EXCELLENT LIGHT ARTILLERY SERGEANT’S JACKET, HABER & CO. CONTRACT

$3,750.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1145-09

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Call 717-334-0347,
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This is a beautiful example of the U.S. Civil War light artillery shell jacket set up with original sergeant’s chevrons and correct sergeant’s shoulder scales. The red and blue colors are vivid and the condition of the cloth is outstanding with no moth damage, just one or two loose threads along the piping and on some buttons, and two holes in the upper, interior sleeve linings.

Called both the “mounted services jacket” and, by collectors, the shell jacket, this was the regulation jacket for cavalry and light artillery with appropriately colored branch of service trim. The red worsted wool artillery trim follows the standard configuration, edging the collar, lapel and waist, with two false button holes on either side of the collar, each given double rows, the cuffs given an inverted chevron, and the back trimmed with arcs from each shoulder to the waist and on the top and bottom of the two belt-support bolsters. The collar retains its four small buttons, the cuffs two each, and the front, the regulation twelve. All are present and the correct small size general service eagle buttons, though some have pulled thread and need to be resewn.

The body and sleeves are fully lined in white muslin. Inside the upper right sleeve is the original ink stamp of the maker, stamped twice, and reading “I. HABER & Co. / NEW YORK / 3 NOV. 64,” indicating the jacket was produced under Isaac Haber’s Nov. 3, 1864, government contract for 15,000 artillery jackets. Haber was large supplier of uniforms that included infantry and artillery coats,  cavalry and artillery jackets, infantry and cavalry trousers, overcoats, even some uniforms for the Duryea Zouaves, and other material. The firm is listed in New York City and probably had production facilities in Newark as well. The center back of the jacket lining is stamped “16/42” and “65B.” These are probably size and inventory markings from the jacket’s postwar use by a costume house, and dollars-to-donuts, the two small holes in each upper sleeve lining were made by a collector or dealer to remove the name of the costume house, either to avoid casting doubt on the jacket’s originality or to keep secret a valuable source. The postwar reduction of the army and changes in regulations produced large stocks of surplus uniforms. Many of these then made their way into costume companies for rental to the many late nineteenth century theatrical productions with wartime themes, even appearing in some early movies. In the 1950s and 1960s these stocks were discovered by collectors and dealers. Eaves, of NY City, is a well known marking in completely original, mint Civil War surplus uniforms.

In this case, the jacket has been fitted with an original set of worsted wool artillery sergeant’s chevrons and the correct shoulder scales, with both top and bottom to the edge crescents, marking them as for a sergeant. This creates a wonderful display of original material showing the uniform of a light artillery NCO acting as “Chief of Piece,” supervising the gun crew on a 12-pounder, 3-inch rifle, or one of the other field guns deployed in combat with the infantry or, in the case of horse-artillery, with cavalry units. This combines visual and historic appeal and could be the centerpiece of an artillery display or a key element in a uniform collection. [sr] [ph:m]

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