An extremely rare 1855 Pattern Shako to the 40th Foot. Actual Shako is true to pattern with front and back peaks with gorgon’s head at the back for ventilation. Officers lining in good condition but some separation from the complete leather sweat band. Complete with unbroken chin strap and worsted ball minus its holder. Heavy loss of knap to sides of shell. The two gold bands suggest rank of Colonel or Lt. Colonel. Helmet plate appears original to the helmet. The stand out feature of this shako is the AUSTRALIAN MADE (probably STOKES) Helmet plate making it one of the earliest badges made in the colony. This plate is acknowledged among the advanced collectors in Australia and one was included on an old Stokes pattern board sold a number of years ago. I am reluctant to clean this badge which shows some gilt particularly to the reverse suggesting Officers pattern which is in keeping with the helmet.
The 40th Foot served a second time in Australia in 1852 and in October 1854 quelled an uprising at Eureka Stockade going on to serve in New Zealand 1860 to 1866 prior to the introduction of the 1869 Shako. The lack of motto and garter strap may indicate a late 1844 interim Officers Star shape plate prior to the issue of the 1855 shako and simply carried over.
Helmet plate of the highest rarity SOLD
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