US MODEL 1858 HARDEE HAT WITH ENLISTEDMAN’S STAMPED BRASS EAGLE INSIGNIA

$4,500.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 1052-174

Here we have a classic example of the US Model 1858 Army hat. These Hardee hats or Jeff Davis hats, as they were called, replaced the M1851 shako widely used by the army prior to 1858.

This minty example is constructed of stiffened black felt. The edges of the hat brim are in fine condition with very little wear. The double stitching which reinforces the brim is intact with not a single stitch out of place.

A die-stamped brass M1858 eagle hat insignia fastens up the left side of the brim to the crown, indicating that this Hardee would have adorned an enlistedman’s head. The enlisted insignia is a brass die-stamped example as regulation specifies. This insignia is in fine condition with no pushes to the metal. The brassy finish of the metal shows only one spot of tarnish in the middle of the clouds above the motto banner.  Details are bright and strong including the stripling behind the field of stars. The head of the eagle faces to the eagle’s right, as was the specification for these M1858 insignias, and the motto ribbon is crisp and prominent. The insignia is affixed by two metal hooks which you can see pressed through the felt on the inside of the hat.

A half-inch width black grosgrain ribbon functions as a hat band; an ostrich feather plume is sewn into the looped-up side of the hat. Both the ribbon, bow, and feather are in fine condition.

The crown is strong; the typical wear marks seen with this style of hat due to the instinctive way of picking up the hat are not present. There is no damage to the crown; no moth nips. There is, however, some rippling of the felt at the top of the crown.

The face of the hat shows no insignia whatsoever. There is no fading or pin-pricks indicating that an insignia was once present. Therefore, it is believed that this example was unissued. The only other thing to note in regard to the crown is that there is a small patch (less than one inch by one inch) of discoloration, which is noticeable as a minor scuff to the fabric.

Looking at the underside of the hat, there is minor discoloration to the underside of the brim. The oxblood sweatband is intact with almost no wear. The leather, however, has cracked in one place and some stress marks, simply due to time, are noticeable along the sweatband. There is some wear to the seam at the sweatband.

The maker’s mark is pasted into the crown and further confirms this Hardee hat as regulation Army issue. It reads: U.S. Army / Wift, Dickinson & Co. / Manufacturers / 65 Broadway / New York. The manufacturer’s label includes the American Eagle and Union Shield. The hat size is indicated as 7 1/8. No. 4 is also indicated below the hat size.

If you’re searching for a clean standard issue Hardee, this is the one for you.  [cls] [ph:L]

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