Painting Guide for the War of Spanish Succession in the Peninsular

Painting Guide for the War of Spanish Succession. Just the Portuguese so far.
All details from Condray (1992), which, apparently is hard to get now. .



General painting guide:

Painting Portuguese
Item Description
Coat and trousers In 1664, the infantry were dressed in blue.

By the early 18th century Alvadia (white grey; described as a dirty white, but often
given as simply as “white” in contemporary descriptions) was the most common coat colour.
White grey was not universal, and some units retained the blue.

Coat linings and cuffs were
in the livery of the colonels (red, blue, green, etc); vermilion (bright scarlet red) was
the most common Portuguese livery colour.

Vest As coat, or with a border.
Hat Black tri-corn, with optional white ribbon/lace. White green cockade.
Cravat Red
Shirt White
Stockings White, although at least one unit had Red.
Bandolier, waist belt, cartridge bags, stocking strap Bright leather
Sword and bayonet scabbard Dark brown
Shoes Black or chestnut brown. Iron buckles
Other metal fittings Iron

As was typical of the period each Portuguese regiment had distinctive features:

Portuguese Regimental Distinctions
Regiment Primary Livery Secondary Livery
Campo Maoir (formerly blue faced red)
Serpa Green Gold
Almeida Vermilion (bright scarlet red) Silver
Moura Vermilion Gold
Olivencia Vermilion Silver
Elvas None listed
Castelo de Vide Vermilion Silver
(Castro) Conde de Cascais Silver Blue
Lagos Vermilion Silver
Faro (Conde de Vimiero) Silver Vermilion
Porto Silver Vermilion
Junta da Commercio unknown (probably blue coat)
Peniche None listed
Setubal None listed
Corte Real Vermilion Silver
Evora None listed
Esremoz None listed
(Silva da) Portalegre Silver Purple
Braganza Silver Vermilion
Pinhel (Pinheiro?) Silver Green
Jeremenha None listed
Caminha Vermilion Silver
Nova de Moura Vermilion Gold
Lisboa (Light blue coat trimmed white/silver)
Vasconca (Vasconcellas?) Black Silver
Bras da Silveira Silver Vermilion
Conde de Ilha None listed
Silva da Vagos
Conde de Areiras Silver Purple

Officers: By 1721 regimental officers were meant to wear the uniform of men but presumably more elaborate. Based on the Tercio de Chaves (see below), the colonel might wear his livery as the main coat colour. In the 17th century sashes were green (most common), blue or red, but in the 18th century red or carmine (dark red) predominated . Senior officers wore any colour they pleased.

Drummers: It seems they wore reversed colours, so the coat and trousers were the livery of the colonel.

Portuguese Royal Guard of Archers (“Green Halberdiers”)

Green trimmed with white from about 1640 to 1728.

Tercio (Regiment) de Chaves

This is one of the old infantry units and its uniform at the Battle of Almanza (April 1707) was described by the Mestre de Campo of the time:

Coat. White (presumably the new white grey as opposed to the old blue) with red distinctions (possibly “vermelho”, a bright scarlet red).

Decorations. Gold/yellow .

Officer (i.e. himself). Red coat, white cape, gold trimmed hat.

Lisbon (Lisboa) Regiment

Another infantry unit we have specific information about. In 1717 their uniform was:

Coat. Light blue with silver lace.

Braid, feathers, stockings. White.

Campo-Maoir Regiment

Coat: blue with red distinctions

Porto Regiment

An illustration from 1720 has the man in standard infantry uniform with red cuffs and black shoes.

Tercio Da Armada (Marine Infantry)

The marine tercio was as the infantry but

Coat. Green with yellow distinctions. The yellow is described as “dark orange yellow” in original sources but based on a colour illustration Condray (1992) says he wouldn’t describe it like that. Another illustration cited by Condray has the lining of a private a lighter shade of yellow to the cuffs. Yellow lace. Buttons yellow metal.

Stockings. White (although had been yellow in an earlier period),

Neck cloth. Black.

Hat: Black. Text says dark feathers in their hat, but rather poor illustration doesn’t seem to show any. In the b+w illustration the tri-corn has a ribbon, which is probably white.

Bunting in barrel of the musket (whatever that is). Red and blue.

Officers: Plumes in their hat. Sash in crimson (darkish red) trimmed gold. Buttons, lace and hat lace = Gold. Neck cloth white with black bow.


Prior to the new regulations of 14 Feb 1707, the Portuguese horse basically didn’t have a uniform. “some had hats, others caps, and in all colours clad, so one would take them for a band of vagabonds rather than for trained horse” (Francis, 1975, p. 52, cited in Condray, 1992, p. 14).

After the new regulations the white grey uniforms started appearing, along with tri-corns and jack boots. Some units had breastplates.

Dragoon cap: Red turned up with light blue, edged with white fur. (Note, it is likely each man had both the Dragoon cap and a tricorn, as this was the practice in other armies.)

Regiment Primary Livery Secondary Livery
Conde de Prado Silver Blue
(Brito) Conde de Arcos Vermilion (bright scarlet red) Silver
Dragoons de Mello da Silva Vermilion Silver
Dragoons de Sousa Carvalho Blue Gold
Dragoons de Pedro Machado Brito Vermilion Silver
Joao Dantas da Cunha Gold Blue
Campo Maoir Unknown
Praca de Moura Vermilion Gold
Praca de Elvas Unknown
Praca de Braganza Silver Vermilion
Dragoons de Evora Unknown
Guardias das Minas (Sousa, Marguis das Minas) Silver Blue
Olivenca (Mello Conde de) Vermilion Silver
De Moura Vermilion Gold


The regulations of 1707 mandated two colours for each regiment, both horse and foot.

The pattern on Portuguese standards is controversial, but the most likely option for foot regiments at the Battle of Almanza (1707) is a windmill pattern. The windmill pattern in green and white dates from the Napoleonic wars, and in our period colours probably varied between regiments. Examples:

  • Standard of Tercio da Armada. Green and yellow windmill. Border in a triangular pattern, but both in/out are white (I think). Crowned Braganza arms with crossed grey anchors, on a light brown field, superimposed. Sleeve is blue and white. Cord and tassel on staff point also blue and white.
  • Possibly standard of Lisbon Regiment, as the colours match. Rectangular. Light blue and white windmill. Border is the reverse.
  • Old flag of the City of Lisbon. Green and white windmill.
  • Rectangular. Blue and white windmill. Border is the reverse. Arms of Braganza superimposed. Staff in blue and white bands.
  • Rectangular. Red and white windmill. Border is reverse.
  • Rectangular. Red and blue windmill. Border in a triangular pattern of alternating blue (in) and red (out). Arms of Braganza superimposed.
  • Square. Green and white windmill. Border in a triangular pattern, but both in/out are white. Arms of Braganza on crossed sword and scepter superimposed. Silver scroll with blue letter under the arms “IUS DEDIT ET DABIT UIT”. Cords silver and blue. Tassels red and silver.

If the windmill pattern was not in fact in wide spread use during our period, then the next most likely standard pattern is four green bands on a white field. Variations on this are known, for example, four white bands on a blue field.

Horse probably didn’t use the windmill pattern. Cavalry standards were likely to be a field in the colonel’s livery, with his coat of arms super-imposed. The arms of the house of Braganza may have been on one side of the colonel’s colour.


Condray, P. (1992). The Portuguese Army During the War of Spanish Succession (1704-1715). Editions Brokaw.

Francis, David. (1975). First Peninsular War, 1702-1713. St. Martin’s.

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