A Life Guards 1842 Pattern Officers Helmet
A Life Guards 1842 pattern officer’s helmet comprising a silver plated skull in the distinctive bulbous shape associated with this helmet and with rich fire gilt ornamentation in the form of acanthus leaf decoration to the front and rear peaks. The peaks are edged with gilt brass bindings and lined with green skiver leather. The waist seams are covered with a leaf pattern running border that circles the waist of the helmet and also runs vertically down the back of the helmet.
The helmet plate is a combination of a rococo shield with an eight pointed hobnail cut star on which sits an oval voided garter strap with the words HONI SOIT QUI MALY PENSE over a blue enamel ground and in the center a red enamel cross of St George. A QVC crown sits at the top of the shield and a wreath of laurel and oak leaves partially surround the shield.
The gilt chin chain is sewn onto leather and backed by rich silk velvet which is now distressed in several places resulting in the loss of a proportion of the chin chain lining. The chin chain is held in position by large rose petal ear bosses. The tall white horse hair plume is held in position by an ornate laurel leaf plume holder and secured by a wing nut device underneath. The interior of the helmet has a cotton liner sewn on to a leather former which appears original to the helmet.
Overall the helmet is in spectacular condition with a very small split to the skull less than one centimeter in length which is barely noticeable and a small area of rippling to the skull on the left hand side just above the oak leaf wreath. This is one of the best examples I have ever seen of this pattern of household cavalry helmet in over thirty years of collecting.