FRENCH CAVALRY OFFICER’S KEPI
From 1876 TO 1886
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
¾” H x 7 ½” W x 9 3/4” D.
Weight 12 ounces
Presented 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.
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.
left and right side views of French officer’ kepi
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.
Both sides of French officer’s
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.
insignia and back of French officer’s kepi
Inside of kepi
showing black silk liner and lost maker’s gold imprint