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Grenadier Officer, 1st Guards 1688 by P H Smitherman


Grenadier Officer, 1st Guards 1688 by P H Smitherman

In 1677 the hand grenade was introduced into the army as one of its weapons, and a grenadier company was added to each infantry regiment. This company was composed of picked men, of good physique; it took the place of honour on the right of the line, and assumed a dress different from that of the rest of the regiment. In particular the grenadiers wore a characteristic cap. The usual broad-rimmed hat no doubt interfered with the slinging of the flintlock and the throwing of the grenades, and so a brimless hat was worn which soon became very ornamented. The hat shown here is a very early one and is very decorative, its shape being different from that of the more familiar mitre illustrated elsewhere. Grenadiers coats were also laced differently from those of the rest of the regiment in many cases. The song The British Grenadiers, refers to their looped clothes, alluding no doubt to the extra loops of lace, or tassels, with which they were adorned. The coat worn by this officer is quite different from that worn elsewhere in the regiment at this time. Note its claret colour - a colour worn by the grenadiers of the regiment many years afterwards. It will be noticed that he carries a firelock but no sword. Usually the sword has been the weapon of an officer, and a musket or rifle that of a private soldier. At this time, however, the musket was a new weapon, and musketeers were rapidly ousting pikemen from the ranks. The musket was therefore regarded as a weapon of honour, and was carried by all officers of grenadier companies, instead of the pike, or half pike, carried by officers of battalion companies. Grenadier officers usually carried a sword as well, but this officer carries a plug bayonet instead. The whole uniform, with its embroidery and gold lace, gives one the impression of a ceremonial dress rather than one intended for use on active service, for which he would possibly have worn something a little less expensive.
Item Code : PHS0005Grenadier Officer, 1st Guards 1688 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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