A week ago we were in one of the bigger sutler tents and my pard says "Hey look at these!" He was at the forage cap shelf and pulled a couple new ones out for inspection. They were labeled M&G N.Y. As it just happened I had an ORIGINAL M&G forage cap with me (to show someone)--so a comparison was to be made on the spot.
Outside the general pattern, all the dimensions such as disk size, brim size thickness and shape, and height, etc., which was right on (taken directly off a disassembled original cap we later found out), it was the cloth that got us--it was ABSOLUTELY dead on--color just right and a very thin, plain weave--never seen that in any repro forage cap before--which was what caught my pard's eye in the first place as he had just spent the day before in the state museum storage facility examining among other things, forage caps. The cap had the 'flimsy' feel to it, if you were to hold it up by the brim it would collapse before you got it on your head, necessitating it being put on very fast or with both hands...JUST like the originals. The very thin brim had just visible brush marks in the painted finish, as did the original. Even the paper label was spot on as to font and size and texture.
However they had a black linings, which I would say is somewhat unusual for enlisted forage caps.
Regardless, we each had to immediately buy one and upon getting them home compared them closer to two originals in my collection. I trade out the buttons and chinstrap buckle on my repro caps with original ones as I am never satisfied with what reproductions are usually on them, but upon removing the buckle and putting on the original I really must say I could not tell them apart and for the first time wondered if I shouldn't just leave this repro on. It was a perfect M&G slide, the same dimensions, same curve, and even the curled center bar that can't even be seen without undoing the strap! Wonder who made them?
Outside the lining color, which I question, and the 'waffle iron' embossing on the sweatband was pretty unseeable on my particular one, these caps blew me away sitting there next to more than one of the 'same' company's original product. Without a doubt the best reproduction forage cap I have yet seen. Pure army junk! (Only 58 cents back then!)
Who made these? The price tag hanging on them said 'Starbuck'.