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If you think you don’t like military history, think again. A friend of mine is working on a French and Indian War 250th Anniversary project in Boston, and in the course of his research he got interested in a red velvet grenadier’s cap that I happen to be adjacent to from time to time.

UBM 2006-08-53

UBM 2006-08-53

One thing led to another, fortunately for him and not me, and he ended up calling on the National Army Museum in London. There a curator after my own heart distracted him with one of the coolest things I have ever seen: A Lady’s Pocket made from the decorative panel of a mitre cap, or as they call it, Mitre Pocket.

Here’s their description:

“Front section of a mitre cap made into a ladies pocket, 1760 (c); wool and cotton; on front the emblems for the 70th Regiment of Foot, all sewn as for the period, 1760 (c); back is made of brown cloth; front is bound with red cloth binding.

Note: Hanoverian white horse and ‘Nec Aspera Terrent’ used by 8th (The King’s) Regiment of Foot, later King’s (Liverpool Regiment), which might make the L an initial not a numeral and the XX a company number rather than part of the regimental numeral.”

Grenadier’s cap, 1833.1.1, RIHS

One of the most charming things about the email is that the woman at the NAM sent my friend an image of a gown and pocket, just so he’d be clear about how it would have been worn. He knew anyway, but I thought that was a very nice thing to do.

The cap we’re looking into is this one, said to have been picked up at Bunker Hill. Not for nothin’ (as the locals say), but this cap would make a lovely pocket.