Officer in Full Dress Summer Uniform 1831


This young officer, probably a cornet, has been sketchily painted in the dress uniform of the 2nd Dragoon Guards, but wearing white summer trousers instead of the dark blue winter trousers. The lace, epaulettes and buttons are all gold. Around 1830/31 the army had to conform to King William IV's edict that all the regular regiments should have gold lace etc. The dress jacket of the previous decade had silver lace button loops covering the front, and plaited shoulder cords with aiguillettes, but in 1828 a plainer jacket was introduced, like the one seen here, but in silver. The shoulders now had epaulettes, the loops across the chest had been removed and the button loops on the sleeve made more elaborate. The pouch-belt remained the same pattern in silver and black. This painting shows that when the change to gold was made the 1828 silver jacket had to be replaced and the pouchbelt, and waist-belt also had to be changed. These last two items were very short-lived as a new pattern lace was adopted for the 1830s, being the S and vellum type, also used by the 3rd Dragoon Guards.

Another striking feature of this painting is the cocked hat, worn fore-and-aft, which had an elaborately embroidered gold device on the right side. The right side was 9 inches high and the left side 11 inches. There were gold and crimson bullion tassels at the front and back corners, and a red and white drooping plume with 'elastic stem of twelve inches'. The hat was only worn in full dress. The sword is only slightly curved with a gold and crimson bullion tassel on the sword knot, and a steel scabbard. In the 1820s a curved mameluke sabre was carried.


Regimental details | Uniforms




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by Stephen Luscombe