Very Rare and fascinating, 1860's Civil War Relics being a Pair of Matched Hand Carved Dogwood Root Combs carved by Confederate Soldier / Engineer / Artificer Rufus J. Colley while serving in the 1st Regiment Confederate Engineer Troops as part of the Army of Northern Virginia.
These wonderful and finely carved, diminutive Combs each measure approx. 2 5/8" long, ¾" wide, and about 3/8 thick at the handheld top part.
One comb has 38 finely carved teeth while the second has 40 teeth. Their teeth are exceptionally fine and these types of Combs were used by Civil War Soldiers to remove body and hair lice. One side of the handle of each Comb has a "trench" where the "little critters" would be trapped after being combed out by the very fine teeth of the comb.
The Combs are accompanied by a letter from the period that describes how the combs were made by Rufus J. The letter was written by an unidentified friend.Below is the text as taken directly from the letter. Original grammar and spelling have been preserved here. These combs were made by Rufus J. Colley while serving the Confederacy under Coronel(sic) Talcott in a Regament(sic) of Engineers in Winter of 1864 & 1865 near Tree Hill Bridge in Winter quarters and spare time on his hands. He got a Dog Wood Root and found a second hand file and a stout piece of tin which was made into a saw and his pocket knife were his only tools that he had so I have heard him say in speaking of them. They were carried by him until the end of the war and he brought them home. Research indicates that Rufus J. Colley enlisted in 1864 by joining the 1st Regiment, Confederate Engineer Troops, Company G, as an artificer.
He served under Colonel T. Talcott who was the son of Andrew and Harriet Hackley Talcott, a former member of the personal staff of Gen. Colonel Talcott was associated with the Army of Northern Virginia.
Both of these rare and finely crafted Dogwood Root Combs are exceptionally attractive and exceptionally well preserved with no damage or repairs of any kind. All of the teeth are intact on both Combs and each retains a wonderful, age appropriate, rich and warm surface patina.
Please see the scans below for a good representation of both the fine quality and outstanding condition of these wonderful Confederate Civil War Relics. The original Letter of Provenance has edge wear, tears and old tape repairs as can be seen in the scans below. An exceptionally rare and wonderful, Pair of 1860's Civil War Relics being a Pair of Matched Hand Carved Dogwood Root Combs carved by Confederate Soldier / Engineer / Artificer Rufus J. Colley and a fantastic addition to any collection!!
The item "1860's CIVIL WAR HAND CARVED WOODEN COMB BY AN IDENTIFIED CONFEDERATE SOLDIER" is in sale since Friday, April 08, 2016. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Civil War (1861-65)\Original Period Items\Other Civil War Original Items". The seller is "walnutts" and is located in Brewster, Massachusetts. This item can be shipped worldwide.