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Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History


Date: 1760
Catalog #: 1980.0399.1428    Accession #: 1980.0399
Credit: Division of Military Histiory and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 5" H x 4.5" W x 1" D

Physical Description

Silver gilt metal with engraving.

General History

A gorget is a metal neck piece, lunette or crescent-shaped, usually made of silver or gilded brass. Until the end of the 18th century gorgets were worn by many officers in many countries as symbols of rank. Originally a piece of steel armor for protecting the throat, gorgets had by the middle of the 17th century changed in shape and use until they were no longer functional as protective coverings.

For almost two centuries, from about 1650 to 1830, they were worn by military officers as ornaments of authority and not as protective armor. During this period the gorget was suspended around the neck by a chain or ribbon.

Gorgets and printed testimonials were among the items given to Indian allies.


Country: United States
War: War of American Independence
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