160,000.00USD+ (33,600.00) buyer's premium. + applicable fees & taxes.
SOLD at 2013 Mar 11 @ 09:19UTC-4 : AST/EDT
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Please Note (3/1/13): New Provenance including: Cemetary photos (note: cemetary photo depicts Briggs grave monument next to Custer grave monument), Colonel Briggs gallery article, obituaries for Col. Briggs, Col. Briggs account in detail of the surrender at Appomattox by Joe Williams. This extraordinary grouping descended in the family of Col. George G. Briggs the last commander of the 7th Michigan Cavalry. It was Briggs who first saw the flag of truce being offered by Maj. R.M. Simms of General Longstreet's staff at Appomattox. It was Briggs who conducted him to General Custer. For this reason Libby Custer sent Col. Briggs a piece of this Confederate "flag of truce" that was given to Custer after Appomattox. This grouping also contains several pieces of reunion memorabilia, several photographs of Briggs and some war time documents concerning Briggs. All these items are photographed in detail on our website. The more significant items that are part of this group include 1)a framed letter from Libby Custer written to Col Briggs in 1908 that features a 2" X 1" souvenired sample of the Confederate "flag of truce" from Appomattox Courthouse, a 2" X 1" souvenired piece of the desk that Gen. Lee and Gen. Grant signed the surrender document that ended the war. Also there is a 2" X 1" piece of one of the red Bandana Custer famously wore during the war. Libby's handwritten letter that is framed with these souvenir pieces reads as follows; "New York, March 1908- My Dear Col. Briggs, It is a pleasure to present to you these souvenirs of the Civil War. Gen. Sheridan gave me the table on which the terms of the surrender of Gen. Lee to Gen. Grant were written. I replaced the lower panel of the drawer and had cut the original into mementos of the day at Appomattox. The scrap of linen is from the towel which Maj. Simms of the Confederate Army used as the first flag of truce where he entered our lines, the day of the surrender. The fragment of red is from one of the Generals neckties. Sincerely yours, Elizabeth B. Custer". 2)Two cabinet photographs of Briggs, both being a copies of 1st Lt. Briggs in uniform 1861-1862 in the 7th Michigan Cavalry. 3)Cabinet photograph, circa 1880, of Briggs wearing his gold Custer Valor Medal, Sheridan Corp. Badge and his numbered MOLLUS Medal. 4)Gold Tiffany made Custer Valor Medal,inscribed "Geo. G. Briggs 7th Regt. Michigan Cavalry" consisting of a pair of 1-5/16" gold crossed sabers on gold/orange ribbon supporting a 1" wide by 1-9/16" high Maltese Cross utilizing top quadrant as a 5 pointed star. Badge is decorated with engraved floral designs and blue enamel inlay with the words "CUSTER" in the middle and "TUEBOR" on the bottom cross which is part of the Michigan State Seal, meaning "I will defend". According to several wonderful articles written by John P. Beckendorf there are very few of these badges known. There are probably no more than 4 or 5 gold medals known, though there are at least this same number shown in war time photographs of soldiers wearing these, but their whereabouts are unknown. Mr. Beckendorf shows a nearly identical medal though with a longer ribbon that was given to Maj. Robert Wallace of the 5th Michigan Cavalry. In Mr. Beckendorf's article, published in 2005 North-South Traders Civil War magazine, he shows the original George Custer signed letter to Tiffany dated October 15, 1864. It is interesting that Tiffany lost the order and did not find it again until 1884 and filled the order January 31st of that year and delivered the medal to Maj. Wallace. The whereabouts of the medal that Gen. Custer himself wore is unknown, though it is seen in photographs. A smaller medal with pearls was made for Libby Custer that just recently sold at Spinx in New York in 2012 for $46,000. This is the first gold medal presented to an officer of this type to ever come to auction. The few officers who were recipients of Gen. Custers favor and had the honor to wear this medal, thought quite highly of it, as can be seen in a letter written to the Detroit Advertiser and Tribune June 17, 1865 by Col. James H. Kidd of the 6th Michigan Cavalry "the gold in this badge is not more precious, it is not rarer, than the frankness, the generosity, the want this trust which has always characterized your intercourse with me...the associations-Michigan Brigade Cavalry, its leader, Custer, his deeds and theirs are enough to make your gift one of inestimable value always". The original sketches of this medal, designed by Custer, can be found on a loose sheet, inserted in Custer's journal, which is presently at the Little Big Horn Battlefield Museum. 5)Sheridan Cavalry Corp badge made of gold and silver with red enameled background and T-bar pin much like the Custer Valor Medal described above; this badge too has the quality and workmanship that could also be Tiffany. 6)Col. Briggs MOLLUS (Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States)Membership Badge SN 4004. 7)Fabulous reunion era souvenir presentation polychrome cane to Col. Briggs by a master carver of great skill showing many interesting figures as can be seen in photographs on our website. Other items included in this group include a souvenir gavel made from a piece of wood with an embedded minie ball inscribed "Culp's Hill Gettysburg". About a 6 foot section of Col. Briggs silk sash is also part of this group, along with a photograph of a fabulous oil on canvas escutcheon showing Col. Briggs military service during the Civil War and showing images of the badges offered in this grouping. The family is retaining the original escutcheon along with many of his war time letters. PROVENANCE: George G. Briggs direct descent. CONDITION: Medals and photographs described are all in very good to very fine condition. The medals have excellent enamel and good patinas as can be seen in photographs. The framed Libby Custer letter along with framed souvenirs are very good overall, however each souvenir and the letter are dry mounted to cardboard that has caused considerable acid burn to paper Libby wrote her letter on. There is no real discernible damage noted to textile or wood souvenirs. A conservator stated Libby's letter should be easily conserved and removed from cardboard mount and greatly improved as the brown ink is quite dark and very discernible. The cane is very good overall, retaining good colors as can be seen in photo. The fragment of silk sash is heavily damaged missing ends with shredding with numerous small holes. Reunion memorabilia is very good overall as can be seen in photographs on website. 4-47744 JS19