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This field covers uniforms, headdress and badges from the 18th century through to Third Reich items from the 20th century. Much of this material can be seen in context in contemporary prints/drawings and other art work, eg bronzes and photographs. I keep a very sharp eye out for, and a photographic record of, all the particularly convincing Third Reich fakes that come my way. Good reference books include: The Emperor's Coat by Rest, Ortner & Ilming (Verlag Militaria) on Austro-Hungarian militaria, Great War period; Shoulder-belt plates and buttons by Parkyn on British militaria; two volumes by King on British military headdress badges. The National Army Museum (Royal Hospital Road, London SW3) has an excellent bookshop and display covering the British side of this great subject.

Here is a selection of militaria from this category:

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militaria item Gladstone commemorative medal, 1894
- British
This medal commemorates the retirement of William Gladstone from the House of Commons in 1894. He had been Prime Minister four times and, along with Disraeli, he created the modern Conservative party. There is a 50-line inscription on the reverse, listing the MPs of 1894. It is by Messrs L.C. Lauer and it was struck by J. Rochelle Thomas.

militaria item Sapeurs Pompiers de la Marine helmet plate
- French
This has to be one of the rarest of the 2nd Empire military fire brigade badges, being the helmet plate for the navy branch. The helmet was a magnificent looking creation in brass with a high comb and fancy chin scales. This would have been worn on the front of the helmet, above the peak and below the crest.

militaria item Metropolitan Police inspector's tipstaff
- English
This is almost certainly an unmarked Parker Field product, made under contract for the Metropolitan Police. These were standardised c 1840 and the design lasted until c 1880 when they were phased out and replaced by the warrant card c 1890. The arresting officer simply touched the crown on the suspect's shoulder - a formal notice of arrest.

militaria item Foot Guards gorget, 1816 pattern
- British
Regarding the regiment, the Grenadiers had a very specific gorget with multiple pierce work on both wings, the Scots Guards normally had '3rd Guards' engraved on both sides at the tips, therefore, by elimination, this is almost certainly a Coldstream Guards example. The Dighton watercolours of the period appear to confirm this.

militaria item Bristol Humane Society medal
- British
This is a rare variant of the Royal Humane Society medal for successfully saving life, issued between 1774 and 1867. It would seem that the Bristol variant was instituted in 1807, according to the date on the exergue. The sculptor signs himself 'T.H.' for T. Halliday. It is, sadly, uninscribed, as it would have left the Mint.

testimonials

Many thanks - badge recieved - excellent one!

A K, UK, 06.02.2014

Your package arrived safely and in perfect condition this morning - and it's brilliant - and I am very pleased with it.

J P, UK, 02.02.2008

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