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EARLY INDIAN WAR  “US” EMBOSSED HOLSTERS – CIVIL WAR HOLSTERS  REISSUED DURING THE EARLY INDIAN WARS FOR THE CARTRIDGE REVOLVERS - VERY SCARCE HOLSTERS:  As pictured and discussed on page 84 of US MILITARY HOLSTERS AND PISTOL CARTRIDGE BOXES and on page 90 of US MILITARY HOLSTERS AND RELATED ACCOUTREMENTS, both by Scott Meadows, this is a particularly scarce offering of three specimens of the US Army Civil War revolver holsters which were embossed with the large “US” in an oval in the style of the other accoutrements of the period. 

With no other modification necessary,  these holsters were issued with all of the revolvers - both percussion, and those which utilized the metallic cartridges such as the Colt Richards Conversions, the Smith & Wesson American, and the Remington Model 1871 Pistol.  It is believed these embossed Civil War surplus holsters began to be issued in the mid to late 1860's and they continued in use through the late 1870's after the issue of the Model 1873 Colt Single Action.

These key Indian War era holsters were issued during a very active period, exposed to heavy and constant use in the field which has resulted in a very low survival rate.  Those which do survive often exhibit evidence of heavy use consistent with holsters used on the frontier such as crazing and surface loss, however this wear in no way diminishes the value and importance of these holsters in the history of the Indian Wars era cavalry. 

Seldom appearing on the market, these embossed holsters are not an accoutrement which is easy to add to your collection.  This offering is a good opportunity to obtain an excellent, complete example of an important and desirable early Indian War modified holster which will be the perfect addition to display with your Colt Richard Conversion, Smith and Wesson American, or Model 1871 Remington Single Shot Army Pistol, as well as the Model 1860 Colt Army and New Model Remington Percussion Revolvers which continued to be used by the early frontier Indian Wars era army. 

I have been fortunate enough to acquire the specimens offered below, and each is described separately with accompanying photographs.

 

NO. 1  EARLY INDIAN WAR  “US” EMBOSSED HOLSTER:  This holster features a large, embossed “US” in the oval positioned just above the rivet attaching the closing tab.   The embossed “US” is very strong and plainly legible.  The Civil War maker's stamp is partially legible on the flap below the "US", reading "W. KINSEY & Co. / NEWARK, N.J.". 

The condition of this scarce holster is overall very good, with all the seams intact, and all of the components present and intact to include the closing tab and plug.  The flap, belt loop and holster body all hold their shape and still retain the characteristics of strong, live leather. 

There is some crazing and flaking, with some surface loss, however the surface still retains a shiny appearance.  This wear is all consistent with these holsters that saw early use on the frontier.  

This is a very respectable specimen with a strong, fully legible "US".  (0113) $1550 

 

NO. 2  EARLY INDIAN WAR  “US” EMBOSSED HOLSTER:  This holster features a large, embossed “US” in the oval positioned just above the rivet attaching the closing tab.   The embossed “US” is very strong and plainly legible.  The Civil War maker's stamp is partially legible on the flap below the "US", with "___WARK, N.J." still discernable.

The condition of this scarce holster is overall very good, with all the seams intact, and all of the components present and intact to include the closing tab and plug.  The flap, belt loop and holster body all hold their shape and still retain the characteristics of strong, live leather.  The closing tab has a second hole low on the tab, indicating this holster was used to carry one of the larger revolvers, perhaps a Smith & Wesson American, a Model 1873 Colt, or a Model 1875 Smith & Wesson Schofield - a nice added value with this holster. 

The body and belt loop retain most of their surface, with light crazing on the body.  The rear of the body is carved with what is presumably the name of the soldier to whom the holster was issued, "H. Schulz".  The flap has experienced some flaking, but the leather is still very strong and supple with no weak points.  In spite of the aging of the leather, the surface still retains a shiny appearance.  This wear is all consistent with these holsters that saw early use on the frontier.  

This is a very respectable specimen with a strong, fully legible "US".  (0114) $1550   

 

NO. 3  EARLY INDIAN WAR  “US” EMBOSSED HOLSTER:  This holster features a large, embossed “US” in the oval positioned high on the flap, above the point of attachment for the closing tab.   Though showing signs of use and wear, the “US” is plainly legible.  There are also a series of initials, primarily the letter “A”, lightly carved into the surface of the leather – likely the initials of the soldier who carried the holster.  

The condition of this scarce holster is overall very good, with all the seams intact, and all of the components present and intact to include the closing tab and plug.  The flap, belt loop and holster body all hold their shape and still retain the characteristics of strong, live leather.  The overall finish is very good with a strong bright shiny finish overall.  

There is some crazing on the belt loop and some crazing and surface loss on the flap – both consistent with these holsters that saw early use on the frontier. 

There is a soldier applied modification to the body of the holster wherein the soldier made a neatly executed cut to remove an arc of leather on the front of the body and above the closing finial in order to expose the trigger guard of the pistol.  This modification has been noted on a number of holsters, and is easily understood given how deeply the pistols rested in the holsters.  The soldiers were conscious of the importance of gaining quick access to the pistol and removing this piece of leather allowed them to grip and draw the pistol more rapidly.     

This is a very respectable specimen with a legible "US".  (0906) $1350 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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