Monday, July 18, 2011

A Weekend Off to buy some toys.

July 16, 2011

I apologize if this entry is more of a rambling, but since I can’t go to a reenactment (yeah, I'm missing out on 1st Manassas), then I should at least get some toys for one, right? 
Lil' Mary.  Ain't she shiny?

Since nothing was planned this weekend I went to the gun show down in Dayton and found Lil’ Mary, a nice Navy Arms replica of a brass frame .44 1858 Remmington revolver, for only $125.  Okay, so I’m not an officer and don’t have much use for one—but someday, I’ll be totin’ one of these things around with an officer’s sword and pop off a few just for effect.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted the gun.  The guy was asking $135 for the gun, and I was tempted to grab it and run for that price, but fortunately gun shows aren’t exactly the best place for buying and selling Civil War era reproduction weapons—everyone wants modern.  So I wandered awhile thinking about it.  Returning, I figured I’d offer $125—what could it hurt?

I had been pricing these pistols for about a year or so.  Most of the time even used ones were more than $200.  I had only seen $125 twice—once on Craigslist where the revolver sold in about 15 minutes—way before I could get to it—and once at the Dayton gun show by a reenactor getting out of the hobby.  That guy was also selling his 3-band Enfield for $200 (which I grabbed before he could spit).  I beat myself silly for not also buying the pistol, but I just could not bear to part with that much cash in one sitting. 

Oh, if you’re wondering about that Enfield, since I always talk about Christine, my Springfield, it’s spoken for.  I had named it Marty and got to play with it once or twice, but decided I liked Christine much better.  I sold the Enfield to a fellow reenactor (Mercer) in the 1st Tennessee.  He got quite the bargain on it (I was willing to cut him a deal since he brings fresh steaks to the Durbin Bean Bake), but I also came out a good amount ahead.  If he hadn’t bought it, I’d probably gone around trying to sell it for $450—and considering the price of Enfields these days, I’m sure I would have found a buyer.  Marty was in pretty good shape after I fixed up the few small problems it had.
Nifty new, er old, er whatever, campchairs.

Then, on my way home, I found some nice folding chairs at a flea market.  These things folded up such that they looked like those folding campstools, except with the back added.  Instead of canvas these things had some sort of carpet.  The wood was a real fine, dark finish.  I could picture sitting back in one of these while enjoying a good game of Euchre.  They were antiques, though I have no idea how old they were—I’m hoping they date to prior to the Civil War, though I doubt they do.  The only problem for this set of 4 was that they were covered in mold.

But that’s no problem for me.  For thirty bucks I took these things home and gave them a good bath.  Cleaned them up real good.  I intend to keep two of them for myself, and try to sell the other two to recover some of my expense for the chairs.  I think they’ll make great additions to any mainstream campsite.   May even work for an authentic campsite if the captain is the only one with the chairs.  At McConnelsville a reenactor who fell in with us accidentally destroyed the canvas on my campstool—I didn’t mind much since the stool was a rescue from the campfire, anyhow.  But he offered to take it home and replace the canvas.  I’m thinking now that the guy can keep the leg-cramping campstool while I enjoy some real comforts.

Finally there was the Goodwill run.  Goodwill is a good place to get random knickknacks.  Sgt Mott is good with converting modern shirts into period shirts, so I found a couple of cheap shirts that I’ll have him work on.  There were also candles there.  A lot of candles—I’m probably well supplied for a couple of years now.  And finally are the candlestick holders.  I must have some kind of addiction with buying these things—they’re only ninety-nine cents.  I think I’m up to 14 now—and I had to restrain myself.  I’m going to try starting with just a couple during an evening Euchre round, and steadily build up to all 14—or at least until my friends start calling me nuts (whichever comes first).
Is that a bit over the top?  I'll have no problem seeing the Euchre cards!

And by the way, if you’re in need of a candlestick holder, just look me up—I’ll give you quite the deal on one.

Edit (07/20/2011): I did some research to try and find what I could on those chairs and YEEEEHAAW!!!  It was far better than I could have hoped for--AND I think I made a killing.  They are from US Patent number RE2891, patented 1866 (does that mean they could have been sold during the Civil War, or only after the patent was issued?), issued to B.J. Harrison and J. Condie of New York, NY. (link to patent). I also got some information from one Anna Worden Bauersmith, who gave me some good information and tips on the chairs--I think she left drooling over them.

I also found these eBay links, which give an idea of the value of these chairs:

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