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Bidding on rare Civil War fez opening at $5,000

Selections of artifacts from the Civil War through World War II, including a Civil War felt fez, will headline a nearly 1,800-lot auction at Mohawk Arms, June 13-14.

BOUCKVILLE, N.Y. — A German World War II tapestry that may have hung in the Reichstag building in Berlin, a Civil War felt fez hat worn by a member of the 11th New York Fire Zouaves and a trove of items pertaining to a U.S. P.T. boat, Squadron 24 in World War II will all be sold in Mohawk Arms’ Auction #71, a live and Internet auction that ends June 13-14.


The auction, featuring hundreds of military items from multiple wars and generations, will be held in Mohawk Arms’ Bouckville, New York, gallery (located on Route 20 in central New York state, not far from Interstates 90 and 81) as well as online at and Phone and absentee bids will also be taken.

Headlining the auction will be items from a single-owner lifetime collection with selections from the Civil War through World Wars I and II. These will include swords, combat gear, headgear, belts, buckles, uniforms and guns. The sale overall will contain nearly 1,800 lots, including more than 300 lots of helmets and hats, more than 100 uniforms, many edged weapons and 16 mannequin sets.

The Nazi Reichstag National Culture Gobelin tapestry is monumental in size (11 feet, 10 inches by 10 feet, 2 inches) and carries a minimum bid of $25,000. It is a visually arresting presentation of the Third Reich’s claim to be the legitimate heir to the Carolinigian Empire, showing shields, eagles and swastikas. It was also used as a prop in a scene in the 1967 movie, “The Dirty Dozen.”

The Civil War blue felt fez (MB $5,000) is quite rare, as few hats from the 11th New York Fire Zouaves (a unit that saw action in the battles of Bull Run and Manassas) exist today. The fez has its original full blue yarn, knot and tassel, with multiple strands. The 11th Zouaves were led by Col. Elmer Elsworth, whose death in May 1861 made him the North’s first martyr.


The grouping of items relating to the U.S. World War II P.T. boat, Squadron 24, includes a rare squadron insignia, showing the emblem of an eagle riding atop a bomb. Included are items from Navy Capt. W. Robert (Bob) Reed, who commanded the boat. The lot is a scarce historical grouping of clothing, photos, awards, souvenirs from enemy kills and more.

Previews will be held at the Mohawk Arms gallery Monday through Friday leading up to June 13, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (EDT), and on sale days (June 13-14), from 8-9 a.m. The first gavel will come down both days at 9 a.m. A buyer’s premium will be applied to all purchases.
For more information call Mohawk at 315-893-7888, email or visit

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