Original U.S. War of 1812 New York Militia Officer Chapeau-Bras Collapsible Bicorn With Partial Box

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Now this is a fantastic piece of history that dates back to the War of 1812. A Chapeau-Bras, which translates literally to “hat arm”, is a bicorne hat that is designed to be compressed and carried under the arm, formerly worn on dress occasions by men in the 18th Century, and later in the United States Army by General and Staff Officers.

This is a scarce War of 1812 era officer's bicorne hat or chapeau-bras. It is constructed of black beaver, now oxidized slightly toward brown, with a bound edge and V-shaped braided cord on the front leading down to a silvered eagle on globe over "Excelsior" button with lined field. Black feather plume present, but loose.

Included with the bicorne is one side of its original pasteboard box. It is present with full label reading, "TRUNKS AND BAND BOXES MADE AND SOLD AT JOSEPH PIGGOT'S Upholstery Store / No. 64 DIVISION STREET/ NEW YORK, / Wholesale and Retail."

The condition is very good, especially for the age. Wear and thread losses to the edge binding on the front and back, but blends well with the hat body. Sweatband in place, with minor losses along the lower edge. Black silk lining in place with some tears and missing sections. The hat's body is very solid and displayable. Top center front has a small hole, likely for affixing a now missing badge, the reverse with sewn thin leather stiffener to support it. Comes in a nice shadow box measuring 20 1/2" x 14 1/2" x 2 1/4".

This is an incredible item, one that will not be encountered any time soon. Comes more than ready for further research and display.

During the War of 1812, New York supplied 63,790 infantry men, 2,415 cavalry men, 8,830 artillery men, and 2,861 men in miscellaneous troops for a total of 77,896 men. Two thousand of those soldiers were African-American. Members of the Six Nations Confederacy (Haudenosaunee/Iroquois) fought on both sides of the war.

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