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MANUFACTURERS PRODUCTION MODEL OF THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS OFFICERS DRESS BLUE COAT – “SEALED SAMPLE” IN EXCELLENT “LIKE NEW” CONDITION – EXTREMELY RARE HISTORICAL UNIFORM:  Extraordinarily rare, this United States Marine Corps Field and Company Grade Officers Dress Blue Uniform Coat is the Production Model, or “Sealed Sample”, that was used by the S. Abrahams & Company (SACO Uniforms) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to create the patterns they used to manufacture this uniform.   

This system of contract patterns dates back to the earliest days of the United States.  As the armed services introduced new patterns of uniforms, accoutrements, and equipment, and began to let out contracts to the civilian manufacturers to produce the goods, the contractors required a pattern piece to ensure the pieces they made and delivered would be accepted.  The Ordnance and Quartermaster Departments retained the “sealed pattern”, the specific specimen which had been manufactured to specifications and had been reviewed and accepted by the equipment or uniform examining boards.  In order to secure a working pattern piece to use in their respective work shops, the contractors were required to send an employee to the government repository – an arsenal or depot - where the contractor’s employee was allowed access to the “sealed pattern” in order to make his own pattern piece.  These “pattern” or “sample” pieces were, and are, extremely important links in the supply system and are significant relics that document the history of clothing and equipping the US Armed Forces.  As you can imagine, these pattern pieces are quite rare, likely survived in very limited numbers, and are seldom offered for sale.   

This USMC Officer’s Dress Uniform Coat Production Model was approved in 1957, as documented on the official USMC three card set of specifications that accompany the coat.  The design and cloth specifications are detailed on the three cards and are approved by the original signature in ink of the issuing Marine Corps officer.  The three cards are identified further by a serial number “411”, assigned by the Marine Corps, and each is dated stamped, “July 30, 1957”.  The cards were laminated in order to protect them while they were in use by the company’s employees.   

Simon Abrahams was in established in Philadelphia in the clothing industry as early as the American Civil War, and is listed as a supplier of uniforms and insignia, and I found one lodge sword that bore his company’s name on the blade.   S. ABRAHAMS & CO., INC., of Philadelphia filed the federal trademark registration for SACO on July 16, 1948.  That registration expired in 1992 and it appears the company is now out of business.    

As expected, this coat is in like new condition, showing no ill effects of age, handling or poor storage.  The condition of the cloth and the brilliance of the gilt plated buttons remains as the day it was made.  All of the identifying tags are present, as of course are the buttons.   

This is simply a spectacular piece, quite probably, and literally, one of a kind, the like of which can not be duplicated.  The sort of piece that will quietly disappear into another private collection, it is truly a pleasure to offer this  Production Model USMC Officer’s Uniform Coat.  (0205)  $550   


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