Trumpeter, 2nd Life Guards, 1895 (c)
Glass negative, W Gregory and Company, 51 Strand, London, 1895 (c).
This image comes from a collection of glass plate negatives associated with William Gregory and Company. The negatives depict the British Army, including some members of the colonial forces, 'at home' in Britain during the 1890s.
As well as being intimate portraits of soldiers from this era, the images provide detailed illustrations of uniforms worn during the high point of military tailoring.
The State Dress worn by the Bandsman in this negative was worn by trumpeters, kettle drummers, and the bands when on parade and in the presence of the Royal Family. It included a crimson velvet coat overlaid with strips of broad gold lace. The coat had a large royal cypher and crown on gold lace worn on the front and back of the coat. The headdress was a dark blue velvet jockey cap. On all occasions, whether mounted or on foot, the regular white breeches and jackboots were worn.
State Dress has a long history, and was worn by musicians as far back as 1691. The velvet jockey cap is said to have been inspired by the caps of horse racers, and encouraged by Charles II. The three Household Cavalry Regiments previously had State Dress that differed between them until 1883/4 when all bands were required to adopt a similar style. The bands of the Foot Guard regiments also wear similar State Dress.
One of a collection of 280 glass negatives, associated with Gregory and Company, London, and F G O Stuart, 1892 (c)-1900.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection