Union Officer’s Ornately Appointed Short or Shell Jacket
Union Officer’s Ornately Appointed Short or Shell Jacket – We have only had two of this type of officer’s short or shell jacket – they are very difficult to find. This jacket presents some unusual, period embellishments: thick, somewhat luxuriant, deep, black velvet cuffs and collar; unusually tall, collar; double-breasted style, with 2nd Lieutenant, staff, rank straps; elaborate bullion quatrefoil on the cuffs, exterior base of the collar, the back of the coat; heavily quilted interior lining; black fur sewn to the exterior bottom of the jacket. Almost all of the U.S. Staff Officer buttons are original sews; two were missing when we obtained the jacket, so we had our conservator sew on, in the Civil War style, two original, Staff buttons. The bullion edged, original, rank straps, have a coarse, black wool interior, devoid of a rank, thereby indicating the original wearer was a 2nd Lieutenant. The single “loop” of quatrefoil on each cuff to mid-sleeve area is also indicative of the period wearer having been a Lieutenant, most likely a mounted officer. The sleeve linings are off-white, evenly striped cotton. The interior lining is constructed of a light green satinette, which is heavily quilted and edged with a faded blue to purple, narrow taping. There are two, interior, breast pockets, each lined in a brown, polished cotton. The exterior of the coat is constructed of a deep blue, indigo dyed, English, broadcloth wool. The jacket exhibits a combination of treadle machine and hand stitching. This jacket may have been constructed for use by a state, Hussar regiment. This is one of the more unusual, Civil War period, officer’s short or shell jackets we have encountered.