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Original British Victorian Crimean War Era 16th Queen's Lancers Other Ranks Chapka Helmet

Regular price $1,195.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. One of the most romantic style helmets ever issued in the British military was the CHAPKA, which was used exclusively by mounted lancer regiments. The Czapka, also spelt chapka or schapska, is a Polish, Belarusian, and Russian generic word for a cap. However, it is perhaps best known to English speakers as a word for the 19th-century Polish cavalry headgear, consisting of a high, four-pointed cap with regimental insignia on the front (full name in Polish: czapka rogatywka, initially: konfederatka) to which feathers or rosettes were sometimes added. The design originally began as a square-topped Tschako, but then evolved over time into the "mortarboard" style seen during the mid-late 19th century and early 20th century.

This is a very nice British 19th Century Victorian Crimean War Era Other Ranks Helmet Chapka Lance Cap from the 16th (The Queen's) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Lancers) regiment. The leather body shows age and some crazing and deterioration to the black finish, most visible on the front visor. This is correct for leather of the mid 19th century period, and there is also some deterioration to the textured leather wrapping of the "mortarboard" on top. The Lance Cap has the correct skull and peak with correct brass rope effect waist. The rear has the correct brass ring, however the hook is missing. The sides are covered in black facing cloth.

The cap may have originally had brass corner fittings on the top, but there are none now, and there is no rosette / plume base attached to the front left top, though there does appear to have been one previously, now removed. Both sides of the helmet have Lion’s head bosses, with a hook on the right, and a broken ring on the left, which originally would have had a brass ring chinstrap, now completely missing.

The cap is fitted with correct rayed front plate and badge comprising the Queens's Crown Royal arms, with a "Queen's Crown" on the top over the coat of arms of the British Royal Family. Arranged on banners surrounding the coat of arms are the various battle honors awarded to the regiment, and at the very bottom is a banner reading SIXTEENTH LANCERS. It looks like the most recent honor awarded at the time this helmet was made was SABRAON, for the Battle of Sobraon, which took place February 1846 during the First Anglo-Sikh War. There are no honors from the Boer War, so along with the style of construction that helps place the helmet firmly in the 1850s-1860s era, around the time of the Crimean War, which the 16th Lancers did not take part in. In 1861 the regiment would be renamed as the 16th (The Queen's) Lancers.

The cap is in lovely display condition, with a great patina of age. It is relatively small, and there is no liner installed, as the original most likely rotted out long ago. The metal fittings still retain much of their original gilding, making this really a great looking piece.

The 16th Regiment of Light Dragoons was first raised in 1759, known as Burgoyne's Light Horse they were renamed in 1766 as "The Queen's" Regiment after King George III's wife Queen Charlotte. In 1769 they became the 16th (The Queen's) Regiment of Dragoons.

They arrived in New York in September 1776 and saw action at Brandywine, Paoli and Monmouth Court House and returned to England in 1778. They became the 16th, the Queen's Lancers in 1816. They saw service worldwide, in the Peninsula War, in India, in Asia and in South Africa between 1900 and 1902. The Regiment was amalgamated in 1921 and was thereafter known as the 16th/5th The Queen's Royal Lancers. The 16th has always been considered one of Britain’s great cavalry regiments.

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