Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS


Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • SHOP
  • Appraisals

    Mexican War & Civil War Uniforms

    Appraised Value:

    $12,000 - $16,000

    Appraised on: August 13, 2011

    Appraised in: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Appraised by: Rafael Eledge

    Category: Arms & Militaria

    Episode Info: Pittsburgh, Hour 1 (#1607)

    Originally Aired: February 13, 2012

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Clothes, Uniform, Coat
    Material: Wool, Brass, Metal, Pewter, Lead
    Period / Style: Civil War, Mexican-American War
    Value Range: $12,000 - $16,000

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW


    Appraisal Video: (2:47)


    Appraised By:

    Rafael Eledge
    Arms & Militaria
    Shiloh Civil War Relics

    Appraisal Transcript:

    GUEST: I brought my great-great- grandfather's two uniforms. One I believe is from the Mexican War, and this one is from the Civil War.

    APPRAISER: Who did he serve with?

    GUEST: He was in the Irish Greens in the Mexican War, the volunteer group, and he was in the 134th Pennsylvania Volunteers.

    APPRAISER: What was his rank?

    GUEST: He was a colonel.

    APPRAISER: We know he was a colonel when he wore this coat, because if you notice on the sleeves, we have the eagle with the blue background, which means it's infantry colonel, 134th Infantry from Pennsylvania.

    GUEST: That's correct.

    APPRAISER: This is what they call a frock coat, because it's the tall gentleman's style coat worn by the higher-ranking officers, and we have the button on it with the eye in the middle of the eagle for infantry. They're a two-piece construction, made of brass, and they were very well made. They were made in a factory-- these are actually maker-marked from the Horstmann Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This coat has an eagle with the eye, but the detail is not as clear. Do you know why?

    GUEST: Probably been used for a long time.

    APPRAISER: And, you know, I used to think that too, but actually, they're pewter and lead buttons, and the casting just wasn't very good to start with. We notice it's the same style, but they're so much cruder. And you can see right here, it broke, because you've got that button in its cast and you've got the shank coming up. It doesn't take anything to pop it right off of there. And that's why so often these buttons are lost to the ages. They're soft and malleable. This one... it just got squished. But it's an early coat, it's what they call a coatee, has the classic cut that you see later on from state organizations. It's not a true regulation coat, but it's more of a state contract. The local tailor would have made it, and it's just a great coat. And if you notice on the sleeve, we have the single chevron, outlined in red. Red generally means artillery, and single stripe means a private, and we have the chevrons on both sleeves. In today's retail world, this coat would be valued somewhere between $5,000 and $6,000.

    GUEST: Wow.

    APPRAISER: This coat, even though it's smaller, it's older, it's rare, and it's pretty.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: It's one of those when you see it, it catches your eye.

    GUEST: Yeah.

    APPRAISER: This coat would retail somewhere between $7,000 and $10,000.

    GUEST: Wow.

    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation.
    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
    WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
    PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube