Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Unusual Artifacts: The Prince Regent’s Sabretache, 1818

Thomas Cuff, 1818
Baize, leather, silk, silver and gold
The Royal Collection
Though King George III forbid his son, the Prince of Wales (later The Prince Regent, later King George IV) from actually participating in any military activities in which he’d be called upon to carry a weapon, the Prince was quite interested in the military and was thrilled and proud to be appointed Colonel Commandant of the Tenth Light Dragoons.

The Prince channeled his interest in the military into a passion for collecting uniforms and military accoutrements. He also made sure to have a hand in the design of uniforms for various military organizations.

This unusual Sabretache shows the Prince’s influence in design as was most likely made for the Prince to wear on ceremonial occasions. A sabretache is a decorative pocket or pouch (usually of leather) which is designed to be worn from a military officers belt. This ornate sabretache incorporates velvet and silver and gilt thread and was clearly never meant to be worn in battle.

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