Uniform, Southland Hussars ; Hobson and Sons; 1880-1881; RI.W2009.3027


Uniform, Southland Hussars

About this object

This is a pre-1883 Southland Hussars Captain's Uniform comprising: Busby Fur Hat, Tunic, Jodhpurs, Dress riding pants and Breeches. Two ammunition shoulder pouches, three lengths of Braid, a leather wallet and a fabric hat cover. We also have a Southland Hussar's Pillbox Hat in the Collection.

More Information about the Uniform:

The rank on the collar is the pre-1883 type for a captain in the Hussars. This rank was a crown and star on each end of the collar with a row of lace and a row of eyes. On the cuffs there is an Austrian knot and a row of eyes. The overall pattern of the uniform is that of a British Hussars regiment except for the silver worn in colonial NZ. (In 1883 the rank moved to the shoulder straps).

The uniform is of two dress states; full dress for formal and ceremonial occasions and Undress as an everyday dress for parades and working etc.
The tunic is the only item common to both dress states. When in Full dress the busby, cap lines, tunic, silver pouch-belt, velvet pouch, and double striped silver laced trousers are worn. When in Undress the round forage cap, tunic, pantaloons with two white fabric stripes, white patent leather pouch-belt and black pouch are worn. On the undress pouch belt are a plate and pickers with chains. These are decorative but were once used for the older muskets and clearing fuse holes etc.

The trousers with leather reinforcing would have been worn when on manoeuvres and in the field.

The sword knots come in a white leather undress and silver full dress.

About the Southland Hussars and Captain James Gardner:

The Southland Hussars were a volunteer Calvary Corp formed out of a sense of militarism and a perceived Russian threat. Established in 1880, the Corp modeled themselves on the dashing hussars of European armies and at their height comprised up to 170 men. The Southland Hussars uniform was highly decorative and ordered from Messrs. Hobson and Sons, Military Tailors and Outfitters of London.

This uniform is linked to Captain James Gardner (1837-1907) who owned Birchwood Station in Western Southland. Captain Gardner briefly commanded the Southland Hussars prior to their disbandment in July 1888. The Trooper's Tale edited by Dr Don McKay (ISBN 978-0-473-20462-4) provides a helpful overview of the Hussars' place in Southland's military history.


Hobson and Sons

Maker Role


Date Made




Place Made

Europe, United Kingdom, England, London

Medium and Materials

To be determined in conjunction with a textile specialist.

Inscription and Marks

Printed in lining of Busby Hat: 'By Appointment (Royal Coat of Arms) Hobson and Sons, Military Tailors, Outfitter and Army Outfitters, 37 & 38 Little Windmill St, Haymarket, London W. and at Artillery Place, Woolwich.'


The measurement of each part is recorded in the applicable Part Id field.

Subject and Association Keywords


Subject and Association Keywords

Clothing and Accessories

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

Attribution (cc) Attribution (cc)

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