This is the oldest uniform in my collection. It dates from before the creation of the NZ Army. It is a Volunteer Rifles shell jacket. It is not in “excellent condition”, specially the left arm which has been savaged by insects, but I love it.
The facing colour on the collar and cuffs is Black and the twist epaulette is black as well, though this has faded a little with time.
Close up of the Queen Victoria Crown Volunteer Rifles Button and hand stitched button hole.
The inside of the jacket is fully lined and this has been partially padded on each side. Both sleeves are also fully lined in a different softer material.
On the inside left hand panel there is also a internal pocket.
On the jacket lining is the manufacturer/retailer tag for J Ballantynes and Co. Christchurch, Timaru. Ballantynes is a New Zealand department store that has been operating in Christchurch since 1872 and is New Zealand’s first department store. They opened a store in Timaru in 1883 so that helps date this jacket from somewhere between 1883 and 1901.