Rare Victorian-era Scottish Officer ? Feather Bonnet Black Watch 42nd Highlander
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Rare Victorian-era Scottish Officer ? Feather Bonnet Black Watch 42nd Highlander:
Victorian-Era Feather Bonnet
With "Egypt" Emblem
Original (Not Reproduction)
PROBABLY "BLACK WATCH (42nd Highlanders)"
FOUR TAILS - CHECKERED BAND
[ FEATURES AND DETAILS... ]
It has four tails that hang down in back below the band. The construction open-back, so you can see inside the bonnet if you lift the tails.
If you have info to share, please message me. In any case, it's all original. Lovely.
The following more precise information was provided by two experts on a War Relics forum:
[RESPONDER 1 - Based in U.K.:]
"I do know that yours is not to the Gordon Highlanders rather it is to the Black Watch (42nd Highlanders).
"The 'Egypt emblem' is actually a cap badge and is called a 'Sphinx' and it reflects the battle honour 'Egypt' awarded to the regiment in 1802 for action in Egypt in 1801 against the French. The device is common in the insignia of many regiments with the same battle honour (sometimes the sphinx is seen without 'Egypt' on the tablet and this indicates a sub-unit within a regiment with the battle honour but which sub-unit did not participate in that campaign. Usually a reserve or territorial battalion for example).
"I believe this badge used on the feather bonnet was limited to the Victorian period (not sure when it ended) and it is not currently worn in this way, latterly the full Black Watch capbadge has been used on the feather bonnet. I think (again not sure) that this was an officers badge rather than all ranks and I am not familiar with that particular pattern shown here. I also believe there should be a red feather hackle behind the badge as well (other colours were worn but these indicated such as a flank company and the main Black Watch hackle is bright red. The history of the red hackle has several explanations but none is recorded as being the offical one. However, the Black Watch do celebrate Red Hackle Day every year.
"P.S.: Originally the feather bonnet was worn by all ranks even in the field but later became restricted to the pipe band and officers under some circumstances. Everyone else wears a Balmoral Bonnet (same basic design as the khaki Tam O' Shanter or TOS as it is known in the Army) when in full dress in the Black Watch. Officers and SNCO' wear a navy glengarry without dice in mess kit but that's another topic."
[RESPONDER 2 - Based in Australia:]
"I agree ... Most likely a Victorian era Officer's bonnet of the Black Watch. Appears to be missing the large 'feather' behind the badge."
[ALSO - From another er:]
I was recently contacted by an member who wasn't sure this is truly correct for an officer, surmising that the badge may have been tampered with.
Personally, I see no sign of tampering (under magnification), but I wanted to mention this -- and I've changed the write-up accordingly to say "Possibly Officer's." You will know best. Again, I'm not an expert with these, just an antiques dealer. What you see is what you get with this sale.
[ CONDITION... ]
- Beautiful original/unrestored condition -- from a non-smoking Environment.
- Leather, wool, and feathers are all in very nice condition for their age, though not perfect.
- No "bald spots" or signs of abuse. It has been carefully stored all these years.
- The tips of the ribbon on which the "Egypt" emblem is mounted are frayed with age.
- One chin strap is all there, including the buckle. The other is missing -- broken off to about an inch long. (See final photo.)
The above is my good-faith attempt to disclose all noteworthy issues. Keep
in mind that vintage/antique items always show their age. (Don't we
all!?) It would be impossible to mention every tiny detail, so please
expect that there will be something about this item (or lot) that's not perfect and may need touch-up.
PLEASE SUPERSIZE ALL PHOTOS, AND ASK ALL QUESTIONS BEFORE offerDING/BUYING. I'LL BE GLAD TO ANSWER.
[ ALL ABOUT SHIPPING... ]
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[ RETURN POLICY... ]
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(a) offering quality vintage merchandise with honest descriptions, and
(b) providing outstanding, professional customer service.
This item may be returned up to14 days from purchase for either of two reasons:
- Dead on arrival: an item that is broken so it does not function, and the listing did not state this, or
- Significantly not as described: A major flaw or discrepancy vs. what was stated in the listing.
(Of course, shipping loss or damage is a different matter; that is fully covered by insurance.)
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