18/09/2018 at 21:48 #99699
Ok, is there anyone out there that has chased down the French pre-revolution regimental flags and found a reliable resource?
I just wanted to see if the reverse side was a mirror or identical version of the obverse?
So I popped the Histoire & Collections book “French Infantry Flags” by Ludovic Letrun, off my shelf and took a look. No joy, the colored standards are all shown in obverse. Then I start looking around the net and discover:
Recherches sur les drapeaux français. Oriflamme, bannière de France, marques nationales, couleurs du roi, drapeaux de l’armée, pavillons de la marine, par Gustave Desjardins. Paris, ve A. Morel & cie, 1874.
Some great plates! So I start comparing and, uh-oh, problems. Given it’s H&C perhaps no surprise. OTOH Desjardins has missed some things like the change in pattern of the Aquitaine flag. So, looking around some more I find lots of confusion. French Wikipedia has the La Marine (sorry francophones) like Letrun, but also has an old looking plate that show the blue and green in opposite order matching what Desjardins has. Their basis is:
Cinquième abrégé de la carte générale du militaire de France, sur terre et sur mer
which appears to have a text description. “Blue and green in opposition” which may be ambiguous depending upon conventions.
Many of the other Wikipédia entries are based on:
LES UNIFORMES ET LES DRAPEAUX DE L’ARMÉE DU ROI. Marseille 1899.
which I cannot dig up through Google.
Then there is the Touraine flag which Letrun has a orange|blue over green|red but Desjardins has brown?|brown? over blue|red!? (There may be some ink fading issues here too.)
So lots of confusion, and since almost all these flags were destroyed by the revolutionaries, perhaps there is no definitive data. Still I would expect someone would have sorted this out a bit more.
And oh yeah – have yet to see anyone showing both sides of an asymmetrical pattern…
18/09/2018 at 22:11 #99702
- This topic was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by Jonathan Gingerich.
Some of the Ordonance standards remained unchanged from SYW up to the Revolution. Some are based on incomplete/contradictory descriptions though.
The ‘reverse’ would be a mirror image of the side shown.
- This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by Not Connard Sage.
"I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."20/09/2018 at 14:52 #99809
Ditto what Not Connard sage posted.20/09/2018 at 16:39 #99818
A number of people have ‘sorted it out’ over the years, the problem is that they didn’t come to the same conclusions.20/09/2018 at 20:09 #99829
Um, Ancien Regime (pre-French-Revolution) sources are often confusing. Especially if you are looking for early 18th century or 17th century infos.
If you need advice from a native French speaker about some text I’m willing to help, but on the overall it’s quite hard to have an opinion because it often lacks precise details.
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by Patrice.
http://argad.forumculture.net/20/09/2018 at 23:18 #99840
[Ah Patrice! (or anyone else who wants to jump in…)
About a decade ago the Archives at Yvelines offered a large down load of:
Tableau militaire des drapeaux, étendards et guidons des troupes au service de la France, 1771
Either they withdrew it, or my google-fou is about as good as my French. It turns out to be the sole source of the Desjardins book. But the plates have some color issues so if you could take a quick look to see if you can turn up the full size scan I’d appreciate it!]
NCS. thanks. I had encountered Kronoskaf but not yet Bunel’s site. Like so many compilations on the web, they offer one answer without explanation or citation. Kronoskaf does occasionally mention conflicts in the sources (but not the sources!) – for example the aforementioned Touraine flag. It also appears to be a collaborative effort, so whoever gets the bug to illustrate a flag does so – perhaps why the aforementioned La Marine flag is shown with the weirdest shade of “green” I’ve ever seen:-) And it covers only the 7YW period.
Bunel on the other had covers the whole Royal period and offers a very precise coverage of regiment nomenclature and changes in flags, but again without explanation. My impression, given that he is attempting very broad coverage of all Europe in the period, is that he found a precise and comprehensive source to compile. Looking at his bibliography, Charrié pops out as just the guy who might sort it all out and explain his conclusions. Anyway I will have a chance to look at his book in a few days.
As curious as I am as to why the Champagne flag with a white saltire in the 1771 original documentation becomes a white cross in all the secondary references, my real reason is still to get a definitive answer on the mirror/identical question of the reverse side. Bunel has certainly taken the bull by the horns and illustrated a mirror image each time. But without any explanation I cannot consider that definitive or even persuasive. But Charrié might address the issue. It looks like his book does include some photographs of relics, which seem to be exceedingly rare.
Oh and should Patrice or anyone else have a line on an on-line copy of:
“Cinquième abrégé de la carte générale du militaire de France, sur terre et sur mer”
it would be much appreciated.
26/09/2018 at 00:13 #100164
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by Jonathan Gingerich.
Well I’ve now received a copy of Charrié. There’s good news and bad news.
For myself, the book includes a photo of “Tableau manuscript de tous les drapeaux, étandards et guidons des troupes de France, 1773” from the bibiliotheque Brunon. It is very similar to the 1771 tableau from Chaligny, but shows the reverses of the flags. Unfortunately the photo is poor and can only be used to identify lighter and darker colors in the patterns. nevertheless that is enough to suggest, based on several asymmetrical designs, that the two sides were mirror images. So this is the first eyewitness confirmation for me.
The book includes Charrié’s descriptions of the flags through the years. They are concise, with what seems contemporary color terms. Arnaud Bunel’s work appears to be a rather careful graphic rendition of this information, with a welcome expansion of the organization history and nomenclature, but without the color terms listed.
Two issues: the provenance of the information is unexplained. There are occasional references to information from the Chaligny tableau, usually conflicting. However about half the Chaligny images differ, so most remain unexamined. Among those noted is found Champagne where Charrié writes, “Sur le manuscript de Chaligny 1772 [sic] la croix blanche habituelle est replacée par une croix de Saint-Andrè blanche.” I speculate Bunel takes this mean both manuscripts anomalous, while I would assume the flag itself was anomalous.
Tho other problem is the concise descriptions are not always capable of describing the more complex flags unambiguously. For example, the first non-trivial pattern, Soissonnais, is described by Charrié as, “Chaque quartier taillé, tranché rouge et noir.” This could describe all sorts of configurations. Both tableaux show it as gyronny of eight, black and red. Bunel, Kronoskaf, and Letrun all get the gyronny of eight correct, but Bunel and Kronoskaf have red and black instead. (All charged with a white cross, of course.)
So a mixed bag. Anyone wishing to go beyond, “Well my book said…” has their work cut out for them.
26/09/2018 at 16:23 #100237
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by Jonathan Gingerich.
Oooh, got to amend that. Charrié does discuss his sources in the header of the bibliography: (my translation)
The sources are few and often unreliable. The military registers of Lemau de la Jaisse are quite good in spite of a too terse description. On the other hand, one must be careful with the register of J.V.B. from 1748 whose images are confused, especially on the guidons of the dragoons. Chaligny’s painting is frightfully drawn and its colors are frequently false. The collection of Montigny copies the preceding and adds its own errors. Much better is the 1773 anonymous manuscript painting of the Brunon Collection at the Emperi Museum. Fortunately, there remains the excellent and very artistic series of watercolors preserved in the library of the museum of the Army formed by the old collections of the Ministry of War. These are the basic documents for the King’s Household and the infantry. We must add the very valuable copy of Le Vivier 1715 in the Brunon collection.
So Chaligny is problematic and Charrié is based on the watercolors from the archives.26/09/2018 at 16:34 #100239
Unfortunately Charrié is often too terse himself. The next difficult flag is Limousin. It’s a gyronny of 12 pieces. Technically one would start with the wedge at the top nearest the staff and list the colors of each wedge in order across the top, down the fly, back the lower edge, and up the staff. So the Quarter 1 would contain the 12th, 1st, and 2d colors. Charrié however lists the three wedges in each quarter. So is the first quarter 1-2-12 or 12-1-2?
I can just barely guess at colors with a magnifying glass from the photo of the 1773 tableau – they match up with Charrié exactly assuming 12-1-2 ordering which is what I would expect. Everyone else (Chaligny, Kronoskaf, Bunel, Letrun) has something else…26/09/2018 at 17:14 #100244
…and that is the problem. Sources are few, and conflicting. Primary sources are almost non-existent. A great deal of ‘information’ is made up, still more is guesswork. What it is is what it is. unless someone turns up a comprehensive first hand account of all the drapeau of every regiment of the Ancien Regime. Even then it would be impossible to authenticate, there would be nothing contemporaneous to compare it with
You just have to accept it.
"I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."29/09/2018 at 12:01 #100440
Seems you have lots of resources that I didn’t even know about.
Your interpretation of the sentences in French in the texts are correct as far as I can tell.
I am still looking for a full-size pic of the “Tableau militaire des drapeaux (…)”. I suppose that the Conseil départemental des Yvelines updated their website some years ago and suppressed lots of things, which should now appear on the Archives départementales des Yvelines website but I can’t find it in there. I’ve asked them – we’ll see if someone takes care of questions.
http://argad.forumculture.net/09/10/2018 at 17:27 #101144
Quick note for now – I did find Chaligny (1771 tableaux) on-line here: http://pfef.free.fr/Anc_Reg/Unif_Org/Images/18/1771_Tableau-militaire-France.jpg
My latest frustration? Charrié gives the quarters of the Isle de France flag as fond noir á deux bandes isabelle mises en pointe. Completely unclear to me, but does not match what Bunel or Kronoskaf come up with.
09/10/2018 at 19:25 #101151
- This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Jonathan Gingerich.
That seems to infer a black background with two isabelle bands meeting at a point or tapered. Possibly this is what you’d call a pile in heraldry.
OK. I’ve got it ! It means two tapered bands – tapered at both ends, making a diamond shape. It is a very strange way of describing the shape but I suppose it could be OK stretching a point.
I have the background as Isabelle and the foreground as black though.09/10/2018 at 19:46 #101153
fond noir á deux bandes isabelle mises en pointe
That obviously means a black field… then the shapes of the “bandes” is unclear. I would understand tapered at the bottom (but I’m not a specialist and in the 17th-18th C. you find strange flag shapes which were not known in Middle Ages heraldry and have been forgotten by later heraldry scholars)…
http://argad.forumculture.net/09/10/2018 at 19:58 #101155
Remove the cross and you’d have two lozenges – a much clearer way of describing the flag but I can’t just remember the old French for side-by-side. By the mid 16th century heraldic terminology had become very corrupted in most countries, it wasn’t just the French. They did have a habit of inventing strange new colours (such as Isabelle) with not much reference that has come down to us as to what they were. Noir d’etoile is my favourite – roughly equivalent to Midnight blue in English, but so much more poetic.09/10/2018 at 20:19 #101157
Gilles Boue gives Ile de France during the WSS thus.
Which makes more sense of the description: fond noir á deux bandes isabelle mises en pointe, although it is of course much earlier than 1774.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Not Connard Sage.
"I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."09/10/2018 at 21:02 #101163
Gilles Boue gives Ile de France during the WSS thus. http://royalfig.free.fr/picture.php?/1172/category/42 Which makes more sense of the description: fond noir á deux bandes isabelle mises en pointe.
Yeees it seems to fit with the description.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Patrice.
http://argad.forumculture.net/09/10/2018 at 21:52 #101169
The description seems to be for only one quarter (which makes some sense but would not work for all designs) but the illustration implies Or as the charge colour, not Isabelle.
The two bends (bandes in Fr) tapered now fits the description – but the description is not heraldic. As Patrice points out, many shapes used do not have an heraldic equivalent.
I have seen that design before but can’t find it among my reference images – which are mostly for 7YW. I’ll look further tomorrow.09/10/2018 at 22:43 #101170
The description seems to be for only one quarter (which makes some sense but would not work for all designs) but the illustration implies Or as the charge colour, not Isabelle. The two bends (bandes in Fr) tapered now fits the description – but the description is not heraldic. As Patrice points out, many shapes used do not have an heraldic equivalent. I have seen that design before but can’t find it among my reference images – which are mostly for 7YW. I’ll look further tomorrow.
I think you’re putting too much emphasis on heraldic convention, and then contradicting yourself by saying “many shapes used do not have an heraldic equivalent”.
The description deux bandes isabelle mises en pointe would be blazoned something like (issuant croix) deux piles or.
Isabelle is a cream, or beige, or fawn, or grey yellow, colour. There is no heraldic equivalent. One can’t say that either source is right or wrong, it’s a matter of interpretation.
"I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."10/10/2018 at 15:25 #101201
A couple of thoughts:
1. I think Bunel has his isabelle too dark. From the, very haphazard, Chaligny work I think it’s closer to the yellow tan Boue has.
2. I was thinking the two bends would be meeting at a point, forming a V. If it were orthogonal you would call it a “chevron”. If the apex is at the center, you might call it two saltires skewed. So I thought it might be towards the corners i.e. the outline of a 4 pointed star. Boue’s idea is quite good. But I would expect the charges to be called piles. Of course, Boue (or his source) may have seen the musée de l’Armée watercolors. It’s such a shame Charrié did his work before the internet explosion of graphics.
Oh, and cheers for the source, NCS.
Wow those early flags are mind-blowing. Does anyone see Boue lising sources?
10/10/2018 at 16:16 #101207
- This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Jonathan Gingerich.
I’ve no idea what Boue used as source material, and I make no claims for his accuracy. I threw that illustration in as an alternative interpretation of Charrie’s description . His coverage does seem very comprehensive though, so maybe that is a caveat itself. 😉
Saying that, I used Boue’s uniform plates as a guide to painting my WSS French regiments. 🙂
"I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."10/10/2018 at 17:08 #101210
I did notice some of the images seem slightly askew, and I don’t think it’s deliberate! Looks like they may be scans from a compilation. There’s a French team that did lots of plates – L&H or something??? – comes to mind.
Hmm, after some more looking around, the Royalfig images look a lot like what is on Warflags.com…
11/10/2018 at 18:00 #101290
- This reply was modified 1 week ago by Jonathan Gingerich.
Well, not so fast…
Turns out Desjardins makes, well I guess I would call them notes, on the 1721, 1733, and 1757 albums in the archives. He describes Ile de France thusly: écartelé 1 et 4 noir chapé de feuille-morte, 2 et 3 feuille-morte contrechapé de noir; croix blanche. A chapé looks like a pile reversed, except it extends all the way to the edges. And it is not the triangle, but the parts that are not the triangle! So Bunel matches quarter 1. Then quarters 2 and 3 would have a filemot triangle descending into black….
Well as NCS would point out, either I have to get a letter of introduction and a plane ticket to Paris, or made do with a mass of inadequate compilation.
JG11/10/2018 at 18:14 #101291
Yeah, thanks for that. Now we can argue about what colour ‘dead leaf’ is as well. 😀
I can play it (really) 🙂
"I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."11/10/2018 at 18:30 #101292
I’ve looked at Desjardins ‘Recherches sur les Drapeaux Francais’
Ile de France.
"I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."11/10/2018 at 18:43 #101293
These are Wikis, but let’s not dismiss them for that.
Regiment Ile de France gets interesting.
1684 – 1762
1762 – 1791
Note: Col. Berenger 1764 per the legend in Desjardin.
"I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."11/10/2018 at 19:17 #101294
I found this page two days ago, I don’t know what their source is:
Incidentally, I had an answer today from a lady at the Archives Départementales des Yvelines, who sent me a link to a very large .jpg file…
…which represents a 18th C. large table of lists of French men-o’-war warships of the time; interesting but not what I had asked for (I believe they got confused in their files numbers). I thank her heartly and I ask again…
http://argad.forumculture.net/11/10/2018 at 20:03 #101295
I think it may be said that the colours of Ile de France are definitely ‘open to interpretation’ 🙂
"I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."11/10/2018 at 20:35 #101300
Hilarious! We now have Charrié, Bunel, Kronoskaf, Warflags, French Wikipedia, and Desjardins all with different versions of the Ile de France flag.
Where I (perhaps) differ philosophically from NCS is that I think there is one (or two or three) good answers – what can be found in the 1721, 1733, and/or 1757 albums. If only we could get them on line.
JG11/10/2018 at 21:02 #101301
The sources I have do have a good number of instances of the same flag being used by regiments with different names at different times so it is often difficult to say what the flag of ‘regiment X’ was unless you also specify the date. I’m sure that the list I have is incomplete and it certainly doesn’t show all the changes list in not Connard Sarge’s source – but it does show some of them.11/10/2018 at 21:20 #101302
Well, to clear up any confusion about Ile de France, the original regiment was disbanded in 1762, and the next year the Montmorin regiment changed its name to Ile de France. Hence the complete different flag in Chaligny/Desjardin.
JG11/10/2018 at 21:45 #101306
Well, to clear up any confusion about Ile de France, the original regiment was disbanded in 1762, and the next year the Montmorin regiment changed its name to Ile de France. Hence the complete different flag in Chaligny/Desjardin. JG
The Wiki (see below) says that the original regiment Hautpenne, following several other changes of name, was renamed Montmorin from 1738 until 1762, when it was renamed Ile de France. It’s always good to read all the links in a thread**.
**Which is something I’m often guilty of not doing myself… 😉
I’m also guilty of posting on the fly, and missing salient points out 🙁
- This reply was modified 6 days, 19 hours ago by Not Connard Sage.
"I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."11/10/2018 at 21:55 #101308
I’m sure someone would be interested in that fleet register:-)
If you overlooked it, I mentioned in an earlier post that I have found a large (quite readable) scan of Chaligny on line. Don’t want you knocking yourself out unnecessarily.
Jon.12/10/2018 at 10:46 #101329
Jonathon is right Patrice, I’d certainly be interested and I have a mate who would be VERY interested in that document.
Is there any way in which you could ‘share’ it ?12/10/2018 at 14:15 #101342
Jonathon is right Patrice, I’d certainly be interested and I have a mate who would be VERY interested in that document. Is there any way in which you could ‘share’ it ?
It is dated 1785.
As I’m a sponsoring member I should be able to PM you but I can’t find how it works…
http://argad.forumculture.net/12/10/2018 at 14:29 #101344
It is dated 1785. As I’m a sponsoring member I should be able to PM you but I can’t find how it works…
"I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."12/10/2018 at 16:38 #101352
I hadn’t noticed it, I was desperately searching in the members profiles and I avoid all internet adverts where Massaging is mentioned.
http://argad.forumculture.net/12/10/2018 at 20:13 #101376
And poking around some more, yes isabelle is a pale golden yellow, no where near brown really. Seems to be used mostly for horse coats now, which has distorted it’s original nuance.
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