$1.5 Million Heritage Civil War Auction in Gettysburg

DALLAS — Heritage Auction Galleries’ latest auction of Civil War-era collectibles, held June 30, 2008, in Gettysburg, Pa., realized $1,541,812 for 848 lots offered, with after-auction sales still ongoing and expected to raise the final total to even higher levels. (Click here to view after-auction buys). The auction featured photographs, autographs, uniforms, firearms, edged weapons, and flags, as well as a number of historic items relating to the watershed Battle of Gettysburg.
"This was a wonderful event, held on the site of one of the most important battles of the American Civil War," said Dennis Lowe, Director of Civil War Auctions for Dallas-based Heritage. "Results were strong across all categories, with avid bidding for everything from important paintings and edged weapons to vintage photography and battle-carried flags."
"The top item in the auction was Thomas Buchanan Read’s painting, Sheridan’s Ride from Winchester," Lowe said, "which brought $149,375. A celebrated artist, poet, and sculptor, Read served on the staff of General Lew Wallace — author of the best-selling novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ — and was well-known for his historical paintings, many of which demonstrated a marked poetic flair. This spectacular work is considered by many to be his masterpiece, so the outstanding result comes as no surprise."
"Several magnificent swords were among the top sellers in this auction," Lowe said, "including a jeweled Ames presentation sword given to Captain Allen Lowd for his action at Fort Texas in 1846, in which he led the defense of the fort against attack by a well-armed force of Mexican troops, and a Confederate Naval Officer’s sword, which was consigned by descendants of Robert Baker Pegram, the commander of the Confederate Steamer CSS Nashville. The Lowd sword realized $77,675, while the Naval Officer’s sword sold for $59,750."
"We were pleased to see such enthusiastic bidding, both in the auction room and on the Internet, especially through our new live bidding platform, Heritage Live, which enables participants to follow the auction remotely from anywhere in the world and participate in real time" Lowe said. "Bringing the auction to the bidders in this way has proven invaluable, as these results attest."
"We’re already at work putting together our next auction," Lowe said, "which is scheduled for fall. It will feature the outstanding collection of John Henry Kurtz, a collector whose interest in the Civil War was strong and whose taste was impeccable. Those interested in fine Civil War material should keep an eye on our website at www.HA.com for more information as the auction develops."