19th c. small wooden box HAND CARVED by Lincoln avenger THOMAS "BOSTON" CORBETT, with exceptional provenance. The box is deeply carved featuring federal style eagles on the top and front. Two shields flank both sides of the box and eagle talons can be seen in all four corners.
This spectacular box is only surpassed by the incredible provenance which accompanies it.
The inside of the box is inscribed "Carved by Boston Corbett Topeka Kansas 1888". It also comes with a verified 19th C. note that explains how the box ended up in the possession of George Huron, Corbett's legal Guardian after Corbett was put in an insane asylum a year prior. A pencil notation on the bottom of the box reads "Go Huron".
Judge George A. Huron was Corbett's friend and legal Guardian after he was institutionalized in Topeka Kansas in 1887 for brandishing a gun in the Kansas House of Representatives. Huron managed Corbett's estate while he was inside the asylum and frequently visited with him. Upon Corbett's escape, Huron came into possession of Corbett's property and after 24 years of searching for family to contact, Huron decided to donate several important pieces to the Kansas State Historical Society such as the military belt and cartridge case Corbett was wearing when he shot and killed John Wilkes Booth, many other pieces from Corbett remained in his collection.
The box has been in the Scott family since at least the late 1940s, with the understanding that this came from the Huron family. Corbett escaped from the asylum in May 1888, leaving all his possessions behind. The Huron Corbett relationship is well documented in both literature and the archives of the Kansas Historical Society.
During the civil war, Corbett was captured by Mosby's riders being the last person to surrender in battle. He was sent to the notorious Andersonville prison camp where he spent five months. He like many others learned how to carve wood in order to pass the time, and is how he became so skilled at carving as evident in the box.
The box is in good condition for being 130+ years old, however, one corner is missing the toe of an eagle talon. The box has a finish similar to shellac, it is unclear whether this was done after the item was carved and by who. Dimensions are appx 4"w x 4"h x 6.5"l. There are some minor condition issues but overall the box is in exceptional condition
In the past twenty years less than a dozen items owned by Corbett have come up for auction and have all fetched at least five figures. Museum quality artifacts from the life of the history makers such as Corbett, are exceedingly scarce, and seldom available on the open market. Don't miss this rare, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own an original investment-quality heirloom antique from one of our country's most revered icons and legendary leaders.
In December of 2007 another of Corbett's personal effects, Corbett's Bummer Cap fetched $44,415 at Heritage Auction.
Sold as is, as shown.
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