Der Rittmeister Militaria LLC, Imperial German Merchandise: Imperial German Air Service Nr 1: Artifacts, Personality Items, Groups, Shoulder Boards, etc.     Updated on 26 May 2017.  
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From time to time we are able to offer some examples of late author Jack D. Hunter's artwork. For the most part, Jack painted for relaxation. He was so talented, however, that his works became very popular. His form of relaxation remains in great demand several years after his death.  These are primarily consignment items. Over the years, I let several of his original pieces get away from me .  When possible, I try to buy them back. Failing that,  other examples occasionally are offered to me. To preserve my wife's sanity at home (as well as a general lack of free wall space) I simply cannot keep them all.  This is your opportunity to acquire some of the finest examples of Jack's life-long love of art.
Enjoy, and perhaps get one  (or more) for your collection!

 

16-391 ORIGINAL PAINTING FEATURING TWO JASTA 11 FOKKER Dr. 1's (TRIPLANES) AND ONE BRITISH NIEUPORT 17c by JACK D. HUNTER.  The late Jack D. Hunter was an amazing talent and a good friend. One of my favorite "Jack" stories occurred when his first book (The Blue Max) was being prepared for publication. As was standard for first-time authors, Jack was informed that his dust jacket would be rendered in black and white (artwork AND color were too expensive for a writer without a proven sales record). Jack, however, told the publisher that HE would provide the artwork if the dust jacket was published in color. The publisher printed 5,000 (a first-time author’s standard run) hardback copies, in color, as The Blue Max’s first edition. It became a top-seller as soon as it was published, then quickly was snapped up and turned into a major motion picture starring George Peppard, James Mason, and Ursula Andress. Jack went on to write seventeen books before his 2009 death. In addition, he became a talented aviation artist whose work resides in museums’ and enthusiasts’ art collections all over the world. Throughout his years as an artist, Jack produced paintings in two basic sizes. His more commonly-seen artwork was larger, measuring 13 ½" x 18 ½." Occasionally, Jack also produced a smaller size that measured 9 3/8" x 14 3/8." Today we are offering the larger painting, which is displayed within a 18 3/4" x 23 3/4" frame. The simple, elegant black molded frame is accented by an inner, gold trim band. The painting’s single gray matte provides a subtle contrast to the colorful action of its subject, a pair of Jagdstaffel (Jasta) 11's Fokker Dr. 1's (the legendary Triplanes) engaging a British Nieuport 17c. The Nieuport 17c was a very nimble and accomplished aircraft. While it was a bit unusual for the RFC (later the RAF) to employ a French airplane, the British aircraft industry was hard-pressed to produce enough aircraft to supply an expanding air service, AND replace the massive, daily losses. Sheer necessity required that they purchase 527 Nieuport 17's from their French allies. Frankly, I rather enjoy seeing a Nieuport 17c here rather than the rather ubiquitous SE 5's or Sopwith Camels. The plane’s graceful lines and its fuselage’s unusual side construction make the aircraft uniquely French even when arrayed in British colors. British Squadron Numbers 1, 6, 11, 29, 32, 40, and 60 employed this aircraft. It is also interesting to note that top British air aces Albert Ball and Billy Bishop (1894-1956) favored the sleek Nieuport 17. [Ball was the fourth-leading British ace. Even though he was killed in 1917, he had won forty-five victories. His final air battle was with Lothar von Richthofen. Von Richthofen’s plane was shot up, so he withdrew to his airfield. Although the German High Command credited Richthofen with shooting Ball down, it was highly-unlikely. Ball evidently emerged from a cloud bank upside down following his pursuit of Richthofen, then crashed before he could recover. Ball was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously. Bishop’s total of seventy-two victories made him Great Britain’s top WW I ace]. The painting reveals that the Nieuport 17's pilot has just dispatched one triplane. The wounded Fokker is smoking and headed for the ground. The remaining Dr. 1 is preparing to engage the Nieuport. Both triplanes are dressed in Jasta 11's famous colors. Too often people tend to forget that only 320 Fokker Triplanes were produced during WW I. In spite of what movies such as 2006's Flyboys depict, entire squadrons of red triplanes did NOT make up 90% of the Imperial German Air Service. Also, the Dr. 1 was not an easy airplane for a novice to fly. An experienced pilot like Manfred von Richthofen could do amazing things with the plane. It took great skill, however. While the plane was extremely maneuverable, it was not speedy. [The Fokker D. VII was considered Germany’s finest WW I combat aircraft, with approximately 3,300 examples produced. Manfred von Richthofen was involved in its testing phase, but died before the airplanes reached the squadron level. The airplane was specifically prohibited by the Treaty of Versailles. All surviving examples were required to be destroyed or turned over to Allied authorities]. The painting’s reverse sports a typewritten description by Jack D. Hunter, describing its action in great detail. The description ends with his signature. This beautiful painting is a must for any collection, especially since it features two airplanes from WW I Germany’s most famous jasta. $2,195.00 

 

 

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16-392 ORIGINAL PAINTING FEATURING ONE ALBATROS D. Va AND ONE SE-5 by JACK D. HUNTER. The late Jack D. Hunter was an amazing talent and a good friend. One of my favorite "Jack" stories occurred when his first book (The Blue Max) was being prepared for publication. As was standard for first-time authors, Jack was informed that his dust jacket would be rendered in black and white (artwork AND color were too expensive for a writer without a proven sales record). Jack, however, told the publisher that HE would provide the artwork if the dust jacket was published in color. The publisher printed 5,000 (a first-time author’s standard run) hardback copies, in color, as The Blue Max’s first edition. It became a top-seller as soon as it was published, then quickly was snapped up and turned into a major motion picture starring George Peppard, James Mason, and Ursula Andress. Jack went on to write seventeen books before his 2009 death. In addition, he became a talented aviation artist whose work resides in museums’ and enthusiasts’ art collections all over the world. Throughout his years as an artist, Jack produced paintings in two basic sizes. His more commonly-seen artwork was larger, measuring 13 ½" x 18 ½." Occasionally, Jack also produced a smaller size that measured 9 3/8" x 14 3/8." Today we are offering one of his paintings in the smaller and more compact size. Its simple, elegant, black, molded frame measures 14 3/8" x 19 3/8." The painting’s subject is an encounter between an Albatros D. Va and a British SE-5. The Albatros is in the foreground and the SE-5 is in the background. The British plane is nosing down on his way to the ground. If you look carefully, you will note that some of the guy wires have become detached and the English bird is mortally wounded. In the lower left corner we see where Jack has signed the painting. The reverse features a hand printed note by Jack D. Hunter describing the painting’s action. The description ends with his signature. This beautiful painting would be outstanding in any collection. $1,495.00

 

 

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16-393 XJB ORIGINAL JACK D. HUNTER PAINTING FEATURING AMERICAN SE 5 ATTACKING A PAIR OF FOKKER D. VII's. My good friend, the late Jack Hunter, was both an accomplished writer (author of the legendary WW I aviation novel The Blue Max) and painter. The first example of his artwork appeared with the release of The Blue Max’s 1st edition. The publisher would not pay for a color dust jacket, so Jack volunteered to provide the artwork. This way his first published effort had the benefit of a more professional-looking dust jacket.
Jack continued to paint for more than forty years. He did so mostly for relaxation and to stimulate his mind in between those times when he was writing books. His painting is prized by collectors and has appeared in several museums. In Jack’s paintings, the airplanes were the "stars." He worked very hard to capture all of an airplane’s correct details. Before starting on a new painting, he first produced what he termed "work sketches." Many of these were in color. He endeavored to correctly portray ALL his subject aircraft’s historical details before he began the full painting. Even if he had previously produced paintings of Fokker Triplanes, he still painted a new "work sketch" to ensure its story’s details were absolutely accurate. For Jack, his painting was an extension of his writing: he always was telling a story. He usually included a typed or handwritten description of each painting’s action. These generally were attached to its reverse, to help its new owner understand the painting and its particular airplanes.
Our action in this painting occurs during the summer of 1918. America has been in the war for more than a year. Not only are American Armies taking their place in the trenches, but American pilots are joining their French comrades at the Front. When we think of WW I’s U.S. Army Air Service, we more often picture French Nieuports and Spads (as flown by top American ace Eddie Rickenbacker). Yet Americans also flew British aircraft. Here we see a bold American in a British SE 5, diving on a pair of unsuspecting Fokker D. VII’s. [His plane has no squadron markings, but a number 17 appears on the fuselage. Its tail number is F-875. One can see shell casings coming from the top wing-mounted machine gun]! The American has already put one of the Germans out of commission. As Jack recounts in his description, the American pilot is diving under the two and next will determine if he can pursue the survivor, or should retire for another day. The crippled D. VII is smoking heavily on its way to the earth.
The two finest WW I British airplanes were the Sopwith Camel and the SE 5. The Fokker D. VII arguably was WW I’s best fighter airplane. It certainly was the best the Germans had to offer. The Allies thought so highly of the D. VII that the Treaty of Versailles obliged Germany to hand over any that were still flyable, and not build any more. In addition to the D. VII’s superior flying characteristics, it was powered by a high-horsepower Mercedes-Benz engine, which gave it tremendous straight line and diving speed.
Jack primarily produced two different sized paintings. This is the larger of the two. The painting measures 14 ½"x 19 ½." The painting is single-matted. It sports a simple black frame, and its overall measurements are 19 ½" x 24 3/4." This is a fine opportunity to obtain an original piece of artwork from a multi talented artist. $1,995.00
 

 

 

 

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16-394 ORIGINAL JACK D. HUNTER PAINTING FEATURES ENGLISH DH 2 SHOOTING DOWN FOKKER E III (EINDECKER). My good friend, the late Jack Hunter, was both an accomplished writer (author of the legendary WW I aviation novel The Blue Max) and painter. The first example of his artwork appeared with the release of The Blue Max’s 1st edition. The publisher would not pay for a color dust jacket, so Jack volunteered to provide the artwork. This way his first published effort had the benefit of a more professional-looking dust jacket.
Jack continued to paint for more than forty years. He did so mostly for relaxation and to stimulate his mind in between those times when he was writing books. His painting is prized by collectors and has appeared in several museums. In Jack’s paintings, the airplanes were the "stars." He worked very hard to capture all of an airplane’s correct details. Before starting on a new painting, he first produced what he termed "work sketches." Many of these were in color. He endeavored to correctly portray ALL his subject aircraft’s historical details before he began the full painting. Even if he had previously produced paintings of Fokker Triplanes in the past, he still painted a new "work sketch" to ensure its story’s details were absolutely accurate. For Jack, his painting was an extension of his writing: he always was telling a story. He usually included a typed or handwritten description of each painting’s action. These generally were attached to its reverse, to help its new owner understand the painting and its particular airplanes.
Our action in this painting occurs during April 1916. The Fokker E. III had been Germany’s primary single-seater airplane during 1915 and through early 1916. Aces like Max Immelmann and Oswald Boelcke had made their reputations in it, becoming the first Imperial German Air Service pilots to be awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite. As was seen countless times during the air war, new technology was constantly appearing that made previous aircraft obsolete. The Fokker E. III was rendered obsolete by the likes of the British DH 2 (whose tail number is B7313). The latter was a very unusual airplane, as the engine and propeller were located behind the pilot.
In this painting, which is a vertical presentation, the Fokker E. III is beginning its final descent toward earth. The British pilot is looking down at his vanquished prey. A fine cloud cover appears above the planes, while a multicolored battlefield is below. Jack Hunter’s signature appears on the painting’s right lower corner.  Jack primarily produced two different sized paintings. This is the smaller of the two. The painting measures 9 ½"x 14 ½." The painting is single-matted. It sports a simple black frame, and its overall measurements are 14 3/4" x 19 3/4." This is a fine opportunity to obtain an original piece of artwork from a multi talented artist. $1,495.00
 

 

 

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16-397 ORIGINAL PAINTING - U. S. SALMSON TWO-SEATER FENDING-OFF PFALZ D-XII’S ATTACK by JACK D. HUNTER. The late Jack D. Hunter was an amazing talent and a good friend. One of my favorite "Jack" stories occurred when his first book (The Blue Max) was being prepared for publication. As was standard for first-time authors, Jack was informed that his dust jacket would be rendered in black and white (artwork AND color were too expensive for a writer without a proven sales record). Jack, however, told the publisher that HE would provide the artwork if the dust jacket was published in color. The publisher printed 5,000 (a first-time author’s standard run) hardback copies, in color, as The Blue Max’s first edition. It became a top-seller as soon as it was published, then quickly was snapped up and turned into a major motion picture starring George Peppard, James Mason, and Ursula Andress. Jack went on to write seventeen books before his 2009 death. In addition, he became a talented aviation artist whose work resides in museums’ and enthusiasts’ art collections all over the world. Throughout his years as an artist, Jack produced paintings in two basic sizes. Today we are offering one of his paintings in the smaller, more compact size. Its simple, elegant, black, molded frame measures 14 ½" x 19 ½."The painting’s subject is a duel between an American Salmson Observation Airplane and a Pfalz D. XII. In the action is the Salmson, decked out in camouflage and sporting the U.S. Army Air Service Roundel. The observer in the airplane’s back is manning his twin machine guns. The Pfalz D. XII has been critically wounded and is heading for a forced landing. The Pfalz D. XII was first brought into service in March 1918, at about the same time as the better-known Fokker D. VII. The Fokker was the better aircraft, but the Pfalz was still produced in large numbers (about 800). Although it was not as popular, it was a competent airplane. Jack’s signature appears in the lower left corner. The reverse features a hand-printed note by Jack D. Hunter describing the painting’s action. The description ends with his signature. Such a beautiful painting would make an outstanding addition to any collection. $1,495.00

 

 

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16-398 ORIGINAL PAINTING - BRITISH BE-12 PURSUED BY TWO ALBATROS FIGHTER-PLANES by JACK D. HUNTER. The late Jack D. Hunter was an amazing talent and a good friend. One of my favorite "Jack" stories occurred when his first book (The Blue Max) was being prepared for publication. As was standard for first-time authors, Jack was informed that his dust jacket would be rendered in black and white (artwork AND color were too expensive for a writer without a proven sales record). Jack, however, told the publisher that HE would provide the artwork if the dust jacket was published in color. The publisher printed 5,000 (a first-time author’s standard run) hardback copies, in color, as The Blue Max’s first edition. It became a top-seller as soon as it was published, then quickly was snapped up and turned into a major motion picture starring George Peppard, James Mason, and Ursula Andress. Jack went on to write seventeen books before his 2009 death. In addition, he became a talented aviation artist whose work resides in museums’ and enthusiasts’ art collections all over the world. Throughout his years as an artist, Jack produced paintings in two basic sizes. Today we are offering one of his paintings in the smaller, more compact size. Its simple, elegant, black, molded frame measures 14 ½" x 19 ½."The painting’s subject is a British BE-12. It was a single-seater scout plane that was in use in the summer of 1916. The airplane was no match for the Albatros (most likely an Albatros D. II or possibly an Albatros D. III) single-seaters that were just coming on line. In the distance two of the Albatros fighters are headed toward the British airplane. The airplane’s and pilot’s details are quite striking. The British aircraft’s tail number, "6537," is quite evident. Jack’s signature appears in the lower left corner. The reverse features a hand-printed note by Jack D. Hunter describing the painting’s action. The description ends with his signature. Such a beautiful painting would make an outstanding addition to any collection. $1,495.00

 

 

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16-400 ORIGINAL PAINTING - FOKKER D. VII. SHOOTING DOWN BRITISH S. E. 5. by JACK D. HUNTER. The late Jack D. Hunter was an amazing talent, and a good friend. One of my favorite "Jack" stories occurred when his first book (The Blue Max) was being prepared for publication. As was standard for first-time authors, Jack was informed that his dust jacket would be rendered in black and white (artwork AND color were too expensive for a writer without a proven sales record). Jack, however, told the publisher that HE would provide the artwork if the dust jacket was published in color. The publisher printed 5,000 (a first-time author’s standard run) hardback copies, in color, as The Blue Max’s first edition. It became a top-seller as soon as it was published, then quickly was snapped up and turned into a major motion picture starring George Peppard, James Mason, and Ursula Andress. Jack went on to write seventeen books before his 2009 death. In addition, he became a talented aviation artist whose work resides in museums’ and enthusiasts’ art collections all over the world.
Throughout his years as an artist, Jack produced paintings in two basic sizes. His more commonly-seen artwork was larger, while he occasionally produced a smaller size. Today we are offering the larger painting, which measures 19 ½" x 24 ½" within its frame. The simple, elegant, black, molded frame is accented by an inner, gold trim band, with a single, off-white matte providing a subtle contrast. The painting’s subject is a gray-colored Fokker D. V. II. The pilot looks on as his victim, an RAF S. E. 5, appears to be fatally hit. The S. E. 5. is zooming up and trailing a large plume of smoke. It is only a matter of time before the S. E. 5 noses down for his flight’s end. We cannot see the British pilot, so we cannot determine if he could still control his plane. Hopefully, he will be able to bring his plane to the ground the "easy" way.
Without a doubt, the Fokker D. V. II was the finest single-seater fighter aircraft that Germany produced during WW I. It replaced the Fokker Dr 1. and the Albatros D. V. as Germany’s front-line fighter plane. The D. V. II. was personally endorsed by Manfred von Richthofen. The airplanes started arriving at the front a month after his death. More than 3,300 examples were built. So deadly were they that the Versailles treaty required Germany to surrender all D. VII’s to the Allied authorities. It is said that the final commander of JG 1, Hermann Göring, ordered all of his planes to be destroyed rather than surrender them.
The S. E. 5 (Scout Experimental 5) first reached the front in March 1917, and more than 5,200 were built. The S. E. 5. and the Sopwith Camel were the best known British fighter planes.
Jack’s signature appears in the lower right corner. (The reverse does NOT display Mr. Hunter’s customary description of his painting’s action). Such a beautiful painting would make an outstanding addition to any collection.
$2,095.00

 

 

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16-401 ORIGINAL PAINTING - ALBATROS C. III & BRISTOL "D" SCOUT by JACK D. HUNTER. The late Jack D. Hunter was an amazing talent, and a good friend. One of my favorite "Jack" stories occurred when his first book (The Blue Max) was being prepared for publication. As was standard for first-time authors, Jack was informed that his dust jacket would be rendered in black and white (artwork AND color were too expensive for a writer without a proven sales record). Jack, however, told the publisher that HE would provide the artwork if the dust jacket was published in color. The publisher printed 5,000 (a first-time author’s standard run) hardback copies, in color, as The Blue Max’s first edition. It became a top-seller as soon as it was published, then quickly was snapped up and turned into a major motion picture starring George Peppard, James Mason, and Ursula Andress. Jack went on to write seventeen books before his 2009 death. In addition, he became a talented aviation artist whose work resides in museums’ and enthusiasts’ art collections all over the world.
Throughout his years as an artist, Jack produced paintings in two basic sizes. Today we are offering one of his paintings in the smaller, more compact size. Its simple, elegant, black, molded frame measures 14 ½" x 19 ½."
The action of this painting shows a German Albatros C. III two seater airplane battling a British Bristol "D" Scout "Bullet." The C. III was one of Germany’s premiere two-seaters during the WW I. It was used for a variety of roles, including in observation squadrons, light bombers, and ground attacks. It was produced by Albatros, the well known firm that also produced some highly effective single-seater fighter planes that saw extensive service with front line jastas.
The Bristol "D" was one of the earliest single-seater airplanes the RFC used. It was used from 1914-1916. Approximately 374 planes were built. (They were actually built before machine guns were fitted to airplanes). The "D" Scout was obsolete by 1916, and was replaced by Sopwith Camels and S.E. 5's.
In the painting, the C. III is the central focus as the gunner observes his handiwork. The Bristol is nosing down and smoking heavily. The painting’s simple black frame sports a small gold trim band. It has a single green matte. Jack’s signature appears in the painting’s lower right corner.
The reverse displays a printed description of the action written and signed by Jack Hunter. $1,495.00

 

 

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16-402 ORIGINAL PAINTING - AMERICAN SALMSON SAL 2-A-2 - by JACK D. HUNTER. The late Jack D. Hunter was an amazing talent, and a good friend. One of my favorite "Jack" stories occurred when his first book (The Blue Max) was being prepared for publication. As was standard for first-time authors, Jack was informed that his dust jacket would be rendered in black and white (artwork AND color were too expensive for a writer without a proven sales record). Jack, however, told the publisher that HE would provide the artwork if the dust jacket was published in color. The publisher printed 5,000 (a first-time author’s standard run) hardback copies, in color, as The Blue Max’s first edition. It became a top-seller as soon as it was published, then quickly was snapped up and turned into a major motion picture starring George Peppard, James Mason, and Ursula Andress. Jack went on to write seventeen books before his 2009 death. In addition, he became a talented aviation artist whose work resides in museums’ and enthusiasts’ art collections all over the world.
Throughout his years as an artist, Jack produced paintings in two basic sizes. His more commonly-seen artwork was larger, while he occasionally produced a smaller size. Today we are offering the larger painting, which measures 19 ½" x 24 ½" within its frame. The simple, elegant, black, molded frame is accented by an inner, gold trim band, with a single, blue matte providing a subtle contrast.
The subject of the painting is a French-built Salmson SAL 2-A-2, flown by a U.S. Army Air Service crew. With the USA’s late entry into WW I, the bulk of the flown airplanes were either British or French-manufactured. Such was the case with the Salmson SAL 2-A-2. About 3,200 planes were built. They first came into service in 1917, and were the primary two-seaters used by the French Army during the WW I’s final years.
In the painting’s action, the Americans are in full battle with a pair of Albatros D. Va’s. The Salmson’s gunner is shown with his twin machine guns blazing. If you look closely enough, you can see the shell casings are flying. One of the Albatros’s is smoking as it descends. Bits and pieces of it are trailing back. The other D. Va is flying nearby.
Jack Hunter’s signature appears in the lower right corner. On the reverse is a typewritten description of the action, which is also signed by Jack Hunter. $1,995.00

 

 

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16-405 ORIGINAL PAINTING - BRITISH BE 2c (IDENTIFIED AS A BE 12) TAKING OFF FROM AIRFIELD by JACK D. HUNTER. The late Jack D. Hunter was an amazing talent, and a good friend. One of my favorite "Jack" stories occurred when his first book (The Blue Max) was being prepared for publication. As was standard for first-time authors, Jack was informed that his dust jacket would be rendered in black and white (artwork AND color were too expensive for a writer without a proven sales record). Jack, however, told the publisher that HE would provide the artwork if the dust jacket was published in color. The publisher printed 5,000 (a first-time author’s standard run) hardback copies, in color, as The Blue Max’s first edition. It became a top-seller as soon as it was published, then quickly was snapped up and turned into a major motion picture starring George Peppard, James Mason, and Ursula Andress. Jack went on to write seventeen books before his 2009 death. In addition, he became a talented aviation artist whose work resides in museums’ and enthusiasts’ art collections all over the world.
Throughout his years as an artist, Jack produced paintings in two basic sizes. Today we are offering one of his paintings in the smaller, more compact size. Its simple, elegant, black, molded frame measures 14 ½" x 19 ½." The painting’s action depicts a British BE 2c, which Jack misidentifies as a BE 12. I find this interesting, as Jack heavily researched his subjects before he began a painting. Nevertheless, we find that he has identified the plane as a BE 12, a single-seater fighter that was not used until 1916. Instead, it is the BE 2c, which preceded the BE 12 and was a two-seater observation version. We can verify our correction of Jack in two ways. First, and most important, two men are seated in the airplane as it takes off from its airfield. We can also clearly identify the two separate sections in which they are seated. Second, Jack writes that the scene is from 1915. The BE 2c had been in service since 1912, while the BE 12 would not join the RFC until August 1916.
We see Jack’s signature in the painting’s lower left portion. The painting’s simple black frame sports a small gold trim band. It has a single, blue matte. The painting’s reverse displays a very small yellow tag on which Jack describes the painting’s action. Another tag also appears, on which the original owner states that this is a very early Hunter. $1,495.00
 

 

 

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16-407 ORIGINAL PAINTING - GOTHA G. V. BOMBER ATTACKED BY SE-5A by JACK D. HUNTER. The late Jack D. Hunter was an amazing talent, and a good friend. One of my favorite "Jack" stories occurred when his first book (The Blue Max) was being prepared for publication. As was standard for first-time authors, Jack was informed that his dust jacket would be rendered in black and white (artwork AND color were too expensive for a writer without a proven sales record). Jack, however, told the publisher that HE would provide the artwork if the dust jacket was published in color. The publisher printed 5,000 (a first-time author’s standard run) hardback copies, in color, as The Blue Max’s first edition. It became a top-seller as soon as it was published, then quickly was snapped up and turned into a major motion picture starring George Peppard, James Mason, and Ursula Andress. Jack went on to write seventeen books before his 2009 death. In addition, he became a talented aviation artist whose work resides in museums’ and enthusiasts’ art collections all over the world.
Throughout his years as an artist, Jack produced paintings in two basic sizes. Today we are offering one of his paintings in the smaller, more compact size. Its simple, elegant, black, molded frame measures 19 ½" x 24 ½." It sports a single-matte. The painting’s subject is a German Gotha G. V. Bomber flying over Southeast England. It has become separated from the rest of its squadron, and is heading for home.
The Gotha was one of Germany’s best-known WW I bombers. Considered a heavy bomber, it was produced in three variations: the G. V., the G. Va., and the G. Vb. A total of 205 G. V.’s was built between 1917 and 1918. According to Jack Hunter, they carried twelve bombs and flew at 92 mph. The bomber carried a crew of three and had multiple machine guns to protect itself. The Gotha had two engines to propel it. It was a "pusher" aircraft, meaning its propellers were located aft of the engines to "push" the airplane.
In the painting, the Gotha is being attacked by a SE-5a coming from above. Arguably, the SE-5 and Sopwith Camel were Britain’s best-known WW I fighter planes. Nearly 5,200 SE-5's, SE-5a’s and SE-5b’s were built. The SE-5 was flown by many top British and American aces. (An original SE-5 can be seen at the U.S. Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio). The first SE-5's reached the front in March 1917, and were flown by the RFC’s famous 56th Squadron. One of its unique features was a single machine gun mounted in front of the pilot on its cowl. A second was mounted on the top wing.
Jack’s signature appears in the painting’s lower right corner. The painting’s reverse displays a printed description of the action written and signed by him. $1,995.00
 

 

 

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Documents, Groups, & Autographed Photos

 

 

05-1700 XML JEWELER’S/WEARER’S COPY - ORDEN POUR le MÉRITE - PRUSSIA. This is a consignment item. We all know that the Orden Pour le Mérite (PLM) was the highest decoration that Prussia and Germany could offer to its officers. Enlisted Men and NCO’s were not eligible for the award. Instead, they had their own decoration that recognized extreme bravery in combat, often referred to as the "Enlisted Man’s Blue Max." [The PLM, or "Blue Max," is supposedly nicknamed that for Max Immelmann, the first WW I aviator to receive it. I have been asked over the years, why was Prussia and Germany’s top decoration given a French name? When it was created in 1740, during Friedrich der Große’s reign, the official court language was French. Friedrich considered the German language uncouth, and French to be more refined and cultured. He even modeled his primary Potsdam castle, Sanssouci, after the French Palace at Versailles].
Approximately seven hundred examples of the Orden Pour le Mérite were awarded during WW I from 1914 through 1918. No more examples were awarded after the war’s end. You will note that we have used the terms "Jeweler’s or Wearer’s Copy" for this PLM. I wish I knew of a better term for these decorations. In other words, this is a period PLM that lacks the provenance to offer it as a presentation piece. Traditionally, the provenance that allows a PLM (or any other high decoration) to be considered an "awarded" decoration comes in the form of an Urkunde (the official award document signed by the Kaiser or, in some cases, the Ordenskanzler), or some other documentation from the family of the man awarded the PLM.
For example, Godet & Sohn was one of Kaiser Wilhelm’s house jewelers who provided presentation PLM’s for nominated officers. Suppose that Godet had ten PLM’s in stock. They get the call from the Kaiser’s Ordenskanzler that five PLM’s are required for presentation by the Kaiser. Five are pulled from the stock and sent to the Ordenskanzler, who then arranged for five Urkunden to be signed by the Kaiser for presentation with the PLM’s. After receiving his award, one of the officers might decide he did not want to risk harming something that had been personally presented to him by his Kaiser, instead preferring to store it in a safe place. At the same time, however, the Orden Pour le Mérite statutes mandated that the recipient wear one on his uniform whenever he was out in public. The solution to this dilemma was for the officer to visit Godet & Sohn in order to purchase ANOTHER PLM for daily wear (he might even purchase two, just in case). [The same solution applied if the officer lost or damaged his PLM and required a replacement]. So Godet would pull another PLM from its inventory that was IDENTICAL to his awarded piece in every way. In this instance, no actual difference existed between the "Jeweler’s/Wearer’s Copy" and the actual awarded piece because they were constructed by the SAME company in the SAME manner.
So I use the term "Jeweler’s or Wearer’s Copy" only because I cannot present any supporting documentation to you. I have offered PLM’s in this manner for twenty years, with the exception of the very rare instance when I DID have provenance that I felt was sufficient to classify it as an "awarded" PLM. In point of fact, if a PLM is a period piece (NOT post war), NO actual difference exists between them.
This is what we are offering to you today, a "Jeweler’s or Wearer’s Copy." The decoration measures 2 ¼" x 2 ¼." It displays a handsome blue enamel surface on both the obverse and reverse. The obverse features the "Pour le Mérite" and Friedrich der Große’s crowned royal cypher in gold lettering (chased gold lettering, to be specific). A gold Hohenzollern Eagle nestles between each blue enamel arm. A pie-shaped suspension device is attached to a paperclip-like holder through which the decoration’s neck-ribbon was inserted. This pie-shaped device was used on early-to-mid World War I PLM’s. The VERY early-war examples actually were made of gold. As WW I progressed, gold soon was in short supply, so awards were made of silver that was covered with a gold wash, as was this example. A close examination of the pie-shaped device’s edge reveals a mark that reads "JguS .938." The latter attests that the decoration INDEED came from J. Godet und Sohn’s workshops and that the decoration is made of .938 silver beneath its gold wash. The obverse’s enamel finish is quite pleasing, with one very small dimple near the "P" that keeps it from being perfect. I actually like the idea that it shows some wear to it, which I classify as "honest age." The reverse is flawless.
A 100% correct ribbon accompanies the decoration. It measures 18 ¾" in length and is 2" wide. The ties at the end that allowed the decoration to be worn around the neck are NOT present. The ribbon is made of black silk, with two narrow silver bullion stripes, each of which measures ¼" in width. It has been quite some time since we have been able to offer a PLM of this quality and condition.  With the price reduction, this superb Pour le Mérite represents a truly excellent value.
$8,495.00 FINAL PRICE REDUCTION: $7,250.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14-376 BUST OF RITTMEISTER MANFRED von RICHTHOFEN. In WW I aviation, no individual attracts more attention than Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen. He is not only the best-known of WW I Germany’s aces, but of ALL fighter pilots. He set the bar of achievement not only due to his eighty confirmed victories, but as the leader of Jasta 11, then as commander of the "Flying Circus," JG 1. Who can say why he was and is so popular? He certainly had charisma, not only with his pilots but with the German people. He was every bit a "Rock Star" of his day. He was stopped in the streets by men and women who wanted his autograph. He wrote a best-selling autobiography while recuperating from injuries sustained the first time he was shot down (although he never truly recovered). His company was sought out by many military commanders and royals, including his Kaiser. It was all part of the magic that swirled around him. His death on 21 April 1918 did nothing to end the legend. If anything, it enhanced it. WW II’s Luftwaffe named a fighter unit after him, a practice that has continued to this day.  Items pertaining to von Richthofen are extremely popular among collectors ninety years after his death. Sanke postcards can often fetch more than one hundred dollars. Any small item that relates to him can command serious money.
Today we are both excited and pleased to be offering an amazing artifact connected to this famous young man. It is what I would term a "half-sized" bust of our hero. It is "half-sized" in that it is not life-sized. It stands 15" tall, 8" wide, and 5" deep. His head alone measures 8" x 6" x 6 ½" (at the nose). I believe it is made of bisque (i.e., unglazed) porcelain. The great man is wearing his leather flight helmet. Pushed up on his forehead are his goggles. Below his chin and suspended from a ribbon is his over sized Orden Pour le Mérite. (He proudly wore it from January 1917 until his death in April 1918). As is the custom with busts, his chest is cut in a "V" pattern that eliminates his arms. The bust stands on a circular base that is 2 ½" tall and 6" in diameter at the base. On the base is a line of text reading "Roter Baron." A second line states "Manfred v. Richthofen." The base’s reverse lists his birth and death years (1892-1918). The bust is amazingly detailed. His eyebrows are clearly delineated, as are the pupils of his eyes. His nose and lips are handsomely detailed. The base’s bottom bears a hallmark for Südgau Porzelanmanufaktur. I had a very well versed collector of statues, busts, and royalty plates examine it. He is quite impressed with the bust’s quality and execution. His opinion is that the bust was created between in the 1920's or 1930's. He and I are not certain for what purpose it was created or how many examples may have existed. His final remark to me following his examination was that he could only remember seeing one like it in the past. The bust comes from an old and trusted former East German source who occasionally finds me amazing pieces. Needless to say, this would make a centerpiece for any collection. Its overall condition is excellent. It shows just enough soiling and honest age to give one a level of comfort. [Because of its size and weight, additional shipping charges will apply]. $4,795.00

 

 

 

 

 

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21-325 XBS LUFTSCHIFFER OFFICER’S DOCUMENT AND PHOTO GROUP. This is a consignment item. If you have an interest in document groups, we have something special for you. If you have an interest in observation balloons and zeppelins, this wonderful group is VERY special for you. The number of documents it contains is absolutely staggering, and will enable you to track and research almost everything the man ever did. His name was Werner Eugen Möschke. He was born in 1881, then first entered the army at the dawn of the 20th Century. The document group indicates he saw early service in Nassau Field Artillery-Regiment Nr 27. After completing his mandatory two years of military service, Möschke began his post high school (called "gymnasium" in Germany) studies, eventually becoming a mechanical engineer. The group contains many documents from this period, including some confirming his graduation and his qualifications as an engineer.
When WW I broke out, Möschke found himself in a Luftschiffer-Bataillon as a Leutnant der Reserve. Luftschiffer-Bataillons included the observation balloons that were launched from mobile units to spy on enemy positions and call in artillery strikes, which was his assignment. Later he was transferred to the Luftschiffer-Bataillon’s zeppelin section. He finished the war as a Hauptmann der Reserve. Our document group provides definite proof that he did indeed serve with a zeppelin unit, although I am unable to determine if he was onboard as a zeppelin commander or if he was a unit commander. [Please note: in 1917, the Imperial German Army decided it was no longer interested in fielding Luftschiffer-Bataillons. So, the Army turned over all its airships and zeppelin-related equipment to the Kaiserliche Marine, including (perhaps) some transfer of personnel].
Möschke returned to his peacetime profession when WW I was over. In the 1930's, however, he returned to the army, where he eventually achieved a major’s rank. The group’s consignor has included several typed papers containing translated information concerning some of the documents, including his war service. These papers indicate that he served as a member of the executive committee for a military reporting office in Freiburg during WW II. Photos from the group show him wearing the very rare Army Commemorative Airship Badge, which further documents his involvement with zeppelins as well as an observation squadron.
We are listing some of the group’s military-related documents below. Some of them detail his various assignments during the Great War.

 

Above all, they show some of the more important and costly battles in which Möschke was involved.

 

 

1) 1907 Artillerie Officer’s Patent. The same type of patent was used whether its recipient was a Leutnant or a Generalmajor. The only real difference is that junior officer’s Patents were not signed by Kaiser Wilhelm II. Prior to WW I, the Kaiser had personally signed Patents in the rank of Hauptmann and above. Due to the Imperial German Army’s size, however, as the war progressed, he signed far fewer Patents, perhaps only for Majors and above.

 

 

 

 

 

2) Award Document for the Long-Service Award 2nd Class. Dated March 1914, it was issued through the XVIII Armeekorps.

 

 

 

3) Award Document for the Iron Cross 2nd Class. It is dated August 1917.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) Award Document for the Ernst Ludwig Allgemeines Ehrenzeichen für Tapferkeit. He was awarded Hesse’s Iron Cross 2nd Class equivalent in 1915. The very ornate document bears the Grand Duke of Hesse’s signature. Möschke probably was a native son of Hesse to have received its award so much earlier than the Imperial Iron Cross 2nd Class he later was awarded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5) Enlisted Man/NCO’s Militärpaß and Soldbuch. This dates from his two-year mandatory service.

 

 

6) Two Kriegsranglisten. These documents were used by officers, much as an enlisted man and NCO used a Militärpaß. Each contained all of their owner’s critical information about his rank, promotions, areas of service with dates, awards, and so on. They are excellent sources for research. They indicate that he saw service in the battles of Verdun and Ypres. One of the two was updated in 1935 when he once more re-entered the army.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7) Hindenburg Cross with Swords for Combatants Award Document. The document is dated 1935.

 

 

A number of military-related documents date from 1935 forward. Following WW II, Möschke went through the de-Nazification process where he was deemed not to be a hard-core Nazi threat. He again returned to engineering, although the papers indicate he had health problems that stemmed from his many high-altitude flights. He died at the age of 73.
We have barely scratched the surface of what is contained in this fantastic document group. We have never offered anything as extensive as this group! Möschke took great pains to retain the many documents that related to his military and professional life. Stacked up, the group measures some two-to-three inches in height! Frankly, the group is mind-boggling.
You will have hours of fun pouring though all of these documents and learning more about a man who served his country through two world wars. Please be ready for the large number of photographs attached to our entry. In this case, a picture IS worth a thousand words! $2,495.00 PRICE REDUCTION!  $2,250.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13-803 AUTOGRAPHED BIOGRAPHY - OBERLEUTNANT zur SEE FRIEDRICH CHRISTIANSEN. This is an autographed biography of Oberleutnant zur See Friedrich Christiansen (1879-1972). Christiansen. Christiansen was a prewar naval pilot who received his certificate early in 1914. He was credited with a total of thirteen victories, including a British submarine! He was awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite on 11 December 1917. He was one of only three naval aviation officer to be awarded the PLM. After the war, he was a pilot for Dornier and flew the Dornier Do. X across the Atlantic in 1930. In 1937, he was appointed Korpsführer of the NSFK (National Socialist Flying Corps). He later became a General der Flieger in the Luftwaffe. He commanded all German troops in Holland during WW II. He died in 1972, one of the last of WW I’s pilots to win the PLM. $250.00

 

 

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13-118 NAVY LAND PLANE MILITÄRPAß. The Navy Land Plane Jastas of the Naval Air Service were relatively small and quite elite compared to the Navy Sea Plane arm. These squadrons, which flew in Flanders alongside Army Jastas, produced some of the best fighter pilots of the war. These men were often among those with the highest scores of planes shot down. This militärpaß was to an enlisted man who served in one of these jastas, most likely as a ground crewman. This man first entered the Navy in June 1917 and was initially assigned to II. Matrosen Division. He survived the war and entries from as late as 1920  appear in the militärpaß.  It is a very difficult-to-find Militärpaß. $575.00

 

 

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14-138 FRAMED PHOTOGRAPH OF MAX IMMELMANN. This is a simply marvelous larger format portrait photograph of Max Immelmann. The photograph measures 7 1/4" x 3 1/4" and is uniquely mounted in a period frame that would have hung from a wall and measures 12" x 8 1/4." The photograph is an original of one of Immelmann's most-popular Sanke Cards ever produced. It has him standing wearing a bayonet, Iron Cross 1st Class, Prussian Pilot Badge, and a five-place medal bar. He is also holding his visor cap in his hands. This photo was most likely given to a family member or friend as it is signed in black on the obverse: "Max Dez. 1915." This was taken the month before he received the PLM. The portrait photograph is placed in the frame in a way that creates a shadow box effect. The frame, as mentioned previously, is a period type and the wood is brown. Between the brown molding and the gilt trim of the shadow box is a brown velvet that adds to the distinctive look of the frame. $2,495.00

 

 

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Cigarette Cases, Cigarette Boxes, & Misc. Aviation Items

 

 

14-443 XJB STERLING SILVER DESK BOX WITH FIFTY-SIX POUR le MÉRITE WINNERS: THIRTY-SIX AVIATORS, FOURTEEN U-BOOT ACES, AND SIX ARMY OFFICERS. This is a consignment item. As I gaze at this superb item, I can honestly say that I have never typed such a totally inadequate title. The truth is, words cannot do this exquisite item full justice. As its description unfolds, you will better appreciate its historical significance. It is the second of the two MOST important consignment offerings we have ever shared with you.
As many of you know, Der Rittmeister Militaria was founded partly to honor Rittmeister Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, as well as to cultivate interest in the Imperial German Air Service. No WW I personality is more iconic than the "Red Baron," so it pleases me immensely to present this VERY historic box today. As our highly-detailed description unfolds, we will present some interesting speculation about the box owner’s (famous) identity. I have offered many fine silver boxes over the years, some were presentation pieces engraved with a few names, others were marked to famous squadrons [such as the marvelous silver Jasta 11 cigarette box we recently sold, presented to a virtually unknown pilot who briefly flew with that squadron]. Still more were given as Kaiser prizes or gifts from other royals, while a very rare few belonged to aces who collected squadron mates’ and other famous pilots’ names.

 

This high-quality, jeweler-made, desktop box trumps them all. It measures an impressive 2" x 5 ½" x 10 ½," and probably held cigars or cigarettes. Its upper lid was signed by an unheard of THIRTY-SIX Pour le Mérite-winning aviators. Stop for a moment and consider, this represents nearly HALF of all the flyers upon whom the Kaiser bestowed Germany’s highest decoration for military valor. Never before have I seen such a famous group of names on a single piece of silver! It is an incredible total. The way these signatures were obtained makes the box even more extraordinary. Its current owner is one of the USA’s major aviation collectors. At one time or another he has owned many extremely important aviation artifacts, including numerous Ehrenbechers and Ehrengaben, an Ace's PLM and Urkunde, and the ultra-rare Ehrenbecher given to Imperial German Army Zeppelin personnel. He has done an astounding amount of research about the box, which we will be sharing with you. As a matter of fact, he has prepared a research binder that will greatly enhance its purchaser’s enjoyment. He will be happy to correspond with its new owner by phone or email, sharing further insights or answering additional questions.
First, let us fill in the box’s background. As previously stated, a total of thirty-six PLM-winning aviators’ signatures appears on its top lid. These thirty-six men include flyers from Fighter, Bomber, and even Observation Squadrons. They constitute an Imperial German Knights of the Air Who’s Who, every one of whom personally held the box to sign his name on it with a grease pencil. [We will explain about the grease pencil and its part in the box’s preparation later]. The honor roll is listed below. It includes each flyer’s number of "kills" in descending order, or another reason he was awarded the PLM.

 

 

NAME                                                       KILLS/REASON

  1. Manfred von Richthofen                                                  80

  2. Ernst Udet                                                                         62

  3. Rudolf Berthold                                                               44

  4. Bruno Loerzer                                                                  44

  5. Paul Baumer                                                                     43

  6. Oswald Boelcke                                                               40

  7. Franz Büchner                                                                 40

  8. Lothar von Richthofen                                                    40

  9. Carl Jacobs                                                                      38

10. Carl Bolle                                                                          36

11. Carl Degelow                                                                    36

12. Ritter von Müller                                                              36

13. Julius Buckler                                                                  35

14. Otto Könnecke                                                                 35

15. Eduard Ritter von Schleich                                            35

16. Josef Veltjens                                                                  35

17. Heinrich Bongartz                                                           33

18. Theodor Osterkamp                                                        31

19. Gotthard Sachsenberg                                                   31                       

20. Walter Blume                                                                   28

21. Robert Ritter von Greim                                                 28

22. Arthur Laumann                                                              28

23. Oskar von Boenigk                                                         27

24. Hermann Göring                                                              22

25. Hans Klein                                                                        22

 

                  26. Ernst Brandenburg led daylight Gotha bombing on London

                  27. Hans-Georg Horn flew over 300 WW I Recon missions

                  28. Alfred Keller Night Bombing Pioneer/Famous Raid on Dunkirk

                  29. Hermann Köhl blew up Amiens Ammo Dump*           
                         *[The1st to cross the Atlantic West to East, awarded the DFC by President Coolidge]!

                  30. Leo Leonhardy Renowned Bomber Pilot*
                         *[He was nicknamed "The Iron Commander"]

                    31. Albert Müller-Kahle. He won the PLM for artillery spotting for the great Paris Gun!

                  32. Paul von Pechmann the 1st Observer to Win PLM*
                         *[Famous for the 1918 Summer Offensive's "Nutrition Flights,"
                            dropping food/meds/ammo to forward troops]

                  33. Peter Rieper, an intrepid Balloon Observer*
                         *[He was shot down several times, yet survived]

                    34. Erich Homburg, Observer Pilot/Squadron Commander*
                            *[He flew 239 Missions]


                  35. Not Yet Identified

                  36. Not Yet Identified

 

We will also list below the other names signed to the box’s front, left and right side panels. They include U-Boot aces as well as Infanterie/Artillerie officers. [Yes! These three panels boast twenty more PLM-winners’ engraved signatures]! However, we must first complete our description of the lid’s other decorations. The lid’s upper left corner boasts a full-sized PLM. It is a top-quality Jeweler’s Copy that was modified for use on the box. Directly below it are miniatures of a Prussian Army Pilot Badge, a Prussian Army Observer Badge, and a Kaiserliche Marine U-Boot Badge. These badges were originally made for stickpins, and the box’s maker has affixed them to its lid. In addition to this fillip, a surprise is present underneath the PLM. The cross has worked loose over the last hundred years, and we can carefully remove it. Underneath it we discover ANOTHER engraved PLM! It is life-sized, done exactly to scale! [I can only speculate that the jeweler originally engraved the gorgeously-detailed PLM, only to have the customer change his mind and demand the placement of an actual PLM in that location. Examining the lid with a loupe, it appears that the miniature badges were originally engraved as well]. The PLM’s reverse displays two holes (one on the upper arm, the other on the lower) that fit over two pins mounted through the lid. The splendid detail of this engraved cross equals (dare I say surpasses?) a Court Jeweler’s Kaiserpreis! The PLM copy could easily be restored by a jeweler. We do suggest securing only one post to its hole so that it may continue to swing out to reveal its doppelgänger, hidden for almost a century.

 

The box’s second panel, located on its front side, was signed by fourteen U-Boot Commanders. As is the case with two of the flyers, seven U-Boot aces and four Army Pour le Mérite-winners have yet to be identified. [This creates a worthy research project for its next owner, as all the "easy" names already have been identified! The identified U-Boot aces are listed below.

                    37. Walther Forstmann sank 146 ships totaling 384,304 tons.

 

                           38. Hans Rose sank 79 ships totaling 213,987 tons.*
                                 *[He was famous for protecting lifeboats until enemy ships came to the rescue].
                   39. Gustav Siess sank 53 ships totaling 159,545 tons. *
                         *[Including the RMS Titanic’s sister ship].

                   40. Robert Moraht sank 45 ships totaling 129,569 tons.

                   41. Kurt Hartwig sank 43 ships totaling 139,082 tons.

                   42. Wilhelm Marschall sank 43 ships totaling 119,170 tons.

 

                   43. Otto Hersing sank 36 ships totaling 79,005 tons. *
                        *[He was nicknamed "Battleship Destroyer" for sinking HMS Triumph. He survived the war to grow potatoes]!

                   44.-- 50. These signatures are unidentified.*
                        *[They will provide a forensic challenge for the box's new owner]!

 

The box’s left and right side panels were signed by Army officers, with six total signatures (three per side). Only two of the six have been identified and are noted below.

 

                  51. Otto Lancelle was awarded the PLM in October 1918, and survived WW1, only to be killed on WW II’s Eastern Front in 1941. *
                        *[He was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross posthumously. He was one of only a few men to receive the PLM and the Knight’s Cross of
                            the Iron Cross
, Germany’s highest military decorations for valor in two world wars].

                  52. Hauptmann Karl Seidel was awarded the PLM in October 1918.

                  53.-- 56.  These signatures belong to four more brave Army officers who will be identified soon, we hope.**

 

An important distinction needs to be made about these fifty-six officers. All were junior officers who received their PLM’s as a direct result of heroic actions in battle. PLM’s were given in great numbers to the generals and admirals who directed big bodies of troops and fleets of ships, or served on the General Staff. The fact that all of our men here were combat officers is an important clue to the original box owner’s identity. TWO-THIRDS of the fifty-six signers were flying officers, and about 70% of them at least (factoring in the two unknowns) were fighter aces. The clear emphasis here is given to the Imperial German Air Service, and the fighter pilots who were given pride-of-place on the box’s upper lid. Fighter pilots were GREATLY revered in wartime Germany, the equivalent rock stars of their era! Girls sought them out, burying some of the biggest aces in fan mail and propositions!
The back panel has been left un engraved. One of the box’s interior edges is hallmarked for its manufacturer and its silver content (.830). [This silver content-level is quite unusual. Most of the era’s silver boxes and cigarette cases were produced in .800 silver. It was only in such small insignia as Iron Crosses and other orders that one sees silver contents of .900 and above (all the way to .950 in some cases). So for such a large item as this box to begin its life (during WARTIME) at .830 silver – before it was engraved and further embellished –indicates that it was intended for someone VERY special]! A typical cedar box lining is present, along with groove for the slim wooden divider that splits the box into two equal compartments for holding cigarettes. [The divider can be positioned in one of three different grooves, or removed completely]. The lid’s interior reveals a discoloration and four tiny nail holes where a plaque was once mounted. If the plaque had survived, it definitely would have cleared-up this magnificent box’s mysterious ownership.

 

 

Before we tip our hat as to the owner’s probable identity, let us go through the process of elimination. If this had belonged to a member of royalty, its outside lid DEFINITELY would bear that person’s name or monogram! If it had belonged to a senior Army or Navy commander (e.g., a von Hoeppner, a von Hindenburg or a von Tirpitz), it would be signed by other general, admirals, and staff officers. If it had belonged to a front-line pilot, it would boast his squadron mates’ signatures, or perhaps a few of his squadron’s high scorers, as well as a few celebrity pilots he’d met at the front or on leave. The box was NOT presented by the officers who signed it because, although they all were awarded the Pour le Mérite, not all of them were alive – and decorated heroes – at the same time to present gifts to VIPs! Lastly, this box wasn’t produced by a jeweler or a civilian for his own private enjoyment from facsimile signatures (perhaps from the jeweler’s files or from signed Sanke Cards), because in an autocratic state like Imperial Germany no jeweler would DARE to effectively forge dead pilots’ (national heroes to boot) signatures without official sanction! No civilian could walk into Godet & Söhne and buy that Jeweler’s Copy Pour le Mérite without official paperwork or special dispensation. That person would have had to prove he was entitled to an order that had been personally awarded by the Kaiser. The Imperial German sense of "correctness" absolutely would have prohibited such an event. The same was true of a box such as this. One would not show up at a jeweler’s with a list of fifty-six of Germany’s war heroes, nationally celebrated in newspapers, magazines and books, then ask to engrave their signatures on a box. STRENG VERBOTEN!
This box can only have belonged to a VIP industrialist who collected these names one-at-a-time over a three-year period from 1916 through 1918 – as the men were transformed into the nation’s heroes. This man had personally made their acquaintance, either through personal friendships with them and/or his importance to the war effort. Since the box predominantly features PLM-winning fighter pilots (again, 70% – or more – of the lid’s signers are fighter aces), I speculate that the first owner was neither a Krupp, nor a Siemens, but Dutch aircraft manufacturer Anthony Fokker (1890-1939). Another important clue is that the box came from the Netherlands. It was purchased in Amsterdam just after WWII, from the original owner’s family. That purchaser’s grandson sold it several years ago to my friend, the present owner, which completes its provenance. The box existed quietly in Germany and Holland from 1916 until 2014.
Fokker was a Dutch national who first moved to Germany to learn to fly. Several years of meteoric success later, he had designed and manufactured the renowned Fokker fighter-planes, including the Eindecker monoplane made famous by Immelmann and Boelcke, the Dr. 1 Triplane made famous by Manfred von Richthofen and his flying circus (Jasta 11 and JG 1), and the D. VII, arguably WW I Germany’s greatest fighter-plane. His Fokker D. VIII monoplane set the new design standard for fighter aircraft up to WW2 (as biplanes were phased out). Fokker also invented the interrupter gear that allowed pilots to shoot between their propeller blades and rack up huge kill scores, turning the air war even more deadly. His invention was copied by the allies after an Eindecker accidentally landed at a French airfield!

 

In his excellent 1931 autobiography Flying Dutchman (the source of his quote below), Fokker hints at some less than savory practices that, while commonly used by all captains of industry, were used by Fokker to even greater effect. As an alien from a neutral nation, he felt targeted by cutthroat competitors and so, as he wrote, "My friends were my workmen and German Aces who appreciated that I built the best plane for them I knew how." His close contact with combat pilots and front-line mechanics gave him a wealth of ideas that he built into his new designs. "I made it my business to lend a ready ear to what pilots said of every plane they flew or fought against…I often knew what the next improvement must be two or three months before the urge took official form." He was way out in front of other aircraft manufacturers, and his improvements could be as large as a whole new generation of fighter-planes, or a detail as small as the rifle trigger that lifelong hunter Richthofen asked Fokker to fit on his control stick to replace its thumb press. Several thousand new grips and triggers went to the front immediately, "to give MvR pleasure and because it meant a lot of extra business for us."
Machine guns and fighter tactics changed so quickly that it was hard for Fokker’s competition to keep up. Fokker had another ace up his sleeve, however, he could test-fly his own aircraft. He had taught himself to fly, opened his own flying school for military pilots, and had even been a stunt flyer at Johannisthal before the war to earn money to pay his workmen’s wages during his factory’s lean years. Because he was a skilled pilot, he won a lot of respect. "Fokker, especially, amazed us with his skill," said Max Immelmann, after watching Fokker test-fly his new Eindecker. Boelcke and other aces advised Fokker on his designs, and got personal tours of Fokker’s factory at Schwerin. In return, Fokker stayed with his pilots when on business at the front, spending three weeks on one occasion with the Richthofen Jagdstaffel at the Ypres Front.

 

Below is a link to rare footage of Anthony Fokker during the war, both at the Front with his aces and at his factory in Schwerin. In one scene he is hobnobbing with Manfred von Richthofen while both are in flying gear, while in another scene he is talking with Bruno Loerzer and Hermann Göring. All three signed this box. The footage even includes a scene of Fokker and the future Reichsmarschall skinny-dipping in a river! 
    https://www.ushmm.org/online/film/display/detail.php?file_num=3354   [Be sure to click the link to the film notes written by an historian – they explain the action scene by scene].
Later in the war, and smarting from competitors’ schemes to deny him needed parts and engines, Fokker helped to form the "Committee of Aces." This Committee could select its own cutting-edge fighter plane, instead of "being the goat of headquarters intrigues." During a competition at Johannisthal, Fokker was in the rare position of dogfighting daily with the aces who flew his competitors’ planes. Each night Fokker made small modifications to smooth out any defects. In the end, his Fokker D. VII beat all comers from Rumpler, L.F.G., Albatros and Pfalz. Fokker won a big order and, just as important, won the priority position to acquire scarce Mercedes engines. Manfred von Richthofen himself pronounced the D. VII to be "first-rate." Fokker AND his aces had a lot of skin in the game with every new plane type. Manfred’s brother Lothar almost died flying an early Dr. 1 that still had some kinks left to work out. From past experience with design defects, Fokker was keenly aware that the ace-pilots received the new types first — any serious problems with his planes and "the flower of the German air corps would be wiped out!"

 

"I could depend on my boys at the Front," Fokker wrote, and he repaid them with more than just innovative aircraft. "While they were alive, we did our best to show the flyers a gay time. It was an open secret that all airplane manufacturers entertained lavishly while the pilots were on leave, and when the aces came to Berlin for the competitions." Fokker had the money and the showmanship to really spread it around! We have no need to read between the lines here, "Because of the popularity of the Fokker plane at the front, many of the pilots on furlough preferred to make their headquarters with us at the Hotel Bristol. I had a deep admiration for them, and counted many as close friends. Some were so young, I felt almost paternal towards them . . . It was a pleasure to keep open house for the pilots. Naturally it served our interests to hear them talk, discuss one plane and another . . . but what they wanted most, and what we tried to give them was gaiety, charm, diversion, the society of pretty girls . . . Berlin was full of girls eager to provide this companionship, for aviators in Germany as in every other country were the heroes of the hour, and the spirit was in the air to make these men happy before they returned to face death alone."
Included with the box is a reproduction photo of Fokker, Hermann Göring, and Bruno Loerzer. The latter two were winning aces and significant players in the Luftwaffe during WW II. The photo shows the closeness and comradely relationship that Fokker had with his aces. He spoke their language, worked hard and played hard with them. In their hotel rooms were new fur flying suits, impossible to find champagne and caviar, and companionship—all paid for by Fokker. When the worst happened, he sent their next-of-kin expensive bronzes and other jeweler-made gifts engraved in honor of his dead friends. Fokker, who was described as "popular, charming and charismatic with service pilots," had many opportunities to ask these national heroes to sign his own personal box as a memento of their friendship.
When WW I ended, Fokker returned to his home in Holland. He smuggled out a good part of his wealth, along with trainloads of engines and dismantled aircraft, under the noses of the Allied Control Commission. The latter was particularly keen to clip Germany’s wings and destroy his Fokker D. VII’s, the only aircraft type specified by name in the Versailles Treaty.  Fokker started new factories in Holland and America, moving to the U.S. in 1926 at the U.S. government’s invitation. His steel Fokkers set new records, flew to the North Pole with Admiral Byrd, and supplied fledgling Pan Am Airways, as well as TWA. When Fokker unexpectedly died of meningitis in New York in 1939 (he was only 49), his body and possessions went back to his family home in Haarlem, 35 miles west of Amsterdam. Germany's Weimar government had long since seized all his homes and assets for back taxes.

 

Our box’s whereabouts are unknown from WW I’s end until the end of WW II. Shortly after 1945, it was bought in Amsterdam by a Dutch collector at a time when many Dutch citizens were starving and selling off their possessions to buy food. IF Fokker was its owner, we will never know whether Fokker left it in Holland when he moved to America, or if it was returned with his possessions in 1939. The box was probably hidden from German souvenir hunters during the war, no matter who owned it. Whoever sold it probably removed the plaque to protect their privacy when it changed hands.
So the question remains, why did the original owner have so many aviators’ signatures on the box? It was obviously someone who had a great interest and stake in aviation, and felt that he could get further ahead having Germany’s best combat pilots behind him. Surely the owner of the box was interested in PLM-winners in general – thus the inclusion of the Navy and Army PLM-winners whom he had occasion to meet socially. It is worth noting that Fokker designed seaplanes for the Navy. Marine Jastas also flew his D. VII’s towards the war’s end.

 

For those of us passionately involved in collecting WW I aviation history, this box is akin to a holy relic. It was held and signed by every one of the heroes whose names are engraved upon it. How do we know that? From the customary way people accumulated signatures that they wanted to preserve during that era, a technique that may not be general knowledge today. A few existing boxes reveal the technique, one of which surfaced in a militaria collection a few years ago and was presented through an awards forum. In the latter situation, a German pilot had carried a pocket cigarette case for some months that bore the engraved names of some of his squadron comrades. A few more signatures, however, appeared on the case’s edge that had been written with a purple grease pencil. [These pencils were commonly used to sign documents, or mark up maps and reconnaissance photos when in the field].
Grease pencils left a durable, waterproof impression on metal, so it was common for case owners to proffer such a pencil when soliciting signatures from their colleagues. Once the owner had enough names, he sent his case to a jeweler for engraving. The jeweler then traced over the grease-penciled names with his engraving tool, converting them into more permanent memorabilia. It was much more reliable this way than collecting the signatures on bits of paper! The owner of the case that was discussed on the forum had died before completing the job, and some grease signatures remained on his case for us to read a hundred years later!

 

So, where does all this leave us? On the one hand we have a gorgeous, high-quality, jeweler-made, .830-sterling hallmarked box that boasts the engraved signatures of FIFTY-SIX Pour le Mérite-winners, and is further embellished with TWO PLM’s, and TWO miniature flight badges, and ONE naval badge. These are the "hard" facts. On the other hand, we have the "detective" work, and research that points to Tony Fokker as its original owner. When we suggest other potential owners, the logic simply does not work. For example, Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg is a possibility, but why would he be interested in a bunch of junior officers? He moved in higher circles. We also thought of Alfred Krupp, Imperial Germany’s largest armaments dealer, but the answer is the same. I cannot picture Krupp skinny-dipping with Herman Göring (I have a hard time envisioning anybody skinny-dipping with the future "Dicke Hermann!" In the end, whether you subscribe to our theories or not, this is an amazing engraved box handled by the likes of the von Richthofen brothers, Boelcke, Udet, Göring, and so on.
[Please note the following comparable values. A Manfred von Richthofen signature today goes for $3,000 to $4,000 and up. The values of the other fifty-five PLM-winners’ signatures, whether on paper or on Sanke Cards, probably range from $300 to $2,500 and more. That averages out to a grand total of more than $35,000 for a collection of these names – on paper. You must add a hefty premium for having these signatures finely engraved by a master craftsman on such a high-quality silver box. After this, you must add more value for the PLM’s and badges, which raises the total from $38,000 to $42,000, or more! I have seen silver boxes featuring just Manfred von Richthofen’s name go for $7,500 or more. This suggests my incremental valuation for fifty-six Pour le Mérite-winners (remembering it is the ONLY one of its kind ever made) might actually be on the low side. Finally, if we could definitively prove that the box was once Anthony Fokker’s property, its value would only increase].
Please enjoy the many photos that accompany this description. They will help deepen your appreciation of this historic box. [Thank you, as well, for your kind attention to our VERY lengthy description]! $27,500.00
FIRST PRICE REDUCTION: $23,950.00!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14-427 FULLY-AUTHENTICATED FOKKER TRIPLANE FABRIC PIECE FROM MANFRED von RICHTHOFEN’S DEATH FLIGHT. Today we are offering a fabulous piece of aviation history: a fully-authenticated fabric piece from Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen’s red Fokker Dr 1 Triplane flown on the day he was shot down and killed. If one man and one day in aviation history sparks the interest of the world’s aviation enthusiasts, it is Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen and 21 April 1918. This was the day that the Red Baron took to the air for the last time and lost his life. [Was he shot down by Captain Roy Brown in a Sopwith Camel, or was it Australian machine-gunners’ ground fire? We will not debate the matter here]. Let it suffice that we have a FULLY-AUTHENTICATED, and properly-documented piece of fabric from the Baron’s famous Fokker Triplane. [Now, over the years I have seen countless fabric pieces that were purported to have come from von Richthofen’s plane, enough to have equipped an entire squadron of triplanes]! The consignment we are offering today is the "real deal." It comes from the late, renowned author and collector, P. J. Carisella. Carisella was well known in the collecting community. He had excellent contacts with former Australian soldiers, their families, as well as noted artifact collectors connected with Manfred von Richthofen. He also coauthored the book, Who Killed the Red Baron.
The consigned set includes a piece of fabric from Fokker Dr 1 425/17, which is attached to a letter that Carisella conveyed to a man in the USA. The story concerning how he acquired the fabric and other artifacts from von Richthofen’s plane is outlined in the conveyance letter. A handwritten letter to the new owner from Carisella is also included. Finally, the set has a copy of the section in Carisella’s book where the author describes the fabric. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a truly RARE piece of aviation history. Step up now and you can own a precious, historical artifact. $4,495.00  

 

 

 

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14-413 FRAMED CANVAS RECREATION (FROM FORMER ALABAMA WW I AVIATION MUSEUM) OF RAMPANT LION ON EDUARD RITTER von SCHLEICH’S AIRPLANES. This is an unbelievably-gorgeous, framed recreation of Bavaria’s rampant lion against its blue and white flag, a symbol that adorned von Schleich’s airplanes. Eduard Ritter von Schleich was born in 1888, making one of WW I’s older fighter pilots. He was very successful pilot who survived the war with thirty-five victories. He was awarded both the Orden Pour le Mérite and Bavaria’s highest military honor, the Knight’s Cross of the Military Max Joseph Order. Von Schleich not only commanded jastas, but also headed Jagdgeschwader Nr 4b (one of only four WW I fighter groups). After the war, he was involved in a number of aviation-related jobs, including flying for the Bavarian Police and Lufthansa. In the 1930's he joined the Nazi Party, and even flew Adolf Hitler on his 1932 campaign trail. After the Nazis came to power in 1933, he continued to work within the party. When the Luftwaffe was created, he was immediately made a major. His rise was steady. As an oberst he commanded JG Nr 26 prior to WW II. This famous Jagdgeschwader was later commanded by Adolf Galland (1912-1996), and flew against England during the Battle of Britain.
Von Schleich had long suffered from ill health, even during WW I. While he commanded all Norway’s and Denmark’s Luftwaffe forces his health declined even more, so that he retired in November 1944. At WW II’s end, he was questioned by the Allies, as were all high-ranking Luftwaffe officers. He died of the ill health in 1947.
Our offering today is an actual piece of canvas on which von Schleich’s personal emblem has been painted. It is a recreation of the actual design that graced von Schleich’s planes. [Von Schleich was well known for flying an Albatros D. V. and a Fokker D. VII, both of which carried the design. For much of his career he flew a colorful Albatros D. V. When a close friend was killed in combat, however, von Schleich had his Albatros D. V. painted black to honor him. He carried the same color scheme forward when he converted to the Fokker D. VII. From that, he earned the sobriquet "The Black Knight" or the "Black Knight of Germany." In both cases, his planes displayed his personal emblem, a red lion rampant from the Bavarian Coat-of-Arms]. The red lion’s claws are unsheathed. The lion bears a gold crown and rules over a blue and white checkerboard design that represents Bavaria’s flag. It is enclosed within a red-trimmed circle, and measures 22 ½" in diameter. The circular emblem is painted on a black piece of canvas. On the black canvas beneath the emblem, the words "Hauptmann Eduard Ritter von Schleich" appear in blue German script.
This was purchased in the 1990's from a major WW I aviation museum located in rural Alabama (I cannot remember the museum’s name nor that of the
Alabama town), which was closing due to the owner and his wife’s deaths in an air crash. The museum’s amazing collection had many reproduction aircraft from all of WW I’s combatant nations. They even had several of the airplanes used in filming The Blue Max. Items like this reproduction were simply pinned up on the walls. I was fortunate enough to acquire it. As you will note from our photos, the black background, which measures 30" x 32," was not perfectly cut. It gives the piece a certain "torn from the airplane’s side" look.
I had the fabric custom-framed. The simple but crisp-looking frame does not detract from the fabric, which measures 33 ½" x 36." It has hung on the wall of my office for many years, but it is time to move it along to a new home. The new owner must promise to give it a good home where it can receive the respect and honor it deserves! $1,195.00 

 

 

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14-423 LARGE SILVER CUP WITH LEUTNANT der RESERVE HERBERT A. ANGELROTH’S PRUSSIAN PILOT BADGE AND BOUND MILITARY & PERSONAL RESEARCH. Today we are offering a fine silver cup that measures 5 ½” tall x 2 5/8" x 1 5/8."  It is a good-sized cup, considerably larger than many we have offered.   At any rate, the cup is large enough to display a full-sized Commemorative Prussian Pilot Badge on the side.  This was the ONLY cutout Prussian badge.  The badge was intended for pilots who were no longer on active duty.  It was originally created during WW I when pilots were no longer able to fly due to health issues and/or wounds.  Herman Göring appeared in photographs from the early-to-mid 1930's wearing such a badge (prior to the Luftwaffe’s  creation in February 1935).  It then became common for officers who were in the Luftwaffe and no longer flew to wear the Commemorative Pilot Badge or the Observer Badge on their tunics. The cup’s reverse features a handwritten inscription comprised of four fellow pilots’ signatures (Kredel, Krogmann, Luchsland, and Weiss). Below the four signatures is another inscription as detailed below.

“Dem Angelroth Enkel
Jens-Uwe
zu seiner Taufe am 7. 1 1962"
(This refers to Arthur Angelroth’s first grandchild, Jens-Uwe Angelroth,
and the youngster’s 1 July 1962 baptism date].

The cup’s bottom has sustained two small dents.  The number “28272" is engraved on the cup’s bottom (part of the manufacturer’s identification), along with the .800, the half moon and the Hohenzollern Crown that were part of the Reich’s silver fitness program.  [The latter were mandated by Kaiser Wilhelm I in 1885]. The initials “WTB” appear to the .800's right, which belonged to the jeweler who produced this fine cup.
As we learn in the accompanying research materials, the cup was given to Angelroth in 1927 by the four previously-mentioned pilots. They had flown together during WW I and were employees of the Junkers Aircraft Company.  In addition, they flew during the 1919 Freikorps Period as part of the elite aviation unit Kampfgeschwader Sachsenberg.  [The unit was commanded by the Navy’s leading WW I ace, Gotthard Sachsenberg (1891-1961). During the war, Sachsenberg  commanded a naval geschwader (a full wing of approximately fifty airplanes in three-to-four jastas).  His WW I unit flew on the Western Front, often fighting with British naval air units. Sachsenberg shot down thirty-one airplanes and received the Orden Pour le Mérite.  His Freikorps unit flew against Communist forces during that very confused period].
Herbert Angelroth was born in Prussia in 1891.  In 1913, he enlisted in the Imperial German Army’s Füsilier-Regiment Generalfeldmarschall Graf Blumenthal (Magdeburgisches) Nr 36.  The proud, old regiment was founded in 1815 and attached to the IV. Armeekorps.  He was promoted to NCO in March 1914, months prior to WW I.  Once the war broke out, he was assigned to Infanterie-Regiment Fürst Leopold Anhalt-Dessau (1. Magdeburgisches) Nr 26. [This regiment had been raised in 1813 and saw substantial action in the Napoleonic Wars].  Angelroth was promoted to Leutnant der Reserve in January 1915.   He was assigned to aviation duties in 1917. He served as an observer beginning in July 1918, continuing through the war’s end.  He mustered out of the Reichswehr as an Oberleutnant der Reserve in 1920, following his service with Kampfgeschwader Sachsenberg.  Angelroth joined Junkers in 1923, and served as a financial manager until 1932. The other four men were test pilots with Junkers (all had been WW I pilots).  In fact, Kredel was another Navy pilot who had served under Sachsenberg in one of his Marine Jastas.   Angelroth joined the new Luftwaffe as a hauptmann. He saw steady promotion, ultimately becoming an oberst attached to Luftgau XI.  He was killed in a 1943 car crash. [It is probable that his widow or son made arrangements to present the cup to Jens-Uwe Angelroth in 1962]. 
Our offering includes a letter of transmittal from Jens-Uwe. [We seldom get to offer items that come so directly through the family.  It is a real pleasure to share this with you].  The grandson’s printed letter is dated 15 February 1982. The letter’s translation mentions medals, however, those medals are NOT included in our offering, whatever they were. Herr Angelroth includes some biographical information in his letter about the four pilots whose signatures appear on the 1927 silver cup. The documents included in the group pertain to Herbert Angelroth and his  WW I and WW II military careers.  They are listed below.

1).  Promotion Patent to Leutnant der Reserve on 27 January 1915. Please remember: Kaiser Wilhelm II only signed patents for the ranks of hauptmann and above. This paper and its print-quality are also quite poor compared to the more elaborate Wilhelm-II-signed documents.
2).  Telegraph Announcing 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class Award. The document is very fragile, and has been folded several times in years past.  A partial stamp on the document deals with the telegraph fees. The year 1918 is indicated, but no month or day.
3).  Hamburg Hanseatic Cross Award Document. This document displays the Free State of Hamburg’s Coat-of-Arms. The award date is 21 November 1921. [This is the first time I have seen this award being given so LATE after WW I].
4).  Entrance into Stahlhelm Bund Award Document.  This was the largest veteran organization for WW I German soldiers.  By 1930, the Stahlhelm Bund was a full-blown paramilitary organization numbering 500,000 men. [By comparison, the Reichsheer was limited to 100,000 men as mandated by the Treaty of Versailles].  When Adolf Hitler took power in 1933,  the Bund’s leader joined Hitler’s organization, and the bulk of the Bund was absorbed into the SA.  Angelroth joined the Stahlhelm Bund in 1923. The document recognizes ten years of service to the Bund.
5).  Many Photocopied Photographs from Angelroth’s Life.  Although they are photocopies, they are quite clear with readily visible details.
6).  Six Photos of Angelroth from 1914 through 1918.  They include the times he was with Füsilier-Regiment Nr 36 and Infanterie-Regiment Nr 36.
7).  Photograph of Angelroth in Stahlhelm Bund Uniform.  This dates from 1923 to 1933, when he was a member of the Leipzig (Saxony) detachment.
8).  Photograph of Angelroth’s 1927 Marriage to Annelies Casselmann.  The wedding party and guests comprise a large number of people.  His four friends presented him the silver cup for his marriage. While they are not identified, the four pilots probably are in the photo.
9).  1943 Photograph of Angelroth and Two Pilots.  Both pilots wear the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.  One of the men flew night fighters and had fifty-one confirmed victories before he died in an air crash.
10).  Photocopies of Several Documents Pertaining to WW I AND WW II.

a). The officer’s service document that shows his service in WW I, as both an enlisted man and an officer. It shows his mustering out of the army in 1919.
b). A copy of his promotion document to NCO in March 1914.
c). A copy of a document from 1917 posting him to the Hannover Air Service Training School.
d). Photocopies of six pages from a January 1918 document that describes Angelroth’s training at Observer Training School and his individual accomplishments during the period.
e). A three-page document’s photocopy from 4. Armee representing Flieger-Abteilung (A) 258 that recaps Angelroth’s training and his assignment to a squadron in July 1918.
 f). A one-page document from the Reichsheer mentioning the Balkankreuz Award for Angelroth’s service with Kampfgeschwader Sachsenberg.
g). Copy of a document from the Ministry of the Reichsheer. The September 1920  document allowed him to carry/wear his uniform from Infanterie-Regiment Nr 26 in the neutral zone.
h). A copy of Angelroth’s promotion patent to the rank of hauptmann and entry into the Luftwaffe, signed by Hermann Göring.
 i). A copy of Angelroth’s promotion document from hauptmann to major.  The document carries both Adolf Hitler’s and Hermann Göring’s signatures.
j). A copy of a document for the Luftgau XI Eisernes Ehrenschild award. It was signed by a General der Flieger in November 1942.
 k).  A copy of the War Service Cross 1st Class with Swords (Kriegsverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse mit Schwerten) award document. The document was awarded on 30 January 1943, and signed by both Hermann Göring and a General der Flieger.

 This stupendous wealth of research material makes the silver cup come alive. It would make an excellent addition to an aviation collection. $1,995.00

 

 

 

 

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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. Some designs are engraved into the cigarette case's exterior. 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 case's interior are present. The case has a lovely patina. Overall, it is in fine condition. $1,050.00 Reduced to $895.00!!

 

 

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Aviation-Related Desk Items

 

 

14-442 2. ARMEE’S OBERKOMMANDO der FLIEGER UNIT RUBBER STAMP. Rubber unit stamps were an important part of the German military. They assured that all documents prepared for distribution were properly associated with the unit from which they came. As with most modern armies, paperwork was all-important. The job simply was NOT done until the proper paperwork was prepared! Generally speaking, one finds the unit stamp’s circular imprint, along with an authorized officer’s (or his adjutant’s) signature, at the document’s bottom. These stamps typically came from Regimental, Brigade, Division, Armeekorps, Armee, and Armeegruppe levels for documents involving field orders, the award of decorations, etc.
In the past we offered these stamps from a variety of units, the rarest coming from a Garde-Division. Today, however, we have a much rarer bird to share with you. It is for office of the Oberkommando der Flieger 2. Armee, which was the 2. Armee’s aviation office. This office was responsible for all aviation units: jastas or observation and bombing squadrons, as well as zeppelin and balloon abteilungen. The office reported to the 2. Armee’s commander, as well as the Fliegertruppen des deutschen Kaiserreiches, which was renamed Die Luftstreitkräfte im Kaiserreich from October 1916 until WW I’s end.
The commander of the Imperial German Air Service was Ernst von Hoeppner, known as the Kommandierender General der Luftstreitkräfte. The position was created by von Hindenburg’s Chief of Staff, Erich Ludendorff, in order to unify all aviation functions within the German Army. Von Hoeppner reported directly to von Hindenburg, who by this time was the Chief of the General Staff and overall Commander of the German Army.
[It is interesting to note that von Hoeppner served as the 2. Armee’s Chief of Staff in 1915. The 2. Armee was created in August 1914 as a central part of the Schlieffen Plan, Imperial Germany’s original strategy quickly win WW I via a lightning strike through Belgium and Germany in a pincer movement to quickly invade Paris and force the French out of the war. The 2. Armee was commanded by Generalfeldmarschall Karl von Bülow from August 1914 to April 1915, by General der Infanterie Fritz von Below from April1915 to July 1916, by General der Artillerie Max von Gallwitz from July 1916 to December 1916, by General der Kavallerie Georg von der Marwitz from December 1916 to September 1918, and finally by General der Infanterie Adolphe von Carlowitz from September 1918 to the war’s end in November 1918].
The stamp has a wooden handle, and measures 1 ¼" x 3." The stamp’s upper grip reveals signs of aging where it was grasped many times to imprint the thousands of documents that passed through the 2. Armee Kommandeur der Flieger’s office. The stamp’s circular bottom reveals its unit’s name cut into its rubber surface. This is a rare find for you aviation collectors! $995.00 

 

 

 

 

 

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14-256 TABLE MEDAL - EAST WEST TRANSATLANTIC FLIGHT 1928. This is an ultra high quality table medal that commemorates the East to West Trans Atlantic Passage. This flight was made by pilots von Hünefeld and Hermann Köhl, who was a WW I PLM-winner. The flight took place on 13 April 1928. It was actually more difficult than Charles Lindbergh's West-to-East trip, which, even today, is assisted by favorable tail winds. The reverse of the table medal shows the plane that was used. It also announces that the takeoff point was Bremen. The table medal is manufacturer hallmarked and silver hallmarked for .900 silver on the edge. $250.00

 

 

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14-406 LARGE AIRPLANE PROPELLER SECTION EMBEDDED WITH WEATHER STATION. Today we introduce you to a large trench art piece. By definition, trench art was an art form wherein soldiers at the front (or recovering in a hospital from wounds) took discarded battlefield items such as shell casings, belt buckles, driving belts, and so on, then fashioned them into interesting and useful items prized by the folks on the home front. [Please note, not only soldiers near or at the front constructed these items. Some of the more complicated pieces were fashioned at home].
This item certainly falls into the trench art category. It is especially noteworthy because it comes from the Imperial German Air Service. Trench art from this military discipline are VERY difficult-to-find. I have seen some propeller-based pieces over the years, but never anything so large. The smaller pieces have always been items that one could set on a desk, such as photograph frames, ink blotters, and etc. One would have to procure a giant’s desk to display this beauty!
[Before I describe Mister "large-and-in-charge," please allow me to digress with a description of a propeller’s construction]. Whenever one views an Imperial German Air Service propeller’s segment, one immediately is aware that it displays two different colors. The Germans took "slices" of wood and glued them together to make their propellers. These glued pieces often featured contrasting colors. I am not aware of any "technical" reason to use different-colored wood (or perhaps wood from a different kind of tree), it may just have been a matter of aesthetics. (I certainly am greatly-simplifying the manufacturing process, as a great deal of woodworking was involved in making all of a propeller’s pieces fit correctly into the end result). What makes this particular item so attractive and interesting is that it is large enough to comprehend the propeller’s scope. Sections of the propeller’s ends were removed (probably damaged), but one can still see the center’s hub. One can visualize how the complete propeller must have looked when mounted on an airplane. Propellers and landing gear were two of the most-damaged airplane parts, especially in the training schools. Student pilots frequently set their planes on their noses during landing. Since the propeller was still turning at a high rate of speed, its tips dug into the ground and broke].
Our piece today measures a whopping 34" in length and 9" in width. As you look at its obverse, you can actually see the different shades of wood that were glued together. It is quite striking. The center hub section (where the propeller was mounted to the engine with several large bolts) has been mounted with a combination thermometer/weather station. It is circular.  The station is no longer operative, and is only useful for decorative purposes. It once sported a glass cover over it, which also is no longer present. Its reverse displays a single, old, mounting device. It is NOT sufficient to safely mount the piece for display. The item’s new owner will need to create a more secure mounting device for displaying the propeller securely on a wall. Naturally, other methods of display are available without mounting it to a wall. It is a very handsome piece, the likes of which will NOT be displayed on every collector’s wall!
[Due to its size and weight, additional charges will be incurred shipping it to your doorstep].
$995.00

 

 

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Plates & Tableware

 

14-428 CHRISTMAS 1919 PLATE FROM KPM. During WW I, the House of Hohenzollern’s royal porcelain firm KPM issued a number of patriotic plates, cups, etc. With the war’s end, KPM continued to issue Christmas plates and offer some of Germany’s finest china. [KPM, Meissen, and Rosenthal still do so today, as all three survived both WW I and WW II]. The plate measures 8" in diameter. Its central theme is a pilot sitting on the edge of his airplane (a biplane). He is holding up a baby angel who is raising a hand in salute. A garland of laurel leaves is draped over the plane behind the baby. The plane’s side mentions Christmas (Weihnachten) 1919. [KPM and Berlin are also mentioned on the aircraft’s side]. A thin green trim band surrounds the scene, which is further encircled by another wider green band with red berries that hails the Christmas season. On the reverse we see all the correct marks for KPM. Two other sets of marks are a reference to the series of which this plate is a part. One of them indicates that the plate is number 50 of 86 plates in the series. This makes it a relatively rare plate! $395.00

 

 

 

 

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14-293 SOUP BOWL FOR PLM WINNER AND WWII LUFTWAFFE GENERAL ARTHUR LAUMANN. Arthur Laumann was born in 1894. When the war began in August 1914, Laumann volunteered and served in 3. Rheinisches Feld-Artillerie-Regiment Nr 83. (This regiment was newly raised in 1912 and garrisoned in Bonn-Düren). Having spent much of the war at the front, Laumann was finally accepted for pilot training in August 1917. In March 1918 he was posted to FA(A) 265. In May of 1918 he was transferred to single-seater service with Jasta 66. He briefly commanded this jasta as Jastaführer from July-August 1918. He was then honored to be transferred to Jasta 10, which was one of the four squadrons that had been assigned to JG 1 (later known as Jagdgeschwader Nr 1 Freiherr von Richthofen after the death of the famed ace in April 1918) under the initial command of Manfred von Richthofen. {Upon his death in April 1918 von Richthofen was succeeded by his hand-picked replacement, Wilhelm Reinhard. Reinhard was killed while testing aircraft in July 1918. The final commander of JG 1 was none other than Hermann Göring, who remained the commander until the armistice in November 1918. Interestingly prior to the air crash that took the life of Reinhard, the airplane was flown by Göring! Those of you who are fans of The Blue Max by Jack D. Hunter may find this similar to the crash of then Jastaführer Otto Heidemann immediately after Bruno Stachel flew the plane}. Returning to Laumann, after he joined JG 1 in August 1918 he received the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class and the Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order in late September. On 25 October 1918 Laumann was awarded one of the last Orden’s Pour le Mérite given to a pilot. It was the last one awarded to a member of JG 1. Laumann finished the war with a total of TWENTY-EIGHT confirmed victories. Laumann rejoined the Luftwaffe in the 1930's and was an early commander of JG 26, which was the most famous of the Luftwaffe fighter wings during WW II. Toward the end of WW II he served as the Air Attaché at the German embassies in Greece and Yugoslavia. He died in 1970. This soup bowl is 9 ½" in diameter. The bowl is one of amazing quality. It sports a magnificent gold trim at the edges with a wide band of black. A stylized "L" for Laumann appears on the black in gold. Underneath the bowl is manufacturer hallmarked, but I do not recognize the firm which produced it. This is an important artifact from a well-known WW I fighter pilot and a member of JG 1 during the final months of the Great War. $425.00

 

 

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14-267 BAVARIAN BEER STEIN FOR FELDFLIEGER ABTEILUNG Nr 7. This is an attractive example of a beer stein from one of the early war Bavarian squadrons, Feldflieger Abteilung Nr 7. This stein is quite large. It holds a full litre, compared to most steins and krugs that we see that hold half a litre. This stein stands 11" tall. It has a marvelous exterior topped by a pewter lid. Its thumb opening device features a rampant Bavarian Lion. Engraved on the lid is "Zum Andenken a. s. Kameraden (In Remembrance of our Comrades)." Hand painted on the exterior of the stein is a shield, topped by a crown. It has a propeller through its center. Below that appears the inscription "Bayr. Feld-Flieger=Abt. 7." On the bottom of the stein we see that it was manufactured by Mettlach. Due to the markings on the base it is very likely that this stein was manufactured in the 1920's or 1930's, as opposed to during WW I. It is in excellent condition and shows honest age and wear. $1,350.00

 

 

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14-341 PLATE - OSWALD BOELCKE AND MAX IMMELMANN - ROSENTHAL. This is a commemorative plate celebrating two of the Imperial German Air Service’s greatest WW I aces, Oswald Boelcke and Max Immelmann. Boelcke was the renowned early ace who actually "invented" many of the aerial tactics used during WW I’s dogfights. Boelcke’s Dicta, as it became known, was so insightful that many of the same tactics are still in use today! Boelcke eventually headed Jasta 2, where one of his famous students was Manfred von Richthofen. Boelcke achieved 40 victories before dying in a tragic air collision on 28 October 1916. Max Immelmann achieved fame in Imperial Germany at the same time as Boelcke. They both received their Ordens Pour le Mérite in January 1916, having received the Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order earlier. Immelmann achieved 15 official victories before he was shot down on 18 June 1916. This handsome blue and white plate measures 9 1/4" in diameter. It was made by the famed Bavarian porcelain manufacturing firm, Rosenthal, who still produce world-renowned ceramics today. The Rosenthal hallmark is on the plate’s reverse, along with the dates 1914/1917. The plate’s obverse features the hand painted portraits of Immelmann (left) and Boelcke (right), each encircled by stylized, attached wreathes. These wreaths are clutched in the talons of an eagle sporting a shield with Germany’s national colors on its chest. [This is all rendered in blue, but one can tell that the VERY German eagle naturally has the national shield on its chest]! The eagle is at the top of the plate. The bottom of the plate is dominated by the Deutscher Luft-Flotten-Verein (German Air Force Society) Badge. The words "Dem Gedenken Unserer Beiden Helden (Remember Both Our Heroes)" encircle the plate’s edge. All of the painting is beautifully executed. The plate’s finish is smooth and unmarred by the years. A cord has been inserted into its reverse by which it may be hung on the wall for display. It is a captivating piece of memorabilia. $595.00

 

 

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14-197 WW I AVIATION PLATES. This is a most unusual set of three plates that features a German biplane in flight. It appears to be an early war observation plane with a two man crew aboard. The plates are white with a blue border around the edge. In the 12 o’clock position appears the airplane with the initials M. F. S. around it. The reverse of each piece indicates that it was manufactured by the firm of Rosenthal from Bavaria. Under that appears "Franz Kreski Bromberg," which may have been the store that sold them, but I am not sure about this. There are three plates in the set, two of them are dinner size plates which are 9 3/4" in diameter. The third is oval shaped and would measure 10 ½" x 6 3/4" at the widest points. The plates are well used (signs of use in the center from meals is evident where forks, knives or spoons were used), but the blue border and the airplane motif are in exceptional condition. I would estimate these plates to be from 1913-1917. A unique aviation item from the war that was most likely used in an officer's mess in a squadron. I would prefer to sell these as a group but would consider selling them individually. Please call or write for a price on an individual piece. $395.00

 

 

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14-396 COFFEE CUP FEATURING BARON MANFRED von RICHTHOFEN. This is a MODERN-DAY coffee cup that features images representing the Rittmeister, Manfred von Richthofen. The coffee cup, which was produced in the USA, displays a red Fokker Triplane, along with a uniformed man (NOT the Baron) and his German Shepherd. Below the plane is a re-creation of the Baron’s actual signature. To its right is another re-creation, famous Sanke Card Nr 503. It depicts "Der Rittmeister " wearing a Schirmmütze and his coat collar turned-up to frame his PLM. It will enhance the enjoyment of your morning coffee! $30.00

 

 

 

 

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14-386 PORCELAIN FIGURINE - BRITISH AIRPLANE. This is a porcelain British airplane figurine. It measures 5 ½" in length and 4" in width. The wing’s top side displays the city of Boston’s Coat-of-Arms. No manufacturer’s hallmark is present. The airplane is in excellent condition. $95.00

 

 

 

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14-389 PORCELAIN FIGURINE - INCENDIARY BOMB DROPPED FROM ZEPPELIN. This figurine represents an incendiary bomb dropped from a zeppelin at Maldon on 16 April 1915. The bomb’s side features the city of Bungay’s Coat-of-Arms. The bomb stands 3" tall and is 1 1/4" in diameter. The information about the bomb appears on the bottom, as does a manufacturer’s hallmark. $95.00

 

 

 

 

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14-390 PORCELAIN FIGURINE - INCENDIARY BOMB DROPPED FROM ZEPPELIN. This figurine represents an incendiary bomb dropped from a zeppelin. The bomb’s side states that it is a "German Incendiary Bomb." The other side has the city of Cemlon’s Coat-of-Arms. The bomb stands 3" tall and is 1½" in diameter. $95.00
 

 

 

 

 

 

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14-391 PORCELAIN FIGURINE - BOMB DROPPED FROM ZEPPELIN. This figurine represents an incendiary bomb dropped from a zeppelin. The bomb’s side has the city of Carnoustie’s Coat-of-Arms. The bomb stands 3½" tall and is 1½" in diameter. On the top it states "Model of a German Bomb." A manufacturer’s hallmark is on the bottom. $95.00
 

 

 

 

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14-392 LIDDED PORCELAIN MINI-MUG. This figurine represents a bomb dropped from a zeppelin. The side features the city of Dover Court’s Coat-of-Arms. The figurine stands 3 1/4" tall and measures 1 1/4" in diameter. The manufacturer’s hallmark is on the bottom. $95.00
 

 

 

 

 

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Miscellaneous Items

 

14-420 FLAG FROM 2008 MOVIE THE RED BARON.  The movie The Red Baron (Der Rote Baron when originally released) is the story of Manfred von Richthofen. Today we are offering a flag used in that film. The Red Baron was filmed in Germany and released in 2008. Those of you who know me are aware that the hit movie The Blue Max (1966), was based on Jack D. Hunter’s best-selling novel. It is what inspired my lifelong love of Imperial Germany. As influential as the movie and novel have been in my life, I believe the German-made Der Rote Baron is a superior film. I am well aware of its faults, including a fabricated involvement with Roy Brown that utterly surpasses recorded historical truth, as well as a blatantly 21st Century interpretation of Käte Otersdorf’s character and romantic involvement with von Richthofen. Although much rumor and speculation exist about a possible relationship between the two, all we know from the historical record is that Otersdorf was the Baron’s nurse in July 1917, following the first time he was shot down. No credible evidence has surfaced to indicate otherwise. However, it made a compelling “Hollywood” storyline! As I once pointed out to Jack Hunter when he complained about The Blue Max film’s historical inaccuracies, mainstream motion pictures are NOT produced to satisfy historians, Imperial German Period enthusiasts, or antique collectors. They are created to ENTERTAIN as many average moviegoers as possible, thereby generating massive worldwide profits from ticket, concession, and DVD sales. Having a good-looking young woman jump into bed with the movie’s hero can help sell plenty of tickets and popcorn. If you do not demand the historical accuracy of a scholarly documentary, The Red Baron is a great ride. During its two hours, I take off my “professional glasses” and simply enjoy the flying scenes, costumes, soundtrack and so on. Viewing it in such a manner, I find it easy to call it one of the best WW I aviation movies I have seen. I think its creators did a heck of a job with their green screens and computer graphics. Yes, they played fast and loose with the real Käte Otersdorf, Roy Brown, and Werner Voß. So be it, it remains a very enjoyable film.
Now, let us consider a few background facts related to the flag we are offering. Most of you know that Manfred von Richthofen’s first command was Jasta 11. In June 1917, he was given command of Jagdgeschwader Nr 1 (JG 1), which consisted of Jastas 4, 6, 10, and 11. [These four squadrons became known as the “Flying Circus” because each Jasta was known for its collage of plane colors. Anyone familiar with the color combinations could identify the planes]. Jasta 10 (created in 1916) joined JG 1 in June 1917. During WW I, Jasta 10's pilots destroyed 118 airplanes and 33 observation balloons, while losing 20 pilots in air combat. Some of Jasta 10's best-known commanders were PLM-winners Albert Dossenbach, Ernst Freiherr von Althaus, and the legendary Werner Voß. In the movie, Manfred von Richthofen lands in the hospital after being shot down by Roy Brown on 6 July 1917 [one of the wildly inaccurate plot points. Roy Brown and Manfred von Richthofen only met once – on 21 April 1918]. Following the scene in which von Richthofen finally checks himself out of the hospital, the elevated-above-the-airfield camera pans across the airplanes. If you watch in slow motion (to get all the details), you will glimpse an interesting flag flapping in the breeze. At first, the flag seems to be a conventional kriegsflagge, i.e., an Iron Cross appears in its upper left corner. An encircled Hohenzollern Eagle appears in the flag’s center with Jasta 11 stenciled over it in red. The latter flag is one of four that were commissioned for the film, one for each of JG 1's four Jastas. I do not know exactly how these were distributed after filming ended, but I can say THIS flag came from a cast member. Only four were made, so this is the only Jasta 10.
The flag is one-sided with a blank reverse. It measures 56” x 93.” From a distance, the flag looks like it is very old. It has been artificially aged, however, to sport the distressed appearance of several years’ worth of flying in the sun and elements. I was quite excited when the flag was offered to me, and bought it right away. It just arrived from Germany, and I wanted to share it with you immediately. 
$2,395.00

 

 

 

 

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14-439 FLAG-TOPPER FOR POST WORLD WAR I AVIATION VETERANS’ GROUP. In Germany, flag-toppers were important additions to an active military regiment’s flag collection (which often featured a Grand Cross of the Iron Cross in the center). At the top of the list would be aviation unit veterans' flags. These men had proudly served at the front in a wide variety of Observer, Fighter, Bomber, and Ground Gunner squadrons. Veterans from both Army and Navy aviation units would have been included, since the Navy served alongside their Army comrades on the Western Front. The flags for any veterans’ units were generally very ornate and handsome.
It was equally as important to these groups that their flag-toppers be as impressive as their flags. While most other veterans’ groups opted for the Iron Cross as their flag-topper, our offering today instead uses the Commemorative Prussian Pilot Badge for its centerpiece. This badge is similar in construction to a conventional Prussian Pilot Badge. The difference is that the badge’s center is cutout and a single bird flies across the landscape. This badge was to be used by Prussian Pilots who were no longer in active flying service. [A photo exists of Hermann Göring wearing this badge on his uniform before the Luftwaffe’s 1935 creation.
The overall dimensions of the flag topper are 5 ¼” x 11.” The dimensions of the Prussian Commemorative Pilot Badge are 5 ¼” x 7 ½.” The bottom portion where the flag is inserted measures 1 ½” in diameter. The flag topper is made of a base metal, and in spite of this, it has an interesting patina.
While I do not have the exact location for this group, it is a fairly educated guess that it would have been in Berlin, possibly even at Tempelhof Airport, where the chaps might have done some flying as Germany began to rebuild her aviation strength.
This is an important aviation artifact and would be a fine addition to any aviation collection. $2,295.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14-363 STATUE - GERMAN AVIATOR. This is a classic statue depicting a WW I German aviator. I have seen these in the past, and offered them to you on one or two occasions. The statue rests on a base that measures 3 3/4" x 3 3/4" x 3/4." The statue’s total height, from boot to upraised hand, measures 11 1/2." Its overall weight is 2 pounds, 11 ounces. The pilot is wearing what appears to be a double-breasted, leather flying jacket. He is also wearing high boots into which his trousers have been tucked. He sports an old-fashioned leather helmet. This helmet was used early in the war by pilots and observers alike. Its leather was hard-shelled, unlike the more commonly seen soft leather caps. [If you look carefully, you can see a ridge running down the helmet’s center. Its presence is how I identified the helmet’s style. Perched atop his helmet are his goggles. His right arm is raised in salute, and his left hand holds a propeller. Obviously, the propeller is not to a standard propeller’s scale, which would have been much taller. The entire presentation, however, presents the WW I aviator’s spirit. If you look under the base, you can see the twin bolts and nuts that secure the statue to its base. At one time, the base probably had some sort of cover to conceal its innards. It does not affect the statue’s ability to stand solidly and securely when it is displayed. Here is a unique opportunity to add this splendid piece to your statue or aviation collection. There is a portion of the thumb on the right hand that is missing. $1,595.00

 

 

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14-435 AVIATOR’S THREE-PLACE TIE BAR/LAPEL DECORATION. This is an amazing horizontal display that shows some of an Imperial German Air Service aviator’s awards. In addition to its excellent quality, a most interesting aspect is the wonderful story it tells us about his service. Both during and after WW I, it was quite common for military officers to have tie bars or boutonnieres prepared to exhibit their medals and decorations. Our chap here did the same thing, attaching it by a safety pin on the middle device. What is even MORE extraordinary, the Propeller Device and Gallipoli Star are both made of .925 silver, while the Observer Badge is .800!  That is an EXTREMELY high silver content. The display’s overall measurement is 1 ¼" x 1 ¼." From left to right, the medals are listed below.

 

 

 

 

 

1). Prussian Army Observer Badge Miniature. This is a lovely piece that measures " x ½." It is highly detailed on the obverse. The red and white observer’s device is made of enamel. The badge is hallmarked for .800 silver on the reverse, as well as a small rivet in the center by which the observer’s device is affixed.

2). Fliegertruppen’s Winged Propeller Device. It measures 1 ¼" x 1 ." It is also hallmarked for .925 silver in the propeller’s center on its reverse. A large, sturdy safety pin soldered to the hollowed-out propeller’s back allowed the presentation’s attachment to a garment.

3). The Turkish Gallipoli Star Miniature. It was awarded to German allies for their service with the Turks. The miniature measures ½" x ½." Much of its obverse is covered with red enamel, which makes it an extremely handsome decoration. The miniature’s reverse center is hallmarked for .925 silver.

 

The Prussian Army Observer Badge and Gallipoli Star miniatures hang down from small jump rings on the Fliegertruppen Device’s left and right wingtips. It is a very handsome presentation. This extremely high-quality, HIGH silver content arrangement was assembled by a knowledgeable jeweler who did topnotch work. $750.00 

 

 

 

 

 

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14-444 SLEEVE PATCH - FELD-FLIEGER ABTEILUNG NR 1. This is a uniform sleeve patch for Feld-Flieger-Abteilung (FFA) Nr 1, a very early war aviation unit consisting of observation airplanes. FFA Nr 1 was the first Feld-Flieger-Abteilung, created on 1 August 1914 shortly after the WW I began. Its first commander was a Hauptmann von Oertzen. The blue-gray, oval-shaped patch measures 2 ¼" x 1 ½." Its numeral, "1," is stitched onto the fabric. If one looks carefully, one can detect a light hint of moth tracking. It is not yet a full nip, just the hint of one. The latter confirms honest age. $395.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23-396 SINGLE ENLISTED MAN’S FELDGRAU SHOULDER STRAP - FLIEGER-BATAILLON Nr 2. This is a single enlisted man’s shoulder strap. It is feldgrau and bears the Fliegertruppen’s winged propeller. Below that is a "2" for Flieger Bataillon Nr 2. The winged propeller and the "2" are embroidered in red on the feldgrau material. Two moth nips show on the material. $295.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14-371 EARLY LUFTHANSA BADGE (1920'S). Lufthansa was founded in Germany in 1926. While it was a commercial airline, many WW I German pilots found employment with the firm. It continued to grow in the 1930's. After WW II and beyond, it grew into one of the world’s premiere airlines. Today we are offering an interesting early cap badge for a Lufthansa employee during the 1920's (not long after the company was founded). The badge is painted. It is NOT made of enamel. It sports an outer rim in blue with a red inner center. We see "DLH" in gold on the red background, with Lufthansa’s logo (a bird in flight, still used today). Below that we see "186" punched into the badge. It is a very low number for such a badge. Some paint loss spots on the badge reveal that it is made of brass. The badge measures 1 ½" in diameter. A screw post is mounted to the badge’s reverse. A nut has been screwed onto it. It appears to me this was a cap badge worn by employees, mechanics, baggage handlers, etc. This is a rare opportunity to acquire an early piece of Lufthansa’s history. $325.00

 

 

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14-340 ENAMEL AUSTRIAN PATRIOTIC PIN - MONOPLANE. We rarely find Austrian patriotic jewelry. When we do, it generally is of very high quality. This is the case with our circular, wreath-shaped pin. At its top is an enameled Austro-Hungarian Empire flag. At the wreath’s bottom is a black-enameled Iron Cross. Through its center is a monoplane. The quality and detail to the pin is amazing. $395.00

 

 

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14-434 GERMAN AIRPLANE ENGINE IDENTIFICATION PLATE. This is a post WW I German airplane engine identification plate. What is interesting is that the engine was manufactured under a license granted by the USA’s well-known Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company. The company was founded and first produced the R-1340 (Wasp) engine 1925. It was followed in 1927 by the R-1690 (Hornet) engine. Both air-cooled, radial engines were very powerful and reliable. [Parts for the engines are still being produced today by Pratt & Whitney, now a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation, and an aerospace manufacturer with global service operations]. It is likely that this engine tag was for one of these two engines, which were used extensively in German military and civil aviation until WW II began in 1939. A box for the engine’s identification number appears on the plate, but it is blank. Thus, the plate was never installed on a motor. The plate measures 1 9/16" x 3 ½" and is stamped as is featured below.

Lizenbau No (left blank)
Herstellungsrecht erworben
von
The Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Co.
Hartford, Conn. U.S.A.
U.S.A. PATENTE ERTEILT u. ANG. D.R.P. ANG.

Holes were drilled in each corner to allow the plate to be mounted to the engine. $95.00 

 

 

 

 

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14-405 XDG FLIEGERTRUPPEN STICKPIN - BAVARIA. This is a consignment item. It is a stickpin that commemorates time in the Imperial German Air Service. The stickpin has a blue enamel center with a gold-winged propeller. The enamel center is surrounded by a silver wreath and topped by a Bavarian Crown. It comes with a knurled pin. The badge’s reverse displays an .990 silver hallmark. $425.00

 

 

 

 

 

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14-317 AVIATION DONATION BADGE. During the Imperial German Period, the German people were very supportive of aviation efforts. Graf Ferdinand von Zeppelin turned to the German people for financial support when one of his zeppelins crashed and was destroyed. Zeppelin Spende Tage were quite popular in Germany, and large amounts of money were raised. The same thing was done to help raise money for airplanes.  Today we offer a different variation of an aviation donation medal. The example is made of zinc. It shows an early, two-winged aircraft. The medal measures 1 1/2" in diameter. Attached to the medal is a ribbon with three rows of black, and two of white. On the back of the ribbon a small eyelet is sewn in to allow it to hang from a garment. It is an intriguing variation. $75.00

 

 

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14-312 CLOCK IN AIRPLANE PROPELLER’S CENTER. Today we offer a rather unusual piece. It is constructed from pieces of a propeller. The main piece is the propeller’s center, including the hub. The main piece measures 15 ½" x 8" x 4 ½." A circular brass disc measures 6 ½" in diameter. Six large bolts appear on the disc. In the center of the disc is a space that measures 2 ½" in diameter. Inside this space a small alarm clock has been installed that measures 2 3/4" in diameter. The central portion of the display rests on four pieces of propeller that have been fashioned into legs. These four legs are in turn attached to the base, which is also a part of a propeller. The stand is 15 ½" x 5 1/4" x 3/4." On the stand, the propeller display is 15 3/4" tall. It is a rather impressive piece. The graining to the various parts of the propeller that have been glued together is quite handsome. The alarm clock does tick when I wind it. I am unable to set it, however. Thus, we must consider this a static display, unless the new owner wants to tinker with the eliciting clock or replace it with another. In a manner of speaking, this might be considered an offshoot of trench art. That said, it is VERY unusual to see such a large piece like this. It is very striking to look at. For you aviation collectors, it is a nifty piece. $1,195.00

 

 

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14-368 1912 FLUGSPENDE MEDAL. The German people were always being called-on to participate in various "Spenden." Spenden were donations to various causes both before and during WW I. This is a 1912 Flugspende Medal for the support of German Aviation in 1912. The medal measures 1" in diameter and is silver-toned. The obverse shows an eagle in flight. The reverse says "National Flugspende." The medal is attached to what was normally the top half of a veteran’s association medal, which is also silver-toned. It consists of a Hohenzollern Crown with crossed swords over oak leaves. In turn, it is attached to a silk ribbon in Germany’s national colors. The attachment’s reverse displays its German manufacturer’s name. It is an interesting display of the 1912 Flugspende Medal. $95.00

 

 

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14-65 1912 AVIATION DONATION DAY MEDAL. In Germany both before and during the war there was a tremendous interest in some of the newer services of the armed forces. This included the zeppelin, submarine, and air services. Count von Zeppelin was always receiving donations from the general public to help finance his efforts, especially when his airships crashed and he needed to start over again. The interest in supporting U-boat development and airplanes was equally as robust. This medal was given in 1912 to people who donated money to the cause. The obverse features an eagle in flight and the reverse has National Flugspende 1912. I have had perhaps two of these in the past, but I have never seen what the ribbon looked like until now. It is quite tattered as it was made of silk with a single large band of white flanked by two smaller black bands. Attached to the top is the original small safety pin which was attached the medal to a person’s clothing. The bronze toned medal is in excellent shape and perhaps if the original ribbon had been made of cotton or something other than silk it would have held up better. It is a very interesting pre war item of aviation in Germany. $95.00.

 

 

 

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14-49 PATRIOTIC PIN WITH FLIEGERTRUPPEN DEVICE. This very long pin is about 4" wide. It has a metal winged propeller as used on officer shoulder boards which has been soldered to a cross piece. It is a very well made patriotic piece for a wife, sweetheart, etc. $150.00.

 

 

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14-196 COIN PURSE WITH AVIATION SCENE. This is a small leather change purse which has a silver scene showing a plane flying over the countryside as seen on the Prussian Pilot Badge. It is in very nice condition. $150.00

 

 

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Aviation Tunics

 

 

15-511 XMK ENLISTED MAN’S TUNIC - PRUSSIAN LUFTSCHIFFER-ABTEILUNG. This is a consignment item. It is a pre WW I enlisted man’s tunic from a Luftschiffer-Abteilung. As a prewar tunic, it is dark-blue (dunkel-blau) rather than feldgrau. The tunic has eight silver-toned buttons that extend down the tunic’s front. Red trims the collar’s top and extends down the tunic’s front. The same trim is seen at the cuffs. The collar has a black background and two very long kragenspiegel that wrap around the collar’s front and side. The cuffs are also black, with twin white kragenspiegel. Set on each of these two kragenspiegel are another two silver-toned buttons. The shoulder straps are red, with a yellow embroidered "L." Each shoulder strap’s underlay is dark-blue. One end of the strap is sewn-in, while the other is attached with a smaller, domed, silver-toned button. Each button sports a "2" for Kompagnie Nr 2. The vent flap on the tunic’s rear is trimmed in red and features another six silver-toned buttons. Inside the tunic, we see it is a privately-purchased item, complete with a silk liner. Only a trace of moth tracking shows on the surface. It is a superb tunic. $1,795.00  Reduced Price $1,575.00!!

 

 

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