Officers c1835

These miniature portraits of a battalion company and light company officer are part of a set of three which were sold at Bonhams on 28th Sep 2004. The third portrait was of a lady. The officers are not named and may be related, but the uniforms are identified as being the 3rd Foot because of the dragon badge on the belt-plate. In his book on Shoulder Belt-Plates and Buttons, Major Parkyn says that PW Reynolds, 'in his book of Uniforms, records a gilt oblong plate with silver crowned garter, scroll above and one below. This he dates as about 1826, but it would probably be after 1830, being gilt.' It certainly pre-dates the known belt-plate that can be seen in our Badges section which has the battle honour for PUNNIAR (1843). Although the miniatures are dated c1840 in the catalogue they are more likely to be earlier because of the gold lace on the collar which allows the pale buff facings to be seen above and below the lace. These lace loops were quite small when the coat was first introduced c1829 but grew in size so that by the 1840s the gold obliterated the front of the collar.

The Buffs were in India at this period so the portraits may have been painted there, or else they were painted in England before the officers joined their regiment. The officer on the left, with dark hair and gold epaulettes is a battalion officer and the one on the right shows us how the officers of the light company differed. He has silver badges on his collar which are stringed bugles. He also has a gilt bugle badge on his shoulder belt, with gilt chains attached, to retain a whistle which is half concealed, but attached to the belt lower down. The belt-plate is similar to the one worn by the battalion officer but has a small bugle device just below the garter. He also has gilt shoulder wings which are quite small compared with later types worn c1850. The gilt buttons show that the coat is double-breasted, and are placed in pairs.

Uniforms | Regimental Details


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by Stephen Luscombe