RR Auction Home
Current Auction Is Open For Bidding
Home |Sitemap|Contact Us| Past Auctions  
 How to Bid   Register to Bid   Auctions   Consign   About Us   Featured Lots   Reviews 
Bidder Login
Show Password

New Bidder Registration
Forgot your password?

The Current Auction
Ends January 21st
Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction Preview
Begins Jan 22
Advanced Search
By Item Number
Gallery Search
Past Auction Search
How Do I Bid?
What is BidTracker™?
New Bidder Registration
The 30-Minute Rule
Terms and Conditions
New to RR Auction?
About Us
Register to Bid
Jobs at RR Auction
Press Releases
Consign to RR Auction
How to Consign
2021 Auction Calendar
Jan 13
Jan 21
Feb 10
Feb 18
Mar 10
Mar 18
  View All Dates & Deadlines

Item 2001 - George A. Custer Catalog 410 (Jun 2013)

Back To Previous Page
(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Sold Price: $30,343.20 (includes buyer's premium)


Imperial German Light Cavalry saber belonging to General George Armstrong Custer. The blade measures 33″ long with broad single fullers and floral scrolls and panoplies of arms etched on the blade. Blade is also engraved near the hilt “P.D.L.,” with the reverse engraved “Solingen.” Steel hilt of typical pattern with recurved quillon, single bar guard pierced for sword knot with langets and steel backstrap. Wire wrapped leather covered grip. Sword comes with correct pattern steel scabbard with iron mounts and drag.

In good condition. Blade showing a mottled light gray patina overall with scattered patches of fine corrosion present. Hilt shows a dark brown patina with a few spots of pitting on langets. Grip shows moderate wear with leather wrap showing minor losses and perforations. Most of the wire binding is tight. Scabbard shows mottled gray patina with a couple of small dents present. Saber has been beautifully framed along with two portraits of Custer and a descriptive plaque to an overall size of 42 x 22.

Accompanying the sword is a copy of a letter of provenance dated October 29, 1955, signed by Reed Dunbar, tracing ownership of the sword to Nevin J. Custer, brother of George Custer. Letter reads, in full: “I, Reed M. Dunbar…Monroe, Michigan, do hereby make the following statement regarding a curved sabre and scabbard formerly belonging to General George Armstrong Custer and given by his brother Nevin J. Custer to my father Addis E. Dunbar, who in turn gave it to me.

The grips are of wood covered with leather in which are deep parallel grooves wound with twisted copper-bronze wire. The metal parts of the hilt are of steel as is the bird’s head pommel. The knuckle-bow is of the form of a reverse P and is pierced for a sword knot near the pommel. A quillon with langets projects over the blade.

The steel scabbard is 34 inches long and one inch wide. There are carrying rings, one at a distance of 3 inches and the other at a distance of 11 inches from the throat. A steel drag is fastened to its tip. This curved sabre and scabbard was given by me to Dr. Lawrence A. Frost on October 22, 1955, for value received."

Provenance: George A. Custer Nevin J. Custer Addis E. Dunbar Reed M. Dunbar Dr. Lawrence A. Frost Collection Dr. Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence Collection

The provenance of this remarkable artifact is truly impeccable. Possession of this sword was first transferred to the 7th Cavalry commander's eldest brother, Nevin. A subsequent prior owner was Dr. Lawrence A. Frost, who developed an appreciation for the slain general in the late 1930s when he began to assemble a significant collection of Custer artifacts. Dr. Frost also published 13 books, most of them monographs about the cavalry commander. Most recently, this sword changed hands in 1997 when Dr. Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence consigned it to Butterfield and Butterfield for public auction. Oversized. RR Auction COA.

Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.


Click image to enlarge

Important Information

Tips For Consignors


For a complete list of auction beginning and ending dates, check our dates and deadlines page.