104th Foot, Bengal Fusiliers, a Lieutenant Colonel’s uniform, circa 1870s


A very good and scarce example of a field officer’s scarlet tunic of the 104th Foot, Bengal Fusiliers which was one  of the regiments taken into the British Line after the end of the East India Company following the Indian Mutiny. The buttons of this pattern were worn from 1861 to 1881 after which it became the 2nd Bn. Royal Munster Fusiliers, being finally disbanded in 1922 on Irish independence. The tunic dates from a period when an officer’s rank was shown by the rank badges on the collar and by the the lace. This example differs from a major’s by having additional rows of lace loops around the sleeve decoration and below the broad lace band round the collar, which also bears the fusilier grenade. There are seven large buttons to the front, two to the rear, and two small buttons securing the gold lace shoulder cords. All buttons have the backmark J. W. REYNOLDS, ST. MATINS LANE LONDON . The usual eighth button to the front is not present but this is sometimes removed or replaced with a flat non regimental  button to allow the belt to fit more comfortably/ There is the usual minor wear, mainly around the button holes and not showing when the tunic is buttoned. There are a few very small insect holes. The lining is very good for its age.   dec15/2

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