Unique Civil War Officer’s Mess Kit Patented January 23, 1862


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Unique Civil War Officer’s Mess Kit Patented January 23, 1862 – We have had a variety of various mess groupings, although this kit, patented in January, 1862, is the most unique and complete wartime example we have encountered. The various camp / field dining ware is housed in a black enameled, sheet iron, tinned case, with a carrying handle. On the front of the case, just below the closure hasp, is a brass, oval escutcheon, embossed with the following:


JANY. 28. 1862.

To carry the kit, there is a handle, affixed to either side of the oblong shaped case. Within the case is the needed dining ware for at least two or three soldiers; contained are three compartmentalized food trays, two cylindrical flasks and two cups. All of the dining ware is constructed of tinned, sheet iron, which was lead-soldered at the joinery seams. The ware is covered with a tray that fits over the mouths of each of the two flasks; the food trays are held in place by a rectangular sheet of tinned iron, that acts as a spring to keep the trays from jostling around. Included with the dinner ware are two sets of utensils – a knife and fork with bone handles and a knife and fork set that inserts into each other, with unique mother-of-pearl handles. The kit remains in superb condition, with seemingly no field ware or use whatsoever. This kit must have been designed for the discriminating, well-heeled, Civil War period officer.

Measurements: L – 13”; W – 5.5” (widest area); H – 6.5”