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Grenadier's Bearskin Cap

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:31 am
by John Waller
Chap in my NA group wants to make/have made a British grenadier's bearskin c1809. He has the bearskin material - PETA recommended substitute. Does anyone have any details of the construction used? We have been variously advised that they had a willow frame or a buckram inner. Anyone help?

1809 Bearskin

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:05 pm
by Neibelungen
The short and accurate answer is yes..

Because they were all locally made for each regiment and not centraly supplied, as long as they conformed to the description then they were made in a variety of ways.

They followed on from the 1768 pattern, which itself was a fur covered version of the mitre cap. They had a pasteboard or tinplate front and a cane to hold the back out., and the 1768 followed the same method.

There are only a couple of surviving post 1800 ones in museum, mostly in pretty bad condition. One I've inspected in a private collection was a leather body with the fur mounted over it. I suspect they followed the french patterns of the 1790's. The post 1815 versions are decidedly french in style.

Be aware that the 1680 plate was not used on the napoleonic style and that the sizes were different.

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:06 pm
by Neibelungen
Ooops... should say 1768 plate.

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:12 pm
by Neibelungen
Ooops... should say 1768 plate.

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 1:32 pm
by m300572
Out of interest for other periods, what do PETA recommend as a substitute and is there a website with details.

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 2:21 pm
by guthrie
A silly question- why did they come up with the idea of wearing great big furry hats anyway? Surely the insulative value was low, and although they would be good for making the wearer look tall, they would be impracticable on manouvres. Or is it only a parade thing?

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:01 pm
by John Waller
m300572, (crazy name!) I'll ask my man. I do know he got it from a supplier in Belgium. He asked for a sample and they sent him enough to make the cap for free.

Guthrie, who knows? All part of mans love of putting strange things on his head I guess. I think they evolved from the grenadier's mitre cap and as you say they were not very practical. Certainly in the napoleonic period the british rarely, if ever, wore them in the field.

contact Keith redfern in 21st

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 10:17 pm
by Andy T
Hi there, contact Keith Redfern in the 21st. He made my sapeurs bearskin (from bear) when I was sapeur in the 21st. He knows what he's doing and the result will be nice

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:35 am
by John Waller
The firm PETA used is Tyber NV based in Belgium ... site=tyber

Their UK agent is :-

Address : THE BROADWAY 88

Phone : 0044 2089598878
Fax : 0044 2089596211
E-Mail :