Completed Dress and Textiles, Military History, Scotland: Artists and Subjects 6 Do you know anything further about this 'Officer of the Regiment'?

Officer of the Regiment
Topic: Other

We received this comment on the painting in advance of Art Detective being established:
‘The black sword belt dates this portrait to before May 1790 when an Inspection noted the 42nd had changed their sword belts and other cross belts from black to white as ordered. The cityscape in the background appears to be Edinburgh. Assuming the subject to be a serving officer - he is not wearing either sash or gorget; an officer's principal marks of rank- this would date the portrait to autumn 1789 just after the 42nd had returned to Britain from Nova Scotia. The Regiment marched north from Portsmouth to winter at Tynemouth Barracks before continuing to Glasgow. The painting may have been executed to celebrate his return home. The two additional feathers in the black, feathered bonnet, one red and one white, are unique. Regimental tradition speaks of only red feathers for battalion companies in this period, the earliest first-hand reference being to 1776. Flank companies appear to have worn white feathers for grenadiers and green for light infantry respectively, as was becoming customary, although that is not definite.’

Completed, Outcome

Jade Audrey King,

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Thanks for these thoughts.

The original comment is an interesting one, though this far from the execution of the painting, the suggestion about the location as Edinburgh is really conjecture.

One point to note - unrelated to location - is that the privilege of wearing the red hackle wasn't given to the Regiment until 1795, so the different coloured feathers may not has as much meaning as the commenter thought.

Martin Hopkinson,

The buildings in the background probably indicate where this officer came from. Did Dollar ever have a church with a spire? Could it be Dunblane? A church at Forfar has an 18th century spire