Officer, c1765

This portrait by Zoffany is of Lieut-Col the Hon Edmund Nugent. His rank in the 1st Foot Guards was Captain. There was a double ranking system that applied to the Guards whereby an officer's army rank was much higher than his regimental rank. His coat is red with dark blue lapels and richly laced with gold. His waistcoat is light buff edged with gold lace. On his shoulder, rank is indicated by a tangle of gold cords that is the basis of the aiguilettes worn on staff and household cavalry uniforms for the last 200 years. These were were discontinued by 1670 in the Guards. The lapels are buttoned back and one button can be seen to be half concealed, proving that the buttons are not just for show. This portrait shows that officers wore a crimson sash over the right shoulder when on duty, also a gilt gorget hung round the neck and, under his left arm, a tricorn hat with gold lace on the edge. A comparison can be made with the portrait of Charles Fitzroy painted a few years earlier. Fitzroy is not on duty as he has no visible hat, no sash and no gorget.

Uniforms | Regimental Details

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by Stephen Luscombe