Original U.S. Civil War Pistol Cartridge Box

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a wonderful example of an early war pistol cartridge box. The box appears to be complete and without any extensive damage, though there are evident signs of use, wear and storage wear. US Infantry accouterments from 1839-1851, specifically Frogs on Bayonet Scabbards, Waist Belts and Cartridge Box Slings, were made from White Buff Leather. Buff leather is leather that has been whitened through a complex, expensive and time consuming chemical process. In 1851, the US Ordnance Dept. changed the leather used in these items to "Buff Leather, Blacked." Hence, all existing accouterments in the US Arsenals made with White Buff Leather were blackened and all new accouterments were made with buff leather that was processed without the whitening elements and was blackened. White and black buff leather will have a rough appearance on both sides.

In the later part of the 1850's, the US Ordnance Dept. allowed the substitution of "Waxed Leather" in lieu of blackened buff leather due to the expense and time required to make the latter. Waxed leather, also referred to as "Upper Leather" as it was used in the production of US Army Shoes.

Soldiers armed with revolvers required specific cartridge boxes. These show up in three sizes, which vary not by the caliber of the ammunition, either .36 or .44, but by the configuration of the packs in which it came- some paper wrapped, some wood bored out for six rounds, and some with a seventh hole for a packet of percussion caps. This is the middle size version that appears mid-war with a latch tab that is sewn and riveted, and the standard two belt loops on the reverse. Not intended to have magazine tins, these boxes have additional leather sections fixed inside that kept the cartridge packs in place by friction.

The color and finish of the leather are very good, showing just a little rubbing to the edge of the flap, with some heavy crazing, finish loss and minor tearing. It also shows the typical asterisk marks created when the leather worker closed up the holes created by tacks used to hold the pieces on a wood form while he sewed it together. We could not find any markings on the interior or exterior of the cartridge box. The leather is still soft in places and is without any extensive damage, with signs of having been delicately cared for.

Comes more than ready to be displayed!

  • This product is available for international shipping.
  • Eligible for all payments - Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX, Paypal & Sezzle


Cash For Collectibles