I found a M1881 eagle plate that ws affixed to a base plate that is similar in design to the M1892 USMC dress helmet base plate and similar to several base plates used on New York Natioanl Guard (NYNG) helmets. I originally thought that it may have been designed as a memento for a U.S. Navy band member becasue it had the base simialr to the USMC base and an eagle that was prescribed by the Navy for thier M1897 dress helmet. The only problem with it was that the spaces were filled in between the arrows in the eagle's talon. On regulation U.A. Army plates the spaces between the arrows is cut out.
In researching another NYNG helmet a friend sent me the 1885 uniform regulations of the NYNG. According to the 1885 Laws and Regulations for the Government of the National Guard of the State of New York., Section 853, page 259 stated: “General and their staff officers may, when authorized by the commander-in-chief, wear a helmet as prescribed in the next paragraph for mounted officers of infantry, except that the ornament shall consist of a wreath embroidered in silver, inclosing the N.Y.S. shield embroidered in silk and colors, and that instead of a plume, general officers will wear a gilt spread eagle. According to pattern in the office of the chief of ordnance.”
The style of the plume base has been found on the 22nd New York National Guard helmet shown in a circa 1881 Riddabock & Co. uniform catalog and on an actual 22nd N.Y.N.G. helmet.
Do any of you have any ideas? Have you seen photos or drawings of this contraption? Email me and I will send photos of it to you.
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