This is a late 19th to early 20th century National Lancer Uhlan style helmet. It is of leather construction with a red and blue wool body, yellow bullion facings and a brass-rimmed tarred leather visor. This style of hat was was copied after the Polish “czapka.”
Founded in October of 1836 by request of Massachusetts Governor Edward Everett, the National Lancers are one of the oldest existing organized militia units in the United States. Initially organized as an armed escort for the Governor, the National Lancers served in the Civil War as part of the Army of the Potomac seeing action in some of the largest battles of the War. They also participated in the defense of Boston during the 1863 draft riots where they prevented rioters from seizing the artillery armory. The National Lancers participated in the Pancho Villa Expedition and were part of the American Expeditionary Force during World War One. After the war ended, they were absorbed by the Massachusetts National Guard.