Indian Made Cavalry Officer’s Tunic

Tonight we have a wonderful officer’s dress tunic that has tentatively been identified as belonging to the Indian Guides Cavalry Regiment- opinion is still out on this one so I don’t want to say for sure but I am fairly confident in the identification. The tunic is made of a very fine light khaki drab coloured cloth, with red facings:imageThe front of the tunic has an elaborate pattern of lacing in a hussars style:imageThis consists of a double row of drab silk lace, ending in two loops with a ball on the end:imageThe lacing is secured up the centre by oval shaped toggles:imageThese do not actually secure the jacket as underneath is an interlocking set of brass hooks and eyes:imageThe quality of this jacket is hard to describe, the cuffs have a Hungarian knot, indicating the wearer was a lieutenant, with the red facing fabric:imageThe rear of the lacework ends in a pair of elegant curls:imageThe red facing is repeated on the collar:imageThe inside of the collar is lined with black silk for comfort:imageAn elaborate set of shoulder straps are fitted, sadly now missing their pips but with the traces of thread left behind:imageThere is the trace of lacework on the back of the jacket but this seems to have been removed at some point:imageTurning to the inside of the jacket we can see that it is fully lined:imageAnd there is a single, vertical, slash pocket:imageThe inside of this has the manufacturer’s label for ‘Ranken & Co’ of ‘Calcutta, Simla, Lahore & Rawal Pindi’:imageThis company had been trading since 1770 when it had been set up in Calcutta and was one of two approved suppliers of an officer’s uniform items in the Indian Sub-Continent- patterns being lodged with the company as they changed to ensure an officer always had the correct pattern of uniform.

I must confess to being delighted to have added this particular uniform to my collection as it ticks all the boxes for me- beautiful quality, Indian, potentially for one of the great regiments of the North West Frontier and it will display really well. If anyone can provide any more details please, as ever, get in touch.

2 thoughts on “Indian Made Cavalry Officer’s Tunic

  1. Phil Marlow

    I think it could be in a tunic of an Officer of 2/15th Punjabis who wore buff tunics with scarlet facings. The other battalions of the regiment had scarlet tunics with buff facings. The Osprey book ‘The Indian Army 1914-47’ has an image of the commanding officer of the 2/15th in a near identical tunic.


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