Military ensemble


Not on view

According to the donor, this ensemble was worn by Obedeak [sic] Herbert, a Continental Naval Admiral of the Revolutionary War. This form of jacket, the tail coat, persisted first, as men's everyday wear and, later, as formal attire throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. The epaulettes retain sense of delicacy and refinement as handmade objects. The silk on the underside is padded and sewn into a roll at the edge to enhance the shape of the tassels as they fall over the shoulders. The tape on the other end is meant to tie into corresponding studs on the shoulders of the jacket. The phrase on the medallion of the bicorne, "E Pluribus Unum" (translated as "Out of Many, One") was submitted by the committee Congress as part of a design for the seal for the United States of America in 1776, which, upon revisions, was passed as the official seal in 1782. The phrase was considered the motto of the United States until 1956 when it was replaced with the motto, "In God We Trust."

Military ensemble, wool, linen, silk, metal, paper, feather, wood, American

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.