1779, when most of Washington's main army were first supplied with them during the winter cantonment at Middlebrook, New Jersey. Copied from a captured British cartridge "pouch", the primary features of this pattern include a large, wooden block drilled to hold 29 cartridges, a tray underneath accessed by a flap in the front of the pouch that held additional rounds (this feature found on the "double" boxes only; "single" boxes were also produced for the Continental Army, which only had the 29-hole block, but no tray below), gun flints and cleaning tools, and an inner flap which helped to keep the cartridges waterproof in a storm. The "New Constructed" boxes were marked improvements over the common American boxes used earlier in the war, which typically had 15- to 23-round blocks housed in thin leather, "bag" bodies, with smaller and lighter flaps. This box was carried by Benjamin Hale of Colonel John Brooks's 7th Massachusetts Regiment (renumbered the 4th in 1781), who through the entirety of the war and was discharged at New Windsor in 1783. Hale's service records and pension application are included with this important relic of his Continental service. The box is composed of four, stitched panels of blackened leather, consisting of a combination back/flap, front, bottom and two sides and measures approximately 9 1/2 H x 9 W x 2 5/8 inches W in the body, with a 5-inch deep inner flap of thinner, black leather. The outer flap was made "flesh-out" and heavily black-balled and approximately the bottom third of its length was purposed trimmed off, a period alteration observed on other boxes of the Revolutionary War-Civil War periods, believed to have been done to allow easier access to the cartridges in close-combat situations. There is a strip of 5/8 inch-wide, buff leather that was sewn vertically at top and bottom of the center back of the box, another field alteration which allowed the box to be secured to a waistbelt. Pasted to the rear of the box is an old paper label, partly torn, on which is typed: "Bullet Case Used by Benjamin Hale Du[ring Revolutionary] War", partly pasted over what appears to be the original owner's name inscribed in iron gall ink. CONDITION: the leather is in overall good condition, with surface scuffing and usage wear to the blackened finish, while the two small buckles originally attached to the underside of the box for shoulder suspension, are now missing. JLK
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium:
Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Number Bids: 4
Auction closed on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.
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