J. Levine July Americana auction features historical keepsakes

A rare Civil War sword belonging to Brigadier General Eli H. Murray, a Southerner who fought with the Union and later became governor of the Utah Territory in 1880, is among the highlights of a three-day Americana auction at J. Levine Auction & Appraisal, set for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 28, 29 and 30.

The auction, which starts at 11 a.m., will feature hundreds of collectibles from multiple fine estates and includes a quilt signed by 19th century presidents, Chester A. Arthur and Rutherford B. Hayes, a large, notable collection of Zane Grey books and movie posters, including several signed, first-edition books, antique Lionel toy trains, 19th century carousels from the famous San Francisco amusement park, Playland/Custer estate, a diverse selection of fine art, estate jewelry and more.

The auction house is located at 10345 N. Scottsdale Road, in Scottsdale, on the southeast corner of Shea Boulevard and Scottsdale Road.

Josh Levine, J. Levine owner and auctioneer, said the Scottsdale auction house is already receiving inquiries about the star of the sale, the Civil War sword belonging to the famous brigadier general.

“Most presentation swords were made to be pretty, but this was a German-made fighter sword that was given to Brigadier General Eli H. Murray in 1862 after the Murfreesboro battle. Every man in his regimen gave a dollar for it, which at that time, cost $1,200,” Mr. Levine said in a press release.

A Kentuckian who joined the Union at age 19 when the Civil War broke out, Brig. Gen. Murray was awarded the sword for his bravery and gallantry. Adorned with gold, the sword is Damascus folded steel. Mr. Levine estimates its worth to be between $100,000 and $150,000, the release stated.

Brig. Gen. Murray later served as governor of the Utah Territory from 1880 to 1886 and was best known for his opposition of polygamy, which was widely practiced among Mormon settlers at that time.

Strong Provenance

Mr. Levine said the rare Civil War sword comes with strong provenance. In approximately 1938, Neil Murray, his wife, daughter, and grandson visited Hardinburg, Ky. Upon signing the guest register, the clerk asked Neil if he was any relation to Eli Murray. Neil responded that yes, Eli was his father. The clerk then said that he had something that belonged to him.

“A few minutes later, he presented the historic sword and uniform. More than 70 years earlier, General Murray had been a guest at the hotel after the war ended. He took off the uniform and sword and gave them to the hotel proprietor saying he never want to see them again,” Mr. Levine said in the release.

The Murray family was in awe and took the sword and uniform back to Glendive, Mont., where they were living at the time.

J. Levine’s consignor’s late husband was part of the Murray family, the release stated.

For more details or to register to bid, visit www.jlevines.com or call 480-496-2212.

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