Original British P-1796 Officer Flame Gilt Copper Gorget

Item Description

Original Item: Only one available. An officer's Gorget was perhaps the last symbolic piece of "armor" worn by British officers to denote their authority. The introduction of firearms in the 16th and 17th centuries reduced knightly suits of armor as a viable defense. By the time the 18th century arrived cavalry wore Cuirasses for upper body protection but the great weight needed to deflect musket balls became obsolete after the battle of Waterloo in 1815. Thereafter armor was strictly ceremonial.

The British 1796 Universal Pattern officer’s Gorget was worn by officers in British army. It retains most of the original fire gilding especially in the edges and recesses. The front is beautifully engraved with the George III monogram – crowned GR, and is flanked with olive branches. The inside is nicely patinated and shows hammering marks.

Early in the 18th century (1700s), officers wore "Gorgets" to symbolize armor and rank. The last official pattern was adopted in 1796 that is what we offer here. High quality engraved Crown over G.R. with laurel decoration on copper with heavy gilt overlay to the front.

Intended to hang from the neck by a black silk cord the gorget was displayed in the center of an officer's chest. When the Duke of Clarence became King William the Fourth in 1830 he did away with Gorgets the last being used in 1831 with his kind permission.

This example is very nice with a tarnished copper rear and flame gilt front showing dramatic color. Original examples as this are increasing hard to find and are much sought after. It is totally original in all respects.

Gorget measures approximately 4 x 4.5.

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