CAG Certifies Artifacts from History’s Most Well-known Battles

Posted on 6/21/2022

These battlefield relics bring history-changing moments to life.

Military battles mark many of the key moments in world history. They are the events that launch nations, establish empires and prove the mettle of history’s most iconic leaders. Artifacts from historic battles have the potential to bring those moments to life in a way that history books cannot.

Collectibles Authentication Guaranty® (CAG®) is honored to have recently certified artifacts that were present at key military battles that shaped the course of world history. The expertise brought by CAG’s authenticators combined with the research conducted on each item guarantees their genuineness and provenance.

A piece of US Civil War history from the Battle of Gettysburg

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The clash between Union and Confederate troops that occurred in early July 1863 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is considered the turning point of the US Civil War. As the three-day battle played out, Confederate General Robert E. Lee led his troops from a small stone house on Seminary Ridge.

In 2014, the Civil War Trust launched a project to restore the house and the surrounding property so that visitors could have a sense of what it would have been like when General Lee and his troops were there. During the renovation, wood that was removed from the house was preserved by Erik L. Door, curator of the Gettysburg Museum of History. CAG was honored to authenticate and certify a piece of that wood as being from Lee’s headquarters and present at the time of the Battle of Gettysburg.

An artifact present at the famous Battle of Trafalgar

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Lord Horatio Nelson’s upset victory against the French and Spanish Navies during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 is considered one of the most significant naval battles in history. It upset Napoleon’s plans to invade England by allowing the English Channel to remain under the control of the British Navy.

Nelson, who led the battle from the HMS Victory, was wounded during the battle and died before it ended. The flag that flew over Nelson’s ship was draped over his coffin during his funeral service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Members of Nelson’s crew, who escorted his casket, reportedly tore away a large piece of the flag before placing it in the casket.

CAG certified this swatch of fabric as having been part of Nelson’s flag, and it was encapsulated with a custom label bearing the image of Lord Nelson. Details of a recent sale of a similar swatch certified by CAG can be found here.

Two military artifacts from the Napoleonic Era

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CAG is proud to have certified two artifacts that were used by Napoleon Bonaparte during the Napoleonic Wars. One is a swatch of leather from the trousers that Napoleon wore during the Siege of Moscow. The other is a fragment of wood from a chair that was used by Napoleon during the Battle of Waterloo. Both artifacts, which have been encapsulated with a custom label featuring a portrait of Napoleon, provide a connection to one of the most famous military leaders in history.

Napoleon, who rose to power during the French Revolution, served as Emperor of France from 1804 to 1814 and again in 1815. During his reign, Napoleon led the French military to conquer much of Europe, expanding the French empire into Spain, Italy, Germany and Poland.

In September of 1812, Napoleon led his forces into Moscow, hoping to find a store of supplies that could support French soldiers. Rather, they found an empty city that had been set aflame by retreating Russian soldiers. Napoleon abandoned his plans to stay in Moscow for the winter and marched south before the end of October 1812.

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on June 18, 1815, in what is now Belgium, between Napoleon’s French forces and a coalition of European forces, including armies from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Prussia. The battle, in which Napoleon’s forces were defeated, brought an end to the Napoleonic Wars and ushered in an era of peace known as the Pax Britannica.

CAG is honored to work with collectors, estates, artists and museums to assist in the authentication and preservation of historic memorabilia. More information about its expert preservation and encapsulation services and the value that they bring to collectors is available here.

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