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    Description

    A truly unique Confederate artifact with a remarkable history

    Most Rare Confederate Gang Mold, the Only Specimen Extant, One of Only Three Known to Have Been Produced for the State of Alabama in the Early Stages of the Civil War, Recovered from the Battlefield of 1st Bull Run. All brass, massive size, 12.5" overall and weighing over three pounds. The mold casts four three ring .69 caliber Minié bullets. The four base plugs that formed the conical cavity in the base are missing. The upper sections of each brass handle bear, on opposite sides, the absolutely authentic, deeply stamped two line markings of the known contractor, Alabama gunmaker "J. F. DITTRICH/ MOBILE" with a third line deeply stamped with a different (and absolutely authentic and of the period) "C.S.A." Obviously a surcharge applied by the Confederate government. Marked lengthwise on the other handle is "FOUND ON BULL RUN BATTLEFIELD/ J. P. AYLESWORTH". Markings clearly applied with individual diestamps and, while very old, certainly not contemporary to the date of the mold's manufacture. While Aylesworth's precise ID is unknown, there were several soldiers with that name who saw service during the war. As is evidenced by the condition, the mold was clearly picked up by Aylesworth many years after the battle, which is evidenced by the condition. The brass shows its great aging, in its original untouched as found condition, with deep age patina but excellent. Only the iron sprue cutter and the iron swivel bolt in the center of the handles show evidence of its "relic" condition with very deep aging, rusting, and deep pitting. Remarkably the cutter still swivels and works, not being fused the the non ferrous mold body.

    A very important detail about this mold is to be found in the book Confederate Rifles and Muskets (Murphy and Madaus, 1996). Page 505 mentions that "...the accounts of Asst. Quartermaster General Duff Green [of Alabama] do show the payment of 75 dollars to J. F. Dittrich on Feb. 1861 for three bullet molds"...and that the summary of General Green's payments for ordnance indicate Dittrich was paid for those molds. The production of the molds is doubtless directly related to Dittrich's work on the contract he had received for alterations and adaptations of a U.S. M1842 musket shortened by Dittrich at the Mobile, Alabama, State Depot. The huge price of $75 would also indicate the molds were a "custom order" and not produced in any quantity. Prov. Flayderman Collection


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    26th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,406

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