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PATTERN 1902 CAMPAIGN HAT:  The Pattern 1902 Campaign Hat was the new field service headwear issued to the troops after the turn of the century, seeing service in such notable areas of conflict as the Mexican Border, China, and in the Philippine Islands during the early days of the Philippine Constabulary.    

Having retained its body and shape, this hat has survived the passage of time in decent condition and shows evidence of having been worn by a veteran of the Mexican Border.  The ribbon trim around the crown is intact, including the proper flat bow, and tacked over the ribbon is a 1 ¼” wide horsehair hat band.  The hat band is obviously old, certainly was added concurrent to the soldier’s use of the hat, and is of the style popularly worn on the sombreros south of the border.  Perhaps a trophy taken from a Mexican soldado, or a souvenir he purchased while on pass in Juarez, the hat band adds a distinctive border flavor to his hat and identified him as a veteran who had “been there”.  The band is in overall very good condition with no breaks, both tassels and the decorative knot present, and features a fairly complex weave in brown and blond colored hair.  The only sign of wear to the band is a small hole in the weave immediately adjacent to the decorative knot, but the band shows no particular weakness at this point.  These early horse hair hat bands are a popular collector’s item in their own right, and due to the susceptibility of the hair to age and poor storage, are quite scarce.   

The crown is full form with no breaks or tears and retains the characteristic fore and aft blocking.  The brim is in overall very good condition with no cracks or breaks so common on these old hats, and both chin cord grommets are present.  The sweat band is likewise fully intact and shows minimal wear or sweat staining.  There are some scatter moth tracks on the sides of the crown and some small pin holes in the crown due to mothing.  The upper surface of the brim is free from mothing, while the underside has mothing tracks but no holes.  None of the mothing affects the structural integrity of the hat, and overall the felt is clean and still retains its shape and body, and the hat displays quite well.   

Any of the US Army Campaign Hats made prior to the Pattern 1910 “Montana Peak” Hat are a rare offering, and finding one that presents in this condition is notable.  An item of clothing that was prone to be worn to destruction – even after the soldier separated from the service – and one that was difficult to store through the years in such a way as to avoid crushing or damage, these early campaign hats simply did not survive in large numbers to pass into modern collections.  This is a very respectable example and one that would display nicely with an early 20TH Century soldier’s grouping.  SOLD

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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