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Michel Petard

Born in Nantes in November 1944, Michel Petard took an early interest in history and in archeology in general, as well as ancient weapons. After 6 years study at the Beaux-Arts in Nantes, he produced a thesis on Nantes gunsmiths in the 18th century, research which brought him into contact with Christian Aries, a specialist in that area of study.

He then collaborated on the great work of the latter "Armes Blanches Militaires Francaises" as a draftsman, while studying weapons, uniforms and their technologies. He published in 1973 a study on the manufacture of bladed weapons in the 18th century in addition to his work with Christian Aries.

In 1974, he met Jean Boudriot who entrusted him with the illustration of the uniforms and construction of the ships for his work: “Le Vaisseau de 74 Canons”. In the meantime, he introduced him to J. Buigne who hired him as a uniformologist author in the “Gazette des Uniformes”, where, beginning in 1974, he regularly created detailed analyses of the uniforms and equipment of various regiments in the French army during the period from 1745 to 1815. The illustrations for these articles were then collected and published as “de Fontenoy a Waterloo” in 1995.  

In 1979, he met Michel Sapin-Lignieres, through the intermediary of C. Aries, who entrusted him, as co-author, with the chapter on weapons and uniforms in his book “Les troupes legeres de l’ancien regime".

Since the beginning of 1980, he has devoted himself to R. Chartrand's study of colonial troops, where he is again working with the description and illustration of the uniforms of the period.

While he usually specializes in military costumes from the 17th century to the 1st Empire, recently he has been working on the medieval period.