A rare example of a French “Bolero” Jacket to the Spahis Division de Tunis and dating from the period 1870 -1890.
Constructed in a red so called madder cloth with black braids, soutache and cords and sleeve rank devices for a private the Jacket is in overall good condition with several moth nips and holes, the holes nicely repaired with matching material. The lining also remains in good condition with some wear.
The French term “Spahi” is derived from an Ottoman Turkish word of Persian origin: “sipahi,” meaning “horseman.” Spahis were light-cavalry regiments of the French army recruited from Arab and Amazigh populations living within French North African colonies, including Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. They were known for their expert horsemanship and distinctive uniforms.
These regiments began supporting the French military during the mid-19th century when France expanded its colonization of North Africa.