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1810 to the 1830's period, US Militia Felt Top Hat with Planchet
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This ultra rare top hat is of the 1810 ("War of 1812") period and worn up to about the 1830's. The hat is a US commercial version modified for Army militia use. This was a popular practice in those days. Often, the higher the hat the higher the rank, therefore these hats are often attributed to Officers. The militia unit of this hat is unknown, as the greater majority are. This hat has a magnificant pewter eagle planchet depicting an eagle with a sun burst shield. The eagle is clutching an olive branch in it's right talon and arrows in his left. The eagle is a seperate piece attached to a large sun burst shield. The shield in turn has the seperate letters "E.R." which are for an un-known regiment (possibly for "Edward's Rifles?"). The top crown is seperated half way through, but intact otherwise (a common occurance for these tops hats which are almost 200 years old). Actually we are surprised that it is not totally detached as would be common these days. The outer body of felt is solidified but almost totally intact making this hat quite attractive. The brim is firmly attached and in great shape (they are almost always detached). The lower body gold silk jaquard pattern hat band is intact and perfect, which is rare as they are almost always missing. The interior shows no evidence of ever having a lining. The sweat band is detached as is usual, but amazingly still in great shape (it is suprising that it is not missing as is usual). The interior crown is lined and gauze overlayed. Crown lining has a printed manufacturer's logo and "Latest Fashion" imprint. Inked on the crown lining are 2 names. The 1st name is "Cole", and the 2nd name (which is written-in several times) of "Monroe." Named vintage headgear such as this is prized by all collectors/historians today. The green plume is intact, full and still colorful for it's great age. While this helmet's body is damaged, it is still quite presentable. This reflects in it's low price. For the advanced and knowledgable collector or museum.
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