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US Civil War Import, French Mle 1860 Infantry Shako

This item is listed for historical interest only. It was listed on our site previously but has been sold and is no longer available for purchase.
Sold for: $595.00
Item #38471

Original era manufacture. After the outbreak of our Civil War in April of 1861, the Federal government ordered 10,000 sets of uniforms and equipment from France, to include a leather shako with brass eagle decoration.'

Several Federal regiments were equipped with the Chasseur style uniforms and shakos including the 83rd Pennsylvania. These shakos were generally detested by the Union soldiers and they did not enjoy a long service use. Sold as surplus to Francis Bannerman at war's end. 

All leather construction, with a stamped brass eagle front plate, with painted decoration which has been touched up, and a repainted blue-white-red cockade above (colors reversed on the French cockade) . The wide leather sweatband is complete showing tears and scuffing to the edges, the internally mounted chinstrap remains tucked up inside the crown, and is detached on one side.

Adopted in 1860 by the Imperial army of Napoleon III, this pattern shako remained regulation until 1867 when a new, all cloth pattern was introduced. In spite of the regulation change, this pattern shako certainly did see service during the Franco-Prussian war, as we have a similar example in our own collection which has an inscribed description as being captured in Strasbourg.

In addition, this was the pattern of shako worn by the French regiments sent to Mexico to bolster the ill-fated regime of Emperor Maximillian.

The shako is sound, stitching is all tight and it is not crushed or misshapen.

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