Searching For The 'Lost' Artifacts



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*Where are these items now?*

Become a "Cazador de la Historia"

Like most collectors I waste way too much time on internet auction sites like ebay and others.  Even after bidding a small fortune on the items I want, I still loose many artifacts and images that I would really like to include in my research and future book.  Below are some of these 'lost' items and photos that have been fairly won by other serious collectors.  I would like your help in discovering the current location of these items.  I am not trying to buy these items, unless the owners want to sell them.  However, I would like to add them to the project's resources in the form of large, clear digital images to increase the knowledge and understanding of colonial material culture If you are the current owner of these relics and can shoot digital photos of them on a white or very light gray background at 1 meg or larger size I would be very grateful. If you are not the owner but know their location, please have the owner contact me at:

¡Muchas Gracias!

Lost Item #7

Philippine Republican (Insurgent) Army NCO Chevrons

Two documented Filipino rank chevrons captured during the Philippine-American War and sold on ebay a little over a year ago.  The top is for a sergeant, ca. 1898, the lower insignia is for a corporal and represents a change from red versions and was made later in the war. Chevrons of this type were illustrated on an insignia chart taken from General Aguinaldo's headquarters when he was captured in 1901.  If you are the current owner or know the location, I would like to get high resolution photos of these artifacts for inclusion in the book.  Please contact me at

Lost Item #6

Photo of a Cuban Volunteer in Gala Uniform

A pre-1884 image of an officer, possibly from the 1º Batallón Ligeros de Habana, wearing a dress uniform with Ros.  This was sold on Spanish ebay a couple of years ago. If you own this image, please contact me. Thanks!

Lost Item #5

Hate Belt

Sold by a dealer in the Chicago area around 2006 on ebay. I would like some detailed photos, especially of the buckle front and back.  By the way, I have the missing end piece from this belt.

Lost Item #4

Photo of a Soldier of the Intendencia - Administración Militar

(Supply or Quartermaster Corps of the Military Administration Service)

Sold on ebay a number of years ago. This is the only image I have come across that shows the collar insignia of this branch on a colonial uniform.  I would like an high resolution jpeg of this photo for use in the book.  Help please!

Lost Item #1

Volunteer Captain's Tunic and Armband

This tunic sold on Spanish ebay in 2006 or there abouts.  I would like to get good photos of this and the armband that came with it.  Believed to be somewhere in Spain.

Lost Item #2


Although I was not able to find this exact plate, a friend in Spain was able to locate an identical specimen.

Artillery Cartridge Box Plate


Sold around 2007 on US ebay.  Period photos show this plate on the boxes used by volunteer artillerymen in 1898.  Believed to be somewhere in Spain.

Volunteer Artilleryman with the above plate attached to his cartridge box.  Photo taken at  the Zaragoza artillery battery in Cienfuegos, Cuba in 1898.


Lost Item #3

Manila Volunteer Battalion Accoutrement Set


This equipment set was sold in 2007 by a well known dealer in Civil War and early American militaria and was misidentified by him as a Confederate cartridge belt.  It is, in fact, a locally made Philippine colony copy of the regulation Model 1886 Infantry equipment for use with the Remington rolling block rifle.  Its use is well documented in photos of the loyal Spanish Manila Volunteers.  It is complete except for the suspenders and bayonet frog.  I have an example of the square front pouch and a single suspender strap.  I would like to complete the documentation of this interesting accoutrement variation by locating this set.  Believed to still be in the United States.



More lost artifacts to be added, keep watching amigos.


All material is Copyright 2008 by William K. Combs.  No portion may be used without permission.