Military uniform

Ridabock & Company

wool, leather, silk, metal
Length at CB (a): 34 in. (86.4 cm) Length at CB (b): 36 1/2 in. (92.7 cm) (c): 38 1/2 in. (97.8 cm) (d): 19 in. (48.3 cm) (e): 4 3/4 x 9 in. (12.1 x 22.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. R. N. Grisewood, 1940
Accession Number:
  • Description

    A uniform and its accoutrements are meant to convey an aura of authority and ceremony. This suit, along with its accompanying cap and sword belt was worn by Lt. James Weir, and bears all the hallmarks of that purpose. The somber color, glistening gold buttons and braid and snappy gold-colored stripes create an impressive presence. The riding breeches indicate Lt. Weir was a cavalryman.

    The National Guard has its roots in the English militia system; in 1636 the Massachusetts Bay Colony created a unit based on that system. The Constitution affirmed states' authority to form such bodies and the Militia Act of 1792 clarified their role as a domestic military force. The 2nd Battalion, 11th New York Artillery took the name National Guard to mark the 1824-25 visit of Marquis de Lafayette to the United States. Lafayette had been commander of la Garde nacionale (the National Guard) in France in the late 1780s. The name "New York National Guard" was formally adopted in 1862 and by the end of the century other states would follow suit, adopting the name "National Guard" for their militias.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Marking: Label (a, b): "Ridabock & Co./112 4th Ave, N.Y."
    Customer label (a): "Ridabock & Co.,/112 Fourth Ave., New York./Lieut. James Weir/Date Jan 31 1906/No. 9517 Collar 17"
    Customer label (b): "Ridabock & Co.,/112 Fourth Ave., New York./Lieut. James Weir/Date Jan 31 1906"
    Stamped in leather (c): "Ridabock & Co./112 4th Ave. /2 doors below 12th St./New York"
    Stamped in buckle (c): "Ridabock & Co./N.Y."
    Stamped in crown (e): "Ridabock & Company/112 Fourth Ave./2 doors below 12th St./New York"
    Stamped on sweat band (e): "Russia Leather"

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History