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Officer, 4th Foot 1743 by P H Smitherman


Officer, 4th Foot 1743 by P H Smitherman

This officer, details of whose dress are taken from a contemporary painting, is shown dressed for duty. On active service he would be armed with a spontoon or a fusil, the latter if he were an officer in a grenadier company. His coat is similar to that worn by private soldiers in the regiment, but theirs had laced button-holes on the lapels and ornamental slashes on the sleeves. His pockets are rather unusual; they were usually cut horizontally, and not vertically as these are, but the pockets of officers coats displayed a very remarkable variety. The three-cornered flaps which remained on the tails of the full dress tunics of most regiments until 1914 were a survival of a pocket such as this. The full-bottomed wig worn hitherto has now been abandoned for a much neater affair, in fact the officers own hair specially treated and powdered. This surprising fashion persisted until about 1808. The hair on top of the head was first cut off, and then made to grow backwards instead of forwards by being plastered down with grease. The hair at the sides was curled with curling tongs and the rest tied in a queue at the back, being kept in place by a string or ribbon. Officers used to do one anothers hair, and the ability to set hair was well considered a social accomplishment. The professional barber would dress it about once a fortnight. Those whose hair was not long enough to make a good queue had to order a false one. Before a big parade hair might well be dressed the day before, and the unfortunate officer would then have to sleep on his face to avoid disturbing his coiffure. the hair so treated must have been usually filthy, and we have a vivid description from an officer of the smell of the soldiers heads in church on Sunday on a hot day. The 4th Foot were raised in 1680 as the 2nd tangier Regiment, but were renamed the Kings Own Royal Regiment by King George I in 1715, a title which they have retained, with minor variations, throughout their history. 
Item Code : PHS0011Officer, 4th Foot 1743 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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