#0049 Uniform ID and date suggestions please

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#0049 Uniform ID and date suggestions please

Postby hascott16 » 27 Feb 2017 13:08

This photo has turned up in a family portrait album apparently compiled around 1910 and containing (mainly studio) portraits taken earlier. It is approximately 3" in height - as are the other photos in the album.

Can anyone offer suggestions to aid identification of the young gent in the photo? In particular.............

The regimental dress - including the striped belt and two-tone trousers
The shako or headgear on the table - whith what appears to be a horsehair plume
The badge - although the image has lack of definition, the shape appears slightly unusual
The type of sword
Finally, the wearers rank.

All suggestions - however outlandish - welcome.
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Re: #0049 Uniform ID and date suggestions please

Postby jf42 » 27 Feb 2017 13:30

He looks like a member of the Yorkshire Hussars, a Yeomanry, that is volunteer cavalry, unit, the photo dating from circa 1845-50. A key to identification being the badge on the shako which is the White Rose emblem of Yorkshire. The shako was scarlet- changing to a fur hussar busby in 1856. The jacket, known as a dolman, was blue with white lace decoration. The barrel sash was scarlet and gold. The overalls at this date were grey with a double yellow stripe which showed dark grey in this early photograph.

http://www.uniformology.com/YEOMANRY-10.html
http://www.britishempire.co.uk/forces/a ... ssars1.htm

Other members with much more knowledge relating to cavalry and the Yeomanry in particular will be able to comment on the sword and his rank.
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Re: #0049 Uniform ID and date suggestions please

Postby hascott16 » 27 Feb 2017 13:50

Ah! Thanks. That's interesting. There is a possible family connection with Sheffield (and an earlier one with Woolwich).
The badge suggestion is excellent - thank you.
So the wearer has a very colourful uniform. Well worth the expense of having his image taken!
Your links are greatly appreciated.

If the photo isn't a 'fancy dress' Victorian creation, it means I have to investigate how a much earlier photo was reproduced for a 1910-ish album. The album contains a print which would suggest that the original image used an earlier technique - at present unknown.
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Re: #0049 Uniform ID and date suggestions please

Postby Frogsmile » 27 Feb 2017 15:45

I agree with JF42 that he is a Yorkshire Hussar and in my opinion a private in rank (much later 'trooper'). The frogging on his dolman style jacket appears to be plain worsted cord and he has a horse hair plume and wooden grip to his sword.
The original print was likely to have been a daguerreotype. His uniform and hair style are both typical of the Crimean War and Indian Mutiny period, which stimulated a burst of patriotic feeling and enthusiasm for auxiliary forces such as the yeomanry.
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Re: #0049 Uniform ID and date suggestions please

Postby ED, in Los Angeles » 27 Feb 2017 21:51

The original photographic process was most likely a Daguerreotype on a silver plated copper sheet. This daguerreotype was in a frame and the image has been trimmed at the edges to eliminate the rounded edged frame from showing on the image. The image also could have been in a leather covered wood case.

Too bad you do not have the daguerreotype image. There is nothing like the sight of the Image seemingly "floating" off the metal plate!
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Re: #0049 Uniform ID and date suggestions please

Postby hascott16 » 27 Feb 2017 22:33

Thank you Frogsmile and ED. Very helpful observations from you both.
I'd love to have had the original image - but sadly, No!

Would anyone care to comment on the shako shape? Wikipedia says that the 'Albert' model was introduced in 1844, replacing the bell-top. Not being conversant with the evolution of the shape, it seems that this headgear is somewhere between the two. Would the militia have been slow in adopting a change perhaps?

I now have a candidate relative in mind for the sitter. Born to a soldier (Royal Horse Artillery) and his first (of three) wife in Woolwich in 1821, he moved to Division Street, Sheffield before 1854. He was a novice member of the Second West Yorkshire Yeomanry in that year when the militia assembled at Birley House (probably Birley Old Hall, Sheffield) Several horses ran out of control and at least three riders were 'thrown down' - one being this relative. The local paper reports that the riders were 'not much hurt'! More drill practice needed!

He was given a military funeral when he died in 1866 and his obituary states that he was in A troop. In 'real life' he was a newsagent!
Last edited by hascott16 on 27 Feb 2017 23:42, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: #0049 Uniform ID and date suggestions please

Postby Frogsmile » 27 Feb 2017 23:09

hascott16 wrote:Thank you Frogsmile and ED. Very helpful observations from you both.
I'd love to have had the original image - but sadly, No!

Would anyone care to comment on the shako shape? Wikipedia says that the 'Albert' model was introduced in 1844, replacing the bell-top. Not being conversant with the evolution of the shape, it seems that this headgear is somewhere between the two. Would the militia have been slow in adopting a change perhaps?

I now have a candidate relative in mind for the sitter. Born to a soldier and his first (of three) wife in Woolwich in 1821, he moved to Division Street, Sheffield before 1854. He was a novice member of the Second West Yorkshire Yeomanry in that year when the militia assembled at Birley House (probably Birley Old Hall, Sheffield) Several horses ran out of control and at least three riders were 'thrown down' - one being this relative. The local paper reports that the riders were 'not much hurt'! More drill practice needed!

He was given a military funeral when he died in 1852 and his obituary states that he was in A troop. In 'real life' he was a newsagent!


The shako is an 1840s, bell top pattern and the unit West Yorkshire Yeomanry, which fits neatly with what you know. You can read more about the unit at this directly associated page: http://www.drakesfamily.org/id51.htm
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Re: #0049 Uniform ID and date suggestions please

Postby jf42 » 28 Feb 2017 16:51

More specifically, the shako in the photo is a light dragoons pattern cap. notwithstanding the unit's designation as Hussars since 1819; the fur Hussar cap, or busby, fell into disuse for some considerable time after the Napoleonic wars with light dragoon and hussar regiments both wearing shakos.

'Bell top' and 'Albert' are unofficial designations more generally used for patterns of shako worn by infantry circa 1829-1860. However, all British shakos in general had assumed a more or less flared profile at the end of the Napoleonic wars, a style which lasted until the mid-1840 when more straight-sided shakos were adopted. The flared shape of the infantry shako was more pronounced, hence the term 'Bell top.' It was unstable enough for footsoldiers and would have been impossible for mounted troops to wear. Not that practicality or comfort were guiding principles in uniform design during this period.
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Re: #0049 Uniform ID and date suggestions please

Postby Frogsmile » 28 Feb 2017 18:09

I concur totally with your measured and scholarly resume on the often generalistic description of post Napoleonic shakos, JF, and you and I could no doubt confer for some time on the subject. In truth I was trying to keep things relatively straightforward for the enquirer so as not to over complicate my response with the basic facts that he seems to seek.
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Re: #0049 Uniform ID and date suggestions please

Postby Tony Barton » 28 Feb 2017 20:27

Wonderful picture, and rather rare, I believe, to show a private soldier at this date, albeit in the Yeomanry. The sword is the 1796 Light Cavalry pattern,famous in the Napoleonic Wars, replaced in the Regulars in the 1820s, but still in use in the Yeomanry.
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Re: #0049 Uniform ID and date suggestions please

Postby hascott16 » 28 Feb 2017 20:44

I was coming to the same conclusion about it being rare. It is a iPhone snap from a mounted print in a family album so I am keen to get a better quality scan. Also to review the other images but these are mainly family portraits of c 1900 onwards. Also the album belongs to a cousin!
More family history investigation needed.
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Re: #0049 Uniform ID and date suggestions please

Postby jf42 » 28 Feb 2017 22:03

Frogsmile wrote:I concur totally with your measured and scholarly resume on the often generalistic description of post Napoleonic shakos, JF, and you and I could no doubt confer for some time on the subject. In truth I was trying to keep things relatively straightforward for the enquirer so as not to over complicate my response with the basic facts that he seems to seek.


Of that I had no doubt, FS, I thought, as the question of the shape of the cap was of some interest to our new member, it might be helpful to avert his being further sidetracked by his dip into the Wikipedia.
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Re: #0049 Uniform ID and date suggestions please

Postby hascott16 » 01 Mar 2017 05:25

Much more collective experience here than Wikipedia. Thanks
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