Additional Images

A Dragoon (Cavalry officer) in the Royal Italian Army, circa 1861

Accession number:


Historical period:
ca. 1966

Miltary branch:


H x W x D: 29 in. / 6.5 in. / 6.5 in.

Acquisition date:

Credit line:
Gift of Admiral Charles Griffin



From April 4, 1966: To Admiral Charles Griffin, from Roberto Tremelloni, Defense Minister of the Italian Republic

From ca. 1968-1996: The Army and Navy Club, gift of Admiral Charles Griffin


The word “dragoon” originally referred to mounted infantry, who were trained in horse riding as well as infantry fighting skills. However, usage altered over time and during the 18th century, dragoons evolved into conventional cavalry units. In most armies, "dragoons" came to signify ordinary medium cavalry. Dragoon regiments were established in most European armies during the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

The name is derived from a type of firearm, called a "dragon," which was a handgun version of a blunderbuss, carried by dragoons of the French Army. The title has been retained in modern times by a number of armored or ceremonial mounted regiments.

There are four other sculptures similar to this one in the collection of The Army and Navy Club (accession numbers 1966.01-1966.05), each one representing a different type of soldier in the Royal Italian Army from the 19th century. They were owned by Charles Griffin and gifted by him to the Club. Admiral Charles Griffin USN was a member of The Army and Navy Club in his retirement (retired 1968).