A very scarce piece of Spanish American War era headgear!
Obviously, the army white uniform was intended for use in hot and or tropical climates, particularly for troops stationed in Florida, the American southwest, and the Philippines. Very rarely do you even find a photograph showing the wearing of these caps.
Regulations stated that the white summer 1895 cap was to be worn without insignia, but this did not deter officer’s from having insignia made and worn on it, as in this case.
The cap uses a good quality wool with mohair trim around the base, and general staff buttons for the chin strap. The visor is in good condition with a wrinkled effect that seem to uniform in appearance to be the typical attic heat/poor storage look. The off color white may suggest that this maker used a black leather visor which he painted white, and over the years the underlying color may be trying to come forth.
The lining is white cotton; the sweatband appears to be the original but has been re-sewn and has some chipping of leather and light wear overall. No sizing label but may be 6 7/8-7. There was a maker’s label once inside the lining, now missing, and from the materials and construction, this hat was most likely made in Manila.
Applied to the front is the eagle insignia; the type of work one would expect to see come out of the Philippines. The gilt bullion has toned and there are a few strands missing in the shield area. The bullion work is done on a board and the shape is contoured to that of the insignia. The insignia attaches to the cap by a wire loop that sets into a slit in the wool, and was never secured in any other way (I have used pins to secure as not to lose it.
Condition is fine with some sporadic mothing which really isn’t worth mentioning. There is some light chipping and crackling to the enamel finish on the visor trim.
A very scarce cap, the first I have had the pleasure to offer.