VOLUNTEER MILITIA TINNED IRON HAT PLATE CIRCA 1820-1835

$350.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 30-2169

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In contrast to the “enrolled militia,” which consisted of all eligible adult male citizens, the volunteer militia was composed of men who outfitted themselves at their own expense and formed uniformed companies. These usually took on the character of elite private military clubs or fraternal organizations and prided themselves on elegant uniforms and precision drill. This is a one-piece cap plate for one of these organizations, die-struck in tin, measuring about 5 by 6 inches. The tin was certainly silvered when new, the branch color for infantry, and likely adorned a tall shako.

This was long ago mounted on a shield-shaped oak display panel to be hung on a wall. We have not tried to remove it see if the typical wire loop fasteners and a plume holder are still in place on the reverse. The color is a grayish-green, with a slight brown across the top of the US shield. The plate is a “stock” plate, likely used by a number of different companies, and shows an American eagle crouched atop a US shield, superimposed on US flags, cannon and other arms, with cannonballs at the bottom, the whole bordered with a laurel wreath bearing a star at the top. There are a number of similar plates, but this is a close match for Plate 611 in Campbell and O’Donnell, also of tin, who suggest it could be an English import based on an American plate, or vice-versa.

This is in very good condition, with no dents, holes, tears or cracks, and is ready to display.  [sr]

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