Ottoman Uniforms
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1890 TILL 1908 PERSIAN (IRAN) QAJAR DYNASTY ARMY AND NAVY

Persian Navy Rank System (1890)

Right - Ahmad Khan Daryabeigi, captain of the PERSEPOLIS who designed the first Iranian Navy uniform and later became the Lord Admiral (Maritime Frontier-Keeper) of the Persian Gulf. By 1910 the Persian government possessed nine steamers.

  • NASRU 'D-DIN: an old yacht of about 120 tons, presented in the 1870s by the emperor of Russia, and stationed at Enzeli, the port of Resht.
  • PERSEPOLIS: 1884-1885 German built gunboat, a 600 tons, 450 h.p., and armed with three 7 cm. and one 8 cm Krupp guns.
  • SUSA: Built 1884, 36 tons, armed with one Krupp gun.
  • SELLKA (renamed MUZAFFERI): An old Belgian yacht, purchased in 1903, armed with two Hotchkjss guns.

The Persian navy had five launches built in the Royal Indian Marine Docks, Bombay, in 1905, of about 80 tons each

Right - An Qajar Navy officer - identified as Ibrahim Daryaee, a naval captain (pictured anytime between 1885 and 1910). His uniform is identical to Ahmad Khan Daryabeigi (above), except the cuff insignia:

  • Modeer Ahmad Naraghi shows three cuff-rings and knot (indicating a lower grade ships' captain, and this resembles the Army SOLTAN - Captain's rank, and likely commanded either the SUSA, or the SELLKA (MUZAFFERI)).
  • Whereas, Ahmad Khan Daryabeigi as the 'Lord Admiral', has an additional wide cuff tape added to his three cuff-rings and knot (which resembles both the Army SARHANG - Colonel, or General's ranks).

It is likely the lower grade Lieutenant ranks - two cuff-rings and knot; and one knotted cuff-ring appointed commanded the smaller ship-launches.

The Qajar Navy employed some 200 soldiers, who wore army uniforms and rank insignia.

The Qajar Navy sailors were employed from the Arab merchant fleets (and no navy ratings uniform has been identified).

Right - The 1907 Qajar naval ensign.

Persian Army Rank System (1890)

Right - The 1889 -period, Persian officer's lamb wool cap, with lion and sun badge. As well, this same style of headgear, was seen in the Ottoman Army's version, in the 1880s.

The Persian officers' rank system in the late 1880s, was expanded, with the addition of an extra 2nd Lieutenant (one line of cuff tape); and a Full-Lieutenant (two lines of cuff tape). There was also a new addition of a Lieutenant-Colonel (four lines of cuff tape), making the Colonel - five lines of cuff tape.

Added as well, to the 1890 Persian army ranks, were Sergeant-Major (or Flag-Sergeant), with a pair of crossed flags under the three sleeve chevrons.

Right - A photo-like paiting from a Qajar Prince, most probably Naseroddin Shah Zel-ol-soltan, siad to be in a "Hungarian uniform". However, he is actually wearing a Qajar period senior army officer's uniform, and the spike helmet - a German M1890 Officer's helmet - with a distinctly Qajar coat of arms plate.

Right – This post-1880 Iranian ‘spike-shako’, from the Turkish Army Museum. The 'spike-shako' was for a small Royal Guard Unit.

 

Persian Army Senior Officers (1890-1908)

Persian Infantry (1890-1908)

Persian Gendarmerie (1910)

Persian Infantry Bands (1890-1908)

Persian Royal Guard

The Persian royal bodyguards were recruited from the best of the tribal regiments [1]. These troops consisted of four regiments:

  • Royal Bodyguards.
  • Royal Escort - Responsible for the security of the shah when he was in residence and accompanied him on his official tours, as well as being in charge of the government horses.
  • Royal Musketeers.
  • Housekeep­ers and Gatekeepers.

Right - Royal Guard Dragoon (Royal Escort).

The Qajars Royal Guard (from 1907) appear to have worn a similar helmet (Right).

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[1] COURTS AND COURTIERS vii. In the Qajar period.

Royal Footmen 

Right - A Persian Royal Footman, from around 1880 This uniform remained in use till 1908 (see colour illustration below from 'Le Petit Journal'. Responsible for outdoor and camp services, carrying messages, and executing royal punitive commands for arrests, extortion, beat­ings, the bastinado, and the like [1].

Far-Right - Royal Footmen VEKILS (Sergeant).

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[1] COURTS AND COURTIERS vii. In the Qajar period.

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