Help support TMP

"10th French Hussars 1813 -Pompon colors" Topic

13 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Napoleonic Painting Guides Message Board

738 hits since 3 Apr 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Martyn K03 Apr 2017 11:35 a.m. PST

There seems to be a lot of information on the pompon colors of the first 4 squadrons of french light cavalry. However, the information that I have is that the 10th French Hussars had six squadrons in 1813. For six squadron regiments do the colors below apply for the first four squadrons and what were the colors of the 5th and sixth squadrons?

Thanks for any help.

1st company 1st squadron -elite red plume
2nd company 1st squadron – red pompon
1st company 2nd squadron -sky blue pompon
2nd company 2nd squadron – sky blue pompon, white centre
1st company 3rd squadron -aurore pompon
2nd company 3rd squadron – aurore pompon, white centre
1st company 4th squadron – violet pompon
2nd company 4th squadron – violet pompon, white centre

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2017 12:04 p.m. PST

Can't help with the 5th and 6th squadrons, but the 2nd coy, 1st sqn would have had red with a white centre. The elites did not always wear their plume. Many regiments had the pom-poms with the more usual half and half colouring. The white centre was more common with a disk which came in for a lot of regiments in 1812. I'm sure your information is correct but it's worth double checking.

Martyn K05 Apr 2017 10:53 a.m. PST

Thanks for your comments.

There is some mixed information out there on the 2nd Coy, 1st Squadron, but I think I agree with your comment. It makes sense that they would also have the white centre.
On the Elites, I also agree about most not wearing their plume – my figures do not have the plumes, just the pompon.
On the issue of white centre v half and half, as I am painting my figures for 1813, I am probably going to file down the pompons to create the disc as I think that was much more common by then; I will then stick with the white centre.

On the 5th and 6th Squadrons, as much as I search I cannot find anything.
I have seen some hussar period watercolors showing hussars with yellow pompons and salmon pink pompons (not sure which squadron), so i will probably just paint them those colors until I get more information or someone corrects me. It will only be a five minute job to change them if required.

The next issue is the overalls on the legs, most of the unit will be sky blue, but I am looking at one or two figures in the regiment having dark green or grey overalls – but that research can wait until the weekend!

Le Breton05 Apr 2017 1:46 p.m. PST

"mixed information out there on the 2nd Coy, 1st Squadron"
Actually "5e compagnie" – You mean that when the 1ere compagnie (compagnie d'élite) was in shako, not colpack, the 5e compagnie might have dark green (vert fonce) or even black pompons? I saw that too, in some non-period iconography. I am not so sure that I believe.

The 5th and 6th squadrons were rather exceptional, and originally intended to be composed of depot compagnies, not compagnies de guerre. I would be tempted to model them *without* pompons at all, on the basis that originally they were intended as replacements for the 8 escadrons de guerre, and so would have adopted their pompons only upon arrival to their assigned company.

Pompons were made/paid for out of a local fund made by taking a little out of each payday to the troops. Unless there was settled administration of a compagnie, there might not have been any way to buy the materials. At the depot, these functions were done for the depot as a whole (without company administration), as the troopers were transient.

The repartition of colors that you give has been re-told many times by the best of secondary sources. The earliest I have found it is in the Malibran (Guide à l'usage des Artistes et de Costumiers contenant la description Des Uniformes de l'Armée francaise de 1780 à 1848 – Paris : Boivin & Cie, 1907). I have never found any primary source for the company breakdown for pompons of light cavalry in 1810 and later era.

The original instruction for all infantry and cavalry, with the new shakos early 1810:
colonels : plume white
majors : plume half red over white
commandants (chefs d'escadron et chefs de bataillon) : plume red
remainder of the état-major du régiment : white houpette or pompon
compagnie d'élite : red houpette or pompon
other companies : "of diverse colors"
Don't file down the front of the pompons for officiers (and I suppose adjudants sous-officiers) – these were "pyramidal".

There was a later November 1810 decree giving a repartition for infantry.
grenadiers/carabiniers : rouge
1re fusiliers/chasseurs : vert fonce
2e fusiliers/chasseurs : bleu céleste
3e fusiliers/chasseurs : aurore
4e fusiliers/chasseurs : violette
voltiguers : jaune
I have never found anything similar for cavlary.

The "center white" technique *had* been used for many years when there were 9 companies in a battalion of infantry. So it is sensible for the light cavalry. But I would be much happier if someone could show me an original decree, or even an earlier good secondary source, that has this repartition.

If you look at period iconography, I would say most hussards maintained using black plumes (in theory banned) until the advent of the shako rouleau. then some went to the short, falling-over style aigrettes, and others to pompons. But there are not enough good clear examples to know if there was a specific repartition in use, or just "of diverse colors" by company.

I wish I could be more precise and helpful.


"one or two figures in the regiment having dark green or grey overalls"

Green ? Why ?

The blue clothe, black leather lined, with buttons on the sidesand red stripes were the standard riding/campaign "overalls" . For 1813, you might model the rankers of the 5th and 6th squadrons in off-white ravens-duck fatique overalls – plain tin or wooden buttons on the side – the correct overalls being expensive and rather hard/slow to make.

Just an idea – not from a specific reference.

Martyn K05 Apr 2017 2:19 p.m. PST

A very comprehensive answer which will take me some time to fully digest. I have a feeling that there may be several options – none of which will be able to be totally proved or disproved by anyone.

On the green overalls, it was a comment in the Osprey book that got me looking at this issue. I am never one to blindly believe the Osprey book but it was worth checking into.
I have found a couple of water colors (not period) that show that there may be something to this green overall thing. The first one is by Knotel and is titled "1er Regiment de Hussards, Tenue de campagne 1812". It shows the Hussar wearing green overalls with a red stripe on the side and brass buttons.
The second water color that I have seen is titled "1813 Compagnie d'elite, 1e Hussard" and has initials E.T. as the painter. Again unlikely a period piece. This picture shows green riding breeches rather than overalls.
Both are interesting as I would have expected the normal sky blue or grey for the 1er Hussar's leg-wear.
I am wondering if units may have taken what ever they could get and perhaps some breeches and overalls in Chasseur green could have found their way into Hussar units.

Martyn K05 Apr 2017 2:24 p.m. PST

I do like the idea of the 5th and 6th squadrons with the off white overalls with tin buttons; it would make an interesting talking point.

Le Breton05 Apr 2017 4:44 p.m. PST

I feel better about the Mailbran – never should have doubted (I *did* say "best secondary sources").
Herewith the circularie from November 1810 for the hussards, cognate to the one I knew had mentioned for the infanterie.
If your French is rusty, it says "You were right about the regulation for pompons."

La Giberne, 2e année, N°7 (janvier 1901), pages 222-223

Le 9 novembre 1810, parait une circulaire portant sur le shako et sa plaque :
"La plupart des régiments ayant fait dans la forme du shako des changements qui ont détruit l'uniformité et la simplicité qui doivent caractériser les vêtements des militaires, etc., etc., son Excellence le Ministre de la guerre, prescrit les dispositions suivantes :
1° Le cordon de shako est supprimé pour tous les grades;
2° Il sera remplacé, pour les officiers, par un ou deux galons d'or ou d'argent suivant le grade et les marques distinctives de l'arme, placé en haut de cette coiffure.
Ce galon sera de 34 mil. pour le colonel, avec un second galon de 14 mil., placé au-dessous à 20 mil. de distance du premier.
Les autres grades n'auront qu'un seul galon; il sera de 34 mil., pour les major; 27 mil., pour les chefs d'escadron; 20 mil., pour les capitaines; 18 mil., pour les lieutenants; 14 mil., pour les sous-lieutenants.
3° Les plumets sont supprimés, excepté pour les colonels, les majors et les chefs d'escadron.
Celui des colonels sera blanc;
Celui des majors, moitié rouge et moitié blanc, le rouge occupant la partie supérieure.
Celui des chefs d'escadron sera entièrement rouge.
Pour les autres grades et pour les sous-officiers de hussards, les plumets sont remplacés par des houpettes en laine, des couleurs suivantes :
Etat-major Blanche

[ …. repartition with center-white as above, except that 2nd Company of 1st Squadron is vert-foncé …. ]

Celles qui ont deux couleurs, le blanc se trouve au milieu.
4° La mentonnière ou jugulaire fera partie du shako.
5° Il ne sera plus placé de chevrons en cuir sur la partie latérale du shako.
6° Les shakos à flamme sont inerdits.
7° Le feutre ayant été reconnu préférable au cuir, on l'emploiera à la confection du shako. Sa partie supérieure sera en cuir de vache ciré.
8° Le shako n'aura dans son intérieur qu'une coiffe flottante en toile, et un couvre-nuque en basane.
9° La plaque et la mentonnière ou jugulaire des shakos seront en cuivre jaune.
10° La forme de la plaque, comme il est dit plus loin.
11° Le numéro du régiment, comme il est dit plus loin.
12° La ganse qui paraissait soutenir la cocarde sera supprimée.
Description du shako.
Corps : Le corps du shako est un feutre de 22 cent. de hauteur; il est couvert par une calotte en cuir de vache ciré, très fort, d'un diamètre de 27 cent., rabattue et cousue sur le feutre à une hauteur de 4 cent.; au bas du feutre est un bourdalou en cuir de vache uni, de 27 mil., ayant sur le derrière une boucle en cuivre, avec son ardillon aussi en cuivre; sous cette boucle est un gousset en veau souple pour faciliter le jeu du bourdalou; une visière en cuir de vache très fort, verni et attaché au devant du shako; elle a 6 cent. de hauteur au-dessous, et cinq cent. 4 mil. en dessus; elle fait le demi-cercle, et sa rondeur est de 32 cent.
Intérieur : Comme il est dit à l'art. 8 précédent.
Plaque : Une plaque de cuivre jaune du poids de 34 grammes, de 13 cent. de hauteur et de 10 cent. de largeur, représentant un aigle couronné ayant la tête tournée de gauche à droite, posé sur un soubassement autour duquel règuent deux filets et au milieu le numéro du régiment, est placée sur le devant du shako.
Cocarde et gousset pour la houpette : Au dessus de la plaque est assujetie sur le feutre, au moyen d'un point de laiton de chaque côté, une cocarde aux trois couleurs de 7 cent. de diamètre. Sous la cocarde est un gousset pour la houpette, attaché par une couture sur le feutre; ce gousset a 11 cent. de haut, 41 mil. de largeur, et 2 cent 7 mil. à sa base.
Jugulaire : De chaque côté du shako est placée une jugulaire composée d'une lanière en basane double, sur laquelle sont montées quatorze écailles en cuivre jaune, non compris une quinzième de forme circulaire à l'extrémité. La première écaille a 36 mil.; la seconde un peu moins, et ainsi en diminuant jusqu'à la dernière qui a 16 mil.; toutes ces écailles sont arrêtées par un fil de laiton plat; la dite jugulaire est assujettie par un gros bouton de cuivre jaune de 4 cent. de diamètre. Au milieu de ce bouton est une étoile, et autour un seul filet estampé; au bout de chaque oreillon est un cordon de fil d'un centimètre de large, et de 16 cent. de longueur, pour attacher la jugulaire sous le menton."
Observation : La circulaire ci-dessus dit, comme on a pu le voir, que l'ornement du shako et la jugulaire sont en cuivre jaune; d'après elle, ce serait pour tous les régiments. D'après les gravures de l'époque, les régiments qui avaient le bouton d'uniforme blanc, avaient les deux objets ci-dessus également de métal blanc. Il est certain qu l'aigle et la jugulaire du shako étaient de métal de la couleur du bouton. Le shako du 5e était de feutre bleu de ciel, celui du 6e rouge, et pour les autres régiments noir.

Le Breton05 Apr 2017 6:02 p.m. PST

For the green overalls, the Bardin regulation did specify these in green for all hussards :

pantalon de cheval, veste d'écurie, manteau, dents de loup de la schabraque, portemanteau

So far, I can't find any period iconography of the "blue" regiments adopting the green pantalon de cheval and veste d'écurie.

The closest I have found is the Vernet illustration(publsihed 1813) of the 1er hussards with cullottes in green that accompanied the new regulations.

dibble06 Apr 2017 2:53 a.m. PST

Martyn K

The second water color that I have seen is titled "1813 Compagnie d'elite, 1e Hussard" and has initials E.T. as the painter. Again unlikely a period piece. This picture shows green riding breeches rather than overalls

Eugene Titeux. A late Victorian, French Officer, illustrator, uniformologist and historian.

I take it that this is the plate you mean?

Paul :)

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2017 7:40 a.m. PST

Certainly Histoire and Collections (Andre Joineau) Vol3 "French Hussars…9-14th Regt,the Hundred Days and Restoration" insists green overalls, the riding breeches that is, for all, with buttons of lace colour, from 1812.

But then show many a figure for 1813-15 in various colours of buttoned overall!

Remember, whatever is right, this is only about the overalls with buttons down the side, not the tightly fitted Hungarian breeches worn beneath and revealed in full dress.

Martyn K06 Apr 2017 7:40 a.m. PST

That is the picture that I saw.
The other picture showing the green overalls with red trim is shown below, which interestingly also shows the teeth on the sheepskin and the blanket role in green.


Martyn K06 Apr 2017 7:46 a.m. PST

I am not sure that I am ready to do the whole of my 36 figure regiment (6 squadrons of 6 figures) in green overalls. I still like the sky blue ones with red trim. However, a few figures with green overalls will probably add a bit of interest.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2017 9:21 a.m. PST

Sounds ideal. I often think that too much variety, however justified, can prevent a small model assembly from looking like a large unit. I have frequently ruined the over all look by being too clever with conversions.

However with 36 figures I think they will look great. Do please show them when done!

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.