The Courtney Collection

A collection of significant historical importance has been discovered in a storage facility. 

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The person who purchased the unit was not aware of the importance of the contents which is a collection of photographs and military items, spanning several generations of the Courtney Family.

John Courtney was a reporter and photographer from Haverstraw, New York, photographing notable events such as the 1939-1940s World’s Fair. Courtney and his three brothers served during World War II.  John photographed the U.S. landing on Normandy (D-Day) and the capture of the Kehlsteinhaus (known as the Eagle's Nest in English), and many other well-known events of the war.   He made the rank of Sergeant and returned home in 1945. Upon his return to his native Haverstraw John photographed many political figures including Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, Bobby Kennedy, and James Farley.

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The extensive collection of material compiled by Courtney on Farley is extensive- from photographs to signed letters.  James Farley is not as widely recognized by most today, he was known as the "muscle" of the New Deal and one of the architects of the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 (NIRA). Farley, in accordance with political tradition, was appointed by Roosevelt as Postmaster General, a post traditionally given to the campaign manager or an influential supporter, and Roosevelt also took the unusual step of naming him chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in addition to the cabinet post in 1933.  Farley controlled federal patronage in the new administration and was very influential within Roosevelt's Brain Trust and the Democratic Party throughout the United States. Farley used his control of the patronage to see that Roosevelt's first 100 days of New Deal legislation was passed. Farley masterfully used the patronage machine to line up support for the New Deal's liberal programs. He helped to bring about the end to Prohibition.  Farley also opposed the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937 to "pack" the Supreme Court.

Farley believed in fair play and Equal Rights and in 1940 as Postmaster General he authorized the first postage stamp featuring the likeness of a black American Booker T. Washington whom Farley publicly hailed as the "Negro Moses". This effort was spearheaded by Eleanor Roosevelt as well as others. The first Booker T. Washington stamp was sold by Farley to George Washington Carver at Tuskegee (Ala.) Institute on April 7, 1940. Farley also appeared as a featured speaker at the American Negro Exposition, also known as the Black World's Fair and the Diamond Jubilee Exposition, which was a world's fair held in Chicago from July until September in 1940, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of slavery in the United States at the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865.

After leaving Washington in 1940, Farley was named chairman of the board of the Coca-Cola Export Corporation, a vehicle that was created for his talents. Farley held this post until his retirement in 1973. Farley defeated a Roosevelt bid to name the party's candidate for New York governor in 1942. Farley once again became an important national political force when his old friend, Harry Truman, became president in 1945.

John also collected and amassed an impressive collection of military items. Over 100 helmets spanning World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and Desert Storm.  Also, military packs from the U.S., Germany, Sweden, and France.  There are several bayonets along with gas masks, and uniforms including John Courtney’s.  John also collected reenactment military items from the Civil War period. 
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World War 1 Doughboy Helmet
Babe Ruth promotional photographs for the 1920 movie “Headin Home”
The movie was shot in Haverstraw, New York, and was Babe’s first movie in which he played himself.  There are very few examples of promotional material pertaining to this movie.  Only a few (less than five) pieces have been presented at auction.   The movie can currently be viewed for free on Amazon Video.  There are both period original photographs as well as reprints.
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Babe Ruth 1920s Original Publicity Photos

Bayonet / Trench Shovel continuation: 

 

  • 1BT - Military green colored Bayonet/Trench Shovel with case. Shovel appears to be painted all the way through with the military green color.  Shovel contains has a wooden handle and swivel joint which turns easily for folding. Shovel OPEN measures approximately 28" Long X 6.25" Wide. Shovel CLOSED measures approximately 20.75" Long X 6.25 " Wide. Bayonet has a holder which attaches to the fabric belt case. Bayonet is marked " U.S. M6 " Bayonet has a black handle and measures 11.5" Long X 3" Wide. Holder was marked "USM8AI". Case is colored military green colored, marked "U.S" and holds both the Bayonet and Trench Shovel. Case's straps are buckles are all in good working condition. Kit COMPKETE measures 21" Long X 8.5" Wide. Condition of ALL THREE items is good. 

 

Mask Metal Canisters:

 

  • 1MC - Metal military green colored Mask Canister. Canister does NOT contain a mask. Canister does contain a military strap for carrying canister but not attached. Canister top when open has a square shaped spot for storage with clip. Canister closes nicely and has normal age ware. Canister is only marked with the number 8. Rest of the number has worn away due to age. Condition is good with some expected rust both inside and out. Canister measures 11" Long X 4.75" Wide. 

  • 2MC - Metal military green colored Mask storage Canister with strap. Canister does NOT contain a mask. Canister does contain a military strap for carrying canister. Canister top when open has a square shaped spot for storage with clip. Canister closes nicely and has normal age ware. Canister is NOT marked. Condition is good with some expected rust both inside and out. Canister measures 11" Long X 4.75" Wide.

  • 1A - Wind Tarp set up Kit. Kit has a total of 17 pieces enclosed. Kit may or may not be complete. Kit also includes the military green colored fabric holder. Kit measures approximately 17" High and 4" Long. 

  •  1B - WWI Bayonet with wooden handle in leather holder. Blade is stamped with both US and the year 1917.  Handle has a push button release for when attached to firearm. Condition of this item is good. Total measurements of this item is 22.5" Long X 3" Wide. 

  • 2B - WWI Bayonet with wooden handle in green colored leather holder. Blade is stamped with the year 1907. Handle has a push button release for when attached to firearm. Condition of this item is good. Total measurements of this item is 22.75" Long X 3" Wide. 

  • 3B - Elsener Schwyz Victoria Bayonet. Handle is numbered 598075. Handle is wood and has a push button release for when attached to firearm. Blade holder is metal. Condition of this item is good. Total measurements of this item is 17.5" Long X 3.5" Wide. 

  • 4B - Hembrug Bayonet without holder. Blade has Hembrug stamed on it. Handle is wooden. Item measures 18.75" Long X 2" Wide. Blade has some tape residue near the handle. Condition is good. 

  • 5B - USM8AI Bayonet with holder. Black handle with military green colored holder. Handle has straps and buckles to lock the blade in the holder. Handle also contains the unlocking push in mechanisms when attached to a firearm. Item measures 13.25" Long X 3" Wide. 

  • 6B - Short Bayonet blade with wooden handle and metal holder. Holder has a 3.5" rubber protective covering on it. Bayonet holder has the serial number 04357 stamped on it. Holder has a leather buckle strap attached to it. Total measurements are 13" Long X 2.5" Wide. Condition is good. 

  • 7B - Black handled small Bayonet with holder. Holder has the serial # HZ999 stamped on it. Holder is metal and has a fabric strap with buckles on it to secure the blade. Blade condition is good. Item measures 12.5" Long X 2" Wide. 

  • 8B - Brown handled small Bayonet with metal holder. Holder has a 3.5" rubber protective covering on it. Neither the blade nor holder has a name or numbers stamped on it. Blade handle does contain a leather strap with buckles. Bayonet total measurements are 13.5" Long X 2.75" Wide.   

  • 9B - Brown handled small Bayonet with brown leather holder. Blade is stamped with the serial # H5022.  Holder does has spot for belt if desired and also a leather strap with buckle to secure. Total measurements for this item is 11.75" Long X 2.5" Wide 

  • 2A - Wool Blue Military Overcoat. Coat is button down and has inside liner for extra warmth. Cannot find size but we believe it's a size MEDIUM. Coat rolls up and has 2 black leather straps to secure for easy storage. 

  • 3A - Biohazard suit with shoes. Suit is in protective case and secured by 2 buckles. Cannot find size of suit but we believe it's size MEDIUM.  

Canteen's:

 

  • 1C - WWI Era Lead Canteen with NO cork and military green colored Wool outside covering. Canteen's wool covering's condition is fair with a rip and some ware on the bottom. Straps attached to the Canteen are not original. Canteen measures approximately 8.5" Long X 9" High. Overall condition is FAIR.    

  • 2C - WWI Era Lead Canteen with cork on string. Cork has some chipping and is original. Canteen has buckles on each side but no straps. The string attached to the cork is a replacement. Overall condition is FAIR. Canteen measures approximately 8.25" Long X 9.5" High (with cork installed). 

  • 3C - WWI Era Lead Canteen with cork and Blue colored wool outside covering. Wool covering's condition is good with no rips or runs in it. There is a patch on the bottom which contains no markings. Canteen has 2 buckles on each side but no straps for carrying. Cork contains a crack going 3/4 of the way around. Other chips and dings are noticed on the cork. Cork's string is a replacement. Overall condition is FAIR. Canteen measure approximately 8.5" Long X 10" High (with cork installed). 

  • 4C - WWII Era Canteen Set. Canteen has wool covering with cup attached. Set is not original. Canteen has a screw on top, Wool outside casing, and leather straps holding the cup. All straps and buckles are in good condition. Wool has no rips or tears. Cup is colored green and is showing minimal rust spots. Set measures approximately 9.5" Long X 5.75" Wide   

  • 5C - WWII Era Canteen Set. Canteen set has wool covering with cup attached. Set is marked CFL37. Canteen top is screw on and is also marked CFL37. Wool casing is marked with CFL37 and is in good condition but has some stains from age. Cup is attached to the set by leather straps. Straps are in good working condition. Cup is colored black and has some scraps and is in fair condition. Set measures approximately 9.5" Long X 6" Wide. 

  • 10B - WWI or earlier triangular shaped Bayonet with holder and includes a black leather belt with ammunition holder. Leather, buckles and straps are all in good condition.  Ammunition holder includes a bayonet adjusting bottle with screw top. Blade shows some rust and measures approximately 20" Long. Leather belt when fastened measures approximately 18" Long. Leather ammunition holder measures approximately 6.5" Long X 4.5" High. 

  • 11B - WWI or earlier triangular shaped Bayonet with leather holder. Holder contains spot to put a belt through. Blade is stamped "US". Leather holder is stamped "J.C Miller - US ORD Dept." Newark N.J. Total length of the bayonet is 22"  

  • 12B - Star shaped Bayonet with leather holder. Blade is marked with " * 5 " and is in good condition. Leather holder is marked with "Sproulis Meeker & Co. New York" Bayonet measures approximately 23.5" Long. 

  • 13B - WWI or earlier triangular shaped Bayonet with leather holder. Holder has a belt clip with no other markings on it. Blade is not marked either. Both the blade and holder are in real good condition. Bayonet measure approximately 23.25" Long 

  • 14B - Star shaped Bayonet Blade only. No markings on the bayonet. Bayonet is in good shape. Items measures approximately 22" Long. 

  • 15B - Star shaped Bayonet Blade only. Bayonet is marked "1203309". Blade has some rust. Blade measure approximately 20" Long. 

  • 16B - WWI or earlier triangular shaped blade. Blade is marked with " G & ER - I J " Bayonet is in good shape with no flaws. Bayonet measures approximately 20" Long  

TRENCH SHOVELS

  • TS1 - WWII Military green colored metal Trench Shovel with brown wooden handle and leather protective covering of the edges. Shovel is stamped with " Made in GDR" (German Democratic Republic). Handle is stamped with "K6" Shovel has a swivel joint to fold. Shovel contains normal scrapes and rust, but overall condition is good. Swivel Joint twists easily to both open and fold.  Shovel Open measures approximately 25" Long 6.5" Wide.  Shovel folded measures approximately 17.5" Long and 6.5" Wide. 

  • TS2 - WWII Black colored metal Trench Shovel with brown wooden handle and leather protective covering for the edges. Shovel is stamped with "Made in GDR" (German Democratic Republic). Shovel has a swivel joint to fold. Shovel contains normal scrapes and paint chipping, but overall condition is good. Swivel joint twists easily to both open and fold. Shovel OPEN measures approximately 23" Long X 6.5" Wide. Shovel FOLDED measure approximately 15.5" Long X 6.5" Wide. 

  • TS3 - Black colored metal Trench Shovel with brown wooden handle in brown leather outside protective covering for the edges. Neither the shovel nor handle is marked. Shovel has normal scraps and paint chipping; overall condition is good. Shovel measures approximately 22" Long X 6.75" Wide. 

  • TS4 - WWII black metal Trench Shovel with wooden handle inside a brown leather protective casing. Shovel is stamped with "FA SOH 41" Leather case is marked "F. Kauer Aegerten" Casing condition is good with normal scrapes, straps and buckles in good working order. Shovel is also in good condition. Shovel with case measure approximately 22" Long X 7" Wide.  

  • TS5 - Metal Trench Shovel with brown wooden handle and leather protective covering for the edges. Neither the shovel nor the wooden handle is marked. Shovel shows some rust on both front and back, but it is in overall good condition. Straps and buckles on leather casing is also in good working order. Shovel and protective casing measures approximately 20.5" Long X 6.5" Wide.

  • TS6 - Black metal Trench Shovel with brown wooden handle with a Burlap protective casing.  Neither the shovel nor the handle has any marking on them. Shovel shows normal age ware but overall is in good condition. Burlap casing shows no material ware and is also in good shape. Strap and buckle are in good working order and will secure shovel. Shovel measures approximately 19.75" Long X 8" Wide. 

A - Large  measuring 12" High X 15" Long Mustard colored Military bag with Blanket and                     inside compartments containing 4 cartridges 

  • B - Small Military green bag measuring 10" High X 12" Long stripes Military bag with Cantine and top, gas mask and hose.

  • C - Medium size measuring 12" High X by 12" Long military Green with Orange leather trim and leather straps. Bag contains 4 cartridges and Tin meal kit. Kits contains Tin cup, Tin fork and spoon, Tin cup and military green wool hat  

  • D - Small military green bag measuring 11" High X 13" Long labeled DEC 1940. Bag contains Mask, Hose, Screw on filter, Pair of replacement eye lenses for mask. 

  • E - Large sized measures 13" High X 12" Long Backpack style green bag. Bag contains 2 leather ammunition carrying cases, mask with attached filter, Mask & filter carry Tin storage container with straps labeled WRZ 1934. Screw top Tin Cantine.   

  • F - Medium sized measuring 12" High X 12" Long, military green w/ stripes carry bag. Bag contains Burlap bag NIP, PUP tent. 

  • G - Medium sized measuring 12" High X 12" Long military green w/ stripes carry bag. Bag contains, mustard gas protection slip on, NIP mask with NIP mask filter. 

  • H - Medium sized measuring 12" High X 12" Long, military green w/ stripes carry bag. Bag contains 4 smaller matching color bags with buckles, 1 pistol holder also matching. Also contain 2 plastic canines with cups attached. Bag also has extra strap for carrying. 

  •  I - Medium sized measures 12" High X 10" Long military green w/ black stripes carry bag. Bag contains 1 rubber full sized mask (model # S-38784), NIP filters, NIP eye lenses and 1 mustard gas slip on mask. 

  • J - Medium sized measuring 12" High X 12" Long military green bag w/ stripes. Bag contains 11 smaller matching-colored bags for storage w/ securing straps. 

  • K - X-Large sized measuring 13" High X 18" Long military green bag w/ stripes. Bag contains pair of colored matching gloves, small sack, hat and XXL sized sack. Bag also contains 2 pair of grey wool socks, 1 camo hood, 1 white German size 5 shirt, Fork, knife and spoon (placement for one), 2 garrison hats with east German emblems on each of them. 1 NIP metal case of Pyrofix fire starters (pack of 12)

  • L - WWII Swiss Army brown fir backpack. Measures 17" High X 10" Long. Bag contains 2 Leather belt ammunition holders, 1 brown leather belt, and 1 ammo empty clip holder. 

  • M - XL bag stamped with US.  Military green colored measuring 11" High X 17" Long. Bag contains 1 pair of Army pants sized waist 31 to 35. 1 Army jacket sized Medium, 1 side belt pouch, Winter cap sized 7 &1/4 (Hat is 60% Wool and 40% cotton) and 2 pair of suspenders. 

  • N - Medium sized military green colored backpack which contains a set of military pants and jacket. Both sized at Medium. Backpack measures 13" High X 11" Long. Backpack is stamped with U.S. 

  • O - Small Military backpack colored Military green measuring 11" High X 9" Long. Backpack is stamped with U.S.  Bag contains 1 fork stamped US, 1 can of cookies, 1 can of crackers, 1 can of cheese and crackers, and 1 can of cocoa. Bag also contains 2 cans of unknown contents. Also contains a small bag of military rations / survival supplies. Bag also contains a camo wind tarp, Green Military towel also enclosed. 

  • 1 - Olive colored green military backpack with brown leather trim. 3 total places for storage (1 front, 2 side) Backpack does NOT contain the straps for carrying. Condition is good with no material flaws. Buckles and straps for closing are in good working order. Backpack measures approximately 14" High X 12" Long.  

  • 2 - Military green colored drawstring backpack bag. Condition of bag is good with no material flaws. All straps and buckles are in good working condition. Total of 3 areas for storage. Backpack measures approximately 17" High X 18" Long.  

  • 3 - Military green carry bag. Bag is stamped with U.S. Condition is good with some spots of discoloration. No material flaws and all buckles and straps are in good working condition. 1 pocket for storage in this bag. Bag measures 10" High X 12" Long.  

  • 4 - Grey Military carry bag. Condition of the bag is really good. Bag has 4 buttons for closure. All buttons and straps are in good working order. Bag measures approximately 13" High X 12" Long.   

  • 5 - Military green carry bag. Condition is fair, bag does have some spots around it that has been re-stitched. No holes noted. Buckels and straps are in good working condition. Bag measures approximately 11" High X 12" Long.  

  • 6 - Military green satchel with strap. Condition of the bag is good with a slight run on the bottom. No holes noted. All straps and buttons are in good working condition for closure. Bag measures approximately 10" High X 11" Long.  

  • 7 - Olive colored carry bag with brown leather trim. Bag is in fair condition with some notable stains all over the bag. No material flaws noted. Missing 1 piece of a leather strap on the bottom of the bag which measure 3" long. The other bottom strap is detached on one side. All other buckles and straps are in good working condition. Bag measures approximately 12" High X 11.5" Long. 

  • 8 - Grey & Black colored Military Satchel/Carry bag. Bag is stamped with the numbers 1108284 on the front. Condition is in real good shape with no flaws noted. Bag has a small compartment inside with a drawstring. Both buttons and straps are in good working condition. Bag measures 8" High X 9" Long. 

  • 9 - Military green colored bag which can be also used as a backpack. Bag has the Backpack straps included. Condition is good. No material flaws noted. All buckles and straps are in good working condition. Bag measures approximately 12" High X 8" Long. 

  • 10 - Military green drawstring carrying bag. Straps for carrying is NOT attached and is in need of repair on one end. Condition is good and no other flaws are noted on this bag. Bag measures approximately 24" High X 16" Long. 

  • 11 - Lot of 3 smaller Military green colored side belt carrying bags. Each bag measures approximately 8" High X approximately 7" Long. Each bag is in good condition with the straps and buckles in good working order. Smallest bag contains a pinhole in the front, but no other material flaws are noted on the others.  

  • 12 - Military green drawstring bag with carrying straps. Condition of the bag is good. A slight pinhole sized run is noted on the front of the bag. No other material or strap flaws are noted for this bag. Bag measures 24" High X 16.5" Long. 

  • P - Military Backpack colored green measuring 12" High W/ blanket and 18" High W/O blanket X 12" Long. Bag contains one fabric PUP tent, 1 green military style blanket (aligned on the outside of the bag), 1 (1939 to 1945) RED CROSS bandage NIP, 1 pair of grey wool socks, 1 blue and white pillowcase, 1 pair of wool gloves, 1 white long sleeve shirt, 1 small satchel measuring 10" High X 10" Long. 

  • Q - Military Beige cotton Satchel with button top. Bag measures 12" High X 10" Long. Bag has no holes or runs in the fabric. Bag is stained due to the age. 

  • R - Military green drawstring bag. Bag measures 15" High X 12" Long. Bag has 2 compartments inside for store. No holes or stains. Leather straps and buckles are all in good shape for carrying and closing. 

  • S - Green military satchel. Condition of this bag is like new both inside and outside. Bag measures 11.5" High X 11" Long. Inside of bag has multiple small pockets to store items. 

  • T - Green cotton military satchel with button top. Bag measures 12" High X 10" Long. Bag contain 2 different compartments for storage. Condition of bag is good both inside and outside. 

  • U - Green military satchel. Condition of this bag is like new both inside and outside. Bag measures 11.5" High X 11" Long. Inside of bag has multiple small pockets to store items.

  • V -Smaller green military pouch measuring 10" High X 12" Long. Condition is good, and the leather straps are in good working order. 

  • W - Black leather wallet. Wallet is in good condition and has now flaws both inside and outside. Leather strap is good and secures wallet nicely. Wallet measures 5.25" High X 7.25" Long. 

  • X - Green military pouch. Pouch measures 10" High X 7" Long. Pouch can attach on a belt. Leather straps are in good condition and attach to the button nicely. 

  • Y - Military green Czech Rucksack dated 1971. Bag is in real good condition and has no flaws. Bag measures 17" High X 17" Long. 

  • Z - Green military satchel. Condition of this bag is good both inside and outside. Bag measures 11.5" High X 11" Long. Inside of bag has multiple small pockets to store items