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"French National Guard Grenadier bearskin cloth top?" Topic

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Travellera27 Dec 2020 2:48 a.m. PST

I would be most grateful for any advice on the colour of French National Guard bearskin cloth bag(top of the bearskin) for the period up to 1795?

Could it be red?

T Corret Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2020 3:28 p.m. PST

Just memory, but red with a white cross, if they even had a bearskin. If not a bicorne with a red carrot.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2020 6:18 p.m. PST

The 'cloth' patch was there for a purpose; giving closure and shape to the form of the cap. Its decoration was an additional aspect.

There was no 'one' National Guard initially. In name yes, but derived by towns and cities in their own guise and order. Until years of warfare and it became more 'regulated'. By the time of 'Empire' it did not formally exist (Charrié).

Yes, red/ scarlet most likely, though I conjecture without researching, that possibly only a single company of the 'battalions' may have been 'elite' in name, and those volunteers alone with money to spend on such frivoloties.

However the 'state' colours of Paris were blue and white; the red only added to 'national' bodies representing the period of 'terror' (in blood).

Prince of Essling28 Dec 2020 2:04 a.m. PST

Decree of 12 August 1791 for the defence of the frontiers – each battalion to consist of 9 companies of 63 men, 1 of which grenadiers & 8 fusiliers.

Travellera28 Dec 2020 12:52 p.m. PST

Thanks for your comments!

Sorry for not being specific, I am looking for the Paris National Guard 1792 for building a scenario around the storming of the Tuileries Aug 10, 1792.
The only source I have found is an image of the Del Prado miniature:


showing a red cloth bag. I think though the cuffs should have changed to red from white by that time?

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2020 1:22 p.m. PST

Couldn't see any GN on that page; and I wouldn't rely on a model to 'prove' anything- manufacturers are notorious for just making things fit their models, not history.

-But also its not a 'bag' as in Austrian or SYW versions of bearskin caps.

It is purely and simply a doublebacked piece of strong wool cloth sewn into, and holding the 'skin' in shape. (I.E. the 'skin' is rolled around and stitched together at the top, and along the meeting edge of course, hidden under the falling fur.

At that date, for Paris unit I'd be sure they would be possibly plain blue, not red at all. I looked up a couple of resources but found no references for them.
Sorry can't help more. cheers dcup

Prince of Essling28 Dec 2020 3:08 p.m. PST

Afraid can only find frontal views!




Have looked at the various decrees & history's about the la garde nationale de Paris etc but no clues…

von Winterfeldt28 Dec 2020 11:43 p.m. PST

Have a look


some have alternate (quarter= blue and red cloth and the white cross.

I would opt for this.

Travellera29 Dec 2020 1:09 a.m. PST

Thanks for your great comments and contributions, here are the del Prado 1792 miniature, if that can be trusted…:

‌"TMP link

‌"TMP link

I also realize that there were uniform changes 1789-1792 as Prince of Esslngs post illustrates. I guess it is the top one, no 3 that shows the 1792 regulation?

von Winterfeldt29 Dec 2020 3:58 a.m. PST

usually the cartridge pouch belts had no buckles, this looks like a dragoon or heavy cavalry type, I am not at all impressed by this miniature.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2020 2:03 p.m. PST

>> the storming of the Tuileries Aug 10, 1792.

BTW, it wasn't just Parisian GN that were there- units from around the country took part as part of 'another' call to protect the Revolution.
But you know that huh? TMP link

Again I'd be very wary of expecting 'uniforms' in this period of turmoil. The previous regime was bankrupt. The Revolutionary hordes were equally bankrupt (in more ways…). Where do you expect 'uniforms' to appear from? Once pillaged, sorry, acquired from the military stores they were gone.

Just look at the differences in the two sources shown- Marbot contemporary and the other modern impression.

I'd be looking at 'imperfection' being the norm, all except the Swiss Guards of course. A few snippets of uniforms.
Maybe note that only officers seem to be depicted wearing bearskins (and the masses bicornes- more what I'd expect).
Note also the horizontal drapeaux tricoleur. Artistic licence comes in many forms, you too may embrace them!

YouTube link 1

YouTube link 2


Travellera30 Dec 2020 10:12 a.m. PST

I was planning to just let the monarchist grenadiers of Filles Saint Thomas GN wear the bearskin. The assaulting GN will sure come in many forms :)

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