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CIVIL WAR PATTERN OF 1851 SHOULDER STRAPS FOR THE RANK OF CAPTAIN OF CAVALRY RARE MATCHING PAIR IN VERY GOOD CONDITION:   This is a very desirable, and quite rare, matched pair of Pattern 1851 Shoulder Straps for the rank of Captain of Cavalry.  Introduced before the Civil War, this 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, and on the battlefields of Gettysburg, the Little Big Horn, and on San Juan Hill.   

Measuring 4 long and 1 wide, these straps have survived as a matched pair in very nice condition.  Each strap bears the two fully intact pairs of gold bars signifying the rank, on a yellow velvet field indicating the officer served in the cavalry, likely a company commander.    

Surrounding the field is a very pronounced border of 3/8 wide embroidered high quality gold bullion.  These borders are tarnished, but still retain some of the original gilt, 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, and long each outer edge of the captain bars, is a fine border of jaceron, the thin bullion bead characteristic to well made shoulder straps.  The jaceron is fully intact, with the exception of the short section along the edge of one end on one of the straps.     

These straps show obvious signs of having once been on a uniform coat, and subject to regular wear, suggesting the Captain wore this pair on his regular duty uniform in garrison and in the field, and not on a dress uniform coat worn only on special occasions.  The yellow velvet fields on both straps is fully intact, but show wear in the center sections where the straps crested the arch of the officer's shoulder.  The wear is limited to the nap of the velvet, and the base cloth is still intact with no tears or holes.  The velvet in the protected areas closer to the bullion bars retains the nap and the full color.  The straps are full form and lay flat with none of the curling often found in these old straps.  The blue wool which edges the straps is intact with very little wear limited to one end of one strap which in not noticeable when displayed.  The balance of the blue wool edging is fully intact around the edges and on the section that folds under the strap, fully stitched to the white cotton base material.     

Matched pairs of Pattern 1851 Officer Shoulder Straps are not particularly common, more often found as single pieces that were separated through the years.  A matched pair of cavalry officer shoulder straps available on the market is especially notable due to the fewer number officers who served in that branch and the popularity of cavalry officer accoutrements and insignia.  This is particularly nice matched pair of cavalry officer's straps which would display very well on their own, or would be a valuable upgrade for a uniform coat lacking the insignia.  (0615)  $650



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