Civil War Soldier’s Skull For Sale

Update: Bidding canceled. Nice to hear that people called in and complained. Seemed like a no-brainer.

Yes, you heard that right. Tom Taylor with Estate Auction Company had this to say:

It’s really one of the neatest things I’ve ever seen. This person may have given their life for their country. It’s something of honor and historical significance.

Yes, it is, but do you really believe that auctioning it off is the best way to pay tribute to that sacrifice? As of Sunday the highest bid is $275.

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“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

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10 comments… add one
  • Julian Jun 5, 2014 @ 11:28

    This issue has received universal and rightful condemnation across the whole political spectrum of the civil war online community. May be other families and private collectors with such material may consider turning it over to the NOS -given that body parts of foreigner, criminals, the insane were often seen as curios

    • Kevin Levin Jun 5, 2014 @ 11:43

      That would be ideal, but the only reason this situation turned out the way it did was because of the intense media coverage. The mighty dollar will prevail.

      • Julian Jun 5, 2014 @ 12:47

        sorry meant to type NPS – and note that this callousness about body parts as ornaments and collectables was acceptable until recently. Intense publicity and digital communication spreading the story quickly and widely forced the withdrawal of the sale . Your blog helped get the story out beyond the reenactors. Ethics jammed the market place

  • Matt McKeon Jun 4, 2014 @ 3:39

    I didn’t think it was deliberate, I’m just having a cheap laugh. Full disclosure: I once argued for showing the Ric Burns PBS documentary on the Donner Party by saying it was “tastefully done.”

  • Simea mirans Jun 3, 2014 @ 9:46

    The eBay terms of service are pretty clear in the case of human body parts: . Though people used to sell reliquaries with the disclaimer that the relics, while present, were not part of the sale. I don’t know whether that still gets through.

  • Matt McKeon Jun 2, 2014 @ 12:54

    Selling a skull is a no brainer. Listen to yourself, Kevin. And if it was a deliberate pun, I weep for you.

    • Kevin Levin Jun 2, 2014 @ 13:21

      I completely missed that. It’s been a long day. Sorry if I offended anyone.

  • Trevor Rowland Jun 2, 2014 @ 11:22
  • Forester Jun 2, 2014 @ 8:38

    Disgusting! I thought selling body parts was illegal??

  • Ken Noe Jun 2, 2014 @ 5:11

    The E-Bay market for artifacts had already endangered every Civil War grave in the nation. Now get ready for a whole lot more grave robbing if this ghoul makes his money.

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