A scarce 1851 regulation enlisted cap for artillery that was featured in John Langellier’s book, “Army Blue, The Uniform of Uncle Sam’s Regulars, 1848- 1873.”
The 1851 U.S. enlisted artillery dress cap or sometimes referred to a shako, was a design influenced by the French military pattern. The cap was made of a stiff fiber or cardboard material that was covered in dark blue wool, with the lower part covered in the color of the branch of service (in most cases). The rounded visor flared outwards on the sides and was disliked, commonly referred to as the “Duckbill.”
A stamped brass eagle plate was affixed just below the crown, and the battery letter “C” below on the red wool and hold the original leather chin strap in place. A red wool pompom placed over it. Side buttons in this case are an officers type with the sunken shield and “A” in the center; often NCO’s would use this on caps and uniforms.
The interior shows much wear, with the original light blue silk lining nearly gone, with only some of the silk remaining on the inside crown. The original sweatband is in place and in very good condition. The previous collector stamped his name on the inside of the hat, a common practice for him as he often loaned material to museums for display ( Robert Borrell Collection.
Overall a fine example of an artillery enlisted cap worn from 1851-54 (the solid red band was replaced in 1854 for a thin wool welt of red to denote artillery). There are some areas that have been conserved where moths had left there mark, and there is moth tracking on some of the dark blue wool surfaces that shows in strong light, as evidenced in these photographs, otherwise, the cap in normal light is a excellent display piece.
John Langellier used this cap in his book, “Army Blue, The Uniform of Uncle Sam’s Regulars, 1848-1873.” and this cap is featured on page 64 of that reference.
The cap is 7 inches high at its tallest point.
A excellent addition to any military headgear collection.