A 5th Madras Light Cavalry Officers Albert Pattern Shako
A very rare 5th Madras Light Cavalry officer’s Albert Pattern shako circa 1850.
The shako comprises a large Maltese Cross with a central MLC cipher in gilt on a silver plated background surrounded by a wreath of laurel leaves and the single battle honor for ASSAYE. In each of the four arms are silver (white metal ) hobnail inserts and above the cross a Queen Victoria crown.
The shako is made of rich black beaver skin and has a dished crown made from leather, beneath this is a 1.75” wide strip of silver oak and acorn lace extending around the shako and joined at the front. The shako conforms to the dress regulations for the dimensions of a cavalry officer’s Albert pattern shako. The front peak is embroidered with silver wire along its edge and lined with black skiver leather. A gold cord festoon is attached at either side of the shako by a pair of matching gilt rose pattern hooks and the festoon is further stitched in position.
The silver chin chain is attached to a leather strap which is covered in black velvet and is secured to the shako by a pair of large silver plated rose ear bosses. The interior retains its original leather sweatband and crimson silk liner. Inside is a device for securing the large dropping white swan feather plume, the wing nut appears corroded or stuck in the partially closed position and the writer has not attempted to free this nut in order to allow the feather plume to fully extend into the plume holder. The plume is held in a large gilt ball and leaf gilt plume holder.
An opportunity to acquire a very rare 5th MLC Albert shako in superb condition with most of its beaver fur knap still in situ. The silver is aged dull or tarnished and would respond well to cleaning. The Maltese Cross is slightly dull and has not be cleaned.