GUNSIGHT ANTIQUES

This desirable grouping consists of an impressive 46 X 64 inch medallion or bullseye pattern Brig Crocus marked 34 star U. S. flag with ¼ plate and 6th plate ambrotypes of the very same flag on the fly over the Ship Master, Captain John C. Nelson's period home in Pittston, Maine. This group consists of flag and ambrotypes, Capt. Nelson's chamois hide-out gold & money vest, his shipboard Day Book and period supporting documents all emanated from among personal items long since held in Sea Captain, John C. Nelson's home. While we will depend largely on our photo illustrations as physical description of the flag's construction and condition, noting that the bottom three stripes are period hand sewn replacement / repair, the charm of which will be offered below.

Making his family home near the Kennebec River in Pittston, Maine, John C. Nelson (1815-1877) was captain of a number of vessels, (see: John C. Nelson: papers - Phillips Library / Peabody Essex Museum) one being the Brig Crocus. Built in 1848 on the banks of the Kennebec in neighboring Gardner, Maine, Capt. Nelson served as master of the Crocus during the early Civil War years when the 34 star bullseye flag was officially in use. With the faded but legible penned inscription Brig Crocus on this flag's hoist, one must imagine that the banner saw service on the Crocus during the Captain's tenure. Whether the period repair was as a result of sea wind tattering or not has been lost in time however the ambrotype images of the flag with a full complement of stripes over the Nelson home with the additional close up image is testimony of the esteem the Nelsons gave the flag. An importance that conjures the likelihood that the repair was accomplished to facilitate early post Brig Crocus display over the captain's home.

In addition to the flag and ambrotypes this grouping consisting of Capt. Nelson's chamois gold and cash money vest a personal shipboard Day Book, and a small grouping of personal documents:

A desirable earlier through mid-19th century item, Nelson's vest remains in wonderful condition yet with good evidence of age and period use. The thin chamois vest was worn under the shirt and waist coat and, supported by Capt. Nelson's ledger notations of payments in Havana Gold, was constructed with stitched narrow pockets specifically intended it facilitate the carrying of gold coins. The ledger is primarily of value here as accompanying provenance while adding personal insight. The ledger measures approximately 6 ½ x 8 inches x ½ inch thick with penned expenditure notations in Capt. Nelson's hand on approximately 25 pages. The ledger bears Nelson's penned signature and is titled Day Book both in his hand on the fly followed by 2 pages neatly period removed, then an initial entry page dated 1860 with the majority if the entries being circa 1868 when Nelson was master of the Brig Nellie Mitchell. An entry near the back of the ledger is entered in New York, names the Crocus and is dated in 1862 when Nelson was Master of that Brig. Some of Nelson's Day Book entries are: cash from Brig. Nellie Mitchell owners D. B. Dearborn Bros. , S. C. Cobb & Co., James Barlow & Co / reference to pay in Havana Gold (In general all references to money paid or taken in are referred to as Cash of Gold. / offers continued references to Tobacco, Havana, Pensacola and business with U. S. Hospital / pay for Steamboat & Pilot (likely a requirement when entering a harbor) / Gold paid to crew (names each of 8 crewman with rank) / buys 240 tons of mahogany / above mentioned notation in back of ledger abord the Brig Crocus dated Nov. 1, 1862 in New York then a number of penciled notations to include We are 8 days from Charleston S. C. Additional document materials include: John C. Nelson's Maine issued Certificate of Naturalization dated in 1850 (Nelson was born in Denmark) his To All Knights Templar Throughout The Globe membership identification certificate dated 1860, his Masonic Lodge 3rd Degree certificate of completion in 1853 issued in 1864 and 2 Hermon Masonic Lodge by-law booklets (1854 with Nelson's penned identification and 1865). A third booklet dated 1869 is titled Suggestions to MASTERS OF VESSELS and List of Agents for VESSELS AND CARGOES IN DISTRESS issued by The American Shipmasters' Association.

Buy with confidence! We are pleased to offer a no questions asked three day inspection with return as purchased on direct sales! Just send us a courtesy e-mail to let us know your item will be returned per these provisions and your purchase price will be refunded accordingly. Thanks for visiting Gunsight Antiques! COLOR=#0000FF>

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