1600 - 1789
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FRENCH CARABINIER SOLDAT c. 1724
Buffle (inner coat or vest): It is made from sheepskin (peau de mouton) and has a yellow-ochre color. Worn on parade and in combat where it was proof against most sword slashes. It was adorned similarly to the justaucorps. Silver edging was down the front and back on both sides and around the pocket flaps. All buttons were white metal. Each sleeve had four and each pocket flap had three white metal buttons.
Culotte (pants): It is also made from sheepskin (peau de mouton) and yellow-ochre in color. The vertical side pockets are edged in silver with three white metal buttons.
Manteau (cloak, sometimes referred to as “coat”): The manteau is blue with a red lining with a red collar edged in silver tape. When not worn, it is rolled and stored at the back of the saddle secured by white straps.
Bottes (boots): Boots are black with polished iron spurs.
Bas (stockings) when visible are white.
The tricorne is black edged in silver tape and adorned with a black silk cockade
held in place by a double piece of silver lace attached with a white metal
button. It was worn well down just
over the right eye with the “point” slightly to the right.
Ceinturon (Waist Belt): The ceinturon or sword belt is yellow-ochre edged in silver and supports the sword and scabbard. Bayonets were not issued to Carabiniers at this time. The buckle is polished iron.
Banderole (Carbine Sling) is made of the same material as the ceinturon and is yellow-ochre edged in silver. The ends are joined together by the carbine hook. It is held in place by the left shoulder strap (bandouliere).
Mousqueton (carbine): In combat, the carbine was attached to the sling by a hook. Otherwise, the carbine was secured to the saddle by a strap around the neck of the butt and the barrel was inserted into a black leather boot attached to the right front of the saddle. The barrel was 130cm long.
Mousqueton Outils (carbine implements): These were the powder flask, ball bag, and mallet carried on the soldier’s right side. The ball bag was attached to the ceinturon and was made of brown leather. The mallet and powder flask were suspended from a cord held in place by the left shoulder strap. See Costume Militaire Ancien Regime by Eugène Leliepvre, Planche No. 11, Figure No. 1.
Pistolets (pistols): Each soldier carried two pistols in holsters attached to each side of the front of the saddle. Barrel length was 35.2cm long. They were secured in pistol holders of brown leather with brass end caps and covered with cloth known as a housing. See “Housings”.
Housses (housings, cloth covers): The pistolets and the rear of the saddle were covered in cloth material blue in color and bordered in white with white piping inside and out.
Rang Galon (rank stripes): Brigadiers (corporals) had one silver stripe high up on the cuff just below the cuff buttons. Sergents had two silver stripes in the same position.
Sabre (sword): The sword was the so-called “à la Mousquetaire” with a blade length of “33 pouces de longueur” with white metal guard. The scabbard is a polished dark wood color with white metal tip and the hilt is brass. The sword knot (dragonne) was a strap of mixed silver and blue cord.
Gant (gloves) were worn on parade and in combat. The color was a pale yellowish-beige and probably made from deerskin.
Harnachement (horse harnessing): black bridles and reins with white metal fittings. The saddle (selle) was black. The girth strap was gray. Stirrup leathers were pale yellow-gray.
Chevaux (horses): The Carabiniers rode black horses.
FRENCH CARABINIER c. 1724 References
1) Uniformes Les Armées de l’Histoire, Issue No. 34, L’Homme de 1724, Le Carabinier, by Michel Pétard
2) Costume Militaire Ancien Regime No. 11, Les Carabiniers 1693-1786, by Eugène Leliepvre, Hussard du Marais
3) Officers and Soldiers of French Carabiniers 1679-1871 by Oliver Lapray and André Jouineau, Histoire & Collections
4) Louis XV’s Army (1): Cavalry & Dragoons, Osprey Men-at-Arms No. 296, page 24
5) Historex painting guide series 871, French Cavalry 1730-1750.
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by George Grasse