c1854 French Napoleon III Infantry Officer Shako Plate


A very attractive, near mint condition, model 1854, French Second Empire (1852-71) of Napoleon III Infantry Officer’s Shako Plate for the 13th Infantry Regiment.
The vaulted shako plate is made of a sturdy gauge heavily gilded stamped brass in the shape of a crowned imperial eagle perched a circular boss with a cut-out 13 and flanked by Jupiter’s Thunderbolt and lightning arrows. The number 13 is highlighted by a backing piece of red cloth. The reverse shows the stamping detail, as opposed to a cast piece, with a central suspension lug. The lug is maker stamped GOTTIAF.. There are 2 strengthening tabs between the eagle’s head and the crown, as it was obviously an evident weak spot.
Napoleon III decided to restore the symbol of the Imperial Eagle, as started by his uncle Napoleon I. Based on the Roman eagle of antiquity, it was incorporated into the imperial symbolism, alongside the eagle of Charlemagne. In the manner of Roman legions, Napoleon had an eagle placed on the top of the flagstaff of each of his regiments. Originally in the M1852 insignia, the eagles were uncrowned, but beginning in 1854 they were crowned like they had been during the 1804 - 15 Empire of the first Napoleon. The cut-out numbers in the plates indicate the regiment to which the soldier or officer belonged.
The 13th Regiment had been disbanded after the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte. It was reformed in 1855 as a Dragoon regiment designated ‘the Dragoon Regiment of the Empress’ in reference to The Empress Eugénie de Montijo, the wife of Napoleon III.
Size: 10.5 x 12.5 cm (4 1/8 x 4 7/8 inches)
Weight: 57g