Original U.S. Civil War Federal Model 1858 Bullseye 8 Ring Canteen with by R.H. Gratz & Co Philadelphia - Cover and Sling

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Here is a handsome, maker-marked, Civil War specimen of the Model 1858 ‘Bullseye’ pattern tin canteen in very good condition.  Often referred to as a Philadelphia Depot-style ‘corrugated’ canteen, these were issued to Union troops in the field until the war’s end.  Canteen consists of two circular sections of pressed-tin, formed in an oblate spheroid pattern and soldered together at the rim. The Philadelphia Depot procured over 1,500,000 such ‘corrugated’ canteens for the Federal US Army.

This early production canteen exhibits eight reinforcing rings extruded on each side, and is wrapped in a dark brown, canvas twill covering that has faded to a mellow brown. Canteen retains its complete original cotton herringbone twill, carry sling secured through the three iron loops. The sling is non-adjustable, as is correct for the period, and is stitched together. Sling is worn and dirty, but does not have any tears or major damage. Brown canteen cover is very good condition but does have a lot of worn in dirt and grime, as well as a few small holes. Stitching appears completely intact.

Canteen still retains its cork stopper and iron pull ring. Pewter spout is maker marked with a stamped with R.H. GRATZ & Co PHILADA. The bullseye-pattern with its series of concentric rings began in 1861 as an effort to increase the durability of canteen equipment. Fluid capacity of the canteen was three pints and its liquid contents were kept cool by means of the damp or wet cover.

Contracts immediately following 1863 called for the full name of the contractor to be placed upon the canteen. To take marking one step further, beginning 8 May 1864 the QMD began requiring the full name of the contractor, along with the contract date, to be placed on all items of clothing and equipage received. Canteens were no exception, as the numerous dated, late War examples found today will attest. The collector should remember that if a date exists and is unreadable, the canteen dates from either 1864 or 1865.

For the collector seeking a fine original early Civil War artifact, this canteen accoutrement would make an ideal addition to any grouping.
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