Lemon Cutting Postcard

This week we have the penultimate part of our mini-series of colour postcards from before World War One with a dramatic image of a cavalryman slicing a lemon with his sword:

The regiment is the 10th Hussars and cutting lemons was a party trick practiced by many regiments. Lemons are a small target and to slice one, hanging from a string whilst galloping on horseback required great skill. The hussar depicted here is clearly very experienced, as witnessed by the rank badges of a senior NCO on his sleeve:

Note also the dark blue tunic with brass buttons and silver shoulder chain mail patches. These were originally to protect the shoulders from sabre blows, but were largely decorative by this point.

On his head, the hussar wears the ‘pill box’ hat, popular in the late Victorian era. As he is on horseback, he has its chin strap firmly secured so it does not fall off when at the gallop:

His sabre appears to be the 1908 pattern cavalry sword, a heavy and simple weapon better suited to stabbing than slashing.

To complete his uniform, the hussar wears matching breeches, with double stripes of yellow piping down each leg and highly polished black riding boots:

This accomplished painting is another by the famous painter Harry Payne and has a dash and elan to it that is befitting a cavalry regiment.

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