Origila Civil War Leather Shako/hat/helmet With Original Metal Eagle Plate. For Sale
Civil War French import model 1860 leather shako complete with original die struck brass American eagle over infantry horn plate as illustrated in Stanley Philip’s, Excavated Artifacts from Battlefields & Campsites of the Civil War. This rigid black leather shako was issued to 62nd & 83nd Pennsylvania, 18th Massachusetts and the 49th & 72d New York. The plates have also been found in campsite excavations. Non-dug ones were sometimes mounted on shield-like wooden plaques and sold by W. Stokes-Kirk of Philadelphia. The tag that will be sent along with this one is from such a plaque. See Civil War Relics, by Sylvia and O’Donnell, 1978, page 117 for an illustration.
Shako is in good, sturdy shape. The original black lacquered finish is in very good condition and shows little to no wear. There is a small tear at the back that appears to have been mended quite a long time ago. There was, at one time, a leather strap that crossed the back that is gone. The holes where it was attached were subsequently filled in with a black substance (tar, perhaps?) and it may even be a 19th century repair. There is no chin strap. The black pom-pom came with it but is not what was originally on it when it came from France. It appears there was, at one time, a button or rosette on each side where the chin strap was attached which is no longer there.
This is a very attractive piece of Civil War headgear and looks great on display because of the dramatic eagle plate and red, white & blue rosette. As the 150th anniversary of the Civil War enters its third year interest is increasing in this type of unusual, original uniform piece.
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