About the Collection
The Coldstream House Collection consists primarily of Victorian and Edwardian British militaria. The structure of the Victorian British army is complex, and items are arranged according to Regimental precedence as given in the British Army List. (Please see the Military Organisation page for more information on this.)
The collection is the outgrowth of the core of uniforms purchased from the London tailors by Mr. Tsen with additional purchases from auctions in Britain over many years. It encompasses complete sets of uniforms of the British army, the Royal Navy, the RAF, as well as Court and Civil Dress. The original charter of the collection covered the late Victorian period, about the 1880's, to the First World War in 1914. Lately, because of the increasing difficulty in obtaining early materials, it has been extended to the Second World War and even more recent years.
The aim of the collection is to preserve the uniforms of the different British Services as well as different Orders of Uniforms within the same Service. The objective is to make each uniform, with all the necessary insignia and accoutrements, as complete as possible. At the same time, the historical owners of the uniforms are researched with the help of Officers' Lists and Who Is Who whenever tailors' labels are preserved or even when only initials are available.
The collection is not only an invaluable aid to the student of military uniforms: it is equally important for the study of British regimental and social histories.