US M1884/85 DETACHABLE CAVALRY OVERCOAT CAPE

$295.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1235-426

The Model 1884 overcoat introduced a detachable cape with the colored branch-of-service lining that had been adopted in 1876, adding convenience to the additional warmth of the cape lining and a bit of flare when it was thrown back over the shoulder- at least for cavalry and artillery – the infantry was stuck with dark blue. Of course in some ways this simply codified alterations some soldiers had been making all along. The M1885 overcoat differed only in minor details from the M1884 such as having two rows of six buttons each on the coat instead of two rows of five. The cape remained the same: provided with seven eyes around the neck for attaching to the overcoat and provided with seven small eagle buttons for fastening down the front, with the lining adding warmth and a bit of dash if thrown back over one shoulder.

The condition of this one is good, with strong color to the Saxony blue exterior and deep yellow interior, correct for the pattern, and we see no moth damage or holes, and just one seam resewn for about two inches in the lining of the left shoulder. It does show resewing along the collar edge and substitution of rather large, blackened wire hooks in place of the small eyes that would be sewn in between the outer and inner layers. A small hook and eye throat closure seems original to the cape. And, the seven buttons on it are small size Civil War eagles rather than the 1883 Indian War style. The interior shows some light stains and some soiling around the edges, so it was definitely used, and we guess it possibly saw some later use by an early Civil War reenactor in the 1960s when an Indian War cavalry cape was not much money and good enough for the impression, though we are stumped by the substitution of the hooks for the eyes. A few proper wire eyes, inexpensive Indian War buttons and some thread, would rehabilitate this for a very good Indian War display, and also free seven original Civil War eagle cuff buttons.    [sr][ph:L]

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