British Asian Squadron Headdress & Collar Badges


A significant distinction between the genuine headdress badge in Figure 211 and the copy in Figure 212 is the positioning of the loops. On this copy they are incorrectly positioned relative to genuine examples of this Squadron headdress badge. Another readily identifiable feature on copies of the ‘A’ Squadron (British Asian) headdress badge is that the tip of the elephant’s trunk is not voided where it curls back up towards the head. On the genuine badge in Figure 211 the trunk is voided. The quality of the strike particularly the voided sections like the trunk, positioning of the loops and differences in the weight and sizes can all be used to differentiate between genuine and copies of the ‘A’ Squadron (British Asian) headdress badge.

There are three distinct irregularly-shaped voids between the bottom of elephant’s stomach and the tops of the trees. These three voids are often not present on poorer quality copies which have been incompletely struck from the old dies. The lines on the elephant’s body and detailed folds where the ear meets the head are sharp and clearly defined on the genuine badge but are blurred and less-well defined on the copy in Figures 212-213 and on additional copies. There are also a pair of curved skin folds on the left-hand side of the belly of the elephant on the genuine badge which are absent on the copies. Poorer quality copies also do not have a distinct void between the elephant’s tail and its hindquarters. The stars at the ends of the scroll are also very distinct on genuine badges and are less angular on poorer quality copies.

A pair of genuine 'A' Squadron (British Asian) collar badges are also shown in Figure 211. They are die struck in gilding metal with copper loops positioned east-west and were worn as a facing pair. There is a continuous void between the elephant’s stomach and the tree tops. The curl of the elephant’s trunk is voided but the tail and hindquarters are not.

Figure 211: A genuine ‘A’ Squadron (British Asian) Other Ranks’ headdress badge (KK 1373) with matching collar badges all in gilding metal.

Figure 212: A copy of an ‘A’ Squadron (British Asian) Other Ranks’ headdress badge (KK 1373) in gilding metal. 

An additional copy shown in Figure 213 is marked to the rear as being silver, which it is not, and has blades as to suggest it is an Officer’s headdress badge. Silver or white metal headdress badges were not worn by the King's Colonials.

Figure 213: A copy of an ‘A’ Squadron (British Asian) headdress badge (KK 1373) in white metal and marked silver to the reverse and fitted with attaching blades.

An ‘A’ Squadron (British Asian) headdress badge in white metal with east-west loops and a non-voided tail has also been noted. It was sold as a commemorative badge and is also a copy.