Original 19th to Early 20th Century Belgian Infantry Shako

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. A shako is a tall, cylindrical military cap, usually with a visor, and sometimes tapered at the top. It is usually adorned with an ornamental plate or badge on the front, metallic or otherwise; and often has a feather, plume or pompom attached at the top. This example does not have a plume or anything, but does have the leather pocket present behind the red and black cockade.

In 1914, the shako was still being worn in France (by chasseurs à cheval, infantry of the Republican Guard, chasseurs d'Afrique and hussars); in Imperial Germany (Jägers, Landwehr and marines); in Austro-Hungary (full dress of non-Muslim line infantry and hussars in both full and field dress); in Russia (full dress of generals, staff officers, and infantry, engineers and artillery of the Imperial Guard). In Belgium the shako was the official field dress for line infantry, chasseurs à pied, engineers, transport/ambulance, administration, fortress artillery, and mounted chasseurs, although after the outbreak of war it was usually discarded in favor of the "undress" cap.

We believe this Shako to be a Belgian worn example, due to the colors of the cockade and as well as the rest of the Shako. The condition is excellent but does have rub marks and crazing present on the leather brim as well as the leather top. The black leather liner is in good condition with moderate wear present and the yellow satin “skull cap” has minor staining and partial detach on the back side, still lovely and solid. The leather chin strap and buckles are still serviceable and in good condition without any extensive damage or wear present. In front of the cockade is a brass button with a number 2 on it for a specific element, whether it be regiment or battalion we do not know.

This shako comes ready for further research as well as solid identification. We have not been able to find another example like this one, making it a great research opportunity. Comes more than ready for display.

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