Shabrack

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A Danish Guard Hussar with a traditional shabraque, decorated with a zig-zag border and royal cypher
The arms of the City of London on a shabraque used on ceremonial occasions by the City of London Police

Shabrack or Shabraque (Turkish: çaprak) is a saddlecloth, formerly used by European light cavalry.

The shabraque was an accoutrement of the hussar cavalry, based on the Hungarian horsemen in Austrian service who were widely imitated in European armies in the 18th and 19th centuries. The shabraque was a large cloth which in its original form, covered the Hungarian-style saddle, and was itself surmounted by a sheep or goat's skin.[1] The corners of the shabraque were rounded at the front and elongated into long points at the rear.[2] It could be elaborately decorated with a contrasting border and a royal cypher or regimental crest. It was often discarded while on active service[3] and by the start of the 20th century, was confined to ceremonial use; in the British Army, it is used by the Household Cavalry and by General Staff officers.[4]

Sources and references[edit]

  1. ^ Chappell, Mike (2002) British Cavalry Equipments 1800-1941 Osprey Publishing Ltd, ISBN 1-84178-471-X (p. 8)
  2. ^ Solka, Michael (2005), German Armies 1870-71 (2): Prussia's Allies Osprey Publishing Ltd, ISBN 1-84176-755-7 (p. 14)
  3. ^ Chappell p. 9
  4. ^ Kannik, Preben (1967) Military Uniforms of the World in Colour, Blandford Press Ltd, ISBN 0-71370482-9 (p. 268)