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The 10th (The Prince of Wales's Own) Royal Hussars - Portrait of an Officer, 1854
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The 10th (The Prince of Wales's Own) Royal Hussars - Portrait of an Officer, 1854

Measurements: Overall: 45cm (17.75in) x 38cm (15in)

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Watercolour on paper. English school half length portrait of an officer of the 10th Hussars in review order, his uniform comprising pre-1856 short-frogged dolman with Vandyke pattern gold lace and five rows of 21 ball buttons, Russia braid sleeve decoration indicating a senior officer, regimental pattern chain crossbelt, pelise over the left shoulder, and barrel sash. Image size: 37cm (14.5in) x 30cm (12in). Framed and glazed.

The age of the subject of the present portrait together with details of his uniform suggest the identity of the sitter to be Lieutenant-Colonel (later General) John Wilkie (1817-1882). Wilkie joined the 10th Hussars as a Cornet in 1838 and went with the regiment to India in 1846. To replace the cavalry lost in the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava (October 1854), the 10th Hussars and 12th Lancers were ordered to the Crimea from India in 1855. The 10th Hussars under Wilkie’s command arrived on 17 April. One squadron, under General Sir George Brown, was employed at the capture of Kertch in May 1855. Wilkie’s war services include the capture of Tchorgaun, Battle of the Tchemaya in August, and the Siege and Fall of Sebastopol in September (Medal with Clasp, 5th Class of the Mediidie, and Turkish Medal). On the regiment’s return home in 1856 the louche Colonel Valentine Baker succeeded Colonel Wilkie in command of the ‘Shiny Tenth’. An entirely new order of full dress was instituted that same year.

 

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