Officer c1765

The new light dragoons had a distinctive helmet instead of the tricorn hat worn by the heavy cavalry. It was made of copper but covered with black enamel and decorated on the front with a silver crown and royal cypher. This portrait shows a mounted officer wearing the helmet prior to the regiment being granted royal status. The early helmets had the cypher with L and D either side, but after the Battle of Emsdorf in 1760 they added the French Bourbon flags captured in the battle.

The helmet has a green turban around the base with silver tassels at the end of the flys. The top was adorned with a silver crest and red plume. The coat is scarlet with green facings and silver buttons and lace loops. The buttons are supposed to be grouped in pairs but this is not obvious here. The three loops on the cuff are also supposed to be spaced one and two and this is more apparent on the skirt of the coat. The right shoulder has a silver shoulder strap and fringed epaulette instead of the aiguillette featured earlier. The collar is plain green and turned down.

His sword is carried on a shoulder belt worn under the coat. This is of black leather edged in silver. The saddle cloth or shabraque is a decorative addition to the uniform. It is green to match the facings, with a red and silver edge. The back and front have a red trefoil edged in silver, with a large silver tassel and two smaller tassels hanging free. His pistol holsters are covered with a white sheepskin in front of the saddle.

Regimental Details | Uniforms

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by Stephen Luscombe