Blackblue, on 11 March 2011 - 08:52 AM, said:
Well for what its worth I reckon its a British (and I include Commonwealth and colonies etc.) uniform of some description, whether it be Army, Police or otherwise.
Its a Kings Crown.
1. There are generally 3 main crowns worn on British/Empire/Commonwealth/Colonies/Dominion regalia and they are:
a. St Edwards Crown as depicted in Victoria's reign.
b. The Imperial (or King's) Crown as used for Edward VII, and Georges V and VI.
c. The St Edwards Crown as depicted in Queen Elizabeth's reign.
Other crowns worn by select units include the 'Guelphic' (Prince Albert's Hanoverian crown), the 'Coronet' (of Princesses' like Alexandra of Denmark), the 'Ducal' (of such as the Dukes of Lancaster and Cornwall) and the 'Naval' (as worn by some units associated with the navy).
N.B. It is arguable that the crown shown in the photo that started this thread has a top line more like a Coronet, or even some of the more unusual representations of the St Edwards Crown of Victorian times (which would perhaps be most appropriate given the likely date the sitting took place).
It has been established from the female hairstyle that the late 1890s seems the most likely timescale and it should be remembered that unlike today, monarchies were the norm at that time, with a wide plethora of Royal Houses established across Europe, almost all of which were related to Queen Victoria. Crowns on regalia were common and it is quite feasible that the collar badge shown could be of a Nation other than Great Britain.
3. Turning to British uniforms of that period, the most similar in appearance to the photo is the pattern of Blue Patrol jacket that was adopted for the infantry around 1899 and which comprised a plain blue jacket with patch pockets on chest and hips and a high, Prussian style collar (see illustration). Medium sized (30-ligne) buttons were used and usually a mitred cuff. A key element is that since 1881, British officers badges of rank on this, and most other jackets/tunics, were worn on the shoulder straps. There are no such badges on our man so this begs the question is he either a SNCO (or warrant officer, of which there were very few) or is he a foreigner?
4. Towering over all of the preceding aspects of the man's dress are the configuration and size of the shoulder boards, which appear to have large script that may, or may not be cyrillic or stylised numbers of some kind (we have established that they are not Russian). NO British uniform of that time, or since, has had shoulder boards of that design, which is the principal reason that a subject matter expert such as, e.g. 'Grumpy', has stated categorically that the man is not in a British uniform. I am of like mind.