Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    A RED SASH AND KEY TO THE POWDER MAGAZINE - THOMAS CHEW, PURSER ON USS CONSTITUTION.
    Thomas J. Chew was the purser on board the U.S.S. Constitution during the War of 1812. A 30-year career Naval officer, Chew kept many mementos of his service aboard "Old Ironsides." One such artifact was this key to the west powder magazine of the ship. The massive 8" heavy brass key has the letters 'O. W.' stamped into it and has a brass plate with the inscription 'Reverse Fires West Magazine Outside Door'. Also included with the key is Chew's 40" red silk sash.

    Thomas John Chew was born January 28, 1777 and entered the United States Navy in 1799 and was commissioned a Purser on April 25, 1812. His brush with fame came as he personally witnessed Captain James Lawrence utter the words which became a Navy motto, Don't give up the ship, Lawrence ordered as he died of his wounds in battle. Chew also served on the United States ships Chesapeake and Washington before his death in 1846.

    Condition:
    The key is in good condition with a dark patina throughout.

    Provenance:
    The Tharpe Collection of American Military History

    Exhibited:
    The Liberty Heritage Society Museum


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 833

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 February 27 - 28 Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search