Early Naval Officer's Coatee and Vest Identified to Captain George Washington Storer, USN

Navy blue wool nine button double-breasted full dress Naval Captain's coatee and vest with gilt and deeply chased naval buttons. Accompanying the coat are a pair of added lieutenant's epaulettes housed in an earlier box marked: "One Pair Fine gilt Epaulettes/Captain" dating to the later Civil War-Indian War period, housed in a kidney-shaped pebbled composition box retaining papers trade labels.  Buttons are marked "W. .H. Smith, New York".  Three-button serviceable cuffs with three gold bullion strips and a single bullion vertical strip to end of cuff indicating the relatively uncommon rank of captain.  Collar is trimmed in gold bullion indicating rank.  Back of coat has three seams that lead to vent and tails. On each tail is a row of four buttons covered by flap and trimmed in gold bullion. Two buttons at top and bottom of tails. Coatee is lined in white with wide quilted pattern in chest, underarms and shoulder blades.  Sleeves are lined in white and on the inside of right sleeve is cloth tag in ink marked "Capt. G.W. Storer." 

Storer held the rank of Captain from February 1837 until he was placed on the retired list as Rear-Admiral on July 16, 1862. Vest is white linen nine button single breast.  Has chest pocket and 2 front hip pockets.  Buttons are attached by brass rings on inside and marked "F.I.F. & Co."  Gilt and chased buttons.  Inside left breast pocket.

Accompanying the coat is a later CDV by Anthony showing an aging Rear-Admiral Storer in full dress uniform about the time of his retirement in 1862.

During Rear Admiral George Washington Storer's visit to Portsmouth in 1789, he called on Mrs. Tobias Lear, mother of his private secretary Colonel Tobias Lear.  An infant was presented, the son of Samuel Storer. Certainly inspired by heroes like John Paul Jones and Lord Nelson, naval service would encompass nearly fifty-three years before the mast, long cruises both monotonous and pulse pounding, sailing the reaches from the Barbary Coast to the Horn, on South American Station, and to Africa where slavers plied their vile trade.
George Washington Storer was promoted Commander in April 1828. Storer centered on Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, the last nation which permitted the importation of human cargo.  Captain Storer acted as flag officer commanding the Brazilian Squadron beginning in 1847 and was personally involved in the capture of four slavers before reassigned to new duties in 1850. 

Following extended leave, Captain Storer took command of the Philadelphia Naval Asylum, a new government hospital set up to care for infirm and destitute former sailors.  In 1857 he became President of the controversial Naval Court of Inquiry enacted by Congress in 1855 to rid the navy of inefficient and incompetent officers. During the proceedings nearly 200 officers were dismissed from the service.

George Washington Storer was promoted Rear-Admiral and officially placed on the retired list on July 16, 1862. He died before the end of the war on January 8, 1864 at his home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The admiral is buried with his wife and several children in the family plot in Proprietors Burying Ground, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  George Washington s papers from the 1817-1868 period are housed at Princeton University.

Provenance:Descended in the Decatur Family. Meadows to Consignor 2009

Condition:Coatee had placements holes for epaulettes on shoulders.  A fine uniform showing some signs of scattered moth nips.  Right coat tail has two noticeable holes.  Intact lining show normal signs of wear.  Vest with light staining.  Overall condition of coat, vest and epaulettes VG.

Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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