Der Rittmeister Militaria, LLC. Imperial German Merchandise: Patriotic Boxes (Large & Small), Cigarette Cases, Royalty Cigarette Cases, and Royalty boxes.   Updated on 20 May 2015.
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Cigarette Cases & Boxes


20-257 PRESENTATION CIGARETTE CASE - PRINZ ADALBERT von PREUßEN. Prinz Adalbert was the only one of Kaiser Wilhelm’s six sons who served in the Kaiserliche Marine. All the other boys served the Army in one capacity or another. (The Kaiser’s eldest son, Kronprinz Wilhelm, served as an Armee field commander). This unusual wooden cigarette case sports Prinz Adalbert’s royal cypher, and measures 3 3/4" x 3 1/4." The wood (it might be cedar, judging from its grain) has a burled finish. It shows some scratching, but one must search carefully to discover it. Prinz Adalbert’s crowned "A" cypher appears in GOLD on the obverse. The case has a silver frame that secures its wooden sections. The case’s side is hallmarked with .925 silver, a moon, and a Hohenzollern Crown per Kaiser Wilhelm I’s 1885 royal decree. To the right is the manufacturer’s hallmark, a triangle, which appears within a circle, along with two more circles and marks in the triangle’s three corners. I am not familiar with this manufacturer (readers?). This is a terrific cigarette case, either owned by a royal, or given by one as a gift to a lucky recipient. Kaiser Wilhelm II was far more liberal in giving gifts than any of his sons. Gifts from any of the Hohenzollern Princes are quite scarce. I have had the privilege of offering royal gifts from the Kaiser and the Kronprinz, but this is the first time I have had anything from any of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s other sons. The simple reason is that there were not near as many gifts from the sons. Especially from the sons other than the Kronprinz. $2,995.00



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20-258 PRESENTATION CIGARETTE CASE - PRINZ ADALBERT von PREUßEN. Prinz Adalbert was the only one of Kaiser Wilhelm II's six sons who served in the Kaiserliche Marine. All the other boys served the Army in one capacity or another. (The Kaiser’s eldest son, Kronprinz Wilhelm, served as an Armee field commander). This large (far larger than most I have seen) cigarette case is silver-toned. It measures 3 1/4" x 5 1/4." The case’s dimple-patterned exterior rather resembles silver snake-skin. Its interior, which measures 6" x 5 1/4" when fully opened, is covered with a gold wash finish. Engraved in the interior’s left half is Prinz Adalbert’s reproduced signature, along with a personalized dedication to the "Kommandeur I/M. B./R 4." The dedication concludes "In dankbarer Kameradshaft Treuerden 1916" (In grateful, dearest comradeship, 1916). (One speculates that Prinz Adalbert gave cigarette cases like it to several men who served with him in this unit).
The elastic strap that held the cigarettes in place is long gone. The case’s side catch is hallmarked underneath for .800 silver and its manufacturer, and sports a moon, and a Hohenzollern Crown per Kaiser Wilhelm I’s 1885 royal decree. It is a high-quality cigarette case, given by a member of the royal family. Kaiser Wilhelm II was far more liberal in giving gifts than any of his sons. Gifts from any of the Hohenzollern Princes are quite scarce. I have had the privilege of offering royal gifts from the Kaiser and the Kronprinz, but this is the first time I have had anything from any of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s other sons. The simple reason is that there were not near as many gifts from the sons. Especially from the sons other than the Kronprinz.



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03-87 METAL TOBACCO BOX - FREDERICK THE GREAT’S TIME. This is a highly unusual, detailed metal tobacco box from 1750 to 1775, during Frederick the Great’s (Friedrich der Große) reign. He was the first of the well-known Prussian kings, the man who set Prussia (later Germany) on its course toward a greater role in European politics. The brass box measures 6 1/4" x 1 3/4," and weighs 6 ounces. The box is hinged. The box’s top depicts the Prussian Army at battle. Part of the battlefield is labeled "Prussian Armee," while the other section is labeled "Schwerin’s Armee." It is all dated 6 May 1757. To the left is a description of the action in which the Prussian Army vanquished the Austrians. To the right, the King of Prussia and his (period) military commanders are listed. The box’s bottom reveals a scene where mounted generals looking down at a battle in a valley. The date, 31 July 1760, and the battle’s name are mentioned. The wording on the top and bottom has faded somewhat from age. The box’s bottom half has some damage to one corner, where a 3/4" portion of the metal trim is missing. This is an amazing piece that depicts Germany’s military history of more than two-hundred-fifty-years ago. $750.00



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03-37 CHRISTMAS CIGARETTE CASE. This is a very attractive cigarette case commemorating Weihnachten (Christmas) 1916. This information is displayed on the outside lid along with "Hohenlohe," which is a place. There is also an enamel badge in the lower right corner that has what appears to be initials and a "2". This may be for a military unit. The enamel is three different colors. The case is marked for Alpaca Silver on the catch to open the case. The case measures 3 ½" x 3." There are no elastic keepers in the interior. A very handsome and high-quality cigarette case. $395.00



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03-93 CIGARETTE CASE - DEDICATED - 1916 - VERDUN. This is a brass-toned cigarette case. It measures 3 3/4” x 4 1/4” x 3/4.” The obverse features an Iron Cross and “Verdun 1916.” The overall exterior is dimpled. The engraving is clearly homemade. The case’s opposite side has the owner’s name, Walter Wahl, who served at Verdun in 1916. The case’s closing device does not operate properly. It is a prime example of trench art. $210.00



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21-47 XLD ZEPPELIN CIGARETTE CASE. This is a very high-quality cigarette case that has a full-sized Commemorative Airship Badge on the front. Also on the front of the case are the initials "HS," engraved in the upper left corner. There are some designs engraved into the exterior of the cigarette case. On the catch the case is marked Alpaca, which denotes that the makeup of the case is essentially nickel (German silver). Both elastic keepers in the interior of the case are present. The case has a nice patina to it. Overall, it is in fine condition. $1,050.00 Reduced to $895.00!!



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03-85 FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR ERA CIGARETTE CASE. This is one of the earliest cigarette cases that we have ever offered you. It dates from around the Franco-Prussian War, in the 1880's. It measures 3" x 3 1/2." Engraved on the outer lid is a Dragoon wearing a pickelhaube. He is dismounted from his horse and looking over a town, most likely in France. Please pay special attention to the pickelhaube, as it is a very early style rather than an M-1897 model. In the upper left corner we see the owner’s initials "RE," also finely engraved. The elastic holders that restrained the cigarettes are no longer present. The manufacturer’s and silver hallmarking (.800) dates this after 1885. It would have been a fine memento for a veteran. $350.00  



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03-70 CIGARETTE TIN. In Imperial Germany, most cigarettes came in tin boxes of varying sizes. The manufacturers produced these tins in ranges from 20 to 25 to 50 or 100 cigarettes. Many different types of cigarettes were advertised in a multitude of ways. Also, it was common to be given cigarette cards with one’s purchase. These could be for a variety of subjects, like orders and decorations, uniforms, etc. This box, which measures 3" x 2 3/4" holds twenty cigarettes. It is for the brand "The Duke of Edinbourgh Flaggengala," which was manufactured by the firm Garbaty in Berlin-Pankow. It is in very fine condition. $80.00   



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03-110 XFB CIGARETTE BOX COMMEMORATING POST WW I SERVICE IN SIBERIA. This is a consignment item. Following WW I’s end, both Russia and Germany experience particularly chaotic internal situations. In Russia, Bolshevik Red and anti-Bolshevik White forces battled for control in a bloody civil war. Meanwhile in Germany, many soldiers found themselves policing internal strife during the Freikorps Period, or battling the Reds alongside the Whites in Russia. Such was the case with this small wooden cigarette box’s original owner, who saw combat in Siberia. The cedar box measures 1" x 3 ¼" 4 ¼." Its exterior features the legend "Erinnerung an Sibirien," (Memory of Siberia). Its top swings up to allow access to the interior where his cigarettes were placed. The handsome little box is in very fine condition. $175.00 







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03-84 SMALL BOX FOR THE VÖLKERSCHLACHTDENKMAL IN LEIPZIG. This is a small box which measures 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" x 1 1/2" and which commemorates the Völkerschlachtdenkmal in Leipzig. This is a massive monument which was dedicated in 1913 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Napoleonic wars. This was a major year in German history and there was much going on to honor German’s role in these wars. This monument is every bit as impressive today as it was nearly 100 years ago and Kaiser Wilhelm II and the King of Saxony were both there for its dedication, $30.00



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21-198 METAL CIGARILLO BOX - ZEPPELIN. It was quite common in Germany, during and after WW I, to sell cigarettes in metal boxes. Today we are offering a metal box measuring 4 1/2" x 3 1/2." It held ten cigarillos when new. It is multicolored, and shows a zeppelin emerging from a cloud bank. $325.00




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18-270 BOX OF MATCHES - VÖLKERSCHLACHTDENKMAL. The Völkerschlachtdenkmal is (and has been) one of the most important war memorials in Germany. It is located in Leipzig, which is one of the most important cities in Saxony, along with Dresden (the capital city). Leipzig was deep in East German territory until the early 1990's, when East and West Germany were reunified. I have seen this memorial in Leipzig, and I can tell you that it is truly beautiful. It has a reflecting pool leading up to it, similar to the reflecting pool for Washington’s Monument in the US capital. The Völkerschlachtdenkmal was dedicated in 1913 to commemorate Germany’s participation 100 years previously in the Napoleonic Wars. This is a box of matches, measuring 3" x 4" x 1 ½." It has a likeness of the monument on the box top. The monument, along with the trees, shrubs, and reflecting pool can be seen. When opening the box, we can see two sections of pink tipped matches. The two compartments seem full. On the sides where one strikes matches, I see that perhaps two or three matches have been struck. Mint. $45.00



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Metal Boxes


03-109 SMALL METAL BOX FEATURING 1914 IRON CROSS ON OUTER LID. This is a small metal box that measures 1 ½" x 2 ¼" x 3 ¼." The box is made of zinc, which was commonly used in patriotic items. Its outer lid displays a 1914 Iron Cross that measures 1 ⅛" x 1 ⅛." Interestingly, the Iron Cross is very close to a Prinzengroße-sized Iron Cross. [Literally translated as "prince-sized," these crosses were worn in Germany’s early days by young princes who were authorized to wear their fathers’ decorations, which were appropriately downsized for their smaller stature. By the time WW I began, they were worn more commonly by noblemen, as well as other officers adopted them to be fashionable]. The cross is of a strikingly high quality. It very possibly could be an actual Prinzengroße Iron Cross. The box’s five sides (its bottom is unadorned) feature ornate scrollwork. It is a finely executed box in first-rate condition. $275.00 






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03-112 PILL/SNUFF BOX DEPICTING FRENCH RAILWAY CAR USED FOR GERMANY’S WW I SURRENDER. This is a silver-toned box that might have been used to hold snuff or pills. It has a hinge so that the box opens by swinging upward. It measures 2" in diameter and is ½" tall. The upper half features the same design on both the outer and inner sections. The bottom half is silver-toned inside, while its outer section displays a bronze-toned medallion that depicts a railway car. The car is identified for being where the armistice was signed on 11 November 1918. This simple railway car became even more famous in 1940 (twenty-two years later) when Adolf Hitler accepted France’s surrender. He then imposed some of the same harsh terms that had been levied on Germany in 1918. $125.00








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03-102 BOX THALER - BAVARIA. I have had several occasions to offer these marvelous Bavarian "Box Thalers" over the years. They are not particularly easy-to-find, so it has been at least five years since I offered the last one. It is an enlarged circular "coin" that measures 2" in diameter. The obverse features a high-relief profile of Bavaria’s King Ludwig III. He is dressed in a military uniform as evidenced by the epaulettes on his tunic shoulders. The Thaler’s reverse features Bavaria’s Coat-of-Arms (with its magnificent twin rampant lions) as its central theme. Above it is the motto "In Treue Fest" Celebrating Loyalty). Below the Coat-of-Arms we see "Bayern Thaler 1914/16." Now we come to the Box Thaler’s most interesting features. The 5/16" thick "coin" separates into two pieces that open to reveal a series of round color images that are connected to one another at the sides. They fan out "accordion" style to expose portraits of King Ludwig III, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Bavarian Kronprinz Rupprecht, Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg, Otto Weddigen, Admiral Graf von Spee, and Generalfeldmarschall von Mackensen. The balance of the miniature paintings depicts various WW I scenes from 1914 through 1916. We see ground troops, zeppelins, aircraft, etc. The contents of this Box Thaler are complete. It is as fine an example as I have ever encountered. $250.00



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03-97 XES DELUXE WOODEN BOX COVERED - KAISERLICHER YACHT CLUB PRIZE PLAQUES. This is a consignment item. The Kaiserliche Yacht Club was one of the forerunners of the Kiel Yacht Club. Known also as "Küz" from its acronym KYC, it was a prestigious yacht club located in the harbor city of Kiel, Germany. German Emperor Wilhelm II, his younger brother Prince Heinrich of Prussia, and Alfred Krupp were among its members. The club was famous for the sailing events it organized, including its role in the first Kieler Woche regattas, an event that still takes place yearly in the Kiel Bay. (It is the largest sailing event in the world). The club’s origins are in the "Marine-Regatta-Verein" (Regatta Union of the Navy), a club for Kaiserliche Marine officers founded in Kiel in 1887. The Marine-Regatta-Verein specialized in yacht racing. Prince Heinrich of Prussia, a yachting enthusiast, was its patron. In 1891 the club allowed civilians in and Emperor Wilhelm II became its commodore, bringing his own yacht Meteor I (the former Thistle) to the club's marina in Kiel. That same year the club changed its name to "Kaiserlicher Yacht Club." At the time of World War I the club house was transformed into a Lazaretto (a quarantine station for maritime travelers). Four hundred fifty-five members of the Kaiserlicher Yacht Club died in the war.
After these difficult years the club almost went bankrupt. It barely managed to survive. The Kaiserlicher Yacht Club retained its name even after the Treaty of Versailles that brought the German monarchy to an end. William II remained as honorary commodore of the club, while he lived in exile at Haus Doorn, in the Netherlands. His patronage was ended when the Nazis came to power and took over the club, doing away with its Imperial name. It resurfaced after WW II and was renamed the Kiel Yacht Club. This handsome wooden box measures 11" x 2 3/4 x 1 3/4." It is completely covered on three sides with small brass Kaiserliche Yacht Club Prize Plaques that each measure 1 1/4" x 2 3/4." Its bottom is covered by dark green felt. One of the plaques on the box’s end is blank. The others are all inscribed for first place and special prizes from 1909 through 1912. No names are written, just the names of the events and their dates. The box swings open on special brass hinges, which are rather elaborate (please note the accompanying pictures). The inside of the box is all wood. We do not know its exact utility, although pencils and pens would fit quite well inside.



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03-55 ARTILLERY BOX. This box is quite interesting. It could have served as a small jewelry or trinket box. It is shaped like an artillery shell and opens up to reveal a space to place small items. It appears that the box is made of zinc or possibly pewter. The lid of the box features a large Hohenzollern Eagle. At the very top it says "Unser Brummer," which is literally, "Our Boomer" and has the caliber of the gun (42CM, which was the largest of the German railway guns). The interior is lined in red and black felt with a rope framework. The box measures 5 1/2" x 2 3/4." It stands on four little legs. I have never seen anything quite like this. $250.00. . .



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03-36 OVAL PATRIOTIC BOX. This is a very well-made and unusual oval-shaped box. It appears to be made of zinc and measures 4 1/8" x 2 ½" x 1 1/8". It is double-hinged. As we open the lid, we find that the box is lined in either a coarse gray silk or possibly cotton. The top of the lid has a fancy design with a 1914 Iron Cross in the center. Four roses are at compass points outside the frame that surround the EK. The outer ring of the box features a series of small frames that have nothing displayed in them. However, they add an interesting decorative design. This is one of those fun little boxes for which the Germans were famous. Let your imagination lead you to whatever treasures you want to place inside it. Better yet, why not give it to a special someone? $195.00



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03-50 PATRIOTIC BOX FEATURING GENERALFELDMARSCHALL PAUL von HINDENBURG. This patriotic box is the type that probably graced a woman's dressing table, although it is possible a man might have used it for cuff links, stickpins, and so on. The octagonal metal box is embellished with roses, metal cabochons, and fancy scrollwork. Its crowning glory is a large, high-relief portrait of von Hindenburg in the center of the lid, with the label "Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg." The box measures 6" in length, 4" in width and 3" in height. It rests on four scroll-decorated feet. The remains of a gilt or silver wash can still be seen, although much of it has worn off over the years. The box itself would appear to be made of tin, or some other base metal. Although it has a lock, the key is missing. Inside, the top lid retains its linen cover. This would enable the owner to insert stickpins or other pieces of jewelry into for safekeeping. Some cotton batting remains inside the box, which may have been used to protect valuables, and keep them from bumping into one another. All in all, this is a very charming patriotic item. $195.00. .



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Wooden, Glass, & Misc. Boxes


03-89 BELL-SHAPED GLASS PATRIOTIC BOX. Patriotic boxes were important collectible in Imperial Germany before and during WW I. The box that we are offering today is quite different. It is made of glass and is bell-shaped. It stands 4 1/4" tall and measures 3 1/2" in diameter at its base. The glass is frosted opaque. Painted on its exterior is an Iron Cross surrounded by a holly leaf wreath. The wreath is tied at the bottom with a bow sporting Germany’s national colors. The box separates and the top half tilts backwards (the edges are lined with gilt-toned metal). This is an exquisite, well made, unusual box with a holiday theme. It almost looks like a Christmas tree ornament! $325.00



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03-81 GARDE du CORPS JEWELRY BOX. This is a jewelry box in the shape of an officer’s visor cap from the Regiment des Garde du Corps (GdC). [They were the Prussian Army’s leading cavalry regiment. When the Kaiser was out in public, a group of them always accompanied him. One generally saw an NCO in full-parade-gear (including the Hohenzollern-Eagle-topped helmet), standing near the Kaiser, brandishing the emperor’s personal standard]. This charming jewelry box is faithful in detail to its larger counterpart. It sports a black visor, the wide, lower red trim band, and the narrow band of red piping encircling its top. The rest of the "cap" is white. The case’s top exhibits some soiling from age (it IS nearly 100-years-old). One kokarde is present. The spot for the second is filled by the button that opens the box.  Inside, the box’s bottom surface appears to be leather. The upper half sports a white silk liner, which has embossed on it in gold, "Zur Erinnerung an den Weltkrieg 1914 Gesetzl. Gesch." The box’s top (the cap’s cover) measures 2 1/2" in diameter. The entire box measures 1" in height. This is a marvelous little item. Only your imagination will limit what you can do with it! $550.00 Price specially reduced to $495.00






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03-104 PATRIOTIC BOX FEATURING 1914 IRON CROSS. This is a patriotic remembrance box that features a 1914 Iron Cross. The box is covered in black leatherette and measures 8" x 12" x 2 ½." The Iron Cross is embossed in silver in its upper left corner. Embossed in silver on its lower right corner is the label "Kriegs-Erinnerungen." A lock appears on the box’s front, but the key is no longer available. $125.00 



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03-103 PATRIOTIC IRON CROSS BOX. During the Imperial German Period, all types of patriotic boxes were proudly displayed in many homes. This increased during WW I, when patriotism rose to extreme levels. Our box measures 8" x 6" x 3/4." It has been intricately carved with designs of all sorts on three sides (its back panel is plain) and its lid. The lid displays a plain black Iron Cross, which is about the size of a normal Iron Cross. A small metal knob helps one lift the box lid. Its interior is trimmed in green leatherette. The uses for this box are limited only by your imagination. $125.00 



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03-101 WOODEN BOX - ROSE MOTIF. This is a fine, black -lacquered wooden box that measures 6" x 4" x 2 ½." The box’s top displays an oval wreath of yellow roses and green leaves surrounded by a dotted yellow oval. Inside, the case’s upper lid and its bottom section are padded with green silk. A 3/4" tear appears in the upper lid’s green silk and the cotton backing shows through. The bottom has more extensive damage to the green silk and much more of the white cotton backing is exposed. The exterior is in good condition. $75.00



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03-83 WOODEN BOX - 1914 IRON CROSS. This is a very high quality wooden box. It measures 7" x 9 1/4" x 4 3/4." It has a fine finish. In the upper left corner is a painted 1914 Iron Cross. A lock is on the front of the box but, unfortunately, the key is no longer present. As you will note from the dimensions, this is a generously sized box. You can put MANY items in it for storage. It would be first-rate on a desk for display. It would also have the advantage of storing many of your other treasures. $275.00



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03-77 WOODEN BOX COMMEMORATING BATTLE OF PAGNY. This is a very fine wooden box that commemorates the Battle of Pagny. The large wooden box measures 13 3/4" x 10" x 6 3/4." Painted on the top lid is the central theme, a larger-than-life 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class. On either side of the Iron Cross are the dates 1814 and 1916. Below the Iron Cross is "Zum Andenken an Pagny (A Gift from Pagny)." Everything described above is surrounded by a green wreath. A lock is installed in the box, but no key is available. This is a very large box for the money. [Some additional shipping will be required for its size]. $250.00



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03-108 IDENTIFIED LEATHER AND BRASS BOX. This is a handsome, Art Deco style, brown-leather box with brass corners and a hinged brass handle on top.  The pebbled leather exterior may actually be Moroccan leather, as the leather on the box’s interior has more of a reddish tint.  The leather on the box’s exterior exhibits some slight wear and scuff marks, although a treatment with a good leather conditioner should alleviate the worn look.  The box itself is very sturdily built and in excellent shape.  Its dimensions are 4 ½” x 8" x 11 ¾.”  Each brass corner fixture is outlined with a tooled, Art Deco design, which is repeated around the center-placed handle. The handle is inscribed with its owner’s name, “Christ.n (abbreviated for Christian) Bove,” in black German Fraktur script.  The handle is hinged so that it can fold down against the box’s exterior.  The box’s front sports a fine brass lock, which unfortunately lacks a key.  The lock itself appears to be in working order and the hinges are sturdy.  The box’s interior is exquisitely lined with green felt that shows NO wear or tear.  It could have held important papers, men’s toiletries or any number of other treasures. $275.00



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03-107 WOODEN BOX COMMEMORATING KAISER WILHELM II. This is an interesting wooden box commemorating Kaiser Wilhelm II and Germany during WW I. The box sports an unusual shape and measures 9 5/8" x 6 7/8" x 5 ½." All of its measurements include curves. Its top is especially interesting, with tiers at three different elevations. A wide array of Art Deco-style design decals, including oak leaves with acorns (signifying strength), swords, lyres, and varying floral designs were applied to its surface when it was made (during the Imperial German Period). As you look down at the box’s top, you read "Mitt Gott," "Fuer (Für)," "Kaiser und," and "Reich" on its four sides. In the center is an appropriately silver and black 1914 Iron Cross. A hasp that fastens over a loop is present, which one can be secured with a small lock (not included). The hasp was broken at some point and has been repaired. The box stands on four balled feet. Some parts of the box display small cracks, but they are barely noticeable. They do NOT affect the box’s structural integrity. This is an attractive box that will display well, as well as contain a goodly number of your personal treasures. $295.00 



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03-100 CARDBOARD SHIPPING BOX - FRONT. This is a small cardboard box that measures 6" x 4" x 3." It was used to ship small items to a soldier serving in the army or at the Front. Transport for gifts to soldiers was quite limited, so small boxes like this were required to limit the amount sent. These boxes were often filled with small gifts and those necessities that were difficult-to-obtain. I cannot see a date when it was mailed, but it was mailed TO a Kingdom of Württemberg soldier serving in Kompagnie Nr 8 of Infanterie-Regiment Nr 127. The box is in excellent condition and would make a fine part of a soldier’s display. $75.00



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03-67 IRON CROSS STORAGE BOX. This storage box measures 6 ½" x 8 7/8" x 2 3/4." It is covered in a feldgrau-like material. At the top is an authentic 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class, with a smaller black and white ribbon attached. The box shows ordinary wear and age for an 80+ year-old piece. $130.00 .



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03-71 CARDBOARD CARTON WITH 1914 IRON CROSS. This is an interesting cardboard box that features a 1914 Iron Cross. The box measures 3 3/4" x 5 ½." It has a faux-textured exterior on the upper lid that simulates linen cloth. The Iron Cross is quite large, measuring 2 ½" x 2." Two of the upper half’s corners have been taped to repair splitting. This box would be fun for holding any number of treasures, business cards, etc. $35.00  



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