British School (c.1850) – His Master’s Pageantry

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Oil painting on prepared Geo. Rowney & Cȯ, Milled-Board, displayed in a giltwood frame. Inscribed “Andrew Geddes” on the back of the board.

Board: 13 3/4 x 10 3/4 in. (35 x 27.5 cm.)
Frame: 16 7/8 x 13 3/4 in. (43 x 35 cm.)


The King’s Own Scottish Borderers Regimental Museum in Berwick-Upon-Tweed have a hat on display which is almost identical to the hat in our picture. The hat is described as a “Second Albert” Shako of the 25th (King’s Own Borderers) Regiment of Foot of the British Empire dated around 1850.

The “Albert” pattern shako (hat) used during the Crimean war were very unpopular amongst the soldiers, so a simpler and more practical style was developed based on the French pattern. The second and improved pattern was then named the “Second Albert” shako. The red and white ball tuft indicates this was worn by an officer of regiment of foot with further ornate fixtures emphasising the wearers status.

Flintlock pistols such as the two displayed on the wall were not phased out until the mid-19th Century possibly as late as the 1870s.

Geddes was widely known for his portraits although he did exhibit a small number of still life and genre subjects. In 1840 at the Royal Academy, he exhibited a painting with the title “Paws off, Pompey”. Yet we haven’t been able to find the picture in any the collections seen online.


Unidentified / Unknown Artist