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Pikeman 1660 by P H Smitherman


Pikeman 1660 by P H Smitherman

This picture shows the dress of a pikeman of an infantry regiment at the Restoration in 1660, and is based on such contemporary pictures as there are, and on existing armour in the Tower of London. Before 1660 an infantry battalion consisted of pikemen and musketeers in equal numbers, but immediately after the Restoration the pikemen were cut down to one thrid, and eventually dissappeared altogether as fighting soldiers. After 1660 we hear of no case where the pike was used on active service, so presumably pikemen were given muskets to use in action. The sixteen-foot pike was carried on ceremonial parades, however, for many years after it had disappeared as a fighting weapon. The dress shown here was very soon modified. The tassets - the pieces of armour covering the thighs, were soon discarded, and the breastplate and pot helmet retained. These are depicted in various prints for some time afterwards, but a picture painted in 1680 shows the Coldstream Guards on parade with pikemen dressed similarly to the musketeers, with no armour at all. When the uniform illustrated was abandoned it was replaced by a long coat, worn under the cuirass, apparently of the colour of the regimental facings, with cuffs of the normal coat colour. For instance, the pikes of the Coldstream Guards wore green coats faced red, while the rest of the regiment wore red faced green. This is similar to the custom of making bandsmen wear reversed clothing, which persisted well into the nineteenth century. The sash, which this pikeman is wearing, was a characteristic feature of the pikemans dress until his clothing was assimilated to that of the rest of the regiment. An order of dress similar to this is worn today by the Honourable Artillery Company, having been revived some years ago.
Item Code : PHS0001Pikeman 1660 by P H Smitherman - This Edition
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PRINT One available.

Image size 14 inches x 10 inches (36cm x 25cm)none£24.00

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