Grenadier officer in the Holstein Dragoon Regiment. Russia 1756-62
History: The dragoons were mounted soldiers armed with muskets who were also able to fight on foot. France introduced these soldiers into Europe in the first half of the 16th century. They came from the infantry and therefore were not organised in squadrons, but in companies. As they were considered mounted infantry, they were employed in internal security duties, to contrast contraband, guerrilla warfare and civil unrest. The name dragoons may stem from the fact that the short musket was called dragon, owing to the cloud of smoke it emitted at every shot. Another version concerning the origin of the name has it that a certain Guillame de Gomiecourt, who lived in the 11th century, was nicknamed dragon by Henry I of France for the courage and decision shown in fighting against the English. In his heraldry, this knight was represented by a dragon. His son Raoul Dragon de Gomiecourt later formed a company of soldiers who were able to fight both on horseback and on foot, and he called them dragoons, after the standard of the commander. The model represents a grenadier official in the regiment of the Holstein dragoons serving in Russia between 1756 and 1762. Holstein-Gottorp is the historical name of the Dukedoms of Schleswig and Holstein in Denmark and Germany held by the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp. Other dukedoms in the same countries were ruled over by the Royal House of Denmark. In 1751 the Swedish prince Adolfo Federico, belonging to the Holstein-Gottorp dynasty, ascended the throne of Sweden, thus beginning the reign of this House in Sweden. This dynasty reigned in Sweden from 1751 to 1818. Following the Great Northern War in which Sweden fought alongside Russia against Denmark and Norway, the Dukedom of Holstein became part of the kingdom of Denmark. In 1762 Czar Peter III, belonging to the Holstein-Gottorp dynasty, decided to launch an attack on Denmark in order to win back the dukedom. However, as the two countries had been on good relations for a long time, when the two armies were about to clash, the Czar was dethroned by his wife Catherine II of Russia who withdrew the declaration of war and re-established the pre-existing friendly relations.
Painting: Coat white with turquoise-blue cuffs, lapels and lining. Buttons and decorations in gold. Waistcoat turquoise-blue with gold buttons. Boots black leather with iron spurs. Tie black with white edging. Trousers turquoise-blue with gold buttons. Gloves white. Scarf three blue stripes and two red stripes on a gold background, gold tassels. Shirt white with black collar, Pouch and across-body strap - turquoise-blue with gold decorations. Hat - turquoise-blue and white with bow, ribbons and decorations in gold. Sword hilt - gold. Sword-knot - edging in blue, red and gold stripes on a red background.
Horse trappings: bridle red with white edge on browband. Reins outside white, inside red. Bit gilded copper. Wide mane band gilt with gold tassels. Breastband red. Stirrup straps red. Stirrups iron. Saddlecloth and holster cover dark blue with ornaments and fringes in gold. Pommel of pistol butt gold.
Painter: Andrea Terzolo
Sculptor: Victor Konnov