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PATTERN 1832 INFANTRY OFFICER’S COATEE COAT SKIRTS ORNAMENTS – ORIGINAL MATCHED PAIR IN EXCELLENT “LIKE NEW” CONDITION - BRIGHT BULLION:  This is a matched pair of Pattern 1832 Infantry Officer’s Coatee Skirt Ornaments, such as were worn on long rear skirts of the short-waisted coatee.  All officers of that era wore similarly designed badges on the coatee skirts, of the pattern particular to their branch of service or staff department.  While dating to well before the Mexican War, there is some indication they were worn through the Mexican War and in some applications survived into the first years of the Civil War, perhaps on the uniforms of state militia officers who answered the call to arms.   

Measuring 2 ˝” wide and 2” high, this is a matched identical pair.  Unlike such ornaments of the other branches and departments of the army, the Infantry Officer’s horn insignia were the only ones paired with one right and one left on the coatee.  The gold bullion horns are looped and suspended on a bullion cord from a three leaf clover shaped knot.  The bullion was stitched in such a way that the horns present in raised relief from the background.  The bells and mouthpieces of the horns, and the clover shaped knots are highlighted with small gilt sequins.  The bullion horns are sewn to a dark blue wool cloth which is mounted on a stiffened cloth buckram backing.  The bullion on both pieces is overall bright and showing only minimal natural aging and patina.  All of the bullion is well attached with no loose or missing threads or sequins.  The blue wool is in excellent condition with no mothing and the backing is likewise intact with only very minor discoloration due to age.  There are stitch holes visible on the reverse which is undoubtedly where the two pieces were sewn together by the original manufacturer in order that they stay together until sewn on the coatee.  It does not appear that this pair was ever mounted on a coatee.      

So many of the paired insignia were long ago separated from their matching mates – something unfortunately all too common when families divided up estates and at least two descendants were not playing well together.  That this matched pair of Infantry Officer’s Coatee Tail Ornaments survived intact and in such fine condition is nothing less than remarkable, and these scarce insignias would be an excellent addition to a grouping of early US Army officer’s swords, accoutrements, and uniforms.  (0828)  $350 for the pair



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