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    Important Grouping of Material from Famed Artist and Gettysburg Historian John B. Bachelder. John Badger Bachelder (1825-1894) was educated in the Military Academy system of New Hampshire, moving to Reading, Pennsylvania to work at the Pennsylvania Military Institute, where he would become principal in 1851. He became involved with the Pennsylvania militia and was appointed colonel in 1852.

    Returning to New Hampshire in 1853, Bachelder began his career as an artist and, with the outbreak if the Civil War became obsessed with maintaining the artistic and historic record of the conflict, eventually concentrating his efforts on the battlefield of Gettysburg. Bachelder interviewed thousands of those who participated in the battle, including, in Bachelder's words, 'the commanders of every regiment and battery in the Army of the Potomac." In 1870 Bachelder commissioned noted artist James Walker to create the monumental painting "The Repulse of Longstreet's Assault at the Battle of Gettysburg", and in 1873 wrote and published the first guide book for the battlefield.

    The remainder of his life was dedicated to documenting and memorializing the battle, and he was responsible, more than any other man, for the placing of tablets and monuments, as well as the establishment of Gettysburg as a national military park. The group consists of the following:

    A non-regulation foot officer's sword, marked "Horstmann / Bros & Co. /New York" on the reverse ricasso with cartouche containing "K & C" on the obverse, on the curved 31.5" blade. The blade is absolutely mint and deeply etched and hand engraved with scrollwork and arms panoplies, all on a frosted background. Brass hilt also about perfect retaining most of the original gilt, the leather wrapped grip with twisted brass wire wrap very fine, just showing the slightest wear and a few scuffs. Retains the original gold bullion sword knot. The polished steel scabbard also near perfect, with just some very light surface rust. Set between the two ring mounts is a 0.875" x 1.625" silver plaque which bears the following inscription, "Presented to / Prof. J. B. Bachelder / by the friends of the / Penna Military Institute / reading July 4th 1851" Plaque perfect and a very pretty sword;

    A 13.5" X 16.5" vellum appointment, dated Sept. 4, 1861, signed by William Johnston as Governor, commissioning Bachelder a Lieut. Col. in the Pennsylvania militia. Perfect condition.

    A set of bullion fringed epaulettes with gilt brass crescents, circa 1852, in near mint condition with the original fitted pasteboard storage box and lid. Yellow silk padded undersides, bot inscribed in ink "John B. Bachelder / Reading Military Acad / Principal / On Gov. Staff of / State of Penn". Eagle I buttons with shoestring ties for attachment. Just some minor wear to the gilt on the brass crescents, else perfect; a Lt. Col. of staff shoulder straps that doubtless date to the same period. Edges uncut, obviously unused with light blue paper backing. Single gold bullion border with silver bullion oak leaves. Bullion perfect just some moth damage to the black wool primarily along the edges; Buff wool pom-pom with attached bullion embroidered eagle insignia for use with the M1851 shako. Pom-pom perfect, the blue wool backing of the insignia with some moth damage, the bullion about perfect. Complete with the original cardboard storage box, bottom missing, with the 7/8" X 2.25" printed paper label on the end "1 U. S. Pompom / with Gold Ring & Eagle" with ink script "Aid-de-Camp". All of these items, of course, related to Bachelder's Penna. militia service.

    An incredible whole plate ambrotype of Bachelder with his wife. The image is balsam sealed, probably circa 1858, with the black backing apparently applied directly to the emulsion, also resulting in some minor crazing. Nevertheless a spectacular image with Bachelder seated at the left reading and his wife at the right in profile doing needle work, her sewing basket in the table between them. A cardboard backing bears the following pencil script notation "John Badger Bachelder born Gilmanton, N. H. and his Bride Elizabeth Barber Stevens born Nottingham, N. H. Picture taken in 1853 when they were living in Salem, Mass. " The date is obviously incorrect based on the photographic process used. Superb quality, with original mat and preserver, no case;

    A 3.5" x 4.75" oval salt print portrait of Bachelder in casual pose wearing a brocaded smoking jacket, looking very much the artist accompanied by a large pencil script autograph;

    A heavy walnut frame 3.5" x 4.5" mirror, excellent condition, with a nineteenth century ink script note attached to the reverse, "Shaving Mirror used by John B. Bachelder during the Civil War on the Army of the Potomac and at Gettysburg" Excellent condition, mirror fine.

    A remarkable 12.75" X 15.5" albumen photo by Tipton of Gettysburg (Logo inscribed on negative) identified at lower right as "R. I. Exc. Devil's Den / Oct. 14 '86". All subjects in the image wearing badges and many of the men wearing reunion badges/medals. Tipton log also imprinted on the reverse along with ID "Elisha Hunt Rhodes and Gettysburg historian J. B. Bachelder at Devil's Den 1886 (P. 415 - The Civil War - Burns). Very fine, just some minor even fading.

    14 3/8" X 35.35" (image size) of the iconic Walker / Bachelder scene entitled "Gettysburg. / Repulse of Longstreet's Assault". Identified as "Indian Proof" below the title. All pertinent copyright info along with "Engraved By H. B. Hall Jr". at lower right. Overall 20" X 40" and in about perfect condition.

    Group of items associated with, we assume, Bachelder's son's tenure as a cadet at the Boston School: Includes a number of albumen photographs including portraits of Bachelder Jr., and a 7" X 13" (image size) albumen portrait of what is likely the cadre, C. 1880, of the Boston School, including young Bachelder. Overall 16" X 22" in pristine condition in a period gilt frame: The uniform worn by Bachelder in the group portrait, being a double breasted, seven button front unlined, blue wool tunic with two loops of .25" wide gold bullion tape on each sleeve and retaining the original pattern 1872 bullion shoulder knots with blue wool pads and a silver bullion 1. All buttons Boston School Staff with Scovill backmark. Also included is the kepi Bachelder is holding in he photograph. Black silk quatrefoils on the crown, retains the original chinstrap and side buttons although separated. The original visor and a rain cover are inside the hat but sticking to the lining. Could easily be removed and the entire hat restored. Brown polished cotton lining and 1.5" Moroccan leather sweatband.

    A large group of Bachelder's correspondence including a number of late 19th century letters dealing with his pursuit of historically documenting the Battle of Gettysburg, and preserving the field as a National Military Park. Also two Bachelder engravings C. 1856 of New England towns, "Pittsfield, N. H". and "Great Falls Somersworth, N. H." Both with copyright date of 1856, appropriate Bachelder copyright info and Bachelder's facsimile signature at lower right. Both 15" X 20" overall and both in excellent condition.

    Overall a remarkable grouping related to one of the 19th century's greatest Civil War historians, and the de facto 'father' of the Gettysburg National Military Park.



    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2012
    8th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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