Thank you for the additional pictures. We now have a frock coat with Commodore 1st Class/Read Admiral cuff lace, Lieutenant's epaulettes and a Captain's badge.
Of course, the epaulettes should be of a Commodore 1st Class or Rear Admiral's rank.
The buttons seem to have some differences also, and indeed may not all be the pattern, but, unfortunately, I cannot tell as the photos are too blurry.
The little star badge seems significant too. This is not worn in the Royal Navy, or any military navy that I know of.
Which begs the question as to why would a man who wears Commodore 1st Class/Read Admiral cuff lace rank with Lieutenant's epaulettes also want to be known as captain? I only can come up with one answer.
That this coat, in fact is for a captain in the merchant marine - probably a small steamboat of some sort, rather than a big company-owned liner.
As you may know, nearly all merchant marine companies followed (and still follow) the fashions of the military navies, and in particular of the leading navies of the period, the Royal Navy and the American navy. So getting a Royal Navy-pattern coat and a pair of epaulettes would have been simple enough, and probably second hand at that. Thus, the coat itself may have been for a Commodore/Rear Admiral, but subsequently came into the possession of a merchant marine officer who added the epaulettes and the badge.
Two coats in one really, and quite interesting as such items go.
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