Officer's Tunic 1856

The smarter style that replaced the double-breasted tunic introduced a year or so earlier. The body is close fitting but the sleeves allow for movement. There are 9 gilt buttons down the front, evenly spaced for Grenadier Guards, the lowest button was small and flat so that it did not interfere with the lay of the waist belt. There is a hook visible on the waistline to support the belt and stop it being pulled down by the weight of the sword. The collar is very low and edged in white cloth. It is a blue collar, embroidered with gold and decorated with a silver grenade badge. Where the gold ends and the blue begins is a rank badge which in this case is a crown, indicating the rank of Ensign. See Officer's Badges of Rank c1860. On the left shoulder is a twist of scarlet cord and button which is designed to be discrete and hold the crimson, or crimson and gold, silk sash in place. It was not until 1868 that this single shoulder strap was replaced by a slim gold strap on each shoulder. The cuffs are blue with an edge of white and an inner edge of gold lace, two lines of gold for Brevet-Major and above. The cuff flaps are richly covered with 4 gold lace button loops that have a gold lozenge shape, which, when seen next to the button, makes a grenade shape.

Courtesy of Bosleys Military Auctioneers

Uniforms | Regimental Details

Armed Forces | Art and Culture | Articles | Biographies | Colonies | Discussion | Glossary | Home | Library | Links | Map Room | Sources and Media | Science and Technology | Search | Student Zone | Timelines | TV & Film | Wargames

by Stephen Luscombe