~ American Independence War Period Rare British Grenadier White Bearskin Mitre Cap ~
This is a very rare George III British grenadier bearskin mitre cap dating back to the mid-late 18th century.
Little reference can be found about these mitre caps exists. Nevertheless they are mentioned in the book “A History of the uniforms of the British army” by Cecil C. P. Lawson and attributed to few foot regiments with grenadier companies.
It seems that back in the 1765 the 13th and 14th regiments of foot placed the first orders for white bearskin mitre caps for their drummers, as the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards did later in 1768. Each regiment had one company of grenadiers which, on its turn had two drummers, indicating that these types of caps were made in very limited numbers.
There is another reference referring to the 111th of Foot Loyal Birmingham Volunteers which ordered white mitre caps for their drummers and privates, but it seems that they were made of goat fur rather than using the bearskin.
It is impossible to tell is our example belonged to the 3rd, 13th or the 14th of Foot but, due to the fact that all these regiments took part in the American Independence War, there is a chance that this piece might’ve been used during the conflict.
Our example bears on the front the cipher of King George III beneath the Crown and on the back, the white grenade over the red velvet cover can be seen.
The headband is made of thick brown leather and the lining is made of grey canvas.
~ Dimensions ~
The cap is 12 inches (30.5 cm) tall and a diameter of 10 inches (25.5 cm), counting the fur, and 7 inches (18 cm), head size.
It weighs 550 grams
~ Condition ~
Due to the fact that the leather has shrunk it is harder to see the badge and the red top.
The overall condition of the piece is though excellent.
The badges are intact and the fur remains undamaged.
It has general signs of wear.