|How they've been stored for 100 years (give or take)...|
Family tradition says these belonged to an ancestor who had revolutionary war service.
These are interesting in that they are actual articulated plates with an embossed American eagle (head towards the olive branch) on a cloth backing with wool padding and a silk (?) lining. The silver bullion fringe is in excellent condition but the lining has deteriorated.
I took the time to take some close-up photos of the plates and the eagle device.
|A side view attempting to show the overlapping plates and other details of construction.|
|A close-up of the eagle device.|
My son, who is in the Va Guard working at the Bureau in DC pointed me to the U.S. Army Center of Military History at Fort McNair.
It turns out that these are not epaulettes but are more properly called "wings" because of the scales which arch over the shoulder. These are militia rather than regular army and date from 1821 to somewhere in the 1840s.
I'm trying to figure out who, potentially, might have worn them.