Antique French Dragoon’s Helmet Mod. 1874. France, 19th Century

Fine French dragoons helmet in good condition. Model 1874. With manufacturers name and marks.



Antique French dragoons helmet mod. 1874, made in France in the 19th century and in fine condition. The helmet keeps all its original component parts, except the inner lining. Outside it shows some signs of wear, logical in such an ancient piece. Nevertheless, this item is really well preserved and does maintain its imposing presence, a feature that turns it into a very decorative piece. At the top, the helmet mounts a big golden-metal parade crest with an embossed front mask and an image of two intertwined snakes on top. The crest is also adorned with two vegetal-inspired side panels. Over the crest we can see a thick natural horsehair plume or mane, with a bright black color and original of the time. At the front side of the helmet there is a golden-metal detail with embossed decoration: it shows a flaming bottle flanked by laurel and oak wreaths, which can also be seen in the French coat of arms. The helmet also keeps the original chinstraps in fine condition; at the back side we can see the manufacturers marks, clearly engraved in the metal. For its great beauty and historic relevance, this antique French dragoons helmet mod. 1874 deserves to belong to a military museum.French Dragoons History The origin of the French dragoons is quite uncertain. Their ancestors could be the Macedonian dimacos, cavalry soldiers who could also fought on foot. The first news about them date from 1554, when Charles de Cossé, Marshall of Brissac, creates a corps composed of mounted gunmen who travelled on horseback but fought on foot. The name dragoons could come from the image of a dragon which (supposedly) adorned the Marshalls flags, or maybe from an ancient gun called dragoon. In 1622 the dragoons have become a reality; in fact, the German expert Johann Jacob von Wallhausen defined them as a mounted infantry corps. The soldiers were armed with muskets and pikes. France created many dragoon regiments; in 1685, Louis the 15th sent them all over the reign to fight and convert the protestants. During the Napoleonic era, dragoons took part in many contents and campaigns, the Spanish invasion among them. Currently, the French army preserves three dragoon regiments, the 2nd, the 5th and the 13th.

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