PRUSSIA – ATTILA – HUSAREN-REGIMENT NR 7 – MOST LIKELY FOR A MEMBER OF THE NOBILITY OR ROYALTY
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 the parade attila which is much more ornate then the daily dienst attila. And finally, it is most likely from a member of the nobility or royalty a fact which we will discuss further in this description.
So our offering today is for a parade attila for Husaren-Regiment König Wilhelm I (1. Rheinisches) Nr 7. It was founded in 1815. It was garrisoned at Bonn (The former capital of West Germany until it was moved to Berlin with the reunification of East and West Germany.) and was attached the Prussian VIII. Armeekorps.
The basic color of this attila is Russian Blue. This is a very distinctive shade of blue and this was the ONLY regiment to use Russian Blue. Other colors used for attilas were brown, black, green, red, blue, (Three different types of blue) and feldgrau for the 20th 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.
To begin aside from the Russian Blue tunic color, all of the other facings or braid are gold. This includes the extremely ornate collar. The rosette and barrel buttons on the front are fire gilt. As this is a parade attila, this is a very heavy tunic. All of the dress facings/braid make it a far heavier tunic than the dienst or daily wear attila. Parade tunics are not commonly seen, and I seldom have the opportunity to offer them. The shoulder boards are Leutnant rank. We also see the gilt cypher of Wilhelm I who was initially the King of Prussia and later the first Kaiser of Germany. The buttons which secure them to the tunic are also gilt.
On the reverse of the attila, we see the same heavy gold embroidery as we do on the front. There are two further barrel buttons as well. The interior of the tunic is a rich silk which shows little wear. The overall condition of the attila both front and back would rate near mint.
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 from what we might expect for a mere Leutnant. First we see a set of five loops which measure X” in width for a very large ribbon medal/bar. That makes for an uncommonly large ribbon/medal bar. But below those loops we see a set of vertical loops which would have been for a breast star or other higher level pinback award. Personally, I believe that breast star is more likely. This is just not something that you would see on the tunic of a “garden variety” Leutnant. Thus I firmly believe that this man was a member of nobility at the very least and more likely a member of royalty. The 7th hussar regiment had an abnormally high number of royalty officers. 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. Another feature that this attila has is its unusually large size. It easily fits a man of six feet tall who weighs two hundred pounds, much larger than the normal man of one hundred plus years ago unless he was in the Garde du Corps or other Kürassier-Regiments which were considered heavy cavalry complete with the Kürass or breast plate which by the later 19th Century was more ornamental than useful on the battlefield. Generally tunic sizes for Husaren are small. After all Husaren were light cavalry and tended to be smaller men. Not our chap as I feel he enjoyed the good life with plenty of würst, beer, and wine! He was built like a heavy cavalry Kürassier.
This attila has so much going for it which includes its size, being of the parade variety, regiment, color, condition, and the position of the original owner. I might add again that this fabulous attila comes to us from the collection of a serious and experienced collector who really knows his “stuff” and shared these most interesting details with us!