Contemporary Illustrations
[Click detail to see full image.]
Mannheim Watch Parade - 1795
This print is titled "True Picture of a French Watch Parade at Mannheim in the Year 1795 in the Month of October. The central figure appears to be carrying a grand bidon.
Mannheim Watch Parade, Sappeur 1795
This illustration is also take from the Mannheim Watch Parade (1795) and shows a sappeur carrying a petit bidon on his right and a grand bidon on his left.
Petit Bidon, Neufranken
There exists a very interesting series of comtemporary of the so-called Neufranken (New Francs) who marched through Germany. This print is called "View of the March the New Francs through Suabia (SW Germany) in the month of June 1796.

The figure at the left is a line infantryman without a waistcoat and with a white armband to hold his sleeve together. He wears a petit bidon on left hip.

Grand and Petit Bidon - Newfranken Also taken from the Neufranken series of 1796, this print shows a man wearing a bonnet de police and carrying what appears to be a grand bidon and carrying a petit bidon on this right side.
Petit Bidon - Early Republican
This illustration shows a petit bidon on the right hip of a grenadier volontaire in the early Republican period. (Anonymous)
GRand Bidon by Albrecht
This illustration by Albricht Adam could be of a grand bidon being carried by a light infantryman.
Grand Bidon by F. Steele
Contemporary print of a grand bidon by Seele. This could be a grand bidon the soldier is carrying attached to his havresac.
Petit Bidon by Geissler c. 1806
This could be a petit bidon or else a captured Saxon one. This way of carrying mess equipment became quite popular for the later Prussian, Russion, Saxon and British Armies.
Petit Bidon by Geissler c. 1806 This shows the French Infantry after the victorious battles of Auerstadt and Jena in 1806. The soldier from the 57e of the line has a petit bidon.
Petit bidon by Suhr Brothers 1807-1808
Illustration of a petit bidon.

This is from a series the Suhr brothers painted when seeing all the different soldiers being in their town as occupiers, friends, allies. This picture dates to 1807-1808.

Marmite and Petit Bidon by Suhr Brothers 1807
This illustration shows a soldier carrying a marmite and wearing a petit bidon. By the Suhr brothers (c. 1808).
Marmite by Beyer circa 1813
Beyer shows a very interesting series of French soldiers in 1813. Among the other soldiers in this camp scene is a soldier carrying a petit bidon and cooking from a marmite according to the so-called Bardin regulations of 1812. You will notice the difference with the Suhr marmite. This one would have been easier to carry on the haversac.

The metal petit bidon should have been replaced by bottles with wicker covers.