DENVER (CN) – A Colorado couple is suing for the return of their Civil War-era furniture, which was sold at auction last March after the couple left it with a refinisher.
Valued around $10,000, the handmade cherry wood cabinet and buffet were believed to have been owned by the Culp Family of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania during the Civil War. Andrew and Drena Vogt, of Morrison, Colorado, inherited the furniture and brought it to Furniture Medic by Joey in Aurora, Colorado to be refinished.
According to the complaint filed Wednesday in Arapahoe County, Furniture Medic owner Joseph O’Rourke also agreed to store the furniture until the couple settled into their new home. When the rent on the storage locker rented by O’Rourke went unpaid, Bargain Storage let Storage Auction Kings auction off the content.
According to the auctioneer, Barrett Palombo, neither he nor the buyer knew the contents of the storage locker prior to the sale.
But for $540, buyer Gabe Bacca got the grab bag deal of a lifetime.
The historic cherry wood furniture is believed to have belonged to a historic family. Culp’s Hill played a critical role during the Battle of Gettysburg, and the family is a documented part of Civil War lore.
According to an essay written by the great grandson of David Culp—also named David Culp—he fought for the 87th Pennsylvania Infantry alongside his first cousin William Culp, while William’s brother Wesley Culp fought for the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. They met one last time while David was held as a prisoner of war.
The Culp farmhouse where the cabinet and the buffet served the family still stand to this day.
The Vogts claim they rightfully own the furniture through their inheritance and are suing Bacca for repossession. Additionally, they seek to hold the storage facility and auctioneer responsible for conversion since they “did not authorize the auction, sale, or transfer of the cherry wood furniture.”
O’Rourke is being asked to repay the couple $12,000 for the cost of the furniture and his contract to refurbish it. He could not be reached in time for publication.
The Vogt’s are represented by attorney William Banta, who declined to comment on the case until all of the defendants had been formally served.