Sunday, 13 June 2010

Chasseur a pied 1855

Had a great email which I think will be of great interest to all of us involved in trying to find French Second Empire stuff. Thanks Andre - excellent reconstructions.

Dear Ralph,
I have been following your blog for some time and it seems we have been following parallel tracks on the Internet on many subjects.
A French-speaking Belgian living in Brussels, I am originally ( and still ) an American Civil war "buff" and reenactor ( also a percussion military long gun collector) but I have also had a keen interest for a few years in everything about the French army of the July Monarchy and Second Empire.
Two years ago I decided I wanted a French 1855 chasseur à pied uniform.
Please find two pictures of the result in attachment for you to share with the rest of the world.
Many pieces are original 19th century ot WW1 (camp kettle, canteen, rifle and bayonet, epaulettes, nipple pick with horn), everything else is reproduced.
I would also like to offer a few comments about some recent posts on your blog.
1) Constantin Guys was a French artist but he was the correspondent in the Crimea of the Illustrated London News.
A great book about pictorial representations of the Crimean war is this one, that is where I found out about him:

2) The chasseur d'Afrique uniform plate you put on the blog comes from the " Journal Militaire Officiel" (JMO), where you can find all the information necessary to recreate any French uniform of the period. I used it extensively to recreate mine, using the complete collection found in the library of the Brussels Army Museum.
The Brussels army museum is probably one of the richest in the world and most of their artefact collection is visible on-line:
It appears you can however search through it in French & Dutch only.

Best regards
André Fonteyne, Brussels, Belgium.


  1. VERY nice "kit" M. Fonyeyne.

    Thanks for the link to The Brussels army museum. I found a couple of Cantiniere images and an actual cantiniere "uniform." The search feature was hard to "page back" but it's worth effort.


  2. I agree with the above post. The Brussels Army Museum site had some brilliant pics of original kit.
    Cantiniere uniforms and managed to find pic of original French messtins of the Crimean Period!