US M1884/85 DETACHABLE INFANTRY OVERCOAT CAPE

$300.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1235-427

The Model 1884 overcoat introduced the detachable cape with colored branch-of-service lining. There was some discussion of making it white for infantry to follow the adoption of that branch of service color earlier the same year, but the army decided to retain the dark blue cape lining used since 1876. Part of the reason was the cost of relining infantry capes in storage and retrofitting those in the field. Another factor was the difficulty foreseen in keeping the white clean, likely the reason the change never went through at all, with the dark lining used for infantry until the coat itself was phased out after 1900. (See McChristian’s excellent volumes on Indian War uniforms for details.)

This cape rates good for condition, having some scattered small moth damage, but solid, all seams tight, and strong color. The exterior has strong saxony blue color on the exterior and the interior, dark blue. The seven wire eyes for attaching to the coat are present along the neck, though one has broken and a couple are loose. We do not see a hook and eye closure at the throat. The front is buttoned with seven correct small Indian War general service eagle buttons. The exterior shows some pencil point moth bites around the collar and three spots that on the right edge of the cape above and below the middle button, these were darned or backed with matching cloth and blend in well. There are three pencil eraser size nips, on the right shoulder, a few pencil points on the right chest, and one 1 by 1/16 inch hole further back on the lower right about 8 inches up from the edge. The back has few scattered pencil point nips and some light tracking. The left shoulder has five or six scattered eraser size nips and one larger an L-shape about ¾ inch each way. The interior has six or so eraser size nips in the left side and back, with half a dozen smaller nips down the interior of the right, with an uneven 2 inch by ½ inch hole on the reverse of the lapel a little below the middle button and the backed half circle on the front edge. None of these moth bites is particularly obtrusive, we list them for completeness, and most blend in well given the dark color of the lining. Some could be backed, but the cape displays very well as is and would make a nice companion to an 1884 or 1885 overcoat and the other branch of service colored capes.    [sr][ph:L]

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