French Cavalry Officer’s Kepi Ca 1876

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FRENCH CAVALRY OFFICER’S KEPI
From 1876 TO 1886

French Cavalry Officer's Sheko image

 Made on Famous Fauberg Rue St. Honore by Augustin Donny

Officers’ ranks were shown by gold or silver braiding
on the kepi. The different branches were distinguished by the colors of the cap. Cavalry normally wore shakos or
plumed helmets, reserving red kepis with light or dark blue bands for wear in barracks.
Credit Wikipedia 

PRICE $975.00 plus shipping to 48 contiguous
States $30.00

Dimensions 4
¾” H x 7 ½” W x  9 3/4” D. 
               
Weight 12 ounces

WW I French enlisted men wearing red top kepis imagePresented is a well worn French officer’s kepi with a red crown over a light blue band with gold trim and chin
strap. There is a red reenforced tab at the top center that likely carried a plume or ball ornament which has gone
missing. The non-adjustable chin strap is intact. The bill of the cap is rounded which helps date it to 1876 and later. The
red crown over a light blue band designates the wearer as a cavalry officer and it was worn in lieu of a shako.
The two top most bands of gold braid circling the hat designate a rank of lieutenant, but if the lower one is included in
the count the rank would be that of a captain. The important bullion insignia on the front shows a series of staffs and
pikes acting as staffs for flags and banners. Beneath them are two opposing cannons on single wheel carriages.
The picture on
the right above is of three French enlisted ranks wearing red top kepis in WW I.

EXTERIOR
CONDITION: The fabric is in very good condition with no tears or holes or fading with the top fabric of the hat darker in
color. The gold trim and chin strap have darkened with age as would be expected. Stitching along the crown and elsewhere shows
in places. The round leather visor of the hat has some loss of leather trim in three spots along the beak.

 

Partial leftside view of French cavalry officer's kepi image
Partial rightside view of French cavalry officer's kepi image
     Three quarter,
left and right side views of French officer’ kepi

INTERIOR
CONDITION: The strong and unbroken visor’s bottom is black leather and has a few scratches. The 2″ high
hat band shows considerable wear with broken stitching. There is a small paper label marked 7 in red ink. 
and there is one broken head strap. The interior construction has a straw 3″ band that lays over the fabric with the
leather headband laying on top. The headband has the name “Santos” written in pencil on the inside and is held on
by stitching in only two places. The black silk liner is also missing its stitching. There are no other marks. There are no vent
holes which helps date this cap to 1876 – 1886. Much of the red and blue fabric is soiled and this shows in the pictures.

Leftside of French officer's kepi image
Righttside of French officer's kepi image
  Both sides of French officer’s
Kepi

This
is an authentic French military kepi that has survived through the ages in a condition that would be fairly easy
to bring back to first rate condition.  It would then make an outstanding display or left, as is, it will make
an excellent addition to any military headgear collection.

Front insignia of French officer's kepi image
Back of French officer's kepi image
     Front
insignia and back of French officer’s kepi
 
 

 

Inside of kepi image
Close-up of inside of kepi's liner image
Inside of kepi
showing black silk liner and lost maker’s gold imprint
      

 

THE LABEL READS:
Au Pavillon de Roman/ Augustin Donny/ 77 Frauberg, St. Honore 77/ Paris/ on four lines. Based on his location, Donny must
have been one of the great military haberdashers of his time.

Rue and Faubourg Saint Honore: The old Rue Neuve-Saint-Honoré was re-named Rue du Faubourg
Saint Honore
in 1702 when the village became an official suburb of Paris. From that time onwards many courtiers, financiers
and developers built their magnificent mansions along the street. They transformed the ancient countryside into an affluent
district. Many of these mansions are now listed as historic buildings. The Faubourg Saint Honore became an official district
of Paris during the redefinition of the city limits in 1860 and was noted for its fine merchants. The Rue du Faubourg Saint
Honore ends at the Place des Ternes in the 17th district. The Rue Saint-Honoré and Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore are
today two of the most prestigious streets in Paris as they located in one of the most aristocratic areas of Paris.

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