Brilliant sixth plate, hand-tinted ruby ambrotype portrait of a dashing militia private with incredibly sharp detail, highlighted by the stitching on the edges of the cartridge box and the "US" stamped into the cap box he has at his side. Although first suggested that this was a New York militia private, a savvy customer has reached out to note that this is more than likely a New Jersey militiaman.
The private soldier appears to be wearing a frock coat in dark blue with cadet grey trousers, basically a state copy of the 1857 US dress regulations. The folded overcoat probably of sky blue contrasts nicely with the grey trousers. The shako or cap is the older M1851 pattern having shako plate topped with a horse head and white pom-pom. The horse head was used by New Jersey and can also be seen on the New Jersey state seal, along with other details shown on the shake plate design. A metallic US shield device is set into the top of the shako at the edge of the crown which may point to a specific regiment that, at present, we are unable to identify.
The image dates to just before the Civil War or just after the start, ca 1861.
Housed in full case under glass with preserver, but lacking mat.
Exceptionally clear image. Few minor spots on image. Housed in full case, separated at hinge, with surface wear.
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