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Re: [Revlist] Help needed on checking out a authentic uniform

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  • Mike Vaquer
    Two items would probably give a sign of the initial authenticity of the uniform. That would be the stitching and the bottons. I would look for evidence of
    Message 1 of 14 , Mar 31, 2004
      Two items would probably give a sign of the initial
      authenticity of the uniform. That would be the
      stitching and the bottons. I would look for evidence
      of total uniformity of the stitches, and particularly
      look for backstitching as used by our modern sewing
      machines. 18th century hand sewing can be very
      precise on spacing of stitches, however, backstitching
      would be unknown in the 18th century. The button
      shanks would also reveal if this was a modern
      recreation, albeit weathered, and a modern piece. In
      addition, a 225 year old piece of clothing would be
      very fragile unless it was kept in pristine storage
      for all those years. My suggestion would be for the
      museum to contact Colonial Williamsburg and send it to
      them for authentication.
      --- Deane Geiken <d_geiken@...> wrote:
      > Hello all,
      >
      > I was recently contacted by the historical director
      > of
      > the air museum in my area about a recent addition to
      > his collection. Apparently someone in the community
      > donated to the air museum a complete Rev War era
      > uniform with all the goodies of a major sergeant
      > (?),
      > that includes musket, pistol, leathers, and small
      > accoutrements. He asked me to come look at it for
      > him
      > and advise on how it should look on a display
      > manniquin. My question to anyone who might have
      > some
      > knowledge on the "real McCoys", is this... what
      > should I be looking for in order to see if this is
      > the
      > real thing or just some repro? This gentleman knows
      > nothing of the clothing and items of period and is
      > only telling me what he was told. I am suspicious
      > that he was maybe led astray by others who didn't
      > know
      > what they were talking about. Aside for tags, like
      > Jas. Townsend and Sons stitched to the collar, are
      > there obivious signs that point to authenticity in a
      > period uniform? I am pretty sure of my ability to
      > identify an period peice of weaponry, but not so
      > sure
      > of clothing. On thing that makes me doubt it, is
      > that how can this thing have made it 225+ years in
      > its
      > entirety and never been snagged up by a museum?
      > Apparently the former owner, now deceased, used to
      > wear it to school demos and such, which also
      > increases
      > my doubts. Anyhow, can any of you give me any
      > advise
      > on what to look for in determining if he has
      > something
      > for real or is just mistaken. I hate to think I am
      > going to have to burst his bubble....
      >
      > Thanks!
      >
      > Deane Geiken
      > Culpeper Minute Battalion.
      >
      > =====
      > Deane L. Geiken
      > d_geiken@...
      > dgeiken@...
      >
      > "At one time my duty was to defend my country from
      > it's enemies. Now I find I must save my country
      > from itself."
      > -- purportedly by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
      >
      > __________________________________
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    • dona_mcdermott@nps.gov
      I can only concur with David, what is the director thinking. It is balloon! It appears that he is only asking you to tell him how to display it, he has not
      Message 2 of 14 , Apr 1, 2004
        I can only concur with David, what is the director thinking. "It is
        balloon!" It appears that he is only asking you to tell him how to display
        it, he has not asked you to determine its authenticity, so you might be
        well advised to ask if he has had someone authenticate it, and if not
        suggest he do so. You should stick to the display aspect to be safe. If
        you have not had experience with 18th century textiles and sewing it might
        be hard for you to tell. These items might even be centennial pieces.
        Lots of them show up in small museums and historical societies marked 18th
        c. Only as a generalization: for your own curiousity, check to see if the
        bottom of the tails are raw, not sewn. The weave of wool is much tighter
        than today's wool. Look for hand stitching be careful, I just reviewed a
        catalog card at a museum that refered to the hand stitching as machine,
        because it was so good. There are just too many things to look at when
        making a determination.

        Dona

        Dona M. McDermott, Archivist
        Valley Forge National Historical Park
        P. O. Box 953
        Valley Forge, PA 19482-0953
        Phone: 610-783-1034
        Fax: 610-783-1060
      • Deane Geiken
        To all who have given great advise... many thanks! I will do my best and take as many pictures as possible. I hope to get back to you all by next week and
        Message 3 of 14 , Apr 1, 2004
          To all who have given great advise... many thanks! I
          will do my best and take as many pictures as possible.
          I hope to get back to you all by next week and tell
          you what I found out!

          Thanks!

          Deane
          Culpeper Minute Battalion.

          --- dona_mcdermott@... wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > I can only concur with David, what is the director
          > thinking. "It is
          > balloon!" It appears that he is only asking you to
          > tell him how to display
          > it, he has not asked you to determine its
          > authenticity, so you might be
          > well advised to ask if he has had someone
          > authenticate it, and if not
          > suggest he do so. You should stick to the display
          > aspect to be safe. If
          > you have not had experience with 18th century
          > textiles and sewing it might
          > be hard for you to tell. These items might even be
          > centennial pieces.
          > Lots of them show up in small museums and historical
          > societies marked 18th
          > c. Only as a generalization: for your own
          > curiousity, check to see if the
          > bottom of the tails are raw, not sewn. The weave of
          > wool is much tighter
          > than today's wool. Look for hand stitching be
          > careful, I just reviewed a
          > catalog card at a museum that refered to the hand
          > stitching as machine,
          > because it was so good. There are just too many
          > things to look at when
          > making a determination.
          >
          > Dona
          >
          > Dona M. McDermott, Archivist
          > Valley Forge National Historical Park
          > P. O. Box 953
          > Valley Forge, PA 19482-0953
          > Phone: 610-783-1034
          > Fax: 610-783-1060
          >
          >


          =====
          Deane L. Geiken
          d_geiken@...
          dgeiken@...

          "At one time my duty was to defend my country from it's enemies. Now I find I must save my country from itself."
          -- purportedly by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel

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