This remarkable and untouched Ohio Volunteer Militia bearskin hat dates ca.1845-1860. In its original tinned box, with one of the scaled straps missing, it is in otherwise complete original condition.
The hat's height is about 19", the inside diameter is about 7.5". Leather sweat-band is in fine, supple shape, but the thread has rotted away, and the sweat band needs to be reattached.
The inside is of sturdy raw-hide leather, the top of the hat is made of reeds tied in a dome. The construction is quite strong, with no damage at all. The fur has no losses or moth damage, and is mildly flaky. The Ohio Seal button is maker-marked on the back - Waterbury Button Company.
This wonderful historic hat would definitely merit proper conservation and mounting, done by an experienced professional conservator.
Hats like this would've been worn on parade by the grenadier companies and perhaps bandsmen.
This wonderful engraving, although not of the Ohio VM, but a Massachusetts one, from 1845, illustrates the festive and grand spirit of the pre-Civil War militia encampments.
Bearskin-clad weekend warriors with their eagle-headed swords and shiny brass-work of their clever uniforms would be marching South in only a few inter-bellum years, many never to return home.