|Description and Photograph||
This unique half plate tintype is the most incredible War Between the States image of a noncombatant I have ever encountered. The subject at first glance appears to be a craftsman, but if a leather craftsman, blacksmith, tinsmith, or a brass founder, it would make sense that he would display the products of his own craft, not several different crafts. The products of all of these various crafts are represented in this image. This got me to thinking; who would have a particular interest in all the products of the Confederate States Armory at Kenansville, North Carolina? The only person that makes sense to me would be the Armory’s owner, Louis Froelich. Also, since it is known that Froelich was himself a skilled machinist/mechanic, being described as “a thoroughly educated and scientific mechanic” it makes perfect sense that he would be proud to wear the apron and hold the hammer of a craftsman.
Admittedly, I cannot say for certain that this is Louis Froelich, as there are no other known images of him, so there is no upcharge for an identification; the image is priced as though he were an unknown craftsman at the Armory. The image is housed in a leatherette case with a repaired, split spine. The craftsman/Froelich is prominently displaying a Second Model Kenansville sword, a sword knot, a carbine sling, complete with batwing, a sword belt and scabbard and a cigar stuck in his mouth.
The image takes up the back cover of Louis Froelich, Arms Maker to the Confederacy by John McAden, Jr. and Chris Fonvielle, Jr. It also takes up page 15 of the same wonderful book. The image comes with a copy of the book.