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Brian

1st Foot Guards Shako Plate c 1822

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This is rather an unusual 1st foot or Grenadier officers shako plate of c1822 in as much as the colours are reversed. Normal colour pattern would be that the a gold coat of arms mounted on a silver 8 pointed star.

Apparently this reversal of colours has occured a few times and there is also one with reversed colours in the Grenadier museum which belonged to the Duke of Wellington.

Rather a pity someone decided to change it into a pinned brooch cutting the original posts to the rear.

post-11313-031217000 1294418102_thumb.jp

post-11313-018249800 1294418115_thumb.jp

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Brian - this is a lovely example - and personally, it wouldn't worry me that it had a brooch conversion. I am a little curious about the silver coat of arms - the look in the photo is almost a pewter colour. This would be unusual as I would expect silver - perhaps it it the mellowing of the silver with age ? What do you think ?

ps. Sorry to query your 1822 date - I would have thought more the Crown shape for William 4th.(1830-37) - certainly a little more angular then most Georgian ones. I'm not being 'picky' - just interested regarding a lovely old item ?

Edited by Mervyn Mitton

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Brian - this is a lovely example - and personally, it wouldn't worry me that it had a brooch conversion. I am a little curious about the silver coat of arms - the look in the photo is almost a pewter colour. This would be unusual as I would expect silver - perhaps it it the mellowing of the silver with age ? What do you think ?

ps. Sorry to query your 1822 date - I would have thought more the Crown shape for William 4th.(1830-37) - certainly a little more angular then most Georgian ones. I'm not being 'picky' - just interested regarding a lovely old item ?

Hi Mervyn, Thanks for your posting. You had me a little worried at the beginning when you said it looked a pewter colour..... Immediately thought is it a fake? I then took the plate apart and found that it is a silver ( just tarnished a little ), so I buffed it up a little and it looks great. Mind you I don't know if I should be doing that !

I have checked in in Kiplings book on headress badges, but stangely no meantion is made of the 1st foot. It starts with the 2nd foot. I then looked at my copy of the British Military Shako1800-97 by Bryan Fosten and found the plate on page 26. It was only issued between 1822-29. So I guess that the crown could not be William 4th.

Thanks for your comments

Brian

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Hi - Brian. I think most Forum members don't like to see medals polished - however, the badge is different and must look very good with the sheen of the silver against the gilt. Perhaps you could show another picture ? Your dating is obviously accurate, but you can see the start of the more elongated sides that became very prominent for Wm.4th. and Queen Victoria. You look to have a good collection and we must hope you will continue posting. Mervyn

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Hi Bryan.  A lovely badge indeed, tho' I disagree with Andy, and would say it is definitely an Officer's badge. To me the reversed metals indicate The Honourable Artillery Coy (Infantry Bn).  This certainly applies to the later "Bell-Top" and "Albert" shako badges and SBPs which I have seen.  Regards. Jeff

PS: Apparently this distinction was formerly confirmed by William IV in 1830, although it may well have been in practice much earlier.

Edited by Jeff Mc William

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Hi Andy

Yes, very nice. Tho' of course this is an Officer's "Albert" shako c.1844 to 1855. I have a nice photo of a HAC Bell Top shako plate c.1829 to 1844 which I will post on when I can find it.  However, Brian's shako plate is much earlier (circa 1820 I would say) and not quite the same design as the D of W badge to which he refers, ie the scroll on that badge being a three-part item, not a single semi-circular scroll as on Brian's badge (which also of course has reversed metals) … a real puzzler.  Also, I find it difficult to believe that Other Ranks (even in the Guards) were issued with silver and gilt badges. Do you have any evidence to support this ?  Regards Jeff

PS: Will post my images ASAP … as soon as I can find them. 

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Hi Andy

Sorry I have not found the HAC plate yet, but here is the D of W badge referred to earlier : As you can see, it is not quite the same design as Brian's badge (disregarding the reversed metals) , but this could simply be a manufacturer's difference.

The only other reasons I can think of to explain the reversed metals is, either a 1st & 2nd Battn difference/distinction (?), or perhaps "Gentlemen at Arms" badge. 

Gds Mus.DofW shako CU.jpg

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Quote : " I don't believe the reversed metals represents different Battalions. Or I've never heard of that before"

Hi Andy

Not nowadays of course. But years ago these differences took on much more significance than they do today. eg; According to Chichester & Burges-Short, the reversed and interlaced Royal Cypher was the prerogative of the 2nd & 3rd Battalions Grenadier Guards, and the Honour "Waterloo" was also, strictly speaking, only awarded to the 2nd & 3rd Battalions.

I must confess, I do not know if or how these distinctions were reflected in their badges at the time, but certainly with respect to the Coldstream Guards, there are shako badges of the same period with and without the "Peninsula" honour, possibly reflecting the 1st & 2nd Battalions ?  

Such distinctions even carried onto different Companies of the same Regiment, ie;  The 1829-44 shako plates of the Light Coy 61st Foot carry the honour "Maida" while those of the Battalion Coys do not.  Similarly,for the same period, with the 40th Foot; Both of the Flank Coy badges carry the Sphinx & Egypt honour, while the Battalion Coys do not. This is also reflected in their SBPs.

With regard to the early Grenadier Guards shako badges, there appear to be three (or four) different designs for the same period, viz 1816 to 1825, the significance (if any) does not appear to be documented, so one can only speculate, as indeed we are doing. Regards. Jeff 

Edited by Jeff Mc William

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Very interesting Jeff, I've not got those books regarding badges. Do they say where this info has come from regarding  the Royal Cypher ? The earlier shako badges are these.

Stove-pipe Shako Plate 1ST Foot Guards.jpeg

The other Jeff, both with the Royal Cypher.

Andy

Grenadier Guards stove-pipe Shako copy.jpeg

Edited by grenadierguardsman

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Hi again Andy

Thanks for your reply and the interesting pictures. In return, here is a copy of the page to which I referred ; it is taken from "Records & badges of the British Army" by Chichester & Burges-Short, Pub Gale & Polden 1900. My other reference was "Battle Honours of the British Army" by C.B.Norman Pub John Murray 1911. Both have been recently reprinted and I guess are probably obtainable from Amazon, but I would NOT recommend them to badge collectors as they are rather large Tomes and the information they contain is mostly historical and nothing to do with badges.

Included also are some images I have re the 1st Guards shako badges : The first is the shako plate for 1799 to 1812. I am not certain of the provenance for this one however.  The second is a rather fuzzy close-up of another design for the Regency Shako 1816 to 1829. It is a silver badge with the reversed & entwined Royal Motto … very different from the badge we have been discussing.  This is from the Ogilby Trust Archives and is taken from a shako in the pre-war Shapiro Collection. So, again yet another design for the same regiment and the same shako ! Regards Jeff

C_&_B-S_G.Gds_p157.jpg

1st Gds c.1799 lo res.jpg

G.Gds Shako Shapiro Colln CU badge.jpg

Edited by Jeff Mc William
spelling mistake

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Thanks Jeff, very interesting. The Regimental Badge is still the The Royal Garter surmounted by a Crown with the Royal Cypher in the centre, and the Grenade is still the secondary badge. It says Battalion badges and Company badges ? I believe this should be Battalion Colours and Company Colours.The 3rd image, could this be Coldstream Guards ? as it's not the coat of arms on the eight pointed star ? I'm still a firm believer that the reversed metals are for other ranks, but even this would be hard to prove. Especially to this era. The third one though to be honest i couldn't be 100%. I had chance to buy the Regency Shako badge about a year ago ( it was all agreed ) but i got shafted with it. The Military Gentleman, most definitely no gentleman ! Ex Forces too ?

Thanks again Jeff

Andy

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Hi Andy

Thanks for your reply. I get your point re the "badges" but of course these do confirm the protocol. Re my 3rd image, this is definitely 1st Guards … not too clear I admit, but if you look closely, one can just make out the reversed and entwined cypher. I would guess this dates the badge as circa 1816 - 1820, after which the Royal Arms badge we are discussing followed.

The 1799 badge is also interesting that it does not follow the "universal" design of trophies for Line Infantry but has a lion & unicorn instead. There is also a Coldstream Guards version of this with the star of the Order of the Garter in the centre. I do not have details of the 3rd Guards badge but guess it would be similar with perhaps a thistle. Regards Jeff

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Jeff is the badge ( 3rd image ) one piece ? It looks gilded too ? Would be nice to have a coloured photo of it. Its a badge to the Grenadier Guards i didn't know about Jeff, thanks for brining it to my attention. I'll have to get in touch with Gary Gibbs at the Guards Museum, see if he knows anymore about it. Can i copy these images please Jeff /

Regards

Andy

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Hi Andy

No problem : I guess a few people will have copied them already. You are all very welcome.

Images 2 & 3 were both taken from Lionel Buckle's notes in the Ogilby Trust Files which I had the great privilege to visit in 1977 at Whitehall when John Tamplin was the assistant there. I'm afraid tho' all the photos and drawings were very old and in black & white. Also, I had assumed the shako badge was in one piece and silver, but I could be wrong.  Image 2 I believe originated in the RUSI records. Regards Jeff

PS: I have had dealings with Garry Gibbs, please give him my regards.

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Thank you Jeff, i always believe its best to ask first. I'll mention you when i speak to Gary. I don't know why i questioned that badge ? its the centre piece of the badge, on my first image i sent you ? Thanks again Jeff.

Regards

Andy

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