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"Help With Identification: Danes? Dutch?" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2020 10:10 p.m. PST

I recently added to my collection of military art and I'll readily admit I'm not sure what I bought. The auction house listed it as "Civil War era soldier" which is vague enough to be correct I suppose. I'm 98% sure those aren't troops from the ACW, but they are from the middle decades of the 19thC. My initial feeling was/is Danes from the 2nd Schleswig War.

So I'm hoping the vast knowledge base that is TMP might shed some light. I included a close-up the signature in case anyone recognizes it or has a good guess. Pics are from the auctioneer, plus a few from me now that's in my happy little hands.

Glengarry518 Feb 2020 10:20 p.m. PST

French Garde Mobile of the Franco-Prussian War but I'm just guessing.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2020 10:40 p.m. PST

I was speculating on some sort of FPW reserve or Republican types but I think the regimental/battalion number (17) might not jibe?

RudyNelson19 Feb 2020 4:19 a.m. PST

It could be Danes from the 1864 war but the regimental numbers being so high makes it more likely French but I am not sure.

dbf167619 Feb 2020 7:33 a.m. PST

The Danish army of 1864 was organized into numbered battalions and there were at least 22. That said, these might be French.

dbf167619 Feb 2020 7:37 a.m. PST

Also, most pictures show the Danes in double-breasted jackets.


Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP19 Feb 2020 8:53 a.m. PST

The officer's hat and rank insignia looks more French as does the infantry's personal kit. The Danes looked different, the hats being plainer for a start.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP19 Feb 2020 9:25 a.m. PST

The pack carried by the infantryman directly behind the officer also looks very French. I'd opine that it is French Gardes Mobiles. They wore a completely blue uniform (coats and pants).


Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP19 Feb 2020 1:51 p.m. PST

[q]The officer's hat and rank insignia looks more French as does the infantry's personal kit.[q]

I thought so too but was thrown by the number. However, I guess I was thinking of later French practice where Reserves and Territorials started serially in the 200s.

After looking at some OOBs, "17" could be a regimental or battalion number for the Mobiles, so I think that's the most likely.

GurKhan19 Feb 2020 2:08 p.m. PST

Garde Mobile kepis should have a red band, though:


Eumelus Supporting Member of TMP19 Feb 2020 3:30 p.m. PST

Could they be French Chasseurs a Pied? There were more than 20 battalions of them, and if my Detaille is any guide they stopped wearing epaulettes in the field by the 1870s. I'd further guess that the date is somewhere between the FPW and the turn of the century?

Lilian19 Feb 2020 5:45 p.m. PST

not at all French…

the officer has a curious white strap on shoulder, that is not at all french, also combining golden laces but red piping on trousers with something white on the collar
the bugler seems to wear a button on a collar patch something like the italian mostrine and others armies, an other uniformological detail not at all french as the French musicians usually have tricolour stripes
even the kÚpis of the soldiers with their curious form and without piping and number don't seem purely-french but inspired by french, it is not the same thing,
and there were a lot of countries inspired by french military mode…

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2020 5:11 a.m. PST

The rings on the cuffs suggest to me that he is a naval officer like the French capitaine d'infanterie de marine here:

Many of these fought on land in the Franco-Prussian War. Perhaps this is not a famous one like Jaureguiberry or Gougeard, but another such, commanding gardes mobiles?


Bloody Big BATTLES!

Stoppage20 Feb 2020 5:03 p.m. PST

Is this likely to be the Sino-French War/Tonkin War/Keelung Expedition of 1884/1885 or of Boxer Rebellion 1900?

This'd then be French Naval infantry.

The packs all have the metal canteen set on top, the bugler looks native, there are some peaked mountains in the background, and the figures on the right-hand side all have an assortment of headgear, oh, and the officer has a bamboo cane.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2020 8:16 p.m. PST

It never occurred to me that it might not be set in Europe! That is a very European church spire lower left, however.

Lilian21 Feb 2020 7:35 a.m. PST

they are not French, such uniform is not French, nor Marine Infantry, Mobile Guard, Chasseurs or anything like that
the bugle and the bugler don't have nothing french, the tricolour elements are totally missing on both, there were only white and red
for an Officer of the 17th Chasseurs he should have at least silver laces
the 17th Colonial/Marine Infantry Regt didn't exist before the XXth century and in the Far East

here you are in the years 1870'-1880'
search in others Armies than French having a 17th Battalion or Regiment

korsun0 Supporting Member of TMP21 Feb 2020 8:53 a.m. PST

I'm thinking Chilean or Peruvian, 1879-1884 war of the Pacific.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP21 Feb 2020 12:17 p.m. PST

Thank you Lilian for definitively ruling out the French!

Good thought korsun0! Pursuing the possibility of the Pacific War or the Triple Alliance.

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