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Carved lead phallus from a Gettysburg Hospital site (SOLD)

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Product Description

This is a rare and unusual piece being offered, it is lead bullet which a Civil War soldier carved into the shape of a phallus. During the Civil War it was a common practice for soldiers from both sides to carve just about anything imaginable from bullets. Sometimes they would melt several together before starting. Carving a phallus was a popular subject which was usually done in jest.

This piece came out of an early collection and was recovered at a Gettysburg hospital site after the battle – probably done by a wounded soldier to pass the time. In my new book “The Civil War Soldier – His Personal Items”, I have several examples of carved bullets and other items (see pictures).

“During the Civil War it wasn’t all fighting and marching, there was also plenty of down time, especially during the winter. There is a saying in today’s army which could also be applied back then, “Hurry up and wait”. To avoid boredom, thoughts of battle and thoughts of home, many soldiers took to whittling – usually pieces of wood or lead bullets. Just about every soldier would have a pocket knife. Very few of the carved wooden examples remain, unless they were saved and brought home. However the lead pieces remain and are still being recovered today”. Robert Jones

This is a great example and soldier-carved pieces such as this are always interesting conversation pieces. It comes with the glass-top display case pictured.

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