A Flintlock musket that once belonged to Sitting Bull and Sioux arrows from the Battle of Little Bighorn led Heritage Auctions
' George Armstrong Custer and the Plains Indian Wars Featuring the Glenwood J. Swanson Collection Legends of the West Auction June 9 in Dallas, Texas. The final total from the event was $1,604,392.50, which exceeded pre-auction expectations by more than 30 percent.
Originally made as a model 1863 full-length smooth-bore flintlock trade musket, Sitting Bull's Identified Hudson's Bay Flintlock Musket, which includes Sitting Bull's name scratched in the stock, sparked a spirited bidding war, racing far beyond its pre-auction estimate of $50,000+ before realizing $162,500. Three Sioux Arrows from the Battle of the Little Bighorn enjoyed similarly eager bidding, breezing past their pre-auction estimate of $10,000+ to finish at $93,750.
"Our collectors understand the historical significance and importance of the Battle of Little Bighorn and those who fought there," Heritage Auctions Americana Auctions Director Tom Slater said. "That was particularly reflected in the way people pursued Sitting Bull's Carbine and the Sioux arrows. Those are extremely significant, important historical artifacts, which is why the bidders went after them so eagerly."
Other highlights included William Tecumseh Sherman: His Dress Uniform as General of the Army, which drew $62,500, while an Inscribed .22 Revolver Presented to Custer by the United States Volunteers in 1863 that brought in $35,000, and The Poland Report from Standing Rock, July 24, 1876, Endorsed by Generals Sheridan and Sherman and Fabulous Buckram-Bound set of Goldin's "On the Little Bighorn with Gen. Custer" with Benteen Notations, each of which realized $30,000.
Additional highlights included:
A Model 1865 Springfield Rifle Captured by Warriors in the Opening Battle of the Nez Perce War, 1877: $27,500
Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman: His Campaign Hat: $26,250
Battle of Washita: Chief Black Kettle's Silver Ring: $25,000
Capt. F. W. Benteen: His Lemaire Military Binoculars: $25,000
Charles Varnum's 7th Cavalry Outfit: $23,750
A Substantial Lock of Gen. Custer's Hair sold for $12,500 more than six times its pre-auction estimate of $2,000+.