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  1. #1
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    Rosettes...are styles period specific?

    I'm an 18th Century Reenactor...French and Indian (Seven Year's) War and American Revolutionary period. My question is not necessarily specific to Scottish attire...but I am pretty sure that scottish gentlemen would have worn the ubiquitous cocked hat (known by many as a tricorn) as well as the bonnet. I am interested in answers for either style of headgear. Here is my question:

    I've noted that, in America, the style of the cocked hat transitioned from a relatively triangular shape in the 1750s to a style with a more less pronounced front brim protrusion (creating more of a bicorn effect) during the 1770s and 1780s. I've also noted that rosettes adorning that headgear (at least military hats) seemed to have transitioned from a bow-tie shaped rosette during the 1750s to a round rosette during the American Revolution (like Robert posted pictures of today). Does anybody know if there are specific styles worn by military versus civilian and is there any style that's specific to a period or country?
    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." -- Thomas Paine

    Scottish-American Military Society Post 1921

  2. #2
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    Generally speaking, American men's hat styles in the 18th and 19th century reflected that of those in fashion in Europe, to include shape, color, materials, and decoration.

    The rosette or cockade was a military feature to identify allegiance in an age when the primary color of the uniform did not yet identify the soldier's country of origin. For example, the French Army's Irish Picquets with Prince Charlie at Culloden wore red coats - though a different shade than that worn by the British line.

    The cockade's shape was based on fashion of the day and, perhaps more importantly, the regimental commander's preference. Regimental commanders had a great deal of influence over the regiment's uniform features, as well as the arms and equipment carried by the regiment. In the British Army, for example, the colonel was given a budget to uniform and equip his regiment. Many colonels dipped into their own personal funds so that their regiments would be better uniformed and equipped, while others bought shoddy and lower priced uniforms and equipment, then pocketed the difference.

    Cockades came in various shapes - from the extremely simple, perhaps consisting of no more than some ribbon shaped into an "X" or a circle to the extremely ornate, such as Robert's. Consequently, colonels could save money on the type of cockade chosen - from the quality of the ribbon to how much ribbon went into making it.

    To make things even more diverse, officers could usually fancier items if they chose, so one officer might have a simple cockade, perhaps slightly larger and made with better ribbon than his men, while another might make one up like Robert's.

    Civilians frequently picked up on the cockade, especially during wartime to show which side they supported (of course they sometimes had alternate cockades so they could switch them if necessary). This custom carried over into peacetime as well, allowing the wearer to dress up his hat a bit more, but began going out of fashion, generally speaking, after the Napoleonic Wars.

    I note that the cockades on the current crop of Balmorals and Glengarries, tends to go more for the "bow tie" look.
    Virginia Commissioner, Elliot Clan Society, USA
    Adjutant, 1745 Appin Stewart Regiment
    Adjutant, Post 2, Scottish-American Military Society
    US Marine (1970-1999)

  3. #3
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    The "bow tie" look is apparently fairly early. Here's a cockade fromthe '45 which is identified as Lord George Murray's:

    Brian

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~ Benjamin Franklin

  4. #4
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    William...great information. I, of course, knew some of that being a student of history, but definitely some details I wasn't aware of. So I'm understanding white to be a symbol of the Jacobites. I also recall that American Rosettes or Cockades were white and black...the white denoting alliance with the French? Anybody have references for the colors...about what one color or a combination of colors might mean? Again...as William has said...I understand that much of it may just be the whim of a particular Colonel or General...and much just may be fashion trends...but the more info the better I figure.
    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." -- Thomas Paine

    Scottish-American Military Society Post 1921

  5. #5
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    The civilian use of cockades has continued down to the present day-- liveried servants used to place a cockade composed of the colours of their employer in their hat. Generally speaking the last liveried servants to wear hats as part of their duties were coachmen, and their top hats in the 19th century were usually fitted with a cockade of the appropriate colours. This continues today with uniformed chauffeurs-- those "on hire" usually have a black cockade on the front of their hat, while those privately employed "in service" sport the livery colours of their employer.

  6. #6
    macwilkin is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMillan of Rathdown View Post
    The civilian use of cockades has continued down to the present day-- liveried servants used to place a cockade composed of the colours of their employer in their hat. Generally speaking the last liveried servants to wear hats as part of their duties were coachmen, and their top hats in the 19th century were usually fitted with a cockade of the appropriate colours. This continues today with uniformed chauffeurs-- those "on hire" usually have a black cockade on the front of their hat, while those privately employed "in service" sport the livery colours of their employer.
    I have a cockade in the livery colours of my chief on my auld black bonnet.

    T.

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    Was the white cockade only worn by Jacobites during the '45 or did they wear them in the '89, '15 and '19 ?

    I presume there was a solidarity with the French in wearing white ?

    Did the Spanish Bourbons wear white too ?
    Last edited by Lachlan09; 18th January 10 at 02:47 AM.

  8. #8
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    I find it interesting that some of the Scottish regiments use bows on their kilts while some use rosettes proper (a full circle of ribbon with a covered button in the centre).

    Here's the bow-shaped things which the regiment itself calls "rosettes" on a Black Watch regimental kilt, and being worn by the new Royal Regiment of Scotland (which has replaced all of the old Scottish regiments)





    and here's what I think of as "rosettes proper" being worn by the Pipe Major of the Royal Highland Fusiliers...it's not "artistic licence" because I also have a large clear photo of this regiment's PM which clearly shows the cloth-covered buttons at the centre of these rosettes.

    Last edited by OC Richard; 18th January 10 at 06:23 AM.

  9. #9
    macwilkin is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    I find it interesting that some of the Scottish regiments use bows on their kilts while some use rosettes proper (a full circle of ribbon with a covered button in the centre).

    Here's the bow-shaped things which the regiment itself calls "rosettes" on a Black Watch regimental kilt, and being worn by the new Royal Regiment of Scotland (which has replaced all of the old Scottish regiments)





    and here's what I think of as "rosettes proper" being worn by the Pipe Major of the Royal Highland Fusiliers...it's not "artistic licence" because I also have a large clear photo of this regiment's PM which clearly shows the cloth-covered buttons at the centre of these rosettes.

    Information:

    http://www.calgaryhighlanders.com/tr.../kiltpanel.htm

    T.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for that link...and the nice pics as well. Not to divert the discussion away from rosettes/cockades on headgear (oh wait...it's my thread and I guess I have that right), but I've admired those panels (believe the A&SH also wore one similar prior to the amalgamation into RRoS) in particular and have toyed with the idea of putting some sort of rosettes or bows on the BW kilt I will be making.
    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." -- Thomas Paine

    Scottish-American Military Society Post 1921

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