EXTREMELY SCARCE NEW HAMPHIRE OFFICER’S FALSE EMBROIDERED HAT INSIGNIA

$1,295.00

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Item Code: 2020-912

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Regular army officers had been authorized a silver “U.S.” within a gold bullion wreath for wear on their undress caps in 1839. This was carried over in the 1851 regulations for use on the 1851 shako, but was embroidered directly on the blue band around the base of the hat. Only in 1858, with the adoption of the 1858 pattern wide brim army dress hat was the insignia embroidered on a black velvet ground on a separately mounted hat badge in the form familiar to Civil War collectors.

States created their own versions around the same time, using state initials or abbreviations in place of the “U.S.” Virginia used a “VA.” Campbell and O’Donnell illustrate New York (NY) and Massachusetts versions (Mass and MVM.) Here is a very scarce example of a New Hampshire officer’s badge, using “NH” embroidered in silver bullion thread and surrounded by a gold bullion embroidered wreath, all on a black ground with a gold jaceron wire border. This is the style stretched over a thin metal plate inside to give it stiffness, but also to mount two metal loops, still in place, that enabled it to be mounted and removed at will from the hat using small leather thongs or wedges through them on the interior of the hat.

The badge is in excellent condition, showing deep rich color to the black background and to the jaceron wire as well as the bullion embroidery that shows only the slightest hint of oxidation on the very tip of a few leaves and the knot at bottom. One end of the jaceron wire has pulled away slightly, but this is minor and it is all there. (It could be reattached.) The reverse has both fastening loops in place and just some narrow runs to the black silk backing, which is largely intact. There is an old, small red collection or inventory number on reverse as well.

New Hampshire was a small state, but its troops established a good fighting record during the war. This is a scarce badge in exceptional condition that would be a great addition to a collection of embroidered bullion insignia.  [sr]

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