I am currently painting a unit of British 18th hussars, and want to clear up an issue with the bag that hangs from the busby (or fur cap, as it was often referred to at the time!).
The question is, how much of the crown of the hat was covered by the bag. Pictures are a bit inconclusive as they usually show the uniform from the front or side, and you can’t see the top of the hat! Googling pictures of busbys brings up a right old mishmash of stuff, many of which are clearly much later than the Napoleonic Wars. Many of these, however, do appear to show the bag covering most of the crown.
So, would the bag cover most of the crown of the hat on British hussar busbys in the Napoleonic era? And would this generally be the case for this type of headgear in other armies of the period?
Cheers, that’s what I thought was probably the case!
And yes, the busby was descended from Eastern fur caps. Apparently the bag was originally there to protect the wearer’s face and neck from sword cuts. It was originally known in Hungary as a ‘fur shako’. The name busby possibly derives from a London milliner who was a well known purveyor of headwear to military gentlemen.
I not usually too fussy with details, but, you know, Napoleonics and button counters and all that…