Thursday, October 20, 2016

L'Esercito Piemontese Cavalry 1849-1859

I recently picked up a copy of Melani and Riccardi's second volume of Sardinian uniforms from the Risorgimento 1849-1859 published by Soldiershop (see Soldiershop website).  While Volume 1 focused on the infantry, Volume 2 tackles Sardinian cavalry during the Italian Wars of Independence and the Crimean War.

The cavalry book is much thinner than its sister book on the infantry but still a useful addition to the library.  While the book is written in Italian, the dozen color plates have translations in the back of the book.  In addition, all of the black and white photos, illustrations, and line drawings have captions in both Italian and English.  The color plates are handsomely rendered.  Colors are vibrant and the plates are first rate.  Besides cavalry uniforms, color plates are also included illustrating the weaponry (firearms and sabers), webbing, and horse furniture of the Sardinian horsemen.  Very good to see detail of the saddlery and firearms utilized by the trooper.  Since the plates below are presented on the Soldiershop's website, I provide the samples below to illustrate the quality of the artworks:    

Melani and Ricciardi provide a listing of the cavalry regiments present for each of the campaigns in 1849, Crimean War, and 1859.  At 79 pages, it is slightly more lengthy than an Osprey MAA and the artwork is as good as artwork found in most MAA's booklets.  At Euro 16.00, it offers good value for a glimpse of Sardinian cavalry uniforms from the mid-19th Century. 

Another useful reference for Sardinian uniforms is Chris Flaherty's Ottoman Uniform website (see Ottoman Uniforms).  The relevant uniform plates Chris includes are Sardinian uniforms from the Crimean War.  As in the above, these plates are handsomely executed and a terrific resource for those wishing to field Sardinians for either the Crimea or Italy.  A sample of Chris' colorful plates is below:
Chris has created a tremendous reference for Ottoman uniforms and the reader is treated with a fine collection of Sardinian uniforms too.  The desire to paint and field Turks will be hard to repress after investigating Chris' website.  Give his site a browse.

Finally,  Osprey is getting in on the Italian Unification Wars with an upcoming MAA of Armies of the Italian Wars of Unification 1848-70 (1): Piedmont and the Two Sicilies.  This will be a two volume series.  The book is scheduled for a 2017 release and I have found two potential covers for the book.  I wonder which will see publication?

To end, two photos of Sardinian cavalry bronzes from the flag museum inside of the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument in Rome.  Of course, more such photos from my recent Italian visit will be appearing to break up the painting routine.

  

18 comments:

  1. This is such an interesting military period. I was always wishing I could stumble on to a balanced set of rivals.

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    1. It is an interesting and colorful period. The 1859 campaign could have been more closely contested.

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  2. Fascinating stuff. I have been trying to avoid Sardinians for my Crimean forces for some time now.

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  3. Really interesting period, I picked a nice big illustrated book on the piedmont army of this period in Florence 20 years ago , somewhat beyond my limited (non existant )Italian but nice plates!
    Best Iain

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    1. I agree! The mid-19th Century European war are quite interesting. I would like to see your uniform book. What is the title?

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    2. I would like to see it too, it's with all my uniform /costume and other reference books boxed up in a lock up for the last 3 years I'm hoping to get them out next year and when I do I'll take a photo and tell you the title!
      Best Iain

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    3. I look forward to seeing what you have squirrelled away!

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  4. Damit, that is another set of books to buy! You know I spent a couple of hours at that museum in Rome, and had my photo taken with the bersaglerie manequins, but never noticed the heavy cavalry bronzes.

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    1. You know you want these! The two Soldiershop books are good resources despite being published in Italian. Each of the arms of service had bronze statues. Next trip to Rome. be sure to stop in.

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  5. Fascinating; I hadn't realized the Sardinians were involved in the Crimean War at all, either!

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    1. Peter! A solution to that historical gap is to start a Crimean War project! Sardinia's participation in the Crimea was meant to curry favor with NIII. It worked! The French came to Sardinia's aid in 1859.

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  6. I shall have to make more room on my library shelves!

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  7. Wow! Beautiful book and color plates. Outstanding reference materials also. Will be great help when adding Sardinians to my Crimean war collection. Thank you! Very tempted by your figures to branch out in 1859.

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    1. These would make useful references for building a Crimean War Sardinian force. Don't fight the temptation, Mark! Strike out into the 1859 period!

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