A characteristic feature of a genuine King’s Colonial first pattern Regimental Officer’s or Other Rank’s headdress badge is that they have a complete void between the unicorn’s back and tail. This complete void can be seen in the comparison of a close-up images (Figures 184 and 185) of the genuine badge shown in Figures 178-180 and a copy in Figure 181-183. The complete void is also clearly visible in the photograph of the badge in KK 1370 and in the collections shown in Figures 166-169. A genuine badge is illustrated in Kipling and King and John Gaylor's Military Badge Collecting
' (Pen and Sword Books, London, 1971) but a copy with the incomplete void is shown in Peter D. Athawes's 'Yeomanry Wars - The History of the Yeomanry, Volunteer and Volunteer Association Cavalry: A Civilian Tradition from 1794
', (Scottish Cultural Press, Aberdeen, 1994).Figures 184 and 185: Close-up of the non-voided and voided areas between the body and tail of the unicorn of a genuine (from Figure 178) and a copy (Figure 181) first pattern Regimental King’s Colonials headdress badge (KK 1370). The superior quality of the strike of the genuine badge as compared with the copy is apparent from the sharp definition of the lines across the lion’s chest and in the links of the chain.
There are clear differences in size and weight between genuine and copies of the first pattern Regimental King’s Colonial headdress badge. White metal versions of the first pattern Regimental headdress badge and all of the other King’s Colonials headdress badges are known copies.
The first pattern Regimental headdress badge was only worn in the period 1901-05 on the first pattern Full Dress felt hat and the newly introduced khaki Service Dress cap. The first pattern Regimental headdress badge was superseded in 1905 with the introduction of replacement forms of headdress, a second pattern Full Dress bush hat and the Service Dress cap. The badges on these forms of headdress were either the second Regimental pattern headdress badge for Regimental Officers and Squadron headdress badges for the Officers and Other Ranks of the Squadrons.
The first pattern Regimental headdress badge at least in numerical terms would be expected to be the least abundant given the short date range it was worn together with the limited numbers of Regimental Officers who would have worn it.