Original Rare U.S. Pre-Civil War Era Regulation Model 1851 “Albert Cap” Artillery Shako - Marked "C"

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a fantastic example of a Pre American Civil War Model 1851 Shako, used by an Artillery Enlisted Man. The uniforms introduced under the regulations of 1851 were relatively short lived, but the changes that were made were significant for the Army. The new regulations introduce the frock coat as the service uniform for all soldiers, thus eliminating the coatee. A system of branch colors was also introduced: Prussian blue for Infantry, Scarlet for Artillery, Orange for Dragoons, green for Mounted Rifles, and black for Staff.

All branch insignia was to be manufactured in yellow metal, eliminating white metal for foot troops, although gold bullion insignia was utilized by officers. A bright brass general service button was also authorized for all enlisted troops, and the branch letter was eliminated from the center of the national shield.

The “Albert” Cap, copied from the British and named for Queen Victoria’s husband, replaced the “stovepipe” shako that had been worn since 1832. Troops continued to wear the roundabout and forage cap for fatigue. A uniform jacket based upon the roundabout soon replaced the frock coat as the service uniform for mounted troops.

This is an impressive 1851 pattern dark blue shako, with the correct red artillery felt bottom border with welted seams. Stands approximately 6 ½ inches tall, with a blue wool-covered pasteboard body, this shako follows the lines of the US regulation 1851 pattern shako with a flat, bound leather visor that flares slightly from side buttons forward. The flat crown is about 5 ¾ inches in diameter and is pierced at the forward edge for the scarlet red pompom, the branch color for Artillery. Below this on the top front is a regulation stamped brass eagle with the arms of the U.S., familiar to collectors from its later use as a side plate on the Hardee or Jeff Davis hat. Two welted seams form a point-up chevron near the base of the hat, beneath which is the stamped brass letter "C", most likely for the company the wearer was in.

The thin leather chinstrap is in place and secured on either side with a small General Service Shield button. The interior is lined with a purple polished cotton on the sides and crown. The supple brown leather sweatband is also present, complete and firmly in place. The size of the cap is approximately 7 1/4 inches.

The condition is excellent, especially for the age! A lovely, scarce example that comes more than ready for further research and display!

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