PATTERN 1872 OFFICER’S UNDRESS
UNIFORM COAT – EXCELLENT CONDITION w/ ORIGINAL
LIEUTENANT COLONEL SHOULDER STRAPS – BEAUTIFUL SPECIMEN:
Introduced during a time
when most army officers did not wear, much less own, a
suit of civilian clothing, these Pattern 1872 Officer’s
Undress Uniform Coats were intended to be worn, as
stated in the regulations: “…for fatigues, marches,
squad and company drills, and other drills when a
authorized by the commanding officer, and for ordinary
wear….”. A simple design similar in cut to the
enlisted blouses of the era, these Undress Coats were
trimmed with a mohair braid highlighted with trefoils
which terminated each end of the braid surrounding the
buttons, creating a distinctive appearance for the
officer as he made his way through his daily routine.
This 1872 Undress Coat (also referred to as a blouse)
shows obvious signs of having been part of an officer’s
wardrobe, evidenced by the presence of the shoulder
straps, but it was gently worn, properly stored, and has
survived in excellent condition as a very respectable
specimen of genuine Indian War era uniforming worn on
The coat presents in as close to “like new” condition as
is possible, having been worn. There is no mothing,
wear spots, or damage of any kind. The wool is very
solid with no weak points, and no open seams.
There is no wear to the
collar, cuffs, or bottom edge of the blouse - unusual to
find on these original uniforms.
The coat is adorned with a very
desirable, and quite rare, matched pair of the
Officer's Pattern 1851 Shoulder Straps.
Introduced before the Civil War, this same pattern was
worn by officers on their garrison and field uniforms
through the end of the 19th Century, in the halls of the
War Department and the parade fields of the frontier
forts alike. Normally found today separated from the
officers’ uniforms, and more often than not as single
pieces, finding a uniform coat with both straps in place
is unusual in itself. This pair is particularly nice,
matched in every way, and no doubt on the coat since the
officer wore it. Measuring 4” long and 1 ˝” wide, these
straps are full form and have survived in excellent
condition. Each strap bears the two fully intact silver
oak leaves signifying the rank of lieutenant colonel, on
a dark blue wool field indicating the officer served on
a general staff or in one of the staff corps.
While a staff officer’s shoulder straps might not create
the exciting mental images as those worn by a cavalry or
infantry officer, these staff officers performed
critically important functions such as Ordnance and
Surrounding the dark blue field is
a very pronounced border of 3/8” wide embroidered high
quality gold bullion. These borders have some tarnish,
but still retain much of the original glitter, with no
tears or wear points, and the embroidery is still firmly
attached to the base. Along the inside and outside
edges of the embroidered bullion is a fine border of
jaceron, the thin bullion bead characteristic to well
made shoulder straps. The jaceron is fully intact, with
one separation at one corner, but no missing sections.
dark blue wool field on both straps is fully intact,
showing no wear and retaining an even clear color. The
straps are full form and lay flat against the coat with
none of the curling often found in these old straps.
The collar, front and bottom edges, the front and cuffs
are all trimmed with the regulation black mohair braid.
The most notable decoration to the coat are the trefoils
on the front of the coat, applied in pairs to the right
and left of each of the four lower buttons. (The
trefoils were referred to in the regulations as
“herring-bone loops”.) As dictated in the regulations,
each sleeve is decorated with “a knot of black
braid…..on the upper part of the cuff”. All of the
mohair braid is fully intact, securely sewn with no
loose spots, and in overall excellent condition with no
fading or wear.
The five original Indian War era Staff Officer buttons
with their distinctive standing rim are intact down the
front of the blouse. Buttons at the cuff of the sleeves
were not called for in the regulations, and while some
officers chose to add them, cuff buttons were never
intended as part of the design of this coat.
The body of the coat is lined with black/dark green
polished satin and the sleeves are lined with a brown
and tan striped satin. These linings are all in
excellent condition with no wear or damage.
Due to the day to day wear the coats were subjected to,
and that they were worn into field, and then coupled
with the limited number of officers in the army during
the Indian War, these coats are not particularly common.
This is a very respectable example of the desirable
Indian War Officer’s Pattern 1872 Undress Coat, one
which would be an attractive addition to your
collection, and would be almost impossible to upgrade.
NOTE: To say that photographing
dark blue wool is a challenge is an understatement.
Its closer to a nightmare. In
normal lighting, it appears black and none of the finer
features or condition details can be seen clearly. In
order to highlight the features and provide you with an
accurate view of the material, I have to lighten the
contrast of the photograph which in turn causes the even
colored dark blue wool to appear faded or discolored
when such is not the case. This coat is an even dark
blue color as is seen in background wool surrounding the
close up photograph of the button. Trust that you
will not be disappointed in this coat.