|Description and Photograph||
The South lacked leather to keep its armies shod, so they came up with creative substitutes for the needed leather. Percussion cap boxes had always been made of leather, but the percussion cap box shown here was manufactured using virtually all painted canvas. To make it, two layers of canvas were sewn together and then painted to create a waterproof surface. The canvas was then cut to size, folded and sewn to form the body of the box, the front flap, and sides out of a single piece of the two layers of painted canvas. The inner flap and the belt loop are also made of painted canvas. The only leather used in the box’s manufacture was for the two small end tabs and the closure tab. The closing finial is made of lead as a substitute for brass.
All known maker marked examples of Confederate painted canvas accoutrements were made in Columbus, Georgia, the home of the South’s large painted canvas manufacturing concerns of Brands & Korner and the Eagle Manufacturing Company. Though this box is unmarked it can be reasonably assumed to have been made by, or for, the Columbus, Georgia Arsenal.
Though they were made in large numbers, painted canvas accoutrements are exceedingly rare and sought after by collectors.
The box is in its completely original untouched natural state; the stitching is tight and strong and the finish in a wonderful state of preservation. The canvas and the leather remain supple. It would be impossible to upgrade this box; it is flawless!