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"Belgian Uniform Question" Topic

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08 Sep 2020 1:30 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP08 Sep 2020 12:49 p.m. PST


I recently acquired a series of uniform aquatints* that include a group of Belgians. Unfortunately I don't know whether they are from before or after Belgium gained its independence. The only dated picture in the series is for Danish Holstein troops (1825), while some others are Napoleonic.

Can anyone identify these uniforms and date them? Also, does anyone recognize the artist? I originally assumed they were handcolored engravings, but now I suspect they may be original watercolors. The title cards are certainly handwritten.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Apologies for the glare.

RittervonBek09 Sep 2020 12:05 a.m. PST

I would guess post independence. Netherlands uniforms tended to be more germanic with orange featuring strongly.

John Armatys09 Sep 2020 7:49 a.m. PST

My go to book for uniforms where I have no better sources in Knotel, Knotel & Sieg, Uniforms of the World – it gives the basics on a lot of things but you can't expect much detail….

From page 39- "… The lapels were abolished c. 1840. From then, the uniform consisted of a single-breasted blue coat with blue collar, red piping and cuffs… At the end of the 1840s, the uniform was made double breasted; and (except for grenadiers) epaulettes were abolished, and wings were then worn. …".

So late 1840s onwards (double breasted coatees) but note the grenades on the turnbacks of the two soldiers whose backs are shown, justifying the retention of epaulettes.

British military uniforms changed from a coatee to a tunic during mid 1850s, and the chasseur a pied is wearing this style of coat – someone else might have an idea on when Belgian military fashion changed

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2020 6:49 p.m. PST

Thanks guys, I'm going to see if the Belgian Army Museum has any ideas. I was curious about the guy in the litewka and corseehut (as that seems very Napoleonic era) but Knötel does show a similar uniform for the post-independence Schelde-battalion.

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