A Waterloo Period Major General Full Dress Coatee

An extremely rare Waterloo period scarlet melton cloth Major General Coatee dating to just before 1815 with the classic cut back collar. The double breasted coatee has ten rows of gold embroidered chain link loops to the front shown in pairs with gilt buttons of crossed sword and baton. The fold over breast fronts 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.

The collar is embroidered with a single gold chain link loop on dark blue facings that meet at the front. Interestingly when I acquired this coatee I noticed that the collar had been altered from the classic cut back collar to the Prussian style collar by reversing the chain link embroidered panels so that the upright ends faced inwards. There was evidence of button hole puncture marks just in front of the upright embroidered ends which would not have existed unless the collar had been altered. It was clear that the collar had been updated presumably for reasons of economy and fashion sometime shortly after 1815. I have taken the liberty of renovating the collar back to its original pre 1815 status. The cuffs and forearms of the sleeves are also embroidered with gold chain link set in two’s each centred with a gold button. The rear tails of the coatee are embroidered with gold chain link loops set in two pairs with buttons and the tails are finished with an embroidered ornamental design ( skirt ornaments currently being cleaned and repaired).

The coatee has provisions for a gold cord aiguelette on the right hand shoulder which is sadly missing. At some point in its life attempts have been made to attach an epaulette on the left hand shoulder. Fortunately no major damage has occurred but the material has been punchured in several places on the shoulder to facilitate the attachment of material ties. These have been professionally repaired to a standard that makes it difficult to detect. General officers coatee’s of this period did not wear two epaulettes and the wearing of the aiguelette signified that the officer was on military attachment.

The interior of the coatee retains its original cotton linings that have become age discoloured over time but appear intact and original with no losses. Overall the coatee is in very crisp condition with the gold embroidery very sharp and largely untarnished. All buttons are present but several are slightly later replacements and have been added by the vendor to complete the uniform

There is virtually no surface or moth hole damage to the coatee which is exceptional for a period piece of this age other than one small moth hole on the collar. Again if displayed with awards the addition of a Napoleonic neck order would completely disguise the damage. The scarlet cloth could benefit from a slight clean which would render the coatee in very good condition. This can be undertaken if required by specialist cleaners who have cleaned many uniforms in the past on my behalf. In terms of renovation other than some work to the collar as mentioned above the only other work performed has been general sewing to repair split seams or tidy up button holes where the stitching has broken away from the fabric.

For photographic purposes I have shown the coatee with a Small Field Officers Gold medal and a Knight of the Tower and Sword. Please note these items are not for sale and are not included in the price shown in this listing. The listing price shown hereon is for the Coatee only.


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