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Title Tarleton helmet badge, old Sheffield plate
Nationality British
Period c 1800

The Tarlton helmet was worn from the late 1780s through, in the case of the Royal Horse Artillery, to 1820, when a shako replaced it. Other units, like Light Dragoons and yeomanry, wore this helmet, with a bearskin crest and a silk turban, throughout the Napoleonic Wars. Also, the Honourable Artillery Horse Battery would have worn this.

The helmet was usually made of boiled leather and would have had a scale chin chain with a metal rim to a leather peak. The badge was worn on one side and a feather plume on the other. Sometimes there was a bullion fringe at the reverse, in the case of officers anyway.

This particular badge has had its fittings removed, but the bulk of the silver finish (Sheffield plate) is still intact, with a little bit of bleeding to the highlights of the badge. I would rate it as 98% original finish intact.

The lead solder on the reverse (not applied by me!) could be removed carefully with a soldering iron and a razor blade or scalpel, if one was fussed.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Militaria : Badges : British : 18th Century]


The parcel arrived today and I am delighted. It feels such a privilege to be holding a piece of history.

G C, UK, 14.03.2017

Bayonet arrived safe and well earlier, finally got a chance to unwrap it and have a quick peek and am very pleased, thanks!

T R, UK, 07.11.2013