Home U.S. Coin Forum
Options

Civil War Dog Tag sells for over $15k!

ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 7, 2023 9:01AM in U.S. Coin Forum

Wow, I just ran across this Civil War dog tag that was counterstamped on Emancipation Day which sold for over $15k in the J. Doyle DeWitt Collection sale in October 2022. It's stamped for a "P King".

Is this a record price for a dog tag?

This is also raw. I wonder if it will be slabbed for protection.

Here's the description:

Heritage said:
[Civil War Era] George Washington: Exceedingly Rare Emancipation Dog Tag. Excessively rare circa 1861 Union soldiers' dog tag in gilt brass measuring 31mm. The obverse has a raised portrait of George Washington surrounded by thirty-four stars and inscribed "Union" below. The reverse is counterstamped, "P KING/ EMAN/ CIPATION/ BILL PASSED/ APRIL 16 1862/WASHINGTON/ DC."

Condition: The dog tag retains some of the gilt along the perimeter of obverse but with several minor dings to the rim. A fine example of a rare variety of Civil War dog tag recognizing the passing of the Emancipation Bill that freed slaves in the District of Columbia!

Of note, this dog tag was used for both standard military issue and on Emancipation Day in Washington DC, the latter being the case here.


Of note, @Dwight_M picked up this one a while back in the William Sphon Baker sale.

Comments

  • Options
    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 7, 2023 8:37AM

    Another dog tag sold in the same sale stating this was "made by Scovill Mfg Co. or possibly James D. Lovett of New York."

    Heritage said:
    [Civil War Era] George Washington: 6th Cavalry Dog Tag. An exquisite rarity! A very handsome circa 1861 Union soldiers' dog tag made by Scovill Mfg Co. or possibly James D. Lovett of New York. In gilt brass measuring 31mm, the obverse has a raised portrait of George Washington surrounded by thirty-four stars and inscribed "Union" below. The reverse is counterstamped, "W. S. DAVIS/ CO I/ 6 REG U.S./ CAVALRY/ENTD SERVICE/ MARCH 21/ 1861."

    Condition: The dog tag is in excellent condition, retaining some of the gilt along the perimeter of the obverse. A fine example of these very desirable artifacts issued just twenty-two days prior to the start of the Civil War!


  • Options
    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Of note, both of these are in the Heritage J. Doyle DeWitt Collection sale, but don't list DeWitt in the lot description. Does this mean they are part of the sale but not part of DeWitt's collection?

  • Options
    johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 27,521 ✭✭✭✭✭

    i like the looks of the second one

  • Options
    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    my basic understanding tells me that any lot listed under the auction title would be part of that collection but i'm sure there are probably exceptions where more than one person goes in together to help build up the quantity/dollar or maybe someone just being nice. with heritage having (still?) a $5k min threshold, i'm sure there is a lot of piggybackin'.

    not sure this helps much but i tried. :)

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

  • Options
    DCWDCW Posts: 6,977 ✭✭✭✭✭

    These babies are rare pieces of history. We all know that the Pennsylvania Historical Society sale was very strong, and perhaps some pieces went for 3 and 4 times what they were "worth." But, this auction kind of validated the $14,500 the tag brought in the PHS sale.

    @Zoins said:
    Of note, both of these are in the Heritage J. Doyle DeWitt Collection sale, but don't list DeWitt in the lot description. Does this mean they are part of the sale but not part of DeWitt's collection?

    I'm sure it was in Dewitt's collection, but Heritage in my opinion did a poor job on the catalog. Since they purchased the collection in its entirety, they also could have kept any if the original envelopes the tokens and medals were kept in. Usually, they are very good about that kind of provenance security. Reading the catalog, they infer that only a very small portion of the auction lots came from J. Doyle DeWitt, while at the same time advertising it as an historic auction and opportunity. It was all very confusing. Indeed, the vast majority of lots were from Dewitt, but there were also a few lots that were non DeWitt pieces. I won a particular lot and had the same questions you have. Fortunately, I wrote to them and they got back to me and confirmed that the lot was in Dewitt's collection, but again, it should have been spelled out better.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • Options
    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LanceNewmanOCC said:
    my basic understanding tells me that any lot listed under the auction title would be part of that collection but i'm sure there are probably exceptions where more than one person goes in together to help build up the quantity/dollar or maybe someone just being nice. with heritage having (still?) a $5k min threshold, i'm sure there is a lot of piggybackin'.

    not sure this helps much but i tried. :)

    That's what I thought until @WinLoseWin posted the following:

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/comment/12867181/#Comment_12867181

    @WinLoseWin said:
    Be aware that many auctions were labled for the most notable consignor decided by the auctioneer, but many coins in the auctions belonged to other consignors.

    More common today is a separate catalog for the main consignor.

    Even years ago there were some single consignor auction sales such as Garrett, Norweb, Eliasberg and others, but many other named sales were actually multiple owners.

    Such sales often have something like "and other consignments" in smaller print under the headlining consignment as is the case with this catalog as seen here. It appears on the title page but not on the cover of this particular catalog.

    What I found interesting is that Heritage will typically include the current consigner's name in the lot description like Simpson and Misfits, but did not for these particular pieces.

    I might be worth asking Heritage for these pieces like @DCW did for his.

  • Options
    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 7, 2023 11:07AM

    @johnny9434 said:
    i like the looks of the second one

    The W. S. Davis piece does have a more uniform look which is nice.

  • Options
    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 7, 2023 11:08AM

    @DCW said:
    These babies are rare pieces of history. We all know that the Pennsylvania Historical Society sale was very strong, and perhaps some pieces went for 3 and 4 times what they were "worth." But, this auction kind of validated the $14,500 the tag brought in the PHS sale.

    I'm guessing the P King piece went for so much because, like the Henry Clarck piece, it's an Emancipation Day piece.

  • Options
    JimnightJimnight Posts: 10,821 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, a beautiful Civil War piece. I would love to just touch it.

  • Options
    DCWDCW Posts: 6,977 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jimnight said:
    Yes, a beautiful Civil War piece. I would love to just touch it.

    Agreed. This is one of those times it would be great to be sitting at a round table with a grouo of like minded collectors, enjoying this history with a glass of scotch.

    We should all organize something like this one day. Dinner, everyone brings a tangible piece of history.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • Options
    BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,167 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Heritage said:
    [Civil War Era] George Washington: 6th Cavalry Dog Tag. An exquisite rarity! A very handsome circa 1861 Union soldiers' dog tag made by Scovill Mfg Co. or possibly James D. Lovett of New York. In gilt brass measuring 31mm, the obverse has a raised portrait of George Washington surrounded by thirty-four stars and inscribed "Union" below. The reverse is counterstamped, "W. S. DAVIS/ CO I/ 6 REG U.S./ CAVALRY/ENTD SERVICE/ MARCH 21/ 1861."

    Does anybody else think it actually says COMPANY L (Lima) not I (India)???

    Is it also suspicious that the regiment was actually organized as the 3rd Cavalry on May 3, 1861?

    https://history.army.mil/books/r&h/R&H-6CV.htm

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • Options
    MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,901 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Does anybody else think it actually says COMPANY L (Lima) not I (India)???

    If you look at the only other "L" on the tag in the word "Cavalry" I would say, yes. it is an "L" as you say.

  • Options
    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 7, 2023 5:24PM

    @Maywood said:
    Does anybody else think it actually says COMPANY L (Lima) not I (India)???

    If you look at the only other "L" on the tag in the word "Cavalry" I would say, yes. it is an "L" as you say.

    I agree with @BStrauss3 and @Maywood that this looks like an "L". In addition to the "L" in CALVARY, we can compare with the "I" in SERVICE.

  • Options
    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 8, 2023 12:06AM

    @BStrauss3 said:
    Is it also suspicious that the regiment was actually organized as the 3rd Cavalry on May 3, 1861?

    https://history.army.mil/books/r&h/R&H-6CV.htm

    It’s interesting, but I'm not sure how suspicious it is. My understanding is that the service date is for the person, not the company or regiment. Also, people were transferred to new regiments both as they were formed and afterwards. A quick search found this reference:

    Daniel T. Davis said:
    David M. Gregg was promoted to the rank of Captain and assigned to the 3rd U.S. Cavalry at the beginning of the Civil War before being transferred to the 6th a few months later.

    Ref: https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/fighting-sixth-6th-us-cavalry

    So it may be useful to identify W. S. Davis and when he entered service.

  • Options
    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 8, 2023 9:48AM

    A cool thing about this particular piece is that this counterstamping stencil kit exists and was used on Emancipation Day with these tokens. I was lucky enough to pick this up a few years back.

    I wonder if any other of these stencil kits exist.


Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file