Recent Find A Treasure Trove At The Flea Market!

James N.

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This past Friday I attended the monthly flea market known as First Monday (because it occurs over the weekend containing the first Monday of each month) at Canton, Texas. Due to the "dreaded" virus and a general slow decline over the past decade, attendance was spotty and disappointing, maybe half what it would be normally this time of year. (Spring and Fall are usually the best months.) Nevertheless, I went to booths and stalls that I normally avoid where what should I spy in a case but these half-dozen appendages or rifle tools. I recognized most of these as being period and for percussion weapons - some are even marked. I was able to purchase the lot of them for the princely sum of $30!

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I had no question about these two above because I already have a couple of the combination screwdrivers-nipple wrenches which were supposed to be standard issue for each soldier. The other one is a punch used in dismantling the U.S. M.1861 Springfield rifle - one blade is to remove the band springs from the stock and the other is for removing the tumbler from the lockplate in the lock.

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However I'm at a loss as to exactly what this particular combination tool is for - I recognize it too as being period, since it's pictured in a North-South Trader book showing excavated relics; it's even marked. It reminds me of the Enfield tool but is obviously not the same; any identification would be appreciated! (Calling @johan_steele )

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Likewise, this US marked combination nipple wrench-screwdriver blades are pictured in N-S Trader but I'd like to know what model it corresponds to.

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The top appendage appears to be for a pistol, possibly a Colt 1860 Army; it has a small socket wrench for a nipple on one end and a tiny screwdriver bit on the other. (I already had the worm and ball-puller and included them in the photo because there was room.)

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Unfortunately this particular piece appears to be for a Trapdoor Springfield, especially since its marked U. S. MOD 1879. (There were two of these but since it wasn't Civil War era I only bought one of them.) Can anyone explain what this is for?

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Rusk County Avengers

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Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
I guess there's still stuff to find at Canton. Back in the old days before it started to die off, (the virus has sped up the decline I bet), I heard many wonder stories on finds. One friend of mine found a tintype of a Confederate soldier in uniform for I think $50, another found an original high hump Richmond rife-musket for real cheap.

I still kick myself in the rear end for the last time I was there when I still set up selling at gun shows. I picked up a real nice Miroku Brown Bess for for a steal, (which got shipped off to a customer in Ohio real fast thanks of the great gun market FB once had), and I could have bought a small box of first generation Colt SAA barrels in various lengths. I had no idea there was a market for them and several folks I know said they'd have bought a couple. I could've had that bunch for like $100 and found out I could've made double that per barrel off my regular customers!

I learned a lot of lessons that day....
 
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Rusk County Avengers

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Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
But all that's over now. I travel picking up stuff with a friend who has set up there for 30 years or more, and he's about gave up on Canton in the past 3 or 4 years. One WW2 and Korean War veteran friend of his who sold guns there longer than that has retired, and he drove from Lexington, Missouri every month in that time to sell his wares.

(Last time he tried to make the drive he got lost and still swears they moved the highway....)

But that old vet sure gives a good tour of CW sites in Lexington.
 

johan_steele

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Location
South of the North 40
The Lorenz tool is the later model (there were at least 4) and covered multiple models from the flinty era through War 1. Without my references I believe the manufacturer from 1850-1900 or so. It’s the most valuable pictured with the 1841 tool right behind. Between those tool if you were to buy retail you’re looking at about $150. The others around $30 per.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
The only thing I find at local flea markets and garage sales are household junk and old VHS tapes...I think I need to move to the US. Up here in Canad-istan, we have a TV show that is a copy-cat of American Pickers. Let me tell you, the stuff they pick through up in Canada is about 1% as interesting as the stuff they pick through in the American show. After watching 2 episodes out of morbid curiousity to see just how "lame" the show was, I haven't watched it since.

If I ever found what you found at a Canadian flea market, I'd have to go to the hospital to check if I had lost my sanity or somehow ended up in a parallel universe.

Great finds! It is the perpetual "hunt" that keeps us interested and engaged in this hobby of ours, and its finds like yours that spur the rest of us onward.
 

Championhilz

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Mar 18, 2011
Location
Clinton, Mississippi
The only thing I find at local flea markets and garage sales are household junk and old VHS tapes...I think I need to move to the US. Up here in Canad-istan, we have a TV show that is a copy-cat of American Pickers. Let me tell you, the stuff they pick through up in Canada is about 1% as interesting as the stuff they pick through in the American show. After watching 2 episodes out of morbid curiousity to see just how "lame" the show was, I haven't watched it since.

If I ever found what you found at a Canadian flea market, I'd have to go to the hospital to check if I had lost my sanity or somehow ended up in a parallel universe.

Great finds! It is the perpetual "hunt" that keeps us interested and engaged in this hobby of ours, and its finds like yours that spur the rest of us onward.
You should watch "Curiosity Incorporated" on Youtube - it's the postings of an antique store owner in Canada who travels far and wide looking for antiques - it's an interesting show, and he finds some very nice items, including military.
 

Tom Hughes

First Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2019
Location
Mississippi
View attachment 368300

This past Friday I attended the monthly flea market known as First Monday (because it occurs over the weekend containing the first Monday of each month) at Canton, Texas. Due to the "dreaded" virus and a general slow decline over the past decade, attendance was spotty and disappointing, maybe half what it would be normally this time of year. (Spring and Fall are usually the best months.) Nevertheless, I went to booths and stalls that I normally avoid where what should I spy in a case but these half-dozen appendages or rifle tools. I recognized most of these as being period and for percussion weapons - some are even marked. I was able to purchase the lot of them for the princely sum of $30!

View attachment 368299

I had no question about these two above because I already have a couple of the combination screwdrivers-nipple wrenches which were supposed to be standard issue for each soldier. The other one is a punch used in dismantling the U.S. M.1861 Springfield rifle - one blade is to remove the band springs from the stock and the other is for removing the tumbler from the lockplate in the lock.

View attachment 368288

However I'm at a loss as to exactly what this particular combination tool is for - I recognize it too as being period, since it's pictured in a North-South Trader book showing excavated relics; it's even marked. It reminds me of the Enfield tool but is obviously not the same; any identification would be appreciated! (Calling @johan_steele )

View attachment 368287

View attachment 368298

Likewise, this US marked combination nipple wrench-screwdriver blades are pictured in N-S Trader but I'd like to know what model it corresponds to.

View attachment 368297

View attachment 368296

The top appendage appears to be for a pistol, possibly a Colt 1860 Army; it has a small socket wrench for a nipple on one end and a tiny screwdriver bit on the other. (I already had the worm and ball-puller and included them in the photo because there was room.)

View attachment 368295

Unfortunately this particular piece appears to be for a Trapdoor Springfield, especially since its marked U. S. MOD 1879. (There were two of these but since it wasn't Civil War era I only bought one of them.) Can anyone explain what this is for?

View attachment 368294
The tool that you weren't sure of is a nipple wrench to an Austrian Lorenz rifle.
 

James N.

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Outstanding acquisition. You made a $300 purchase.

top pic top to bottom:
Colt Revolver tool
1873 tool
Lorenz tool
1863 tool
1841/42 tool Harpers Ferry manufacture.
Pin pusher/punch

2nd group:
Ball puller looks civilian
Worm for .69 musket.
Do you - or anyone else - know exactly what for or how the 1873 tool is supposed to be used? (The punch and wrench that is; the screwdriver blades are obvious enough.)
 

James N.

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Image (5).jpg

Pvt. Louis LaCount, Co. A, 5th Wisconsin Vol. Inf. - $2
I guess there's still stuff to find at Canton. Back in the old days before it started to die off, (the virus has sped up the decline I bet), I heard many wonder stories on finds. One friend of mine found a tintype of a Confederate soldier in uniform for I think $50, another found an original high hump Richmond rife-musket for real cheap...
I've posted both of these before, but they're two of the more recent Canton photo "finds":
Below, unknown Confederate officer in front of the Lone pine tree backdrop associated with North Carolina Confederates - $5
Civil War Ambrotype.jpg
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
Do you - or anyone else - know exactly what for or how the 1873 tool is supposed to be used? (The punch and wrench that is; the screwdriver blades are obvious enough.)
The wrech can be used as a mainspring vice. The punch can be used as a pin punch as well to aid in disassembling the breach block.
 

James N.

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I still kick myself in the rear end for the last time I was there when I still set up selling at gun shows. I picked up a real nice Miroku Brown Bess for for a steal, (which got shipped off to a customer in Ohio real fast thanks of the great gun market FB once had), and I could have bought a small box of first generation Colt SAA barrels in various lengths. I had no idea there was a market for them and several folks I know said they'd have bought a couple. I could've had that bunch for like $100 and found out I could've made double that per barrel off my regular customers!

I learned a lot of lessons that day....
My biggest Canton regret - and one I've mentioned before - is passing up on a tintype of a Union soldier priced at $45 (this was many years ago) hoping he would go lower. It was a damaged image, with a big piece of the emulsion flaked off on one side of the sitter - However, he was a cavalryman holding - a Volcanic pistol! Naturally, when I returned an hour or so later, it was gone - but to further rub salt into the wound, I had the misfortune of seeing it again a month or two later published in an issue of Military Images Magazine, which is exactly what I wanted to do with it.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
My biggest Canton regret - and one I've mentioned before - is passing up on a tintype of a Union soldier priced at $45 (this was many years ago) hoping he would go lower. It was a damaged image, with a big piece of the emulsion flaked off on one side of the sitter - However, he was a cavalryman holding - a Volcanic pistol! Naturally, when I returned an hour or so later, it was gone - but to further rub salt into the wound, I had the misfortune of seeing it again a month or two later published in an issue of Military Images Magazine, which is exactly what I wanted to do with it.

That is a kick in the shins by an angry 12 year old with steel toe boots if I ever heard it!

I don't know if I ever mentioned it before, but my biggest regret was at a gun show. I was 15, and there with my Dad, and I saw a 5 1/2 inch barreled Colt Bisley in beautiful shape. The guy only wanted $200 because it was made after 1900 and a "worthless 2nd Generation" (the guy had absolutely NO clue how Colt collecting works). I begged my Dad for a loan of $200, which he being the sort that still lived in the 1960's on gun values, said no. Actually he said I could get it if I talked him down to like $50, and even that was too much money.

We got home I showed him on the early 2000's internet what those sold for and he about had a heart attack! But we couldn't go back as it was Sunday and the show was over. I got my first job shortly afterwards....
 

James N.

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But all that's over now. I travel picking up stuff with a friend who has set up there for 30 years or more, and he's about gave up on Canton in the past 3 or 4 years. One WW2 and Korean War veteran friend of his who sold guns there longer than that has retired, and he drove from Lexington, Missouri every month in that time to sell his wares.

(Last time he tried to make the drive he got lost and still swears they moved the highway....)

But that old vet sure gives a good tour of CW sites in Lexington.
It's certainly true that things like this pile have become fewer and farther between, but there is still gold among the piles and piles of dross. I try to look for a wide variety of things, mostly military and not usually from the Civil War. One recent exception however was the Burnside carbine I purchased and pictured here last fall. It wasn't a particularly fine specimen or especially cheap, but it was both reasonable at $650 and a representative example of something I'd never owned before. I've naturally had better luck with WWI and WWII pieces, including German and Japanese rifles and assorted militaria. Due to the proliferation of fakes in those areas, I tend to prefer humbler items of less-faked field gear such as canteens, binoculars, etc. I even found a suitcase-sized carrier for stick smoke hand grenades and an actual 1944-dated "jerrycan", plus helmet shells in various condition.
 
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