Skinner Auction of Historic Arms & Militaria Features an American Civil War Collection

Cased Paterson Number Two, Fifth Model Ehlers Pocket Revolver, c. 1840-43 (Lot 21, Estimate $40,000-$50,000)

Cased Paterson Number Two, Fifth Model Ehlers Pocket Revolver, c. 1840-43 (Lot 21, Estimate $40,000-$50,000)

BOSTON, MA – April 7, 2014 – Skinner, Inc. will hold an auction of Historic Arms & Militaria on May 3,2014 preceding its Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments auction. Over 300 lots of military antiques from the American Revolution through World War II will be offered, showcasing the collection of Peter F. Frazier and M. Prudence Fleck. An additional selection of over 200 lots of Clocks, Instruments, and Militaria will be offered online only from April 29 through May 6, 2014.

The Collection of Peter F. Frazier and M. Prudence Fleck

The late Peter F. Frazier and M. Prudence Fleck established a small home museum of muskets, swords, uniforms, and relics, almost all related to the American Civil War. The couple began collecting in the 1950s, and Ms. Fleck continued to acquire objects after her husband’s passing in 1982.

A preserved log that contains two artillery rounds purportedly from the battle of Gettysburg (Lot 99, Estimate $1,000-$1,500) stands out as a unique example of the material in this collection. According to records from the Grand Army of the Republic Post 89 in Beverly, Massachusetts, the log was brought back from Little Round Top in Gettysburg in the late 19th century.

“The couple often invited friends, neighbors, and acquaintances from her church to come see the great things in their collection, and to sign a guest book. It was a moving experience to walk around Ms. Fleck’s home museum, and hear the stories of how she acquired these objects,” said Historic Arms & Militaria specialist Joel Bohy.

U.S. Model 1838 Ames Coehorn Mortar, c. 1865 (Lot 13, Estimate $15,000-$18,000)

U.S. Model 1838 Ames Coehorn Mortar, c. 1865 (Lot 13, Estimate $15,000-$18,000)

Historic Arms & Militaria

Historic Arms & Militaria auctions at Skinner continue to grow in importance under the direction of specialist Joel Bohy, and this sale is no exception, featuring over 300 lots of historically important or rare military antiques, firearms, blades, uniforms, and artifacts from the American Revolution through World War II.

A cased Patterson revolver (Lot 21, Estimate $40,000-$50,000) headlines a selection of rare firearms. Originally produced by Colt, a very small run of these guns were later put together by John Ehlers in 1840-1843 after Colt went bankrupt. An attractive Kentucky-style flintlock rifle (Lot 168, Estimate $4,000-$6,000), signed by the gun maker, Glassbrener, features intricate engraved brass work and inlays.

Artifacts from the American Civil War feature prominently in this auction. Two 24-pound Coehorn mortars (Lots 12 and 13, each estimated at $15,000 to $18,000) come from a private museum in New England. A rare confederate sword (Lot 58, $8,000 to $10,000) in almost perfect condition was recovered from the war by a New Hampshire veteran and has remained in the family ever since.  The wrapping on the grip and paint on the scabbard is all original.

An American horseman’s saber (Lot 51, Estimate $1,500 to $2,000) from the American Revolutionary war period also comes from the New England museum. A Scottish basket-hilt sword (Lot 49, Estimate $1,000 to $1,200) represents a selection of European arms.

Online Auction

Following on the success of the recent Clocks, Instruments and Militaria – Online auction in March, Skinner is pleased to offer an additional selection of over 200 lots for online bidding opening on April 29, 2014 at 10:00 AM ET. Lots will begin to close on May 6, 2014 at 6:00 PM ET. Collectors can bid at their convenience during these eight days on affordable clocks, watches, scientific instruments, musical boxes, militaria, and a collection of fountain pens. Bidders also have the added value of previewing the online-only lots in person during the regular Marlborough preview hours.

Previews, Catalog and Bidding

Previews for the auction will be held on Thursday, May 1, from noon to 5 PM, Friday, May 2, from noon to 7 PM., and Saturday, May 3, from 8 AM to 9:30 AM. Robert C. Cheney will present a lecture titled “The Pitfalls of Collecting Willard’s Patent Timepiece or ‘Banjo Clock’” on May 2, 2014 at 6:30 PM. An illustrated catalog for Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments and a separate catalog for Historic Arms & Militaria are available from the Subscription Department, at 508-970-3240, or from the Gallery. Prices realized will be available online at, both during and after the sale. The Skinner website enables users to view every lot in the auctions, leave bids, order catalogs and bid live, in real-time, through SkinnerLive!

About Skinner

Skinner auctions draw international interest from buyers and consignors alike, with material regularly achieving record prices. The company’s auction and appraisal services focus on fine art, jewelry, furniture, and decorative arts from around the globe, as well as wine, important musical instruments, rare books, clocks, Judaica, and more. Monthly Skinner Discovery auctions feature a breadth of estate material. Widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the business, Skinner appraisers have appeared on the PBS-TV series Antiques Roadshow since the show’s inception. Skinner has galleries in Boston and Marlborough, Massachusetts, with an international audience of bidders participating in person, by phone, and online through the SkinnerLive! online bidding platform. For more information and to read our blog, visit the Skinner website at, find us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter @Skinnerinc.



Joel Bohy
Specialist, Historic Arms & Militaria

Kate de Bethune
Director of Marketing

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