A Waterloo Officers Royal Horse Artillery Tarleton Helmet
An extremely rare Waterloo period officer’s Royal Horse Artillery bearskin crested Tarleton helmet.
Recently found in the barn of an old Scottish country house where it had presumable sat for many years subjected to the elements and neglect. When found the headdress was missing its bearskin crest and tall white feather plume but was otherwise complete although clearly showing signs of age.
The skull had become partially unstitched and mishapen and one or two chains were missing but importantly the regimental label straps, the royal cipher, black silk velvet turban , albeit missing most of its velvet knap and the interior lining were all present and in remarkably good condition.
The helmet has been sympathetically restored with the simple addition of a period bearskin crest, a Georgian feather plume and the replacement of several missing chains. Incredibly most of the original fire gilt remained under years of grim and has responded very well to gentle cleaning.
There is some speculation that this Tarleton was the property of Captain Alexander Cavalie Mercer as it has been suggested that the recent owners were descended directly from the Mercer family. Whilst this may be wishful thinking the author is attempting to secure a family linage which will confirm or repudiate this suggestion.
Clearly if this could be proven it would add strong weight to the suggestion that this helmet was worn at Waterloo by Captain Alexander Cavalie Mercer, arguably the most important artillery officer at Waterloo and as such would render this helmet of significant national importance.