I'm trying to identify the uniform in this picture of my great-great-great uncle Leon. The picture was taken some time between 1860 to 1890 we think. I've done image searches for uniforms from that time, but google generally ends up just showing pages of American Civil War uniforms. Things do show up from the Franco-Prussian war, but nothing seems to match the uniform Leon is wearing here.
The Uniform of your Great Great Great Uncle Leon is actually one introduced after the Franco Prussian War. The Uniform that he is wearing was introduced in 1872 to all the Army branches except for the Troupes de Marine (as suggested above) and Cavalry when the French decided to change their uniforms after their defeat to the Prussians. Before this the army conformed to the 1867 uniform regulations. The specific garment he is wearing is the 1872 tunic or "Tunique modèle 1872" We could say that he is an Infantryman based on the collar patch which indicates the 113e Regiment d'Infanterie but he could be from any Branch of the military because the Uniform was issued universally as i said.
For the date though i would say it is 1872-1900 based on the photo quality. Here are some photos of the Tunique Modèle 1872:
I have a photo similar to that originally posted over a year ago. - Franco-Prussian War - 74th Infantry, active in Alsace 1870- Froeschwiller, Strasbourg, Metz, etc. Uniform is essentially identical with regiment number on collar and epaulettes. I can figure out how to post if the interest is still here.
Forgive me if this is not the correct way to do this: Here is the photo I mentioned: This is Henri Bourguignon - taken prisoner during the action in and around Strasbourg Aug-Sept 1870. My own research (not part of firm family info) seems to validate he was a member of the French Army of the Rhine -2nd Infantry Division of the 1st Army Corp, 74th Infantry Regiment of the Line. I assume from the bugle patch, we was in the "signal corp" and the epaulettes suggest he was an officer of some rank. This photos was likely taken between 1868-1872.
Sorry, just realized that the photo was most likely taken prior to Sept 1870
I believe the double-breasted tunic (distinct from the greatcoat, for cold weather) is a signature of the troupes de marine as shown here;
Epaulettes are worn only by officers, and the 113 on the collar is presumably a unit ID, perhaps a regimental number. That there is not an anchor on the collar may suggest that the picture was taken after July 7, 1900, when the troupes de marine became Troupes Coloniales reporting to the Ministry of War instead of the Ministry of the Navy.
I just tried to copy and paste a photo of my great grandfather in his French army uniform from 1880, coincidentally he's named Leon, last name Renault, from my facebook timeline, but it didn't seem to work.
The uniform appears to be about the same without the epaulettes. My great grandfather's pants were dark blue like the jacket. I know because I used to wear it sometimes for halloween when I was a child. I still have the sword as well. Btw, the number on my great grandfather's collar is 121. The number is on the front of the hat also.