Antique Napoleonic Helmet Schapska Czapka 1st Polish Lancers Napoleon Imperial Guard
An extremely rare, museum quality, authentic antique, early 19th century, FIRST EMPIRE Napoleonic Military Helmet, Schapska, Czapka, Czapska, of the 1st Polish Light Cavalry Regiment of the Imperial Guard, (Polish: 1 Pułk Lekkokonny [Polski] Gwardii Cesarskiej); (French:1er Régiment des chevaux-légers [polonais] de la Garde Impériale). Circa1807-1815. .
The helmet is constructed of thin sticks, the fabric on the top of the couple of sticks is worn, so the ends of sticks are visible. The helmet is covered in scarlet wool, ridged on the sides. The square top of the helmet is fastened with crossed, white braided, flattened cord, bordered with thinner silver metallic cord formed of two-spiral pattern with tiny cords twisted together and stitched to the top. The edges of the top are trimmed with white braided flattened cord. The upper part bordered with two different thicknesses of silver metallic cord of spiral pattern, the lower part of the braided cord bordered by thinner white cord of robed pattern, and tiny silver, metallic cord of spiral pattern, and stitched to the fabric.
The vertical edges of the helmet are finished with white braided cord bordered by silver metallic cords, formed of two-spiral pattern thin cords twisted together. On the right side of the top rim is a slot to insert the plume. The czapka is completed by its original brass chin-chain, backed by scarlet wool and affixed on the top by a shaped wire hook. The lower body has a black lacquered leather base and is encircled above with heavy silver metallic lace, woven in leaves and floral pattern. The visor is made of hardened thick leather with riveted brass trim with the remains of the silver plating. The interior is lined with plain fabric glued and sewn to the body of the helmet with a black lacquered leather sweatband and lining.
CONDITION: In good condition considering its age to be over 200 years, showing its age and usage. The entire body of the helmet, including the fabric top, the leather band, and the visor are very hard and stiff like a rock. The visor has worn sewing stitches attached to the helmet and was recently secured by glue.
The thick leather sweatband is very dry and cracked on the edge from dryness. I do believe that the stitches are visible on the exterior of the leather base and the sweatband which was added later to secure the sweatband. The crimson fabric has some stains and small punctures on the side below the plume slot left by the wire which was fixed to the helmet cockade.
The cross has minor yellow discoloration on the white cord at the front caused by chemical reaction with the brass front plate. The bordering silver metallic wires in this area are with heavy patina and discoloration, or possibly someone tried to dye it and change the color of the white cord. The very dry leather base has crack on the back. The cord on one corner of the top is damaged. Absent of the front sun-ray plate, cockade, cross, plume, the sides of lion head plates, cord. Please notice that the pictures in the listing are a part of the description of the condition of the object.
If somebody would like to add these items to the helmet, a modern copy of these aliments can be purchased from various suppliers, which in our opinion is unnecessary. All ours antiques are sold in the condition as acquired, we do not perform any restorations, but leave the decision regarding restoration to the future buyer.
MEASUREMENTS Height: From the base of the hat to the highest point: 25 cm (9.84 inches) Overall Length of the square top, from the rear to the front corner: 35.8 cm (14.09 inches) Length of each side of the square top: 25cm (9.84 inches) Size: Small, approximately 17.5 cm (6.89 inches) across the interior of the sweatband
Weight (approximately): 800 grams (1.7637 lb) This type of the Imperial Guard lancer’s helmet has been made in the time period of 1807-1815 in many variations by various makers in Napoleonic Europe. The differences can bee seen in height and the curvature of the edges, also with the different style of the sun-ray plate, cockade, Maltese cross, plume, the sides lion head plates, etc. Some of them have metal caps on the corners, some without caps (Please see the pictures from the references attached to the listing).
We will also provide the buyer with photocopies of the pages from the mentioned references together with a certificate of authenticity. In 1810 was formed the 2nd Light Horse Lancers of Napoleon's Imperial Guard Dutch 'Red' Lancers with uniforms including the helmets and were copied after the famous 1st Polish Light Cavalry Regiment of the Imperial Guard, except the color of the uniform of the Dutch Lancers were red, but the helmet was an exact copy of the Polish Lancers Czapka. Instead of white and silver cords and silver lace, as on Polish Czapka, was trimmed gold braid, bullion and lace.
The Czapka Rogatywka is a distinguished National Polish, peaked, four-pointed cup used by various Polish military formations throughout the ages. It is a distant relative of its 18th century predecessor, konfederatka, because of the use by members of the Bar Confederation. It consists of a four-pointed top. We try to describe items exactly as we see them, and include as many good pictures as needed, so a buyer knows exactly what they are getting.