A fine U.S. Colt Model 1911 pistol with militaria grouping owned by Major General Franklin Wilmer Ward
Lot 3234
A fine U.S. Colt Model 1911 pistol with militaria grouping owned by Major General Franklin Wilmer Ward
Veteran of the Battle of the Somme and Adjutant-General of the New York State Militia
Sold for US$ 4,680 inc. premium

Lot Details
A fine U.S. Colt Model 1911 pistol with militaria grouping owned by Major General Franklin Wilmer Ward
A fine U.S. Colt Model 1911 pistol with militaria grouping owned by Major General Franklin Wilmer Ward
Veteran of the Battle of the Somme and Adjutant-General of the New York State Militia
Comprising: 1) U.S. Colt 1911, serial no. 45155 for 1913, .45 caliber; blued finish; standard military markings; checkered walnut grips lightly incised with the general's initials WW 2) A U.S. M3 shoulder holster marked on the reverse US/Enger-Kress, probably used with the pistol by General Ward's son John, who was a Major during World War II. 3) The General's World War I helmet, painted olive drab, the front with painted insignia of the 27th Division; lining complete and with faint penciled marking F.W. Ward. The helmet can be seen in the accompanying print of a painting of General Ward. 4) Swagger stick, 28 inch wooden stick carved with polychrome Mexican motifs, the brass top with applied military insignia and engraved with the general's monogram; below this a brass ribbon encircling the stick and inscribed 2nd Lieut., Aug. 31, 1898-1st Lieut., Nov. 24, 1899-Capt., May 3, 1902-Major, May 28, 1907-Lt. Col., June 1, 1912-Major, June 19, 1916/Mexican Border Service-Lt. Col.,Aug, 5, 1917/U.S. Army. 5) Deluxe Model 1902 saber for all officers by Horstmann of Philadelphia, blade with gilt panel etched with standard motifs; nickeled hilt engraved and chased with foliage; horn grip; nickeled scabbard engraved with oak meander, brass suspension mount in the form of a spread eagle within pierced scrollwork, chape pierced en suite, presentation inscription Presented to/Captain Franklin Wilmer Ward/By the Officers and Men/of Company "D" Ninth Regiment N.G.N.Y./March 16, 1904. 6) Model 1860 staff officer's sword of standard pattern by Ridabock & Co. of New York, retaining gilt sword knot. 7) Two Model 1902 sabers, one from Horstmann, the blade marked Germany, the other by M.C. Lilly & Co. 8) Officer's dress cloak by Brooks Brothers' of heavy black wool with black velvet collar and plaited cord. 9) One volume: Military Law and Regulations State of New York, 1909 amended in 1928, in archival loose leaf binding together with several pamphlets dated 1931 issued under order of the governor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, by General Ward, the cover stamped General Ward and notated in ink Do not take from desk; interior with numerous penciled notations by the General. 10) Two photos of the general, one a post-war, government issued bust portrait, the other a copy of a full figure portrait. 11) His son's swaggers stick, have an oval plaque bearing Army Air Corps insignia and inscribed Major J.F. Ward A.C./Commanding Officer/92nd Sub Depot A.S.C., with velour cover.
Condition: 1) Fine to excellent and retaining 85-90% dark blue finish showing light edge/holster wear, thinning and dulling to finish on gripstraps, some scattered light scratches and with a few tiny spots free of finish and one area of light spotting/corrosion to slide; excellent bore showing a few small areas of spotting; excellent grips showing one small chip to tip of upper diamond on right side. 2) Showing scuffs and stains. 3) Showing scattered marks and dents; lining and chinstrap scuffed but very sound. 4) Excellent. 5) Blade fine. Hilt and scabbard with darkened patina and some loss of finish. 6) Showing dark patina, retaining most gilt finish, scabbard nickel flaking. 7) Both very good and showing some frosting to nickel. 8) Fine. 9) Good, interior with penciled notations. 10) Photograph with folds and small tears. 11) Good.
See Illustration


  • Note: Franklyn Wilmer Ward, 1870-1938. In 1898 he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant with the 109th New York Infantry and later was promoted to First Lieutenant in the old Ninth Infantry. He became a Major in 1907 and a year later was detailed to the State Examining Board for artillery officers.
    During the Mexican Border campaign General Ward received the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and in 1916 became Assistant Chief of Staff with the troops on the border. In World War I he was Chief of Staff and Adjutant of the Twenty-Seventh Division in France and Belgium and later commanded the 106th Regiment during the Somme Offensive. He was decorated with the Distinguished Service Medal, the Belgian Croix de Guerra with Palm, the State Conspicuous Service Medal and the State Twenty-Five Year Faithful Service Medal in addition to an officership in the French Legion of Honor and the title of Commander of the Order of Polonia Restitutia. In 1921 General Ward became Brigadier General of the Fifty-Third Infantry and was assigned to War Department duty. In 1930 he was elevated to the rank of Major General by Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt with the consent of the State Senate. In 1926 Governor Alfred E. Smith had appointed him Adjutant General to replace Edward J. Westcott, who died February 9, 1926. He retired under the age limit, December 4, 1934. General Ward wrote or assisted in the writing of several military textbooks. His reminiscences of the war, entitled "Between the Big Parades," went into four printings. He was elected first vice president of the National Guard Association of the United States in 1923. He was also a member of the Sons of the Revolution, Society of the War of 1812, Sons of Confederate Veterans, United Spanish-American War Veterans, American Legion, Military Order of the World War and the Twenty-Seventh Division Association. He died in 1938 and was interred with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.
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  1. Paul Carella
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