Civil War

Civil War: Gavel from Davis' "White House"

Civil War: Gaval from Davis' "White House"


A wooden Gavel used in the "White House" of the Confederacy. [Richmond, Virginia; in use 1861-65. A small light wooden gavel, length 210 mm, length of head 75 mm (8" x 3") . With two late 19th century labels on the handle, one in ink "White House, Richmond," the second underneath, in pencil partially obscured " ... house of Confederacy," together with a mid 20th century dealer's tag, "Gavel, c.1861-65 Used in the White house of the Confederacy," also with an old auction lot number painter on the head "259." One side of the head damaged with some loss, probably with later nails securing the head to the stem.


Reportedly, an extraordinary survival of a piece of history from Jefferson Davis's "White House" at 1201 East Clay St, in Richmond. The house had been built in 1818 for John Brockenbrough, who was President of the Bank of Virginia. It then went through various hands before being purchased by the City of Richmond in 1860, after which it was rented to the Government of the Confederacy as the Executive Mansion. The Capitol of the Confederacy was moved from Montgomery to Richmond, and Davis moved in with his young family in August 1861. Davis gathered around him suitable military personnel as advisers, some 13 in all, two of whom lived on the third floor of the house, others in the district nearby. Davis had his offices on the second floor where he would meet with his advisers, and this sort of gavel may well have been used to bring order to unruly meetings. The house was abandoned by Davis on April 2nd 1865, and within 12 hours the Union Corps had seized the house intact. On the 4th April Abraham Lincoln entered the city and stopped for three hours at the Executive Mansion, but would not go up to the second floor as it was the private quarters of former president Davis. Five days later General Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia surrendered to U.S. Grant. The Executive Mansion became a military HQ, but in 1870 was taken back by the City of Richmond, and was used as a school. A society was formed in 1890 to save the building and today it is a museum dedicated to the Confederacy.’

Ex bonhams auctions


Item: 64587

Price: $7,500.00
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Civil War
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