Swedish Grenadier???

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Spiraluk
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Swedish Grenadier???

Post by Spiraluk » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:39 pm

Can anyone tell me if this Grenadier is valid for the GNW and if so what regiment he's from?

Image

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Re: Swedish Grenadier???

Post by Clibinarium » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:31 pm

Hmm, I really don't know about those lapels for the GNW, I suspect they came later. Though I have seen that hat illustrated before, Knotel for one. I think there was some discussion of this a while back on the forum.

If you have a look at Chamenkov's work he illustrates a similar mitre, but I am not sure of who to attribute it to as I can't read Russian.
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Re: Swedish Grenadier???

Post by turrabear » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:25 am

as far as i'm aware and there is a bt of a debate on this swedish grenadiers in the g.n.w didn't wear the mitre cap in the field. they wore a tricorne. as i said there is a debate about this and i could well be wrong.
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Re: Swedish Grenadier???

Post by janner » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:58 am

I have pictures of Danish grenadiers if it helps with your next sculpt?

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Re: Swedish Grenadier???

Post by Tacitus » Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:12 pm

Spiraluk wrote:Can anyone tell me if this Grenadier is valid for the GNW and if so what regiment he's from?
It is pure fiction.

The origin to this unhistorical uniform are the paintings by Gustaf Cederström from the late 19th century. His paintings of historical motifs are well known by Swedes and reproductions and post cards featuring his work were incredible popular a hundred years ago. So popular that they for most Swedes defined how the Swedish GNW uniforms looked like and even made its way in illustrations in books covering military history.

The big problem with this was that Gustaf Cederström barely knew anything about historical uniforms and he had no access to the sources since he was based in Paris. So he just used his imagination and painted soldiers with lapels and without turnbacks. The moustaches and hair styles were of course all according to French fashion in the late 19th century and did not resemble Swedes from the early 18th century. I guess we should just be thankful that he knew that they wore tricornes...

Here is an exemple of Gustaf Cederström's Swedish GNW uniform:

Image

The really sad thing about this is how strong Cederström's influence has been on Swedish grenadier uniforms. Once people realised that the uniforms of the regular soldiers did not look like Cederström's paintings the illustrators stopped copying him. But information about grenadier uniforms is very rare (because they were not different from the regular uniforms and it was thus not necessary to mention them seperately). In lack of written information that explicitly mentions grenadier uniforms, the illustrators made the assumption that all these pictures showing them without tunbacks had to be based on some fact. So even to this day you can still find new illustrations of grenadiers (both in Sweden and abroad) showing them without turnbacks even though there is not a single piece of evidence to suggest that their coats were any different than the regular soldiers.
Last edited by Tacitus on Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Swedish Grenadier???

Post by Tacitus » Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:30 pm

turrabear wrote:as far as i'm aware and there is a bt of a debate on this swedish grenadiers in the g.n.w didn't wear the mitre cap in the field. they wore a tricorne. as i said there is a debate about this and i could well be wrong.
Not much is known about grenadier caps because they were not officially issued in the Swedish army. Grenadiers either got a tricorne or a karpus when new uniforms were issued to a regiment. Any colonel who wanted grenadier caps had to contact a private manufacturer and pay for this with his own money. The few surving caps and written descriptions of others show a great deal of variation of the design, as you would expect when there is no regulation.

The idea of them not wearing the caps in the field is just speculation. The little information that is available from the 18th century suggest that the government was not at all hostile to the use of grenadier caps. They just thought it was too expensive.
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Re: Swedish Grenadier???

Post by Spiraluk » Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:53 pm

Thanks for that reply Tacitus. I heavily suspected that the image was all bollox tbh, I just wanted to get a few more opinions. I won't be wasting time with that one then :)
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Re: Swedish Grenadier???

Post by Clibinarium » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:39 pm

This is the Knotel plate I mentioned, clearly related to the first image, with all the problems Tacitus has made clear.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... II,_36.jpg

My guess is that it was inspired by this cap, which it resembles;
http://rusmilhist.blogspot.co.uk/2012/1 ... ommer.html
but its not a Swedish regiment as such, its a Saxon one raised for Sweden.
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Re: Swedish Grenadier???

Post by turrabear » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:23 pm

Tacitus wrote:
turrabear wrote:as far as i'm aware and there is a bt of a debate on this swedish grenadiers in the g.n.w didn't wear the mitre cap in the field. they wore a tricorne. as i said there is a debate about this and i could well be wrong.
Not much is known about grenadier caps because they were not officially issued in the Swedish army. Grenadiers either got a tricorne or a karpus when new uniforms were issued to a regiment. Any colonel who wanted grenadier caps had to contact a private manufacturer and pay for this with his own money. The few surving caps and written descriptions of others show a great deal of variation of the design, as you would expect when there is no regulation.

The idea of them not wearing the caps in the field is just speculation. The little information that is available from the 18th century suggest that the government was not at all hostile to the use of grenadier caps. They just thought it was too expensive.
as i said it is a debatable point . can't find any evidance to say they were worn in the field. but that dosn't mean that they wern't
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Re: Swedish Grenadier???

Post by Tacitus » Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:26 pm

turrabear wrote:as i said it is a debatable point . can't find any evidance to say they were worn in the field. but that dosn't mean that they wern't
Yes, but what I wanted to point out is that the whole discussion is rather meaningless considering how little information we have about Swedish grenadier caps.

We have written evidence of grenadier caps for only seven regiments between the years 1694 and 1718. And there are surviving caps from an additional four regiments. All in all 11 regiments of a total of well over a hundred infantry regiments during the course of a quarter of a century.

There are no regulations describing when and where the grenadiers should use their different headgears (assuming they kept their tricornes when they were issued grenadier caps, which is not at all certain). And no other contemporary accounts shed any light on how regiments with grenadier caps used them.

So if somebody wants to make the case that Swedish grenadier caps were not used in the field, then go ahead, there is no evidence to disprove that. But I can't stop wondering, is that based on anything else than an idea in that person's head? The default interpretation should be that if they had grenadier caps, then they probably used them.
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Re: Swedish Grenadier???

Post by lewenhaupt » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:20 am

Image

Here is an illustration from the very cool and useful "Karoliner" book.
The records show very little info on the grenadiers of both Charles XII and his father. But, I think this is probably a better guess than what Cederström made.
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Re: Swedish Grenadier???

Post by lewenhaupt » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:43 am

Image

Adding this picture of a Swedish Grenadier mitre. This one illustrates a mitre in Russian keep, taken during the GNW. So it gives evidence to the usage of soft miters, as opposed to the hard brass front plates.
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Re: Swedish Grenadier???

Post by Tacitus » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:00 pm

lewenhaupt wrote: Adding this picture of a Swedish Grenadier mitre. This one illustrates a mitre in Russian keep, taken during the GNW. So it gives evidence to the usage of soft miters, as opposed to the hard brass front plates.
Göte Göransson's illustrations are true classics! They are however not without issues and that particular picture got the colouring wrong.

The actual mitre look like this:

Image

Göte Göransson however based his picture on this black and white photo from Erik Bellander's uniform book from 1973:

Image

It was thus an easy mistake for Göte Göransson to think that the blue and red colouring was like this:

Image

Göte Göransson was probably not the only one who was fooled by the black and white photo in Erik Bellander's book. In the Osprey book about the battle of Poltava, David Rickman illustrated the very same grenadier cap in this manner:

Image

Again a great picture, but unfortunately not historically accurate. Unlike Göransson, Rickman seems to have based his version on the English caption to the photo in Bellander's book: "Blue cloth with red flaps and a gold monogram", and then made the conclusion that red and blue look the same in black and white.

Notice also that Rickman has fallen victim to the old misconception that Swedish grenadiers did not have turnbacks. He also made the odd decision to depict the grenadier with yellow facings even though red facings would be much more logical when the grenadier cap was blue and red.

Unfortunately more than one manufacturer of miniatures has put too much faith in the Osprey picture. Prince August for example released the following poses in October 2012:

Image

Caps with red facings together with a coat with yellow facings is a little embarrassing but not a big problem since it is up to the customer to decide how he want to paint them. The absence of turnbacks however makes them unusable for anyone who wants historically correct miniatures.
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Re: Swedish Grenadier???

Post by barr7430 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:19 pm

It's a minefield! :shock:
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Re: Swedish Grenadier???

Post by Adam Hayes » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:18 pm

Were turnbacks sewn into position then? Or were they still able to be unhooked for greater protection against the (presumably frequently) inclement weather?
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