Extremely Rare C. 1850 Wheel Hat
Extremely Rare C. 1850 Wheel Hat – The exterior of this extremely rare hat was constructed of a dark to black, English broadcloth wool; the interior is lined with a brown, polished cotton. The brim and chinstrap (which appears to be decorative only and non-functional) were constructed of a painted, linen canvas. The chin strap is affixed with small, ornate “flower buttons”. Overall the hat is in superior condition; there is a slight point of attachment separation where a small area of the brim has loosened from the body of the cap; also, there is a slight crease in the brim, visible along the brim’s underside. The wool of the cap is in superior condition, retaining most of its original color, with the exception of an inch diameter size, light brown spot on the cap’s top. This rare hat is very similar in style to the U.S. Army’s Mexican War era, issue cap. There are many early images of pre-war, Civil War era Virginia militia soldiers wearing this same style of hat. We have been involved with Civil War textiles and uniforms for over 50 years, and this is the first of this type of hat we have encountered.