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French Carabinier de la Garde Imperiale - Helmet and Cuirasse

A beautiful set.

$8 500.00

A beautiful set consiting of the "Cuirasse" for the Carabinier de la Garde model 1856. This is the later model and also the rarest (also called "a la mode" as the cuirasse was quite elegant). Front and back plate in steel with a brass overlay and brass rivet around the border. Cuirasse has both its original straps made of leather with a brass chain overlaping (note the end small leather parts of the straps appear to have been restored). Both front and back plate marked by the Châtellerault maker and numbered. Note that the leather steel belt is a later replacement.

The center of the frontplate is fitted with a large polished steel oval sunburst, a brass motif of the French Imperial Eagle (Napoleon the IIIrd) completes the emblem. The Brass motif is attached to the plate by two screws and fixed inside with a set of brass wing nuts. Both (Front and Back plates) are a MATCHING set marked inside: "Mre. Imple. de  Chat. - 7 bre 1856 3éme Taille 1ère Largeur N 336".

The helmet shell is made of Brass (two halves assembled in the middle) with a steel bandeau on the front and sides. Overall in excellent condition and shape with only a couple of minor dents and perfect age patina. Maker stamped by "Delachaussé". The top cimier in Brass is mounted with the original red "chenille" -red horse hair crest- that is unique to this regiment. The chenille remains in excellent overall condition.

The polished steel bandeau has the brass flaming grenade in its center in the singular pattern for Carabiniers. Brass chinchains over thin leather. Both original steel Rosettes held to the shell by a brass 5 pointed star. The original leather lining is complete and crisp with only minor wear. Both visors are still fitted with the original "basane" (thin leather) lining which is quite unusual considering the overall age of the set. In short an wonderfull ensemble for a RARE unit (see below).

NOTE on Shipping Charges: When buying the set, our system will calculate an automatic fee. In this event 2 boxes are necessary so the fee will be higher due to larger size or weight. We will advise the buyer of the actual shipping once buyers location is known.

A brief unit history:

. From 1825 until 1865 both Carabinier units coexisted. Stationned in France during this time. During the "Coup d'Etat" of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte they acted as a surveillance unit camped on the Champs Elysées.

. In july 1861, a fight between the "Garde Imperiale" and Carabiniers broke. Resulting in the later being punished ane sent out of Paris into Garisson in Luneville.

. In 1862 both Regiments were split. The 1st Regiment was moved to Tour (below Paris) and the 2nd Regiment went to Vendôme. For 3 years it is said that they delighted the high societey of Touraine with the organisation of Officers Bals, Hunting Parties and social dinners....

. In November 1865 both regiments were combined into one single corps of the "Carabiniers de la Garde Imperiale". Stationned in Melun under the command of the "Colonel de Gramont".

. In 1870 they participated in the battle of Gravelotte and later had to sustain the Siege of Metz. 

. In 1871 The corps disappeared and the remaining troops joined the 11th regiment of Cuirassier.

To finish this paragraph a little story that was related in the official Regiments History in Vendôme that explains the "Rough" times these guys went through while stationned out there as they delighted the local society.....

"In Vendôme Colonel Massue attacks succesively all of the Chateaux in the vicinity. His Artillery was composed by two old Canons found at the local City Hall, his Infantry consisted of all the men that could not ride a horse. After a few hours of "fierce" battle, the Chateau would surender and the sieged -full of sympathie for the victors- would surrender their cellars to offer them confort after the battle"!!


  • Ref.Head860
  • Overall condition Excellent
  • State / Country French