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military hat with brass plume holder & badge buttons

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    Posted 6 years ago

    kathie25
    (3 items)

    military hat found in Iowa college with military band dating to early 1900s and possible 1800s. Brass (?) plume holder and front eagle badge - Brass (?) buttons with military emblems on side of hat - Brass (?) button on top of hat holding in the plume to the holder. Plume is yellow/gold and feels is stiff like horses tail

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    Comments

    1. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 6 years ago
      This is a U.S. Army Cavalry dress helmet, Model of 1881. Side buttons should show crossed swords.

      Because of the cloth over cork construction, many of these haven't lasted over time, and I see the crown of yours is starting to collapse. I suggest you display/store it in a way that the inside top of the helmet is supported and the weight of the plume is not resting only on the shell of the helmet.

      These are very collectable among 19th century US military enthusiasts. Without knowing what you paid for the lot, I'm guessing you did pretty well with this in the lot.
    2. kathie25, 6 years ago
      Thanks for the information. I rescued these hats from the garbage and just curious of age and looking to find them a home. Thanks again.
    3. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 6 years ago
      Well, this was a very good find, and I would love to adopt this helmet and take it home with me where it would be well cared for. Unfortunately the rule against "solicitations to by or sell" keep me from making an offer.
    4. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 6 years ago
      TubeAmp caught the zip code on your tricorn hats. Same company here, but I think they had these in stock as military surplus. Lots of these helmets ended their days with school bands and such.
    5. kathie25, 6 years ago
      Not sure what this means - the hats may be older than 1963, but were resold by a military surplus store?
    6. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 6 years ago
      Exactly.

      The Model 1881 dress helmet was used by the US Army from 1881 till about 1904. For decades afterwards, costume companies and "military clothiers" bought them cheap and then sold them to marching bands as uniforms
    7. kathie25, 6 years ago
      Thanks so much you are very helpful.
    8. FDChief, 6 years ago
      I hate to burst your bubble but if you look carefully at the label, it has both a phone number and a Zipcode, which came to be only in 1967! This headgear was most likely manufactured for costume or marching band purposes.

      Sorry!
    9. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 6 years ago
      Please check comments 4 & 6 above. Surplus sold though a "militiary clothier", even 70 year old surplus, was not unusual. Although it could be a reproducton, I don't think an Iowa college would invest in fairly expensive Late Indian Wars/Spanish American War reenactor equipment for band wear, nor do I think it would be retailed though a company that as far as I know, does not specialize in reproductions. For those reasons, and I am willing to be proven wrong, I do believe this is a Model 1881 helmet re-sold by the company on the label after the adoption of the zip code system.
    10. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 6 years ago
      Also, you'll notice the top of the crown is starting to cave in. Although I didn't ask the seller about the composition, this is pretty normal on the original helmets, as the cork supporting the crown starts to crumble under the weight of the plume over the years. I admit if I were to buy this, I would certainty want a closer examination to be sure it wasn't a repro.

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