The month’s object of the month is once again an artefact purchased with support from the National Fund for Acquisitions, which celebrated its 60th anniversary this past December.
June’s object is a shako of the 73rd Regiment, of the pattern worn between 1844 and 1855. This shako is on display in the Museum’s Day in the Life gallery, in a case that looks at the theme of dress.
The word shako comes from the Hungarian name for ‘peaked cap’. Shakos were adopted as part of military uniforms across Europe from about 1800.The shako is made of heavy felt and leather. This particular shako features a golden badge of the 73rd on the front with the battle honours Seringapatam, Waterloo and Mangalore. The shako has a gold-embroidered chin strap secured by gold rosettes.
The 73rd started out as the second battalion of the 42nd, raised in 1779. Seven years later, the 2nd Battalion became a regiment in its own right, the 73rd Highland Regiment. The 73rd saw service around the world, including India, Australia, Waterloo and South Africa, before rejoining the 42nd and once again becoming the 2nd Battalion The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders).
This shako was purchased by the Museum in August 2000 with support from the National Fund for Acquisitions.