TRIPLE-BORDERED SECOND LIEUTENANT OF STAFF SHOULDER STRAPS

$450.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1091-05

Civil War officers had to purchase their own uniforms and equipment. The quality of their insignia might vary according to their rank, and certainly varied by their assignment, taste, and wallet. This is a nice pair of Second Lieutenant’s shoulder straps for an officer serving on staff duty that use a fancier border of three raised ridges embroidered with strands of “dead” and “bright” gold bullion.

There is some wear to the exposed underlying black velvet fabric at the edges, but the color and nap of the centers is very good. These straps were actually worn and there are consequently some loose threads and some bullion coils that have parted or shifted to show the underlying twisted cord used as the foundation for the ridges. This is rather an interesting study point for their construction and an indication of really being worn by an officer. We have seen a number of collections of shoulder straps where the collector tried to go for the immaculate and pristine, and ended up with many sets that were younger than he was.

There is some shifting toward silver from oxidation or wear, but lots of gilt remaining and the jaceron wire borders are there, though not tight in all places. The reverse shows just thin sections of the turned-under fabric of the borders, but wartime straps usually have unfinished backs.

It is always worth remembering with insignia of Civil War staff officers that these were not all desk jobs or posts “in the rear with gear,” but assignments assisting superior officers, carrying and executing orders or even guiding troops in the field. This officer went to a little extra expense with a slightly higher quality set of straps, but they show real, active use.    [sr]

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