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Adam Caire 3 - Gallon Large Floral Design Stoneware Jug

Very Scarce Early Example Circa 1878 - 1895

Stamped “ 3 " and “ADAM CAIRE / PO'KEEPSIE N Y" – his trade mark manner of spelling the town of Poughkeepsie NY from 1878 – 1896. Adam Caire was a potter who worked with his family from 1857 until his death in 1896. The business was founded in 1840 by Adam’s father. A CDV image of Adam Caire is shown.

Three-gallon salt glazed cylindrical stoneware jug with a brushed cobalt blue floral decoration and sloped shoulder, large spout and handle. Weight ~ 12.5 lbs, 9.5” diameter and 15” tall. The mouth has an old cork material in it.

Very Fine Condition with a strong handle.  There is an age crack on the bottom one third of the jug running up the side about 1.5 inches to the right side below the flower decoration. There are NO repairs or chips. Originally these were functional rather than decorative.


Based on internet searches, Adam Caire Jugs are much harder to find than open mouth crocks and jars. Price $325


Circa 1860 Confederate Naval Dirk - French or British Made - Brass Scabbard w Dolphin Motif

(The dolphin motif often indicates Confederate Naval edged weapons)

Steel blade has an ebony checkered handle with silver inlay on both edges marked: “Lt. Richard F. Armstrong” and “C.S.S. Alabama” SOLD

Lt. Armstrong was the third commanding officer on the Confederate ship C.S.S. Alabama – one of the most famous ships of the Civil War. His fellow officers were 1st Lt. John McIntosh and Commander Raphael Semmes.  

Richard Fielder Armstrong was born in Eatonton GA on June 3 1842 and later entered the US Naval Academy in Maryland on April 21 1857. After graduation he was a midshipman on US sloops-of-war "Preble" and "Plymouth" in the Atlantic near European and African islands.

When Georgia seceded from the Union, Armstrong resigned from US Navy as midshipman on Jan. 30 1861 and was appointed the same position of the navy of the state of Georgia. He was then appointed midshipman in the Confederate States Navy and was ordered to report to Commander Raphael Semmes at New Orleans who commanded the streamer C.S.S. Sumter. On June 30 1861 the Sumter ran the blockade and began a six month cruise during which it burned 18 enemy vessels. Upon arriving at Gibraltar, the Sumter was condemned as unseaworthy and Semmes left Armstrong with a crew to stay with the ship until further orders. 

In July 1862 Armstrong was ordered to report to Hon. James M. Mason, commissioner of the Confederate States in London. Armstrong was ordered to await the arrival of Capt. Semmes who would take command of the “290” which was later became the Alabama.

Armstrong served on the C.S.S. Alabama during her entire service and led most of the boarding parties in searching and assessing enemy vessels, 65 of which were condemned and burned. The estimated value of these ships is about $122 million in current dollars making the Alabama one of the most successful raiders in naval warfare history.

The C.S.S. Alabama finally met her fate when she was attacked and sank by the U.S.S. Kearsarge off the coast of Cherbourg France on June 19 1864. Nine crew members were killed, 10 drowned and 21 men were wounded including Lt. Armstrong.

He was rescued from the waters of the English Channel, although exhausted and wounded, by a French fishing boat and was taken to Cherbourg. Most of the crew, all of whom were British, were rescued from the water by the Kearsarge and were taken to Cherbourg. There was much anger by the U.S. Government when they were paroled.

Upon recovery, Armstrong received orders to return to service for the Confederacy. The officers of the Alabama were all Americans and they knew they were being hunted as pirates by the U.S. Government and could face eventual trial and execution. Knowing he had to run the blockade and not wanting to possess any items associating him to the Alabama, Armstrong probably gave his marked dirk to one of the British crewmen who had served on the Alabama and that sailor took it back to England where it remained until recently purchased from an antique shop in London England.

Armstrong embarked on the blockade runner Caroline and after unsuccessfully attempting to land at Wilmington NC he landed on the beach near Georgetown SC. He eventually made his way back to Richmond.

Armstrong was ordered back to Wilmington where he commanded three guns during the Battle of Ft. Fisher in Dec. 1864. In march 1865 Armstrong was ordered to Richmond again as an instructor on the school-ship Patrick Henry and was in the area when Richmond fell. He was ordered on April 2 1865 to be part of the escort President Jefferson Davis, his cabinet and the Confederate treasury as they escaped south.  

Armstrong was captured and paroled near Washington GA and then returned home. After Commander Semmes was arrested for treason in December 1965, Armstrong escaped to Halifax Nova Scotia where he became a general agent of the Grand Turk Railway for the Maritime Provinces of Canada. He married and raised a family in Nova Scotia where he died on May 6 1904 at the age of 61. He is buried in St. John’s Cemetery in Halifax.

When Lt. Armstrong received and had the dirk engraved is unknown, but possibly during his many ports of call when the Alabama made several world cruises to Singapore, Capetown, the Caribbean and the coast of South America.  He most probably carried it when boarding other ships. Artifacts from the C.S.S. Alabama are scarce and from excavations in the 1990’s to 2002 include over 500 artifacts including three cannons, cannon balls, ship components and bell, and items of daily life such as flushing toilets, dishes, and bottles.


A personal item such as this dirk is a true one of a kind. The dirk shows use wear on the letters of the engraved officer and ship names. This dirk came from an antique business, Andrew Bottomley Antique Arms & Armour of United Kingdom, in business since 1968.

Armstrong 2.jpg
Armstrong 3.jpg

Images of Lt. Armstrong of the C.S.S. Alabama

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