CIVIL WAR NEW YORK DEPOT CANTEEN WITH DARK BLUE COVER

$695.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1052-168

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The NY Depot was a branch of the U.S. Quartermaster’s Office of Clothing and Equipage. They contracted with various dealers and makers for hundreds of thousands of canteens during the war and a distinguishing feature of their canteens was the use of a metal chain instead of simple string to retain the stopper starting in 1862. This one has a stopper and no chain, but shows the small hole in one strap bracket where the chain would have been fastened. It also has a scarce dark blue cover likely dating to 1863 when the depot seems to have followed the lead of the Philadelphia Depot in using blue uniform cloth, mostly light blue, and switching to shoddy gray in 1864 and 1865.

The canteen was issued and saw use. A soldier carved his initials “JM” on the spout. The upper bracket has a small bit of twine looped through it, an improvised substitute for the lost chain. The strap shows a wear spot and the ends have been crudely overlapped and sewn, likely to shorten it for a better fit or to repair a break. The cover shows well on the faces, with a small central hole on one side and a broader wear spot at center left on the other, but the seam has parted on the lower edges of the covers, with some fabric loss, showing the gray tinned iron body, and the seams on the shoulders, between the upper brackets and spout, show some old stitched repairs.

Canteens were an essential piece of field gear and are an interesting collecting category of their own. Despite some losses to the fabric, this one displays well, is a scarce color variation, and shows it was actually issued and used.  [sr] [ph:L]

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