Silver-toned metal M1812 Dragoon Cap Plate, originally worn on the shako-style dress caps.

The first known distinctive metal branch insignia authorized for the Army was this helmet plate. General Order, U.S. Army, dated March 30, 1800, prescribed for “Cavalry … a helmet of leather crowned with black horse hair and having a brass front, with a mounted dragoon in the act of charging.” This oval plate, struck in thin brass with lead-filled back, has a raised rim, within which is a mounted, helmeted horseman in the act of charging; overhead is an eagle with a wreath in its beak.

Approximately 4 inches tall and 3 inches wide.