www.IndianMiniaturePaintings.co.uk - Musket cavalry of Skinner's Horse in combat training. Anglo-Indian 'Company School' at Delhi, circa 1825-40. 23.5 x 33cm

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Musket cavalry of Skinner's Horse fire blanks in combat training for head on attack of the enemy. Anglo-Indian 'Company School' at Delhi, circa 1825-40. Opaque watercolour with gold on paper, in the upper border an identifying inscription written in English, 'At Speed Attack'. 23.5 x 33cm

Skinner (1778-1841) was a mercenary who founded two regiments of irregular cavalry (known as the 'Yellow boys' due to their uniform) which became so effective and useful to British interests that in 1815 he was awarded an honorary rank by Governor General Lord Moira of the East India Company. Save for some uniform and landscape elements a comparable composition dating from 1824 now held by The National Army Museum, London comes from Lieutenant-Colonel James Skinner's personal manual of cavalry manoeuvres produced for his officers : 'Rules for the Manoeuvres of the Hindustani Musket Cavalry, Method of attack with the musket when meeting the enemy head on.' (NAM 1977-07-10) The British Library, London, also has a composition featuring two members of the cavalry in combat training firing blanks as they skirmish.

Inventory 000983

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Above: gilt detail reflecting light

Images and text © Peter Blohm