Shako unknown

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Shako unknown

Postby Laurent » 23 Aug 2017 19:08

Hello,

Can you help me identify this shako. It looks like an Albert shako, but I do not understand the color of the cockade (black and white) and the meaning of the badge.
Thank you for your help
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Re: Shako unknown

Postby Frogsmile » 23 Aug 2017 20:36

Laurent, you have a so-called Albert pattern Shako (1844-1855) but with a badge for a 4th Rifle Volunteer Corps, a unit of part-time, citizen soldiers from the late 1850s, early 1860s and formed as a result of fears of invasion by Napoleon III. The shako badge is a generic design and so the County is not immediately apparent as there were many 4th Corps (a VRC 'Corps' was a unit of varying size) across Britain. It is also not clear if the badge originally belonged with the shako that you have, as the VRCs were all formed after the introduction of the successor headwear, the 1855-1861 shako, which was not as tall at the front as it was at the back, which gave it the then French 'style' of appearing to lean slightly forward.
Last edited by Frogsmile on 24 Aug 2017 09:11, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Shako unknown

Postby Laurent » 23 Aug 2017 23:47

Thank you very much for your reply.
I am French and this shako is in my collection.
I did not know that British Albert shakos could wear a black and white cockade.
Is this a rare model?
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Re: Shako unknown

Postby Frogsmile » 24 Aug 2017 09:09

Laurent wrote:Thank you very much for your reply.
I am French and this shako is in my collection.
I did not know that British Albert shakos could wear a black and white cockade.
Is this a rare model?


Laurent, I believe that the badge and cockade have been added to the shako to make the ensemble more attractive to sell. It is not normal for an Albert shako to bear such adornments. They are from different periods.
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Re: Shako unknown

Postby RobD » 24 Aug 2017 10:52

I could be wrong... but to me the crown on the badge does not look British... and the style of vertical brass strips above the badge also doesn't look British.
Could the badge be Continental?
The original shako plate seems to have had 3 mounting lugs, from the holes visible on the shako.
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Re: Shako unknown

Postby jf42 » 24 Aug 2017 13:36

The black cockade of Hanover on British infantry headgear was done away with circa 1830. A black and white cockade would be doubly strange after that date. Is there a chance the black is in fact fade green or blue- (which would widen the possibilities)?

The design of the so-called 'Albert'-pattern shako of 1844, with its rear peak, would appear to have been inspired, at least in part, by a similar form of shako adopted by Austrian infantry some years previously. The item in the OP, therefore, need not necessarily be a British piece at all, but might instead have its origins on the Continent. Either that or it is, as Frogsmile suggests, a chimaera assembled by a dealer to promote a sale. The rosettes attaching the chinstrap to the cap look correct for a British cap.

As Frogsmile has also pointed out, the Volunteer Rifle corps of the 1860s were formed some time after the very unpopular 'Albert' shako had become obsolete (and indeed the subsequent model as well). I can't recall seeing images of Volunteers in such a cap. Instead they favoured uniforms that, ironically perhaps, had a certain French flavour to them, not least in the lower, 'casquette' form of shako (similar to the style of shako adopted at that time by the Regulars). This fashion did, however, include in some instances the looped, French-style hunting horn seen here, rather than the German-style bugle-horn of crescent shape favoured by most British Light Infantry and Rifle regiments since the C18th.

It would be interesting to know more about the crown emblem from those who know about these things.
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Re: Shako unknown

Postby Laurent » 24 Aug 2017 14:04

So I should remove the cockade and the plate and buy an authentic plate so that my shako is correct?
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Re: Shako unknown

Postby jf42 » 24 Aug 2017 14:25

That would be up to you. I think your first step would be to identify the cap with certainty as a British 1844-pattern, and then establish what relationship it has to the badge and cockade currently attached. We are all speculating here.
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Re: Shako unknown

Postby Frogsmile » 24 Aug 2017 15:48

Laurent wrote:So I should remove the cockade and the plate and buy an authentic plate so that my shako is correct?


Laurent, everything about the shako alone, without the front badge, fits for the British shako that JF42 and I have described. It's method of construction, the gilt ring curb chain and 'rose' boss all match the description and images in the special booklet on British shakos published by the British Military Historical Society. As for the badge, that is more of a puzzle, but forum member, Rob72 has in his usual inimitable way pointed out that the crown does not look like a known British type, something that I had not previously spotted, but I agree with him. The rectangular metal plate and the cockade also do not look right. The only other option that I can think of is the Army of the Kingdom of Savoy, or British Swiss Legion that fought on the British side and in British uniform during the Crimean war. It might be worth researching that unit as a potential origin. See: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=5726&p=23831&hilit=Canteen#p23831
The design of crown is a big clue, but I don't know what it is.
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Re: Shako unknown

Postby jf42 » 24 Aug 2017 20:44

You may well have hit on something, Frogsmile.

For what it is worth, the crown atop the Royal Arms of the House of Savoy ruling dynasty of the Kingdom of Sardinia resembels the crown on the badge: the cross, the pearls and the trifoliate emblems of the crown itself. All of those may be fairly generic but it might be a line of enquiry.

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Re: Shako unknown

Postby Laurent » 24 Aug 2017 21:57

The cockade seems to me sewn original.
For the plate I do not know because there are 2 extra holes under the cockade.
Should I leave like that or change it? What bothers me is this cockade it seems authentic

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Re: Shako unknown

Postby jf42 » 24 Aug 2017 22:37

Laurent, I would suggest that you are under no obligation to make this item into anything other than what is!

All the elements need to be investigated; cap, cockade, badge; and their relationship assessed before you decide to convert it into somethimg less intriguing.
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Re: Shako unknown

Postby RobD » 25 Aug 2017 11:07

The badge has a little triangular fixing tab at the top and [from the last pic] it seems that this goes into a slit in the crown of the shako. This method of fixing is not seen on other British insignia. The slot in the shako to accept this tab would make it pretty leaky in the rain, so unlikely to be "official". The rosette is very old, but the stitching to the shako looks hurriedly done, and the stitching thread is not faded / does not look as old as the fabric inside the shako nor the rosette. I would guess that the three elements [shako, badge. rosette] have been put together at a later date. Though I could be wrong [Ed, please note disclaimer].
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Re: Shako unknown

Postby Laurent » 25 Aug 2017 11:56

I'll listen to your opinion. I'm not going to touch him.
I will wait for other opinions for identification.
Thank you again for your answers
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