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ORIGINAL CIVIL WAR FORAGE CAP FORMS – TWO STYLES OF VERY SCARCE WOODEN HEAD WEAR MANUFACTURING BLOCKS:  These two original Civil War era hat forms - one for the lower crowned forage cap and the other for the higher crowned classic “Bummer's” cap – are considerably rarer than the examples of period headgear on the market today.  Of the style of forage caps that were introduced during the immediate pre-Civil War years, they reached their zenith of popularity during the War on both sides of the conflict.  These caps were made in such quantity from 1861 through 1865 that the tremendous surpluses remaining makes it doubtful that many were produced after the War’s end, thus the period of use of these particular forms is fairly easy to establish, making them very special Civil War artifacts. 

In addition to the limited of period of use affecting the rarity of these forms, once these patterns of caps were no longer part of the uniform those wooden forms that were large enough were probably recut to other patterns if possible and those that could not be modified were likely fed into the morning fires in the hat maker's work shops.  

The forage cap form measures 5" high, 7.5" long and 6.25" wide, has the distinct tailored profile to the crown and is full form with no chips or other damage, and has the maker's mark and sizing information stamped in the bottom of the form.  The bummer cap form measures 7.25" high, 4.5" round at the top, and 7" by 6" oval at the bottom.  This form retains its full shape with a two minor chips to the top edge, but nothing that affects the shape or lines of the piece.  Both of these forms show use with many tiny pin holes from the stick pins used to hold the hat wool in place during the manufacturing process. 

These forms would make a very unusual addition to any Civil War or early Indian War uniform collection, and would be a key piece to display with your headgear collection.      $450 each, your choice; or $800 for the pair.   



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