Help support TMP

"Aiguillette origin story: is this true?" Topic

7 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.

Please avoid recent politics on the forums.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Napoleonic Discussion Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Recent Link

Top-Rated Ruleset

De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA)

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star 

Featured Showcase Article

GallopingJack Checks Out The Terrain Mat

Mal Wright Fezian goes to sea with the Terrain Mat.

Featured Workbench Article

Building Two 1/1200 Scale Vessels

Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian builds a cutter and a corsair, both in 1/1200 scale.

Featured Profile Article

First Look: Barrage's 28mm Roads

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian takes a look at flexible roads made from long-lasting flexible resin.

460 hits since 2 Feb 2023
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

TMP logo


Please sign in to your membership account, or, if you are not yet a member, please sign up for your free membership account.
4th Cuirassier02 Feb 2023 4:52 p.m. PST

‘The aiguillette, the name referring of course to the spike on the end of the rope, goes back to Napoleon. An officer, who behaved very badly during a battle, pleaded with Bonaparte to be given another chance. Napoleon agreed to reinstate him, but he made him wear a piece of braided rope on his right shoulder. The rope was a reminder. If the officer failed again the rope would no longer be on his shoulder, but around his neck.'

I read this in a spy novel. I'd never heard it before. Is it true?

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2023 5:41 p.m. PST

Aiguillettes existed before Napoleon, so no!

Apparently they were used in the 16th Century!

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2023 8:27 p.m. PST

Nope – the modern aiguillette originated as a derivative of the laces used to tie armour together; once armour fell out of use, aiguillettes assumed a decorative function; as the ever astute Herkybird noted, they were common in the 16th and 17th century; for example, the Austrian SYW Dragoon Regiment Jung Modena (which I was painting this afternoon) had a white aiguillette hanging from their right shoulder

Zippee03 Feb 2023 2:57 a.m. PST

I had understood to be a decorative evolution from the habit of hanging the lit musket match from the shoulder belt.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2023 2:44 p.m. PST

It isn't true and it evolved into an element of uniform, such as for the French Imperial Guard Cavalry.

Robert le Diable07 Feb 2023 1:34 p.m. PST

With regard to the question posed and the suggested origin, I have read, a long time ago, something with a similarity to that story. In this instance, it was apparently an outlaw, or band of outlaws, who would have been hanged if captured. He, or they, started to wear a miniature hangman's noose as a gesture of defiance. No doubt it would have been dangerous to have it around the neck, so they looped it around their arms. I think I recall a sentence such as, "He will hang us? Then let us make it easy for him!", which sounds even sillier than the tale itself.


Robert le Diable07 Feb 2023 1:45 p.m. PST

In the other thread with the same title, I see there's a version about a mutiny among Spanish Cavalry (information provided by RittervonBek).

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.