1876 Officers' Bullion Cartouche Pouch and Brocade Shoulder Belt
Offered here is another very rare and desirable artifact of the NWMP, the Officer's Cartouche Pouch. This item is another customary piece of equipment worn by the Military, at first designed to carry ammunition, later a more decorative device. The Canadian Militia cavalry were reformed and dressed as Hussars in the 1860s into the early 1870s. As a para military mounted force the NWMP adopted the Hussar uniform as well. Hussars in Britain wore Cartouche Pouches in fancy embroidered bullion thread insignia, usually very lush and expensive. The Hussars were considered the dandies of the Cavalry and dressed to kill. Thus it makes sense that the Mounties would adopt a similar form of dress and its accoutrement.
This example shows age wear and a bit of soiling expected of an item over 150 years old, but its is in great condition, the bullion is tight and in good form, the lace is bright and remains in good shape along with the royal blue velvet backing. The leather is supple and in good condition, the flap is firm and opens without the potential for breaking off. The fastener tab is present and works. The side swivel fittings for the belt are original and complete. The brown shoulder belt is in good condition overall, shows age wear, but functional and supple. The gilt buckle set on the belt are in great shape and the tabs ends are not torn and fit the pouch swivel loops. The gilt lace on the belt is come away from the leather in some places, but otherwise tight and lightly soiled or tarnished. This lace is the earlier pattern worn with the early 1876 Hussar style uniform.
One of the most attractive pieces of NWMP kit worn by officers and a masterpiece of craftsmanship. An early version of this item in fine condition. A must have for the serious collector.