Officer 1820

The set of prints by W Heath produced in 1820 include this Greys officer in a gold laced coatee. The front of the coat has broad gold lace down the front in the style of the Waterloo collett, with the addition of the horizontal bars of lace introduced c1818. The artist was unclear about the details of the coat, as can be seen by the tails which lack the blue, gold edged turnbacks and have four chevrons of lace when the dress regulations call for only three. There is a small gold cord on the shoulder but other evidence points to aiguilettes and plaited shoulder cords. Another Heath print in the small series 1820 shows an officer galloping in the opposite direction with an aiguilette on his left shoulder, but still too many chevrons on the coat-tail. Other evidence, including the actual coat of Major Wemyss, and a portrait of Thomas Charles Fenton of 1819 show aiguilettes on the right shoulder.

The most convincingly drawn item is the bearskin cap which has a peak and a gold cord, plaited and tasseled around the middle. This is not in accord with the 1818 paintings of the sergeant and sergeant-major (also a corporal and an officer by the same artist) which all show bearskin caps without peak and cords. However, an actual example of a cap in the museum at Edinburgh Castle agrees with this Heath print, although It has to be said that the museum exhibit is not entirely convincing as the front gilt plate above the peak looks too plain.

Regimental Details | Uniforms

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by Stephen Luscombe