The officer’s uniform of the Life Guards Sapper (Engineer) Battalion
This uniform belonged to Emperor Nicholas I.
The Life Guards Sapper (Engineer) Battalion history begins back in December of 1812. It was formed from the best recruits and officers of engineer units. It consisted of 2 engineer and 2 mining companies, around 1000 people in total.
In 1817, Grand Duke Nikolai (Nicolas) Pavlovich became the Chief (Patron) of the battalion, the future Emperor Nicholas I remained Chief (Patron) of the regiment until his death in 1855.
"Closer than any other unit to the Grand Duke was his Engineer battalion ... he knew everyone in person and by name, even the Privates. He kept his love for them and engineering for life." "Our engineering unit", "My Sappers", "I am an old Guards Sapper": these expressions were often heard in his vocabulary. The battalion played an important role on December 14, 1825. Nicholas later wrote:" Should the Sapper Battalion was only a few minutes late, the Palace and our entire family would be in the hands of the rebels... preoccupied with what was happening on the Senate square and not aware about the danger threatening from the rear, I was totally unable to prevent this in any way."
Subsequently, all the Emperors by tradition also became Patrons of this unit.
The uniform has all the characteristic features of the cut of the Guards uniforms of the 1830s – 1850s. Lapel cut, stamped (with the image of the double-headed eagle since 1827) buttons, as well as distinctive sappers white edging color, and in a special combination in various details of white and red cloth edging.