A 95th or Derbyshire Regiment of Foot Officer’s Shako plate circa 1855

A very scarce 95th or Derbyshire Regiment of Foot officer’s fire gilt shako plate as worn on the so called French-pattern shako between 1855 and 1861.
The universal eight pointed fire gilt star has the top most point replaced by a Victorian crown. In the centre is a garter strap with the pierced words Honi Soit Qui Maly Pense all in rich fire gilt. Within the strap are the Arabic numerals for 95 laid on a black enamelled or painted background.
The reverse has a pair of fixing lugs at the horizontal point and shows good evidence of fire gilt overspill, always a comforting sign that the original gilding has not been touched. The condition is virtually mint with no sign of wear to any of the high points.
This particular plate was adopted shortly after the Crimea when a circular was authorised by Horse Guards dated 16th January 1855 to introduce the new French-pattern shako modelled upon the French headdress worn in the Crimean and considered more suitable than the Albert Shako which did not find favour at all amongst the British troops campaigning in the Crimea.
This shako plate marked the end of the elaborate individual shako plates that adorned the Albert pattern Shako with most regiments contenting themselves with simply adopting the regimental number on the shako plate.

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