OFFICERS’ FULL DRESS HEADDRESS 1881
In 1881 hussar officers wore the pattern of busby introduced in 1858. Made of black sable fur, it was 7 ¾ inches high in front, 9 inches at the rear and 8 inches on the sides. The top of the busby to be ½ inch less in diameter than the bottom which was shaped to fit the head.
An oval cockade or boss of gold gimp spiral cord, 2 inches high and 1½ inches wide, was worn on the front of the cap level with the top. The back of the boss had a spring socket to hold the stem of the plume.
There was a coloured cloth bag, covering the top of the cap and falling down the right side to within an inch from the bottom. A gold gimp cord edged the bag (about ½ inch from the edge) with a length of cord going down the middle meeting the edge cord at the bottom of the bag. At the junction of the cords a small gold gimp boss.
The plume consisted of coloured egret feathers measuring 9 inches from the top of the cap. A ring circled the lower part of the plume with the feathers below the ring cut shorter than above.
Some regiments have the lower part differently coloured than the upper part. The feather was inserted into a ball socket with upright gilt leaves. The ball was fitted with a wooden stem that slid into the spring socket behind the cockade. The curb chain was made of dead and bright gold corded chain lined with black morocco leather.
In 1888 the dimensions of the busby were ordered to be changed (Army Order 33). It was lowered in height to 6¼ inches in front to 7 ¾ inches in the back, with the sides altering accordingly.
The bag now was to reach within a ½ inch of the lower edge. The egret feather plume was also to be 13 inches tall.
In the 1900 regulations the plume was to be of ostrich feathers with a separate part at the base made of vulture feathers. The overall plume to be 15 inches tall.
The details of the plumes, and other differences between regiments are below.
The caplines (originally designed to keep the headdress with the rider should it fall off the head), were of gold purl cord which, passing through a ring behind the bag, went round the body of the cap three times then around the neck looping onto the breast with olivets on the ends.
Busby Decorations were generally standard throughout the Hussar Regiments