From left to right: Uniform of the Basle war commissioner Johann David La Roche (1817 31)
uniform of a mounted 'Jaeger' patrolman, ca. 1830
uniform of an officer of the volunteer company, late 18th century
uniform jacket of an officer of the Helvetian Republic, ca. 1800
uniform jacket of a grenadier of the 1st Basle Regiment, ca. 1810
Inv. 1894.13 Lb.
Compulsory uniform dress for soldiers is a relatively recent phenomenon, of the C18. Until well into the C19 the uniform's role had more to do with display and appearance than with practical function. The earliest written evidence of Basle troops wearing uniform dates from 1719. The appearance and development of uniforms have in most cases been ascertained by study of the ordinances, as few uniforms have survived; only one service coat from the C18 has been preserved, for example. With the creation of the federal Swiss state in 1848 the military sovereignty of the cantons was transferred to the Federation; since then the uniform has been decided by parliament.