Rare Federal Issue Artillery Valise
Rare Federal Issue Artillery Valise - This valise is not a state issue or private purchase product, but the rarely found Federal Issue valise that was designed to be strapped to the Grimsley Artillery Valise saddle, thereby providing a means for transporting the gunner’s tools and implements. Constructed of black bridle leather, the handles on either end of the valise were originally of rolled leather – only one of the original handles remains and is attached at only one end. Three japanned roller buckles (two remain) are attached to the exterior body of the valise to hold down the outer cover straps. The inner and outer covers, as well as the interior of the valise, are lined with a cotton blue and white pillow ticking (per regulation). The inner cover was secured to the body of the valise via six black-japanned, iron standing loops. (The fact that there are six of these loops and not five, indicates that this valise would have been of mid-war manufacture.) Both end caps of the valise are flat and configured in a D-shape. The overall body length of the valise is about 17.5″; the width measures about 7.5″; width of the full, flat bottom is about 6″. Both loops on the flat bottom, used to thread saddle-securing straps, remain in place. This valise is in overall very good condition; the leather is supple and pliable, the pillow ticking lining is completely intact; the long closing strap that threaded through the six iron loops is complete, and there remain segments of all three original, exterior closing straps. As Stephen Dorsey stated in his seminal work “The American Military Saddle, 1776 – 1945″ – “Because of their obvious utility as a small trunk, tool carrier, etc., of the thousands (of the artillery valises) purchased before and during the Civil War, any valises not used up in military service seemingly were used up in civilian use. Today, the small valise saddles are seen occasionally but the valises that were used on them appear to be rare.” We currently have an id’d Grimsley Valise saddle, and we have had several of the state issue or private purchase artillery valises, but this is the only example of the Federal Issue Artillery Valise we have had.