Freeman's Militaria Department is proud to have a team of specialists with established international reputations and also known for their successful handling of sales of historically important items. From ensigns and battle flags to unusual pennants, Civil War missives, Revolutionary War documents, and ship projectiles, Freeman’s is pleased to offer a department that specializes in items significant to Unites States military and naval history and culture. The department holds auctions out of Freeman’s Philadelphia-based location and live online. Our specialists have found that the key to any successful militaria sale is a combination of expert knowledge about the items being sold, international exposure, and the condition of the current market. They all become vital components and adhered to when working with both private buyers and discriminating collectors, maximizing sale results for every client.
Throughout the years, our specialists have skilfully appraised and sold rare military and naval treasures from significant collections. Notably, Freeman’s sold eleven rare naval flags from the iconic USS Constitution, some showing historically significant examples of America’s early to mid-19th-century ensign patterns. Items featured in the sale came from the Collection of H. Richard Dietrich, Jr., a respected patron and collector of American art and material culture. The auction was a resounding success, realizing a combined total of $2.5 million. Provenance and uniqueness generated excitement and interest from new and veteran collectors, as well as institutions at home and abroad. The eleven flags and one cannonball sold at this auction realized $784,500, and reached a 100 percent sell-through rate, establishing twelve auction records.
Another noteworthy auction success was the sale of a rare Grand Division of Color of the 8th Virginia flag. Obtained from the Collection of The Historic Muhlenberg Property, the item achieved a stunning $422,500. The collection came from a Muhlenberg descendant and included an extensive manuscript archive, most notably a General Order and Brigade Order book, kept by General Peter Muhlenberg’s orderly from May through November, 1777. It was the period of history that encompassed the battles of Brandywine and Germantown and quickly shot to $98,500, setting an auction record.
Freeman’s offers sales of militaria several times each year at our American Furniture, Folk & Decorative Arts and Books, Maps & Manuscripts sales, as well as the annual Pennsylvania Sale auction. Through our website, we have become a leader in hosting online auctions for buying and selling militaria. For more information about consigning your works to an upcoming sale, please contact one of our specialists to make an appointment for a private and complimentary consultation.