US Civil War Bicorn Hat Medals & 39th New York Inf Reg Epaulette


A very rare and desirable, guaranteed original, Chapeau de Bras (Bicorn Hat) with a pair of Colonel's Dress Bullion epaulettes and 2 medals (Veteran Great Army of the Republic with Colonel Bar and an unusual Battle of Gettysburg medal.

The Chapeau de Bras was worn by very few Unionist Senior Officers during the American Civil War (1861 - 1865). Although bicorns were normally only worn by the Naval officers, a few officers of the Army, like General Winfield Scott, wore them.

The hat is slightly different to the Naval version and is made of moleskin type material, edged in black satin over a pulp paper body. There are 2 gold bullion tassels between the folds of either horn which are connected by a gold bullion cord that encircles the base of the crown. There is an impressive oval insignia on the front with a gilt eagle and button on a gold and silver bullion base. The silver and gold bullion has oxidised so appears quite dark and the eagle has E PLURIBUS UNUM.

The inside is lined in brown silk and leather sweat band and it has the maker's details of BAKER & McKENNEY New York. They were military tailors from 1847 that were bought out by Riddabock in 1880. Condition is good with some wear. One of the diagonal black silk bands is coming apart and the leather sweatband is slightly loose.

The epaulettes are to a Colonel in the 39th New York Infantry Regiment, also known as the Garibaldi Guard. The regiment was raised in May 1861 under the command of Colonel Frederick George D' Utassy. He was replaced by Colonel Augustus Funk (1841 - 1883) who was in charge of the Regiment at the Battle of Gettysburg and remained in command until the end of the war.

The maker's mark is HORSTMANN BROTHERS & ALIEN New York. We do not have any details on the owner, other that that he was a Colonel and a veteran at Gettysburg. It came with a Model 1860 sword and a GAR Veteran (with Colonel eagle) medal and an unusual Gettysburg Memorial medal, therefore the most likely contender is Colonel Augustus Funk. Condition is good, but the Colonel eagles are frayed.

The American Civil War GAR medal is numbered W13701 and is a type IVa, with raised star and an altered 16 Corps emblem on the reverse. The medal was produced by Louis Wagner, in Pennsylvania. The ribbon has all but perished, but the Colonels shoulder rank makes up the suspension clasp.

The other medal looks period and has a circular disc made of tinned steel, with a lacquered printed picture of the Gettysburg Equestrian monument to general Winfield Scott Hancock, who was the Commander of the 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac, within which was the 39th Regiment. The suspension clasp is silvered brass and again the ribbon, which is the same design as the GAR ribbon (but not identical), is all but frayed away.

A very nice historical Group. We also have the sword listed separately.

Size Hat: 38 x 20.5 x 12.5 cm (15 x 8 x 5 inches)
Head Size: 58 (7 1/8)
Size Epaulettes: 20.5 x 15 x 11 cm (8 x 6 x 4 1/4 inches)
Weight: 1976 g