Author Topic: Uniforms and Helmets of the Chevalier Guarde  (Read 14861 times)

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Offline Imperial.Opal

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Uniforms and Helmets of the Chevalier Guarde
« on: February 02, 2005, 05:46:00 AM »
Good day,every one.my first question on the forum.My interest is the Russian Imperial uniforms and helmets of the Chevalier Guardes portrayed in the film Nicholas and Alexandra 1971. I found a book- Military Fashion by John Mollo in the eighties which has photos of helmets,uniforms ect.Also he was the military advisor on the film. I would appreciate any assistance on the subject.Thanking you.Stephen,Sydney.Australia.

Offline Michael_Doubrovin

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Re: Uniforms and Helmets of the Chevalier Guarde
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2005, 06:16:59 AM »
There was a detailed article of Gerard Gorokhov in the "Gazette des Uniformes" French magazine, exactly on this topic. I think, Daniel Briere could tell what exact issue of the magazine it was.

Offline Daniel Briere

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Re: Uniforms and Helmets of the Chevalier Guarde
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2005, 10:53:58 PM »
Welcome Stephen!

I still remember how amazed I was when I first saw this Nicholas and Alexandra movie : at last pretty good uniforms for a change! I found the scene you are referring to quite spectacular, with the Emperor in a superb uniform of His Own Guard Hussars walking out between two rows of servants and Chevaliers Gardes in their red supervestes (over a white tunic) knee-high boots and shining helmets. The superveste was only worn for guard duty inside palaces (instead of the cuirasse which were worn outside). Horse Guards also had a superveste but the two other Guard Cuirassiers regiments didn’t. BTW, I can’t make any sense of the superveste shown in Mollo’s book (p. 187) : it is a Horse Guards’ superveste with a Chevaliers Gardes star…the Chevaliers Gardes officers had silver braid over light blue cloth (gold braid over dark blue was for the Horse Guards; and they had a gold double-headed eagle instead of the St. Andrew’s star). The Mollo book was a revelation for me too and lead me on a never ending quest for more information and photos about the Imperial Russian Army. Sadly enough, I saw some items sown in the book (from the Eugene Mollo collection) being sold off by German militaria auctioneers in the last years, all much too expensive for me...

The question of uniforms for these 2 regiments is quite complicated as there was 12 different dress orders for officers! Two can be seen in the movie : the Parade Palace Duty dress (with superveste) and, shortly after this scene, at the Dowager Empress’ birthday, many of the grand dukes in the «boring room full of Romanovs» are wearing a Chevaliers Gardes Parade Order uniform : white tunic (kolet) and dark blue pants. This is a questionable choice though, as these regiments had a Gala Ball dress :  a red tunic instead of the white one.

Here are the basic uniforms around which the various dress orders revolved (with some changes in headdress like helmet with eagle, helmet with grenade, visor caps; boots, side-arms, etc):

- the white buttonless tunic with silver braid and red piping worn with epaulettes and blue riding pants, cuirasse and helmet (outside) or with white breeches, red superveste and helmet (inside the Palace);
http://www.xenophongi.org/rusarmy/shenk/shenk4as.htm (colors are somewhat too bright)
-the red tunic with silver braid and light blue piping worn at gala balls (with epaulettes but without the officers sash) :
http://www.xenophongi.org/rusarmy/shenk/shenk6as.htm (left: Chevaliers Gardes; right: Horse Guards);
-a black 8 button tunic (vitz-mundir) with red piping and shoulder-boards for everyday dress : http://www.xenophongi.org/rusarmy/shenk/shenk4as.htm (showing the regulations dark green tunic for officers (left) but by tradition it was really black as the lower ranks tunic -right);
-a white double-breast summer tunic (kitel) and a khaki green field tunic.

As for published material on the subject, I haven’t found much in English (some in French and Russian though) : Gerard Gorokhoff has a chapter on the Chevaliers Gardes in his 2002 bilingual Russian-English book on the Russian Imperial Guard (adapted from the original French 1986 edition). The same author has indeed published an article in the French magazine Uniformes (No. 96, July-August 1986) but it was about Guard Cuirassiers’ helmets only (although there are a few photos of uniforms too). More recently Alexis Stiopka wrote a piece about the uniforms of general officers of the Guard Cuirassiers (in Gazette des Uniformes, No. 164, March/April 1997). Both articles are in French. A few color plates – but no text - can be found in « Uniforms of Imperial & Soviet Russia in color, as illustrated by Herbert Knotel » (2001). Some information and drawings in the 1979 « Uniforms of the Imperial Russian Army » by 2 of the Mollo brothers (Boris and John). Let me know if you are interested in more information. I could eventually send you some scans of these articles and some  interesting photos I took at an exhibition in Copenhagen.




Daniel Briere

Offline Scott

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Re: Uniforms and Helmets of the Chevalier Guarde
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2005, 01:38:24 AM »
This is a wonderful schematic from a book that Michael was kind enough to forward to me.  The grouping in the top right corner shows the various pieces of the Chevalier Guard uniform:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Scott »

Offline Scott

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Re: Uniforms and Helmets of the Chevalier Guarde
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2005, 01:49:01 AM »
Daniel - I believe this this is the confusing vest to which you refer:

Offline Imperial.Opal

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Re: Uniforms and Helmets of the Chevalier Guarde
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2005, 02:34:33 AM »
To Daniel and Scott, thank you for your replies ,I appreciate your expertise and interest in the subject.Two years ago,I bought  the DVD of Nicholas and Alexandra from the U.S.A. The film has been fully restored to the full length version,much better in wide screen. Also after 30 years the mini- series THE FALL OF EAGLES has been finally released on DVD from the U.K. I remember watching it in 1975 in black and white on T.V.The only problem is the U.K. is Zone 2 and Australia is Zone 4.not sure what Zone the U.S.A. is. Any further information from you blokes would be great.Thanks,Stephen,Sydney ,Australia

Offline Thomas B. LeMay

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Re: Uniforms and Helmets of the Chevalier Guarde
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2005, 03:55:13 PM »
If I may add my thoughts to this thread.  One of the posts mentions an apparent contradiction in regard to the braid color which of course should be silver for the Chevalier Garde.  Please note that much of the braid used in the Imperial period was a silver wash over a copper base.  With aging the color often does take on a dingy gold tone.  I have many such items with documented provenance in my collection showing similar aging patterns.  Based on this, I do not feel that there are any problems with the superveste in Mollo's book.

My opinion,

Brad LeMay
 
Thomas B. LeMay
blemay@cablelynx.com

Offline Imperial.Opal

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Re: Uniforms and Helmets of the Chevalier Guarde
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2005, 03:14:55 AM »
 Hi Brad, I like to know the interesting history of the Chevalier Guarde Helmet in the photograph,compared to the Imperial German Guarde de Corp helmut -german crowned eagle,and their rarity after the revolution they must be priceless,a close-up of your helmet would be great,Thanks.Steve.

Offline Thomas B. LeMay

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Re: Uniforms and Helmets of the Chevalier Guarde
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2005, 05:52:45 PM »
Dear Steve,

I would be happy to send you any information and additional photographs if you are interested.  Please send me your email address and I will forward these.

Have a nice evening,

With my regards,

Brad LeMay
blemay@cablelynx.com
Thomas B. LeMay
blemay@cablelynx.com

Offline Djedj

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Re: Uniforms and Helmets of the Chevalier Guarde
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2005, 07:00:30 PM »
Just a postcard to illustrate :
I collect Hussar photos

Offline Imperial.Opal

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Re: Uniforms and Helmets of the Chevalier Guarde
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2009, 03:10:57 PM »
Hi, Daniel
 Over four years ago, you and other forum members assisted me with information on my favourite subject The Chevalier Guarde, can you recommend any new books and websites on the subject

Kind Regards

Stephen

Offline Daniel Briere

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Re: Uniforms and Helmets of the Chevalier Guarde
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2009, 10:18:09 PM »
Hi Stephen,

Time flies so fast…Glad to hear from you! To my knowledge, not much has been published on your favourite subject in English (or French) recently.

You would find a few pages specific to the Regiment (along with some information and photos) in the huge – and beautiful - album published by the Russian Museums for the 300th anniversary of the Life-Guards. An excellent English translation was published in 2005 : « The Russian Imperial Guards » St. Petersburg, Slavia (ISBN : 5-9501-090-5).

In Russian, the only book about the Regiment I'm aware of is the - not exactly recent - 400 pages book: Кавалергарды; история, биографии, мемуары (Chevalier Guards: history, biographies, memoirs), Moscow,Voenizdat, 1997  A. IU. Bondarenko (ISBN : 5-203-01680-1)

There’s some information, portraits and photos of uniforms in Part 2 of a so-called exhibition catalogue from the Hermitage published in St. Petersburg in 2003 (2 years after the exhibition was held!): «За веру и верность»: Три века Российской императорской гвардии» («For Faith and Loyalty»: Three centuries of the Russian Imperial Guards). ISBN: 5-9501-0053-0. It seems that most of the exhibits shown in the book were transferred to the new Guards' Museum in St. Petersburg.

If you do a Google search for « Кавалергардский полк » you'll find quite a lot. Do an image search too. A video search will get you to a video with the Regimental March (with some photos):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbNJ5rmdGws

And a 45 minutes documentary from Russian TV about the Regiment:
http://www.zvezdanews.ru/video/archive/guard/0004843/



Daniel Briere

Offline Imperial.Opal

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Re: Uniforms and Helmets of the Chevalier Guarde
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2009, 01:44:37 PM »
Hi, Daniel

 Thanks again, I always appreciate your research and knowledge, I will follow up on the new information especially the russian tv documentary,looks interesting and do some Googling.
 Now and then at one of the big book stores like Borders in Sydney, I come across articles in overseas Military Auction magazines and Military Illustrated is another good magazine that profiles regiments and battles ect

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Uniforms and Helmets of the Chevalier Guarde
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2010, 05:16:11 AM »
I spotted this thread and wonder whether there is similar material available on HM Life Guard Hussars.

I am in Britain and my Russian is non-existent, though I can just about get by in French.

Ann

Offline Lermontov

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Re: Uniforms and Helmets of the Chevalier Guarde
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2010, 12:18:51 PM »
Later this year, I am intending to cast some copies of a portrait bust of Nicholas II in the uniform of the Chevalier Guard. The sculpture is approximately1/9 scale and of fine quality and the copies will probably be in silver, bronze and gilt-bronze. If any forum members would like further details and photos of the bust, please write to me at afcpetition@hotmail.com

Kind regards,

Michael Lermontov Midgley