26th Regiment of Bengal Native (Light) Infantry shako from 1855 sold for £5500 at C&T's auction.

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It dates from 1855, just two years before the regiment mutinied at Mean Meer during the Indian Mutiny.

Retribution was ruthless: its members were massacred at Ajnala from July 30-August 1, 1857, with 42 ‘Natives’ blown from the guns at Lahore.

The shako was offered by C&T (20% buyer’s premium) in Tunbridge Wells estimated at £1500-2500.

It was described as a “superb example of the black beaver skin covered body shako with sunken patent leather top, front and rear peaks” and “a scarce item of headdress from the Indian Army”.

Housed in its original metal storage tin with brass name plaque for Capt H Blaquier, it was bought for £5500 on July 10 by a UK-based collector, who was bidding against the internet and commission bids on the phone.

Fantastic example

Matthew Tredwen of C&T said: “This lot came from a private collector here in the UK who has been buying militaria since the 1970s and has decided to start downsizing his collection. The item was a fantastic example which remained in mint condition, which is why it created so much interest on the day.”