A Rifle Brigade Officers Belltop Shako
An outstanding and excessively rare example of an officers bell top shako to the Rifle Brigade circa 1840. The shako comprises a beaver felt shako body which still retains some of its original beaver skin fur knap. The shako stands 7” tall at the sides and on each side has V shape leather straps which are designed to provide some support to the shako body.
The dished leather sunken crown is approximately 11” in diameter. The front peak is approximately 2 ½” wide at the center and projects downwards. A black corded festoon is attached to either side and rests on the front peak which has congealed and partially stuck to the cord underneath. All leather work on bell top shako`s were coated in black Denmark, a tar like substance that created the patent effect seen on mint condition shako`s. This substance is effectively always live and in conditions of heat will craze.
The helmet plate is the universal pattern blackened bronze star that has in the center a Maltese cross within a wreath of laurel leaves. On each of the arms of the cross are multiple battle honors recognizing the regiments service in the Peninsula and Waterloo. In the center of this cross is a strung bugle device topped by a crown and surrounded by the regimental title.
The shako has a black woolen ball tuft over a corded separator which dates the shako to the late 1830`s early 1840`s.
This really is a rare opportunity to acquire a superb example of a rifle brigade officers bell top shako in very good condition.