Revolutionary War lot poises to take $18K at Americana sale


NEW YORK — Among the American Revolution material in Swann Galleries’ Oct. 10 auction of Printed & Manuscript Americana is the wartime diary of Connecticut officer John Hutchinson Buell, the first substantial manuscript diary by an identified American soldier to come to auction in more than two decades. With accounts of dinners with General Washington, the retreat of the British at the Battle of Connecticut Farms and much more, the diary was passed down through Buell’s family along with a portrait of him in

Revolutionary War lot of Americana items

A special lot, this trio of items reflective of the Revolutionary War time, include the personal diary of Connecticut officer John Hutcheinson Buell, a portrait and an engraved silver cup, and as a lot is expected to sell for between $12,000 and $18,000. (Photo courtesy Swann Auction Galleries)

uniform, circa 1790s, and a silver beaker engraved with his initials (estimate $12,000-$18,000 for the lot).

From the Civil War are first-hand accounts, such as an archive of papers from officer Daniel S. Curtiss of the 1st District of Columbia Cavalry, Colonel Lafayette Baker’s regiment mostly involved in ferreting out Confederate sympathizers, which contains letters written between Curtiss and Baker, including instructions on deploying cavalry troops, accounts of recruiting trips and more, 1862-90 ($3,000-$4,000).

There is a rich assortment of maritime and whaling items, such as Samuel Buckner’s “The

Americana handbill

An uncommon letterpress handbill by Francis Scott Key, entitled Defence of Fort M’Henry, circa 1814, and it carries a presale estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. (Photo courtesy Swann Auction Galleries)

American Sailor: A Treatise on Practical Seamanship, Newport, RI, 1790” ($3,000-$4,000); and a journal from a successful cruise of the whaling ship “Helvetica” in the South Pacific, describing what started as a slow first eight months and then running into “greasy luck” in the fall of 1838 ($5,000-$7,500).

The auction begins Oct. 10 at 1:30 p.m. For more details, contact Rick Stattler of Swann Galleries Inc., at 212-254-4710, ext. 27, or or visit

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