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ca. 1880’s 5 BUTTON BLOUSE - US ARMY INDIAN WAR UNIFORM COAT IN VERY GOOD CONDITION:   A very nice Indian Wars period original 5 button US Army Blouse.     

As there was no distinct lines of demarcation when one pattern of clothing was replaced by subsequent patterns – the quantities of existing clothing being used until stocks were exhausted –some combinations of features between different patterns is often encountered in these Indian War period uniforms.  Further blurring the distinction between standard issue patterns is that a certain level of custom tailoring by the soldiers was not only tolerated by their company and regimental officers, but based on period photographs, may very well have been encouraged to a point as the soldiers sought to make their uniforms more stylish or functional.   

This blouse most closely follows the general pattern adopted by the Quartermaster Department in the mid-1880’s with the square corners at the bottom of the front opening and the single inside breast pocket on the left side.    

The five original buttons are intact down the front of the blouse and there are two buttons at the cuff of each sleeve.  From what I can determine, there were only two buttons per cuff originally sewn to this blouse. 

This blouse shows obvious signs of gentle use and wear, but has survived in very nice condition and as a respectable specimen of genuine Indian War era uniforming worn on the frontier.  There are two small wear or moth holes on the left sleeve between the cuff and the elbow as shown in the photographs below.  Neither is significant and they do not detract from the display quality of the blouse.  Otherwise the wool is very solid with no weak points, and no open seams.  The black polished cotton lining shows very little wear, limited to some wear on each side of the interior of the neck (shown below), probably from a rough hanger, and in the interior armpit area of the right sleeve.   The bottom edge of the blouse and lining is in very good condition, unusual to find on these original uniforms.  None of this wear to the lining affects the integrity of the blouse, rather just what you would expect to see on a piece of uniforming that was subjected to wear.     

This is a very respectable example of a desirable Indian War uniform blouse and one that would be an attractive addition to your collection.  (0502) $875 

NOTE:  To say that photographing dark blue wool is a challenge is an understatement.  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. 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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