Custer's personal Spencer carbine leads Heritage Auctions with 259% increase



2015-06-26 13:05:39

Custer's personal Spencer carbine leads Heritage Auctions with 259% increase

George Custer's personal Spencer carbine was top lot, at an auction dominated by his memorabilia

Heritage Auctions' Political, Western Legends & Americana Signature Auction, which was held December 11-12 in Dallas, has been highlighted by the sale of George Custer's personal Spencer carbine rifle.

George Custer gun Spencer Carbine auction Custer wrote in his autobiography: "Leaping from my bed I grabbed my trusty Spencer which was always by my side."

Custer memorabilia dominated the auction, with the rifle selling as top lot for $179,250 - a 258.5% increase on its $50,000 valuation. Sharing this price was a Frederic Remington painting of Custer leading his7th Cavalry at the Battle of Washita.

The two items go hand in hand, with the Spencer carbine believed to have been the same that he took into the famous battle - a decisive victory - during the Indian wars.

"G. Custer - 7 Cav USA" has been carved into the weapon's stock and, while it is impossible to determine if the inscription was made by Custer himself, its patina showsthat the carvingwas completed a long time ago and the gun saw considerable usage after it was carved.

The rifle was once part of the world's largest collection of Custer memorabilia, that of Dr Lawrence A Frost. It can be seen in Frost's 1968 book, The Court-Martial of George Armstrong, and was sold this weekalong with an identification tag in the author's hand.

George Custer gun belt Custer memorabilia is "always aggresively pursued by collectors"

Also featuring was Custer's personal gun belt, complete with holster, cartridge box and brass buckle. Also from Frost's collection, the belt brought a 186.8% increase on its $25,000 high estimate to sell for $71,700.

Heritage Auctions asserts that "collectors are always aggressive in pursuing any objects formerly belonging to Custer that come on the market". We are currently offering a superb and extremely rare George Custer autograph for sale - one of the most coveted in US military history.

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