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William Swift’s Cocked Hat

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This silk plush collapsible cocked hat, also known as a chapeau bras, belonged to Surgeon William Swift. The hat, typical of those worn by naval officers, is adorned on either side with brown silk brocade bows, and a brass button at the bottom depicting a eagle perched atop on anchor.

Swift, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, entered the United States Navy as a volunteer in 1812 and was aboard USS Chesapeake when it was captured by the British frigate HMS Shannon. Following his release, Swift was commissioned a surgeon’s mate in 1813 and then surgeon in 1814. He served aboard USS Syren, USS Ontario, and USS Constellation.

Date Created
c. 1820s-1830s

Medium
Metal, Cloth

Dimensions
[H]10 in. [W]17 1/2 in.

Catalog Number
2381.1

Credit Line
USS Constitution Museum Collection. Edward Stephenson Gift.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

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