A Full General`s Peninsula War Period Coatee and Eppaulettes
An extremely rare pre Waterloo period scarlet melton cloth General Officer’s full dress Coatee dating to just prior to 1815.
The double breasted coatee has nine rows of gold embroidered chain link loops evenly spaced to the front with gilt domed buttons showing a crossed sword and baton design surrounded by a wreath and scallop edge. The buttons are closed back and show Charles Jennens, London with the POW feathers for George Augustus Frederick, who served as Prince Regent from 1811 until he ascended to the throne in 1820.
The fold over dark blue melton cloth breast lapels are cut straight and are also embroidered on the reverse and thus allow for the coatee to be worn in several styles. The coatee is fastened with hook and eye attachments to the front. Another feature that dates this coatee to a pre waterloo context is where the skirts attach to the front of the coatee. From the images you will see that they emanate from the point where the lapels dissect the waist. In later versions of this coatee the skirts are seen to visibly move more towards the side of the waist.
The collar is embroidered on each side with a single gold chain link loop on dark blue facings that are cut back at the front and the cuffs and forearms of the sleeves are also embroidered with four gold chain link chevrons evenly spaced with a gold button in the center of each chevron. The rear tails of the coatee are embroidered with four gold chain link loops and buttons and the tails are finished with an embroidered ornamental design. Curiously the white kerseymere cloth sections on each tail of the coatee are not sewn in place as is typically found, but are just folded back on themselves and secured by the tail ornament, a stylistic trait carried over from the earlier frock coat again suggesting this coatee is an early transitional coatee. One replacement button can be found at the rear waist area.
The coatee has provisions for epaulettes on each shoulder and is matched with a pair of associated General Officer’s epaulettes which are of a slightly earlier date than the coatee but in keeping with the correct pattern.
The interior of the coatee retains its original rough cotton linings that have become age discoloured over time but are intact with no losses. Overall the coatee is in very good condition for its age with the gold embroidery reasonably bright with some losses to the thread.
One or two areas of moth damage particularly underneath where the right epaulette would be positioned and which is not noticeable when the epaulettes are worn. Some minor stitching faults along one of two of the seams where the thread has obviously deteriorated over time.
The scarlet cloth could benefit from a slight clean which would render the coatee in very nice condition. All 28 original buttons ( save for one later replacement button) are present, all being plugged except for two located on the right sleeve which someone has tried to remove by pulling the plugged button and wadding through the arm unsuccessfully leaving the two buttons slightly loose which has enabled me to determine the makers name.
A very rare opportunity to acquire a Waterloo period General Officer’s full dress coatee which it should be appreciated is considerably more rare to find than a Lt General or Major General version.