PRUSSIA – ATTILA – HUSAREN-REGIMENT NR 4 – MOST LIKELY FOR A MEMBER OF THE NOBILITY OR ROYALTY
There are several reasons why I am excited about this particular attila. First it comes directly from the collection of one of the most experienced collections of cavalry tunics (Particularly of Hussar attilas.) in the U.S. Second, it is from a regiment that we have not previously offered. Third, it is the parade attila which is much more ornate than the dally dienst attila. Parade attilas have gilt chain style cross trim and wide braid on cuffs and collar. And finally, it is most likely from a member of the nobility or royalty a fact which we will discuss further in this description.
This offering is for a parade attila for Husaren-Regiment von Schill (1. Schlesisches) Nr 4. Founded in 1741, this regiment is one of the older Prussian Husaren-Regiments. The regiment was garrisoned at Ohlau, far east of Berlin and was attached the Prussian VI. Armeekorps.
One of the distinguishing features of the attila is that the color of the wool tunic is a rich redish brown. (This is the ONLY regiment that used brown.) Other colors used for attilas were black, green, red, blue, (Three different types of blue) and feldgrau for a Saxon regiment which was formed in 1910. After 1908 all of the regiments began to phase in feldgrau and the process was complete prior to the beginning of WW I. Visually this attila is one of the most appealing providing a contrast of bright gilt on a deep red brown backdrop.
The cuffs and collar are trimmed in wide gold braid and the trim on the front, back, pockets and edges are built of heavy gold chain style embroidery. There are gilt rosette and toggle buttons on the front and back.
The interior of the tunic is a rich black silk which shows little wear. The overall condition of the attila both front and back would rate very fine.
Typical of a parade attila, this is a very heavy tunic. All of the dress facings/braid make it a far heavier tunic than the daily wear attila.
Parade tunics are not commonly seen, and I seldom have the opportunity to offer them.
The shoulder boards bear the twin pips of a Rittmeister which are also gilt as are the buttons which secure them to the tunic. It should be noted that there is a small field repair on the tunic. This would have been accomplished by the officer’s servant (Batman to you Brits.) Rather than by a professional seamstress.
So much for our general description now I would like to discuss what makes this tunic very special aside from being a parade attila. Much more special than what we would expect for a Rittmeister. We see a set of five loops for a long ribbon bar. And below those loops we see three sets of vertical loops for breast stars or other high level pinback awards. Personally, I believe that breast stars are more likely. This is just not something that you would see on the tunic of a “garden variety” Rittmeister. Thus I firmly believe that this man was a member of nobility at the very least and more likely a member of royalty. Remember, this is a prewar tunic which would probably date to about 1900 so we would not see 1914 Iron Crosses or their equivalents from other states. In a 1912 Rangliste only two Ritmeisters have earned three breast orders. Although the tunic did not contain a name, one of these two could be the owner.
This attila has so much going for it which includes its color combination, scarcity of regiment, being of the parade variety, condition, and the position of the original owner. I might add that this fabulous attila comes to us from the collection of a serious again and experienced collector who really knows his “stuff” and shared these most interesting details with us!