A Flamboyant Hussar Tunic, of the late 19th Century
Sold in Poppies Cottage Ebay shop.
I know very little about this dashing short tunic, but it came from a specialist who said it dates to the late 19th Century and belonged to a light infantry horse rider, and originates from somewhere in Europe.
I have found a similar example from Russia in the 1850's, but the Hussars seems to be a generic name for light infantry in many European countries.
The tunic colours are vivid blue and red, in a felted wool. The profuse decoration is mostly gold braiding, with a fine gold braid to shape the motif at centre back.
The buttons are unusual in that they are brass ball shapes and there are many of them!
Inside, the lining is lightly wadded for warmth, and then quilted to each side. It is difficult to tell if the quilting is hand or machine worked, but it is very nicely done.
The tunic is a small size, and you see him on my female mannequin with a chest of 36". It finishes at waist length, with a point to centre back.
The sight of a large group of Hussars on horseback must have been an amazing sight!
There is a velvet piece just under the collar that sits to the inside of the tunic. As you see in the photo's, this is sewn in place by hand to one side, and then fastens to the other with a heavy press stud. I wonder if this piece is a later addition? It doesn't seem to match any other aspect of the tunic, but I have left it in place.
This tunic, although lighter than I expected, weighs almost 2kg.
The tunic is in very good condition to the exterior, with a few isolated moth holes and a little rubbing to the wool, but very little.
The colours are excellent.
The main buttons to centre front are all in place, but the decorative buttons to each side have a few missing and could be re-arranged.
The interior is also very good, but with staining across the back and to the underarms. No harsh stans, just general discolouration.
There is a small patch, very neatly made, close to one underarm.