Two paintings are known to exist of Massachusetts soldiers, militia and provincial from the French and Indian war period.

1756 Painting on left, held in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and by Joseph Blackburn was an English portrait painter who worked mainly in Bermuda and colonial America. Dark navy coat with red facings, gold laced button holes and hat, and buttons and gold waistcoat. White shirt, black neck cloth.  This painting is newly discovered by us.

1763 Painting on right held in The Peabody Essex Museum of Salem, MA. is an oil painting of David Mason in Company officer’s uniform. Mason was a commissary in 1755, a Lt. 1756-58, 1762 and Captain in 1763. Dark navy coat with red facings and waistcoat with gold laced waistcoat and hat. White shirt and black neck cloth.

As I interpret these the 1756 painting shows an early war and also an officer’s prerogative to deviate his trappings. He is a higher ranking officer so has more gold. You can just barely make out some of his right cuff which appears to be of the likeness to ours, but the facing was different (because of an earlier style or maybe again officer’s prerogative). The 1763 painting shows a late war lower ranking officer, so less gold and in later war we have seen an attempt at more regimented warrants in uniforms, consequently less deviations in style.

I do have documents and paintings of red coats for officers (usually high ranking) also.

My take and two cents! We will not be making changes to our recreated uniforms. This new find just adds to our authenticity package.
Major K

Brent Kemmer's photo.Brent Kemmer's photo.

 

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Written on April 6th, 2016 , Articles

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