Costa Rican Army and Police c1910

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Costa Rican Army and Police c1910

Post  buistR on Fri 12 Jun 2009, 9:51 pm

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One of the smallest armies of Latin America appears to have had a much more varied range of uniforms than most, judging from this plate from the Enciopeida Universal of 1922. This time the influence is very French, from the "Samur" style kepis to the red breeches of the generals and the cavalry officer. It is a curious feature of Latin American uniforms that they so closely follow foreign influences (Spanish, French, German and later US) in spite of their own long history and rich culture. Only the Rurales of Mexico seem to have made significant use of an indigenous model.
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Re: Costa Rican Army and Police c1910

Post  Sean on Sat 13 Jun 2009, 2:44 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you
Are the trousers/breeches of number 19 supposed to be yellow?

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Re: Costa Rican Army and Police c1910

Post  buistR on Sat 13 Jun 2009, 3:54 pm

Hi Sean. Thanks for posting the Knotel and the other German/French links. Enough material there to keep researchers happy for years.

Re the Costa Rican "corneta". Bit of a mystery - he wears the collar insignia of the cavalry, is presumably a bugler, but yellow breeches? Seems unlikely. Could be a colour printing fault. Interestingly the Mexican Army's dress regulations of 1919 provide for a Cuerpo de Lanceros (Lancer Corps) with "sulphur yellow kepi and riding breeches - black jacket and yellow facings". Still, any connection is likely to be tenuous.

I doubt if the Costa Rican cavalry, dashing horsemen though they doubtless were, would have been very numerous. When Costa Rica caused quite a stir by abolishing their army in 1948 it only constituted one company of infantry and an artillery battery - totalling 339 all ranks. It was replaced by a para-military Civil Guard and the barracks in San Jose became a museum of fine arts.

Will post the Cuban plate from "Enciclopeida Universal" next - they just copied the US Army dress and service uniforms of 1902-17 but with different facing colours.

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Re: Costa Rican Army and Police c1910

Post  Sean on Sun 14 Jun 2009, 2:20 pm

I look forward to any plates you add.
Mexican dress regs 1919?
Any chance of seeing them?

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Re: Costa Rican Army and Police c1910

Post  buistR on Fri 19 Jun 2009, 4:00 pm

Sorry Sean - I don't have the Mexican Dress Regulations as such. Just an illustrated Mexican book "Cronica Del Traje Militar en Mexico del Siglo XVI al XX" which I picked up in the long defunct Soldier Shop in New York many years ago. The book does contain a number of references to the various "Regulations of Uniforms and Devices" (RUD) published over the years but no extended extracts from them. Frustratingly the 1930 edition of RUD is described as a "lengthy, well illustrated book". Probably have to go to Mexico City to see a copy though.

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Re: Costa Rican Army and Police c1910

Post  buistR on Fri 31 Jul 2009, 10:04 pm

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Nothing like a second opinion. A little way back on this thread Sean querried the yellow trousers shown as being worn by a "corneta" of the Costa Rican Army c1910. The colour did seem unlikely and the attached illustration of the same uniform indicates that they were actually a shade of light khaki, though with a bit of red piping on the seams to brighten them up. Blame the possibly not very high standard of Spanish colour printing in 1921. US Cavalry from 1902-07 wore their khaki riding breeches with dark blue parade tunics in some orders of dress so it is not an improbable combination.

The new card also confirms that a corneta is a trumpeter and not a junior officer (like the lowest rank of cavalry officer in the British Army prior to 1871). The bugle horn insignia on the collar matches that of two other figures in the same series that are specifically identified as cavalry. Finally, the precise date of this figure and the other Costa Rican ones is given as 1907 - so the 1910 guestimate wasn't too far out.

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