Sonntag, 26. August 2012

Marattha regulars for Assaye

It was a real challenge to research how the regular Sepoys of Scindia in the war of 1803/05 (or earlier) looked like.

Most modern sources show them in simple peasents dress of white with a turban like at this famous painting of David Rowlans, showing the charge of the 19th dragoons

But this is far from the truce. No Indian princes had regular troops before the French breakdown in India after the fall of Pondicherry in the 1780ies. A lot of French officers lost their job and not being interested to go back to France they decided to stay in India and offered their service to some Indian princes. One of the most favourite of them was De Boigne.  See his biography at Wikipedia . He was the first to organise regular Sepoys in his masters service.  All the old texts write about the organisation, that they looked similar to French and British Sepoys and the battles they fought.

Well the French looked like this in the second half of the 18th century.

I had the good luck that my friend Alfred had an old catalogue from a special exhibition about De Boigne. Between all the stuff were some old paintings of how Sepoys from an Indian prince looked like. Most tried to copy the British (as surprising to me was De Boigne's uniform on the Wikipedia-link too).

For example here a painting from the ASKB collection. There are more which I wasn't able to find at the moment and I am too lazy to go upstairs and scan the ones from my archive:-))

But we know that these uniforms are all from around 1805 to 1815 onwards after the British were well established in India. But how looked the uniform of a Sepoy in the late 1780ies to 1805.
Here is a scan in a high resolution from Alfred's catalogue, painted by an Indian of this period.

So I decided to want this uniform for my own Sepoys at Assaye. And here are the results, sculpted by Ingo. More poses will hopefully follow

We know that Scindia's Sepoys had a white uniform, so I simply painted them this style. Other variations of blue, green and yellow are also known.

These figures are now for sale - just in case someone is interested in them too:-))

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