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Richard Simkin (1850-1926) - 6th Dragoon Guards & Royal Horse Artillery c.1890
  • Richard Simkin (1850-1926) - 6th Dragoon Guards & Royal Horse Artillery c.1890

    These well-executed portrait drawings of calvary regiments in the British Army are by the renowned military artist, Richard Simkin. They both depict military uniforms from c.1890. Simkin was always as accurate as he could be for his military drawings and did a lot of research if he was painting uniforms from before the 19th century.


    The first drawing on the left illustrates a Lieutenant from the 6th Dragoon Guards. 'In 1863 a simplified tunic was ordered for the [regiment which] was blue with collar and cuffs of white cloth edged all round with gold cord. There were eight buttons down the front, and on the back were blue slashes with three buttons edged with gold cord. In 1871 the new Albert helmet was approved and in 1873 it was worn with a white horsehair plume instead of the previous black one.' [1]


    The second drawing on the right illustrates a Major from the Royal Horse Artillery. First established in 1793, the Royal Horse Artillery played an important role in the British Army during the 19th century. 'The booted overalls of officers were replaced in 1872 by pantaloons or breeches, blue with scarlet side-stripes 1 3/8 inches wide for officers and 2 inches wide for the men. Knee-boots with a 'V' - notch were worn with these, although the ankle-boot replaced the Wellington boot for wear with overalls in dismounted order. In 1880 badges of rank were moved from the collar to the gold shoulder-cords, and the next year a silver embroidered grenade was worn on each side of the officers' collar'. [2]


    Medium: watercolour with white bodycolour on paper, two separate works separated in mount, each measures 12.5 x 7.8 cm, framed.


    Provenance: The Parker Gallery (2 Albermarle Street, London).


    Condition report: in very good overall condition. The frame has a couple of scuff marks that are not very obvious.




    [1] W. Y. Carman, 'Richard Simkin's Uniforms of the British Army: The Calvary Regiments', Webb & Bower: Exeter, 1982, p.64.


    [2] Ibid., p.205.

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