George Custer's bib shirt up 127% on estimate at Heritage


2015-06-26 13:19:43


George Custer's bib shirt up 127% on estimate at Heritage

George Custer's bib shirt and memorabilia fared well at the Legends of the Wild West auction

US general George Armstrong Custer's bib shirt and a lock of his hair saw some of the highest bids at Heritage Auctions' June 22-23 Legends of the Wild West Signature Auction in Dallas.

Custer bibb shirtThe shirt has passed through some of the most famous collections of Custer memorabilia

The bib shirt sold for $56,762, more than doubling its $25,000 estimate, while the braided lock of his hair made $21,510.

Also selling was a signed photograph of Custer on his Yellowstone expedition, which brought $11,950.

Custer is best remembered for his calamitous efforts at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876, which was the most prominent action of the great Sioux war and ended with his death.

However, he had previously achieved a good reputation as an officer in the US civil war, and he also led several important expeditions across America's uncharted territories.

Custer Yellowstone expeditionCuster's expedition into Yellowstone triggered the Sioux Uprising of 1876, which would lead to his death at Little Bighorn

The bib shirt can be seen in one of his most famous photographs, in which Custer poses next to an elk during the Yellowstone Expedition of 1873.

He also wore the thick navy shirt on the historic 1874 expedition to the Black Hills, which led to the discovery of large deposits of gold and triggered the famous gold rush that would last for the remainder of the decade.

The shirt holds strong provenance, having been passed to Custer's wife Libby upon his death and then obtained by William O Taylor, a veteran of Custer's7th Cavalry who became one of the earliest collectors of his memorabilia.

The lock of Custer's hair was also consigned with excellent provenance. It was once part of the Charles Custer Family Collection, as well as that of Alex Acevedo, one of the most prominent Custer collectors.

It was given by the doomed general to his wife shortly before he left for Fort Abraham Lincoln in preparation for the Battle of Little Bighorn. It is said thathe shaved his hair prior to the journey to avoid being scalped, should Native American warriors have killed him.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has an authentic strand of hair from Geronimo.

The auction also featured the $16,730 sale of Jesse James' gun belt, which had arrived with a $10,000 estimate.

A violin once owned by Jim Younger, an associate of James', made $11,950.

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