Royal Naval uniform: pattern 1843-79

Heavily restored cocked hat presented to Admiral Sir Charles Napier (1786-1860) in 1855 while he was vice-admiral. Beaver felt bound with gold lace. On each end is a blue and gold tassel. The hat has a ribbed silk cockade and three loops of gold bullion, the central one twisted over a domed gilt brass button. The interior of the hat features a blue silk hat band embroidered with running stitch and chain stitch in a guilloche pattern with three anchors. The hat is lined with white silk and has the stamped inscription in the crown: ‘Presented/TO/ADMIRAL SIR C.NAPIER,/BY THE /WORKPEOPLE/IN THE EMPLOY OF/MESSRS. CHRISTYS’,/BERMONDSEY STREET, SOUTHWARK/November 9, 1855.’

Napier joined the Royal Navy in 1799 and reached the rank of admiral in 1860 after a career of victories in the Napoleonic, Anglo-American, Syrian and Crimean Wars. For his capture of Acre during the Syrian campaign, he was awarded the KCB and received a diamond hilted sword and the order of the Medjidie from the Sultan. His status as public hero was cemented and he remained a popular naval officer until his death. In peacetime, Napier served as an MP and in naval retirement had a reputation as a radical and outspoken politician who championed both parliamentary and naval reform.

Object Details

ID: UNI0245
Collection: Uniforms
Type: Cocked hat
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Christy & Co Ltd
Date made: 1855
People: Napier, Charles John; Tharp, Madeleine Jane
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall: 508 mm

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