Cape Fittings

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Cape Fittings

Postby grenadierguardsman » 29 Jun 2017 21:50

I was wondering if anyone could help identify these please. They are plated white metal, and are about 80mm/60mm.
Many Thanks
Andy
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Re: Cape Fittings

Postby Frogsmile » 30 Jun 2017 13:14

There is some evidence that cape clasps of that kind were worn by Grenadier Guards officers in the Crimea and of course for some years after. It was used to secure the cape section of the great coat. The exact pattern varied over the years.
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029da3c89c5847e97bdc36b55bda7496--crimean-war-cape-coat.jpg
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Re: Cape Fittings

Postby grenadierguardsman » 30 Jun 2017 13:48

Many thanks Frogsmile, i did serve in the Grenadier Guards. The cloak fitting you have shown are, top ones Grenadier Guards Victorian period. The bottom ones are, Life Guards always being mistook for Grenadier Guards cloak Chains.
Thanks again
Andy
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Re: Cape Fittings

Postby Frogsmile » 30 Jun 2017 15:10

grenadierguardsman wrote:Many thanks Frogsmile, i did serve in the Grenadier Guards. The cloak fitting you have shown are, top ones Grenadier Guards Victorian period. The bottom ones are, Life Guards always being mistook for Grenadier Guards cloak Chains.
Thanks again
Andy


Yes, I am aware that you were Gren Gds, Andy. You know me in BCMBF as Toby and I have made clear there that I post here as Frogsmile. The clasp with radiating rings on the ball of the grenade is a vestige of the two troops of 'Horse Grenadier Guards', that were absorbed by the 2nd Life Guards. Further small aspects of their insignia were also retained on horse furniture and other items, although some were subsequently discontinued following the merger of 1st and 2nd Life Guards. I have posted about it before in the BCMBF.
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Re: Cape Fittings

Postby grenadierguardsman » 30 Jun 2017 16:03

Nice one Toby, good to hear from you. Im posting these cloak fittings every where i can. Did you see on BCMBF about a Major H G Parkyn saying that these were to the Grenadier Guards ?! and circa 1880 ?!.
Regards
Andy
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Re: Cape Fittings

Postby Frogsmile » 30 Jun 2017 17:07

grenadierguardsman wrote:Nice one Toby, good to hear from you. Im posting these cloak fittings every where i can. Did you see on BCMBF about a Major H G Parkyn saying that these were to the Grenadier Guards ?! and circa 1880 ?!.
Regards
Andy


No, I have not yet seen that regarding Maj H G Parkyn. He is most renowned for his seminal work on shoulder belt plates and buttons (for many decades the definitive reference), but he was fallible like all of us and probably made the odd error. By comparison we have the benefit of the internet which has enhanced our access to information and images of rare pieces of insignia exponentially and thus increased our knowledge greatly since his time.
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Re: Cape Fittings

Postby grenadierguardsman » 30 Jun 2017 19:49

I agree with some of that Toby, but to say an item is something and to date it. But now the National Army Museum are at the moment unwilling to change what he has deemed right. He has even said a Royal Marine Artillery badge is a Grenadier Guards and has dated that too.
Andy
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Re: Cape Fittings

Postby Frogsmile » 30 Jun 2017 20:34

grenadierguardsman wrote:I agree with some of that Toby, but to say an item is something and to date it. But now the National Army Museum are at the moment unwilling to change what he has deemed right. He has even said a Royal Marine Artillery badge is a Grenadier Guards and has dated that too.
Andy


Yes, I agree that the NAA seem to be blind to the fact that some of the old research is incorrect. Unfortunately the museum(s) seem to employ lots of young curators straight from university, but few actual historians and focussed researchers.
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Re: Cape Fittings

Postby Mark A. Reid » 30 Jun 2017 22:42

Hello Andy and Frogsmile;

An interesting exchange, perhaps I might be able to add a slightly different perspective? My modest credentials, having spent nearly a quarter century working at our national military museum, the Canadian War Museum, as well as 17 years, both full and part-time, as an infantry soldier, NCO and officer.

Regarding the reticence of the NAM to alter their acquisition and cataloguing records, I think you will find that they will probably do so if provided with convincing textual and graphic evidence. As Frogsmile remarked, Major Parkyn was the doyen of uniform study for many decades and produced academic works that are found in any worthwhile institutional library. He broke new ground in identifying and recording the minutae of buttons, etc. but, like any researcher, he made errors. To displace this type of established reputation therefore requires solid evidence and I have found that the NAM is willing to correct mistakes when presented with a convincing " case. "

For example, it always bothered me that the full-size mannequin of a Nafar of the Xth Sudanese Bn. Egyptian Army, c. 1896, on display at the NAM carried a huge embroidered Roman numeral " X " on his headdress. The Egyptian Army being one of my interests, I gathered copies of Egyptian Army Orders of the period as well as contemporary photographs and drawings that clearly proved that brass Indo-Persian numerals were used. Tracking down the company that actually created the mannequin, I acquired copies of the faulty references they used and, accompanied by an explanatory covering letter, sent the research package off to the Museum. Eventually they replied and quite clearly agreed that the mannequin was in error. They will probably not be altering the insignia until they renovate that figure but they did appreciate that some genuine research had been undertaken to correct the mistake. I like to think that any professional educational institution worth its salt, as the NAM certainly is, would welcome constructive criticism when it comes to correcting their records. Good luck with your project Tony.

By the way Frogsmile, I agree with your assessment of museum staffing shortcomings but would just say that when a museum is only allowed a limited number of employees it's hard to find that one candidate who combines all the academic qualifications, the management experience, computer skills, military service, acquisition/cataloguing/conservation tricks and linguistic qualifications that seem to be required in every Employment Poster these days. I know that when I left the museum I wasn't qualified to even APPLY for my old position! Such is Progress, I presume.

Sorry to ramble on so much.

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: Cape Fittings

Postby Frogsmile » 30 Jun 2017 22:51

Mark A. Reid wrote:Hello Andy and Frogsmile;

An interesting exchange, perhaps I might be able to add a slightly different perspective? My modest credentials, having spent nearly a quarter century working at our national military museum, the Canadian War Museum, as well as 17 years, both full and part-time, as an infantry soldier, NCO and officer.

Regarding the reticence of the NAM to alter their acquisition and cataloguing records, I think you will find that they will probably do so if provided with convincing textual and graphic evidence. As Frogsmile remarked, Major Parkyn was the doyen of uniform study for many decades and produced academic works that are found in any worthwhile institutional library. He broke new ground in identifying and recording the minutae of buttons, etc. but, like any researcher, he made errors. To displace this type of established reputation therefore requires solid evidence and I have found that the NAM is willing to correct mistakes when presented with a convincing " case. "

For example, it always bothered me that the full-size mannequin of a Nafar of the Xth Sudanese Bn. Egyptian Army, c. 1896, on display at the NAM carried a huge embroidered Roman numeral " X " on his headdress. The Egyptian Army being one of my interests, I gathered copies of Egyptian Army Orders of the period as well as contemporary photographs and drawings that clearly proved that brass Indo-Persian numerals were used. Tracking down the company that actually created the mannequin, I acquired copies of the faulty references they used and, accompanied by an explanatory covering letter, sent the research package off to thei Museum. Eventually they replied and quite clearly agreed that the mannequin was in error. They will probably not be altering the insignia until they renovate that figure but they did appreciate that some genuine research had been undertaken to correct the error. I like to think that any professional educational institution worth its salt, as the NAM certainly is, would welcome constructive criticism when it comes to correcting their records. Good luck with your project Tony.

By the way Frogsmile, I agree with your assessment of museum staffing shortcomings but would just say that when a museum is only allowed a limited number of employees it's hard to find that one candidate who combines all the academic qualifications, the management experience, computer skills, military service, acquisition/cataloguing/conservation tricks and linguistic qualifications that seem to be required in every Employment Poster these days. I know that when I left the museum I wasn't qualified to even APPLY for my old position! Such is Progress, I presume.

Sorry to ramble on so much.

Cheers,

Mark


You have not rambled on at all, Mark. You have comprehensively and brilliantly articulated your case in my opinion and given much food for thought. I particularly appreciate the soundness of your final point and feel a sense of sympathy with the institutions concerned, even though I personally have rarely had a good experience when engaging with them. I think that they could learn something about customer relations (and engagement) from North American institutions like that which you have worked for.
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Re: Cape Fittings

Postby grenadierguardsman » 01 Jul 2017 19:21

Mark i too agree with Toby. I will find appropriate information out with reference some items i would like to see amendments made to. I don't knock Major H G Parkyn, as Toby said he didn't have the internet or Kipling and King. But i would hope the NAM will show me what evidence Major H G Parkyn use to put forward his case.
Regards
Andy
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Re: Cape Fittings

Postby Mark A. Reid » 01 Jul 2017 20:21

Hello Andy;

Sounds like a worthwhile project, may I wish you every success!

I don't know to what extent the NAM will have Major Parkyn's research notes, they may not have survived, but he spent a lot of time examining original items and poring through regimental journals, etc. to accurately identify material. You may find that the onus is on you to present contrary evidence to The Good Major's findings! However, if you have done your homework and can challenge previous beliefs with solid, primary evidence then they should be convinced to change their records.

All the Best,

Mark
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Re: Cape Fittings

Postby grenadierguardsman » 04 Jul 2017 20:31

Thanks Mark.
Andy
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