Der Rittmeister Militaria, LLC. Imperial German Merchandise, Page 0: Just in From Germany, the newest items fresh from the Fatherland!  Updated on 19 October 2017.  
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Next Update:  28 November 2017

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04-737 BAVARIA - PICKELHAUBE - GENERAL’S - SERVICE SPIKE, TRICHTER AND PARADE FEATHERS. Today we are offering a very interesting variation of a Bavarian General’s Pickelhaube. The Kingdom of Bavaria was the last Imperial German state to adopt pickelhauben in 1886. Prussia was first (in 1842). Over the years, the various German states adopted its usage for their infantry, as well as certain cavalry units. Kugelhelme for artillery followed shortly after. Bavaria (always on to follow their own path) was the last to adapt spiked helmets and kugelhelme. The final version of the Bavarian General’s Pickelhaube was adopted in 1913. This last version featured a multicolored enamel device centered in its wappen. Since it was such a late variation (just one year before WW I began) few of the M-1913 Bavarian General Pickelhauben were ever produced. The late introduction, coupled with collectors’ marked preferences for pickelhauben featuring the enamel devices, has led to a tremendous number of reproductions all-too-frequently being offered as genuine.

 

 

This helmet’s leather body is quite good. It is smooth and even, with no defects to mar its surface. Some minor settling appears around the cruciform area (typical of Bavarian pickelhauben due to the size and weight of their oversized cruciforms). That said, this example sports far less of this defect than we often see. Its front visor is squared as is correct for all Bavarian pickelhauben. All of the helmet’s furniture is silver-toned, including the cruciform, wappen, chin scales, spike, officers’ stars, etc. Its spike is very elegant and fluted. The furniture’s patina on its cruciform, chin scales, and spike in particular suggests the possible use of silver. I really like how this serves as an interesting contrast. The helmet’s wappen is one of the finest that I have ever seen on a Bavarian pickelhaube. The oval-shaped, vaulted, Bavarian General’s enamel device is set in its center, directly below the open crown. Its colored enamel is black, red, gold, white, and blue. Two magnificent, rampant Bavarian Lions, one gold and one blue, are present. The device’s center displays Bavaria’s blue and white checkerboard state flag. The latter stands out as a separate piece from the oval-shaped center. A fine pair of correct Bavarian and Reich’s kokarden are present.

 

I have an interesting story about the helmet’s chin scales. Generally speaking, Bavarian Generals’ pickelhauben sport convex chin scales. As usual, exceptions exist. The exception here is this helmet’s flat chin scales. Generals who had an association with an Infanterie-Leib-Regiment retained the flat chin scales as a tribute to that relationship. [NOTE: the Infanterie-Leib-Regiment was Bavaria’s most elite infantry unit (even though several other Bavarian infantry regiments were older). It was the equivalent of Prussia’s 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß and its equivalents from Württemberg, Saxony, Baden, and Hesse-Darmstadt. Infanterie-Leib-Regiment was founded in the midst of 1814's Napoleonic Wars. It was garrisoned in Munich, the capital city and attached to the Bavarian I. Armeekorps. [The information about the chin scales’ exception comes to us from the noted collector of German pickelhauben and expert on Bavarian militaria, Jan Kube, from whom we acquired the helmet. He owns one of Germany’s premiere auction houses, which has been in business for nearly fifty years. Herr Kube is one of the most knowledgeable individuals I have ever known on a wide variety of militaria items (especially Bavarian ones), a walking German militaria encyclopedia and one of our hobby’s "Good Guys!" With the information and the helmet’s association to Infanterie-Leib-Regiment, one might compile a list of the Generals to whom this helmet might have belonged].

 

Let us move on to the helmet’s delightful parade feathers and trichter. As scarce as is a TRUE Bavarian General’s pickelhaube, it becomes all the rarer if the parade feathers are mounted to a trichter (an extension that replaces the dismounted spike). A superb set of blue and white cock feathers is attached to the silver-toned, fluted trichter. The feathers look very fresh and full. Sometimes we see a set that looks droopy and wilted, with significant feather loss, but not here. The array is full and its colors are fresh and vibrant. [NOTE: a Bavarian General’s feathers are lighter than those seen on a Mecklenburg-Schwerin General’s helmet, which are FAR darker].
The helmet’s interior reveals a light-brown leather sweatband that has seen very light use. As I examine it closely, I can see NO signs of perspiration. The silk liner attached to the leather sweatband is beige and in mint condition. It also has no signs of perspiration, nor the shredding/running often present as a result of extended use and wear. Moving the silk liner aside, we see several important details. First, NO double holes are present, so we are sure that the wappen is original to the helmet. Next we can see 100% of the original hardware. Finally, the size, "57," is penciled into the surface under the liner (this is a bit larger than average sizes, which range from "54-56").This finely conditioned helmet is the "real deal," in superior condition.
$17,995.00   rpOctober17 

 

At Der Rittmeister Militaria, we strive to bring you the best in spiked helmets, or pickelhauben (plural for pickelhaube), one of Imperial German Militaria’s most interesting areas for collecting. While ORIGINALITY and AUTHENTICITY are of prime importance, please do not forget Der Rittmeister’s commitment to CONDITION and QUALITY. In this regard, we take special pride in offering you spiked helmets whose condition is at least well above average, if not excellent. I examine hundreds of pickelhauben to find the very few that fulfill all four criteria mentioned above. Upon receiving their new treasure, collectors who have purchased one of our pickelhauben often exclaim that their helmet looks even better than the photos we had displayed on our website. [We do use a high-quality digital camera to photograph our items and upgrade cameras every two years, but enough with the Der Rittmeister Militaria commercial]! Just remember, dear friends, Der Rittmeister’s Four Critical Criteria for collecting pickelhauben: ORIGINALITY, AUTHENTICITY, CONDITION, and QUALITY.
The pickelhaube was designed in 1842 by Prussia’s König Frederick William IV for use in the Prussian Infanterie. [The Prussian king might have copied similar helmets adopted by Russia’s military during the same time period. It is not clear whether this was a case of imitation, parallel invention, or if both were based on Napoleonic cuirassiers’ helmets]. The helmet style was soon adopted by Germany’s other states and kingdoms during the mid-19th Century, with Bavaria being the final principality to implement it in 1886. [The Bavarians always seemed to go their own way! Interestingly, Bavaria was also the last to authorize kugelhelme for their Artillerie Regiments in 1913]. In addition to Russia, spiked helmets were adopted by many Latin American countries. They were even worn by the USA’s armed forces from the 1880's until around 1910.
We also remind all pickelhaube enthusiasts about our good friend Jim Turinetti’s excellent reference books on the subject (click here to see DRM’s Imperial German Headdress Page Nr 3), available as spiral-bound paperbacks or on CD. You cannot go wrong with them. I can safely state that Jim is the USA’s foremost authority on pickelhauben. Please support him. Dollar for dollar, these books are the best on the market, and reward you with an immeasurable return in value! [Remember, Jim receives any and ALL the profits from his works,
Der Rittmeister Militaria just promotes them to help educate the collecting community].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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04-729 XAS BAVARIA - GENERAL OFFICER'S - PICKELHAUBE. This is a consignment item. Our offering today is an extremely fine General Officer’s pickelhaube from the Kingdom of Bavaria. It is Bavaria’s final General Officer’s pickelhaube pattern, which was introduced in 1913 then used through WW I’s end. It sports an excellent leather body that has remained in fine shape due to its owners’ careful maintenance since it was first accepted at its purveyor’s establishment. The general who purchased it both knew AND demanded superior quality, as is evident from its smooth, almost blemish-free surface. Babies’ bottoms do not come much cleaner or smoother than this! Some depression/settling shows where the cruciform attaches at the helmet’s crown, which is very common with Bavarian pickelhauben. [Interestingly enough, I do NOT see this as often with other Imperial German states’ headgear].
Its front visor is squared-off instead of rounded. All of its furniture is silver-toned, including the chin scales, cruciform, officers’ stars, and its (magnificently tall and fluted) spike. Its wappen displays a gorgeous silver patina that confirms it has not been cleaned in decades. The oval, multicolored (black, red, gold, blue, and white) enamel shield in the wappen’s center is what makes this general’s helmet "pop" when you look at it. The shield features two rampant Bavarian Lions (whose silver-toned likenesses comprise the rest of the wappen on either side of the shield), above and below a smaller blue and white Bavarian checkerboard in its center. [The same blue and white checkerboard design also dominates Bavaria’s state flag]. The helmet’s exterior also features the correct Bavarian and Reich’s kokarden.

 

 

The pickelhaube’s interior reveals a fine brown-leather sweatband. A pinkish-colored liner is attached to the sweatband. It may be made from polished cotton rather than the more commonly seen silk. It is in mint condition. No extra holes appear under the sweatband. All of the original hardware is in place.
This is a marvelous example of a 1913-pattern Bavarian General Officer’s pickelhaube. You would be hard-pressed to find a finer example. It is being offered UNDER its current market value because its consignor has had it for more than fifteen years. He is allowing me to pass the savings onto you!
$12,995.00PRICE REDUCED:
$9,995.00

 

 

At Der Rittmeister Militaria, we strive to bring you the best in spiked helmets, or pickelhauben (plural for pickelhaube), one of Imperial German Militaria’s most interesting areas for collecting. While ORIGINALITY and AUTHENTICITY are of prime importance, please do not forget Der Rittmeister’s commitment to CONDITION and QUALITY. In this regard, we take special pride in offering you spiked helmets whose condition is at least well above average, if not excellent. I examine hundreds of pickelhauben to find the very few that fulfill all four criteria mentioned above. Upon receiving their new treasure, collectors who have purchased one of our pickelhauben often exclaim that their helmet looks even better than the photos we had displayed on our website. [We do use a high-quality digital camera to photograph our items and upgrade cameras every two years, but enough with the Der Rittmeister Militaria commercial]! Just remember, dear friends, Der Rittmeister’s Four Critical Criteria for collecting pickelhauben: ORIGINALITY, AUTHENTICITY, CONDITION, and QUALITY.
The pickelhaube was designed in 1842 by Prussia’s König Frederick William IV for use in the Prussian Infanterie. [The Prussian king might have copied similar helmets adopted by Russia’s military during the same time period. It is not clear whether this was a case of imitation, parallel invention, or if both were based on Napoleonic cuirassiers’ helmets]. The helmet style was soon adopted by Germany’s other states and kingdoms during the mid-19th Century, with Bavaria being the final principality to implement it in 1886. [The Bavarians always seemed to go their own way! Interestingly, Bavaria was also the last to authorize kugelhelme for their Artillerie Regiments in 1913]. In addition to Russia, spiked helmets were adopted by many Latin American countries. They were even worn by the USA’s armed forces from the 1880's until around 1910.

 

We also remind all pickelhaube enthusiasts about our good friend Jim Turinetti’s excellent reference books on the subject (click here to see DRM’s Imperial German Headdress Page Nr 3), available as spiral-bound paperbacks or on CD. You cannot go wrong with them. I can safely state that Jim is the USA’s foremost authority on pickelhauben. Please support him. Dollar for dollar, these books are the best on the market, and reward you with an immeasurable return in value! [Remember, Jim receives any and ALL the profits from his works, Der Rittmeister Militaria just promotes them to help educate the collecting community].  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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04-743 PRUSSIAN - PICKELHAUBE - NCO - GARDE-GRENADIER-REGIMENT OR GARDE-REGIMENT ZU FUß - PRIVATELY-PURCHASED NOT DEPOT-ISSUED. This is a high-quality, privately-purchased NCO’S pickelhaube from either a Garde-Grenadier or Garde zu Fuß-Regiment, which include the regiments listed below.

 

2. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß
Kaiser Alexander Grade-Grenadier-Regiment Nr 1
Kaiser Franz Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr 2
Königin Elisabeth Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr 3
Königin Augusta Garde-Grenadier-Regiment 4
Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr 5

 

 

As you can see, these are very elite regiments. Officers’ examples for these regiments can be quite expensive (we currently have one lovely example available for purchase). As a rule, I do not offer enlisted men/NCO’s pickelhauben unless they come from smaller states. I am quite pleased, however, to share this fine helmet with you.
The helmet’s leather body is exceptional, or even beyond that. It is smooth and amazingly clean and clear, not marred by damage due to age or other circumstances. Its condition far exceeds what we often see on officers’ helmets. The rear visor shows signs of shrinkage, which is common in a one-hundred-plus year-old helmet’s leather body.

 

The helmet’s furniture presents a lovely Garde wappen. Its brass eagle features ultra-wide, outspread wings. They are so wide, in fact, that each wingtip extends to the respective Reich’s and state’s kokarden center points. A silver Garde Star provides a fine contrast against the brass eagle’s chest. The remaining furniture is also brass, including the flat chin scales (remember, Infanterie pickelhauben should have flat rather than convex chin scales), the cruciform, the detachable spike, as well as the front and back visors’ trim. The obverse’s final details are the correct NCO’s state’s and Reich’s kokarden.
The helmet’s interior is every bit as clean inside as it is outside. The enlisted/NCO style leather liner is magnificent. Every tongue is in place and an extra-long sizing thong is present. Under the leather liner, ALL of the original hardware is present, with NO double holes. No depot marks show on the rear visor, confirming its status as a privately-purchased helmet rather than an army depot issue. This NCO had a lot of pride in his regiment. He took excellent care of his gear, as evidenced by this helmet’s condition.
The helmet is in amazing condition. If you want something a bit different for your collection, this will fill the bill. It would also make a fine companion piece to an officer’s helmet. [If you have an interest in the helmet, and our equally well conditioned officer’s example on offer, we can offer you a very attractive price on the pair].
$2,995.00   

 

 

At Der Rittmeister Militaria, we strive to bring you the best in spiked helmets, or pickelhauben (plural for pickelhaube), one of Imperial German Militaria’s most interesting areas for collecting. While ORIGINALITY and AUTHENTICITY are of prime importance, please do not forget Der Rittmeister’s commitment to CONDITION and QUALITY. In this regard, we take special pride in offering you spiked helmets whose condition is at least well above average, if not excellent. I examine hundreds of pickelhauben to find the very few that fulfill all four criteria mentioned above. Upon receiving their new treasure, collectors who have purchased one of our pickelhauben often exclaim that their helmet looks even better than the photos we had displayed on our website. [We do use a high-quality digital camera to photograph our items and upgrade cameras every two years, but enough with the Der Rittmeister Militaria commercial]! Just remember, dear friends, Der Rittmeister’s Four Critical Criteria for collecting pickelhauben: ORIGINALITY, AUTHENTICITY, CONDITION, and QUALITY.
The pickelhaube was designed in 1842 by Prussia’s König Frederick William IV for use in the Prussian Infanterie. [The Prussian king might have copied similar helmets adopted by Russia’s military during the same time period. It is not clear whether this was a case of imitation, parallel invention, or if both were based on Napoleonic cuirassiers’ helmets]. The helmet style was soon adopted by Germany’s other states and kingdoms during the mid-19th Century, with Bavaria being the final principality to implement it in 1886. [The Bavarians always seemed to go their own way! Interestingly, Bavaria was also the last to authorize kugelhelme for their Artillerie Regiments in 1913]. In addition to Russia, spiked helmets were adopted by many Latin American countries. They were even worn by the USA’s armed forces from the 1880's until around 1910.
We also remind all pickelhaube enthusiasts about our good friend Jim Turinetti’s excellent reference books on the subject (click here to see DRM’s Imperial German Headdress Page Nr 3), available as spiral-bound paperbacks or on CD. You cannot go wrong with them. I can safely state that Jim is the USA’s foremost authority on pickelhauben. Please support him. Dollar for dollar, these books are the best on the market, and reward you with an immeasurable return in value! [Remember, Jim receives any and ALL the profits from his works, Der Rittmeister Militaria just promotes them to help educate the collecting community].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10-882 BINOCULARS. This is a pair of smaller than usual binoculars. They are marked "Carl Zeiss - Jena" on the left side, along with "DF 8X" (the lens power) and the serial number, "433914." A small size such as this was most likely used by an army officer. It has no case, but the leather strap to carry them around one’s neck is in place. The leather wrapping on the exterior is complete and intact. The optics are clear and the binoculars are useable. $75.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12-814 PATRIOTIC HORSESHOE FRAME - 1917. The horseshoe has long served as a symbol of luck and strength to the German people. Even today, a small horseshoe can be seen on German automobiles. This oversized, horseshoe-shaped frame measures 6 ½" x 7 ½," and served as a patriotic demonstration of solidarity and strength during WW I. At the shoe’s bottom is an area engraved with a patriotic statement of support and the date, 1917. No photograph is enclosed within the frame, so you will have the opportunity to one of your choice. The area for the photograph measures 4 ½" x 4 ½."
A fixed easel appears on the reverse that allows the frame to be displayed on a flat surface. [It is a heavy and substantial frame. Additional shipping will be required].
$125.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12-815 BOOK - SPIKED HELMETS OF IMPERIAL GERMANY - VOLUME ONE - INFANTRY REGIMENTS, PIONEER BATTALIONS, AND GENERAL OFFICERS - BY WILLIAM RANDALL TRAWNIK AND TONY COWAN. This is an English-language book that describes infantry, pioneer, and general officers’ pickelhauben. The authors of the book are well-known, respected,  long-standing members of our hobby. Detailed, high-quality photographs of every type of helmet are included, along with interesting notes on the historical progression of spiked helmets and helpful charts detailing the various wappen types. The book has 250+ pages and comes complete with its dust jacket. It is in mint condition.
[While this is a fine book, we also remind you of Jim Turinetti’s books, which are more detailed and contain far more information
on the composition of a pickelhaube’s various components.
(Click here to see DRM’s Imperial German Headdress Page Nr 3). They are available as spiral-bound paperbacks or on CD]. $59.95     rpOctober17 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12-816 BOOK - SPIKED HELMETS OF IMPERIAL GERMANY - VOLUME TWO - INFANTRY REGIMENTS, PIONEER BATTALIONS, AND GENERAL OFFICERS - BY TONY COWAN AND WILLIAM RANDALL TRAWNIK. This is an English-language book that describes cavalry regiments’, artillery regiments’, and train battalions’ spiked helmets. The authors of the book are well-known, respected,  long-standing members of our hobby. [PLEASE NOTE: in covering cavalry regiments’ headdresses, the authors include pickelhauben, busbies, and tschapkas, while the section covering artillery regiments details their kugelhelme rather than pickelhauben].
Detailed, high-quality photographs of every type of helmet are included, along with interesting notes on the historical progression of spiked helmets and helpful charts detailing the various
wappen types. The book has 250+ pages and comes complete with its dust jacket.
[While this is a fine book, we also remind you of Jim Turinetti’s books, which are more detailed and contain far more information
on the composition of a pickelhaube’s various components.
(Click here to see DRM’s Imperial German Headdress Page Nr 3). They are available as spiral-bound paperbacks or on CD]. $59.95     rpOctober17 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12-817 BOOK - STEEL POTS - BY CHRIS ARMOLD. This fascinating book chronicles the USA’s military’s use of steel helmets, which began with WW I. At that time, the USA adopted Great Britain’s primary helmet, continuing its use into WW II’s early days, when a new version was introduced. While the previous sentence sums up the essential history of "steel pots," the author goes far beyond mere basics by covering the years between the two World Wars and details some of the U.S. Army’s experimental helmets from the period. The latter spearheaded the relatively quick transition from the 1917's helmet to the style used during WW II, Korea, and Viet Nam. The author discusses the helmet currently used by all US Armed Forces, which are now made of Kevlar™ to provide greater protection from bullets and shrapnel (the same material used for police and military forces’ body armor). Kevlar helmets also are far lighter and cooler to wear. [If you look at the USA’s current helmet, you will note that it is very similar to Germany’s WW I and WW II stahlhelme. American troops often refer to their helmets as "Fritz."]
The book has 270+ photographs (both color and black and white, as well as sketches and graphs detailing the helmets’ evolution). While not Imperial German, it is comprehensive and makes for good reading.

 

[Let me include a word about its author, Chris Armold. Chris is a retired senior U.S. Air Force NCO who spent more than three years researching and writing his book. I first met Chris in 1996, the year we founded DRM. He became a good friend and advisor during our fledgling company’s early years. Chris even designed our first logo featuring Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen flanked by his famous Fokker Dr 1 Triplane. We are still using that basic logo to this day (with some minor modifications made three years ago). He is a great guy to whom we always wish the best.
It is a first-edition that includes a 1997 dedication
(the year the book was released) from Chris to me. Comparables on Amazon reveal that first editions like it can fetch around $130. Our example is in MINT condition and constitutes a real value!
$95.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12-818 BOOK - PAINTED STEEL: STEEL POTS VOLUME II - BY CHRIS ARMOLD. This fascinating book chronicles the USA’s military’s use of steel helmets, which began with WW I. At that time, the USA adopted Great Britain’s primary helmet, continuing its use into WW II’s early days, when a new version was introduced. This volume features various examples of these helmets that have been painted and personalized. This practice began during WW I, featuring information (numbers or emblems) from the division in which its wearer served. It also includes examples of helmets that were very artistically painted after the war. This practice continued into WW II and beyond, spreading from steel infantry helmets to include Air Force pilots’ helmets, as well as other types. The practice has continued to the present day.
The book features 250+ (both color and black and white, as well as sketches and graphs detailing the helmets’ evolution). While not Imperial German, it is comprehensive and makes for good reading.

 

 

[Let me include a word about its author, Chris Armold. Chris is a retired senior U.S. Air Force NCO who spent more than three years researching and writing his first volume. Volume two was released three years later, in 2000. I first met Chris in 1996, the year we founded DRM. He became a good friend and advisor during our fledgling company’s early years. Chris even designed our first logo featuring Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen flanked by his famous Fokker Dr 1 Triplane. We are still using that basic logo to this day (with some minor modifications made three years ago). He is a great guy to whom we always wish the best. Chris was kind enough to recognize Melissa and me in this volume (although I know very little about U.S. helmets[!]). He also was kind enough to sign a dedication to us. $40.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13-1040 SLEEVE PATCH - FLIEGER FLUGMAAT - KAISERLICHE MARINE. This is an amazingly rare sleeve patch for an enlisted man/NCO (Flugmaat) attached to a naval aviation unit. It was worn on a dress tunic’s sleeve. It is oval-shaped and measures 3 ½" x 4 ¼." It features a brass anchor against a navy-blue wool background. A red enameled propeller that measures 2 ½" in length sits across the anchor’s width. The patch’s reverse displays a canvas backing.
The patch dates to 1915 and is VERY rare. I have never seen another, much less had the opportunity to acquire it. Aviation material is hard to find these days, while material from the Kaiserliche Marine’s aviation units is nearly impossible to find, with the exception of an occasional Navy Flight Badge. This is the first such badge that we have encountered. We are quite pleased to share it with you. It would make for a fine addition to any aviation collection.
$695.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15-701 XRH BAVARIA - TUNIC - ENLISTED MAN’S - DEPOT-ISSUED - INFANTERIE-REGIMENT NR 10. This is a consignment item. It is a tunic from the Kingdom of Bavaria’s 10. Infanterie-Regiment König Ludwig. The regiment was founded in 1682. Along with the 2. Infanterie-Regiment Kronprinz, it was one of the oldest Bavarian Infanterie Regiments. It was garrisoned at Ingolstadt and attached to the Bavarian III. Armeekorps. The tunic is a pre war dunkel-blau (dark-blue) example, made of wool. It sports eight large silver-toned buttons edged with red piping down its center. The vent flap on the uniform’s reverse repeats the red piping and another six (three per each side of the flap) silver-toned buttons. The tunic’s collar displays red and white kragenspiegel. Its red shoulder straps are embroidered with König Ludwig’s crowned "L" royal cypher, as is correct for the regiment. The straps are held in place by small silver-toned buttons that indicate the wearer was assigned to Kompagnie Nr 6. Both of the uniform’s red cuffs display three white litzen, each of which sports a silver-toned button. The interior features an excellent white cotton lining. Two different black depot marks have been stamped onto the liner.

 

 

 

 

This very hard-to-find, depot-issued tunic is in excellent condition. It may have only been issued once, as it does NOT feature extensive depot marks that cover a long period, (which also may be why the tunic is in such marvelous condition)! $1,195.00    

 

 

 

 

 

 

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18-495 SILVER CUP SHOOTING PRIZE. This is a fine silvered cup that was presented as a shooting prize to an officer in 1912. The cup was presented to a Major and I. Bataillon commander for an unnamed regiment. [I am sure that a little bit of time spent with a period Rangliste would help identify in which regiment he served. A further peek at a WW I Rangliste from 1914 to 1918 would reveal whether or not the man survived and to what rank he might have risen. I would venture that with the army’s expansion, he might have well become a regimental commander or higher, depending on his service and whether or not he survived the entire war.   The engraving on the cup appears as is listed below.

Offiziers Preisschießen 1912
I. Bataillon
Ehrenpreis Gegee. Von
Major D´Alleux

 

The cup displays a wonderful patina. It stands 6 ½" tall. It is wider at the top than the bottom, getting larger the higher it goes. The diameter at the rim is 4." The diameter at the base is 2 ½." The base features a handsome design with two rope-like trim bands, one toward its top and the other at its base. The cup weighs 6 ounces. NO silver or jeweler hallmarks are present. $250.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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18-496 OVERSIZED COBALT-BLUE GLASS BOTTLE LABELED "KAISER PUNSCH." Bright cobalt-blue colored glass bottles were popular in Germany during the Imperial Period and are still found today, particularly for fine wines. Today, we are offering just such a fine, large, Imperial German Era cobalt bottle. How large, you ask? It holds 40 ounces (1,250 ml/1.25 liters), standing an impressive 10 ½" tall and measuring 11" in circumference. A four-by-four inch, multicolored paper label is pasted on its front, bearing Kaiser Wilhelm II’s likeness surrounded by a wreath of grapes and grape leaves. A Hohenzollern Crown sits above his head, while "Kaiser Punsch" appears below.
The bottle is in perfect condition with no cracks or chips. The paper label is complete and in fine condition, although it does show some signs of what I call "honest age." It is definitely NOT a newer interpretation.
$195.00    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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20-250 CAP BADGE - KAISERLICHER YACHT CLUB AND TWO SMALL CHIN STRAP BUTTONS. This is a cap badge worn by Kaiserlicher Yacht Club members on their visor caps. Kaiser Wilhelm II was the club’s head, and participated in many club activities. The oval-shaped, embroidered bullion badge measures 1 ½ x 2." It is a much higher-quality badge than the example that we currently have on our site. The gold bullion is crisp and displays a lovely patina. The black eagle is a different type and appears on a very high-quality, multicolored, enamel shield.
Based on this cap badge’s quality, and that of the one or two we have offered in the past, it was NOT from an ordinary member’s cap. The owner was a man of taste, very likely a member of German royalty or, at the very least, the upper nobility.
Two small black buttons that measure ½" in diameter are included. They would have attached the chin strap to the cap’s front. Each button features a fouled anchor. They make a lovely addition to the cap badge. Together, they will provide a fine addition to any maritime collection. 
$595.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21-336 ZEPPELIN TABLE MEDAL - DEUTSCHE FLOTTEN - 1914/1915. This is a high-quality, early WW I table medal that was issued for the "Deutsche Flotten," all of the Kaiserliche Marine’s various arms, including all naval vessels (surface and U-Boots), fixed-wing airplanes, and zeppelins. Its obverse features examples of all of the naval pieces, the zeppelin in the sky being the most prominent. The table medal’s bottom half features dedication listed below.

 

"Deutsche Flotten                     (The German Fleet is
 Deutsches Schwert                     the German Sword
 Beschützen Unseren                     Protecting Our
       Heimatherd                                   Homeland’s Hearth
      1914/15"
                                               1914/15)

 

 

The table medal’s reverse displays a high-relief likeness of Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin, the creator of the zeppelins used for commercial service prior to the war. He is wearing a military uniform (he was a Württemberg General). The motto "Excellenz Graf Ferdinand von Zeppelin" surrounds his image. Von Zeppelin, along with Hugo Eckener produced the wartime zeppelins used by both the Imperial Army and Navy (as well as the prewar, civilian zeppelin). After von Zeppelin’s 1917 death, Eckener continued the company. After WW I’s end, they produced the "Graf Zeppelin" and the ill-fated "Hindenburg," both of which provided around-the-world luxury air transport. 
The medal measures 33mm (1 ¼") in diameter. Its silver content, .800 silber, is noted on the edge. The table medal’s date is significant, since silver for items like this was no longer available by 1916. [Even the great Manfred von Richthofen was unable to purchase his prized silver victory cups after his 60th victory]. This table medal is in prime condition.
$295.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21-337 ZEPPELIN PHOTOGRAPH - PERIOD FRAMED AND MATTED - ZEPPELIN RAID ON LONDON. This is a most interesting, period framed and matted photograph from about 1916. It shows a zeppelin in the sky being illuminated by searchlights and antiaircraft shells. The captioned image shows the English population’s courage and defiance throughout the zeppelin attacks. The item measures 7 ½" x 10 ¾," overall. The piece is extremely high-quality and reasonably priced. $95.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23-507 XMN PRUSSIA - EPAULETTES - OBERST - INFANTERIE-REGIMENT NR 160. This is a consignment item. We are always delighted to share consignment items with you. This one is rather interesting, not only for what it is, but from where we received it: far-off Thailand! It is a fine pair of Oberst’s epaulettes from the 9. Rheinisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr 160's regimental commander. The regiment, founded in 1897, was unique in that it was garrisoned in three different cities: Bonn, Diez, and Euskirchen. It was attached to the VIII. Armeekorps.
The epaulettes feature brass crescents that sport VERY heavy patinas. They have not been cleaned in decades and have a lovely, toasty look. Their new owner could restore a brighter appearance if so desired, but they show real character as they are now. Light-blue felt bases appear within the metal crescents’ confines, decorated with an Oberst’s twin gilt pips and "160," the regiment’s number. As is correct for a Major/Oberstleutnant/Oberst’s epaulettes, a heavy cascade of braided silver bullion dangles down from the metal crescent. The "tongues" that extend from the
epaulettes’ centers feature silver bullion tape with black trim lines that confirm they are for a Prussian officer.
Each epaulette sports a red felt underlay on its reverse, as well as a few moth nips or two. A contrasting band of silver/gray bullion dangles beneath the ones that are clearly visible on the exterior. While these came to us via Thailand, their veteran owner acquired them in New Zealand back in 1990. These epaulettes have truly traveled around the world!
$595.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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UNDER ARMS FOR THE KAISER:
Shoulder Insignia of the Imperial German Army's Regiments 1871-1918
by Michael A. Kelso.

Our very good friend Michael (Mike) Kelso recently published a superb book covering the Imperial German Army’s epaulettes and shoulder boards from 1871 through 1918 under its three emperors: Kaiser Wilhelm I, Kaiser Friedrich III, and Kaiser Wilhelm II. This particular area of our hobby has long been neglected. To my knowledge, NO other book dealing with this subject is available to collectors. While I have managed to gather some information from a few German books that partially deal with the topic, I have never found a standalone source to serve this purpose, until now.
Mike’s amazing book was released in early 2017. It already has the collecting community raving. Its scholarship and photographs are topnotch. We all owe Mike high praise for his efforts. We strongly urge you to purchase the book directly from Mike. It is a MUST-HAVE reference for any Imperial German militaria collection. You may contact him by email at
makelso77@aol.com. You will be glad you did!

 

We also have had the good fortune to purchase several examples of the shoulder boards and straps that appeared in Mike’s book directly from him. We are adding a few in new updates over the next several months.
Naturally, we will indicate on which of Mike’s book pages the shoulder board/strap can be found.
The latest are listed below.

 

 

23-502 SHOULDER BOARD - PRUSSIA - ENLISTED MAN/NCO - HUSAREN-REGIMENT NR 10. This is a single shoulder board for a Magdeburgisches Husaren-Regiment Nr 10 Enlisted Man/NCO. The regiment was founded in 1813 and garrisoned at Stendal, where it was attached to the IV. Armeekorps. The regiment saw action in the Napoleonic Wars and in other conflicts up to and including WW I. After the end of WW I, it was disbanded.
The shoulder board measures 2" x 5 ¼." The
shoulder board’s surface is dark-blue. A heavy design of small yellow chevrons is set against the blue surface. The subdued metal regimental designation, "10," is set in its center. It was worn on a feldgrau attila, as evidenced by the reverse’s feldgrau backing. It is in very fine condition.  It appears on page 290 of Under Arms for the Kaiser: Shoulder Insignia of the German Army’s Regiments 1871-1918, by Michael Kelso. Being featured in this excellent reference book certainly enhances its value! $325.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23-503 SHOULDER BOARD - PRUSSIAN - ENLISTED MAN/NCO - HUSAREN-REGIMENT NR 11. This is a single shoulder board for a 2. Westfälisches Husaren-Regiment Nr 11 Enlisted Man/NCO. The regiment was founded in 1813 and garrisoned at Crefeld, where it was attached to the VII. Armeekorps. The regiment saw action in the Napoleonic Wars and in other conflicts up to and including WW I. After the end of WW I, it was disbanded.
The shoulder board measures 1 ¾" x 5." The
shoulder board’s surface is dark-blue. A heavy design of small white chevrons is set against the blue surface. The royal regimental patron’s chain stitched yellow cypher, a "K" beneath two crowns, appears in its center. The board’s reverse features a feldgrau underlay and may be a post 1907 example. It is in very fine condition.
It appears on page 290 of Under Arms for the Kaiser: Shoulder Insignia of the German Army’s Regiments 1871-1918, by Michael Kelso. Being featured in this excellent reference book certainly enhances its value!
$325.00   thOctober17

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23-504 SHOULDER BOARDS - BADEN - 5 SINGLE - INFANTERIE-REGIMENT NR 114. This is a most interesting group of five enlisted man/NCO’s 6. Badisches Infanterie-Regiment Kaiser Friedrich III Nr 114 shoulder straps. These shoulder boards show the historical progression of the regiment from prior to 1852 through 1888 and beyond. The regiment was formally founded in 1867, although it had been in existence prior to 1852. [It was listed as a Bataillon rather than a Regiment. It was only after 1867 in the Imperial German era that it was recognized as a full strength Regiment. During the pre-1867 period, it was first known as Füsilierbataillone Nr 1 and later as Füsilierbataillone Nr 2. In the post-1867 era, its three Bataillone were garrisoned at Konstanz, Wachtkommando, and Burg Hohenzollern. The Regiment was attached to the XIV. Armeekorps. The five shoulder straps are described below.

 

 

 

 

 

1). I do not have a date when this strap was used. Füsilierbataillone Nr 1 was in use prior to 1 November 1852. So, this strap is more than one-hundred-sixty-years-old and is the oldest uniform item that Der Rittmeister Militaria has ever offered. The strap measures 1 ¾" x 5." The obverse is white, embroidered in red with the Bataillon designation, "1." The strap is in amazing condition. Obviously, due to its age, the white shows signs of soiling.

 

 

 

 

 

2). This example is for Füsilierbataillone Nr 2, which succeeded Füsilierbataillone Nr 1. The unit was in place from 1 November 1852 through 26 October 1867 when it was upgraded and formally became the 6. Badisches Infanterie-Regiment. The shoulder strap measures 1 ¾" x 5." The surface of the strap is red and the Bataillon designation, "2," is chain stitched in yellow.

 

 

3). This example was used from its inception on 26 October 1867 through 1 July 1871. The shoulder strap measures 1 ¾" x 5." It is green and has the regimental number, "6," embroidered in red on the obverse. The shoulder strap is in very fine condition considering its age.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4). This example was used from 1871 through 1888, prior to Kaiser Friedrich III’s ascension to the Imperial German throne. It measures 1 ¾" x 5." It is green and embroidered in red with the regimental designation, "114," which it assumed in 1871 with the German Empire’s creation.

 

 

 

5). This example was used after 2 August 1888 until the Regiment changed from wearing dunkel-blau (dark-blue) uniforms to feldgrau. It measures 1 ¾" x 5." It is green and features Kaiser Friedrich III’s royal crowned cypher. Friedrich III succeeded his father, Kaiser Wilhelm I, and sat on the throne for a mere ninety-nine days in 1888, before dying from throat cancer and being succeeded by his son, Wilhelm II.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All five shoulder straps are in fine condition and show signs of having been mounted for display. Each shoulder strap is accompanied by an old typewritten tag. Clearly, these came from either a German museum or collection. They afford a unique opportunity to see how a regiment progressed from its inception through to WW I’s end. These five shoulder straps appear on pages 118 and 153 of Under Arms for the Kaiser: Shoulder Insignia of the German Army’s Regiments 1871-1918" by Michael Kelso. Being featured in this excellent reference book certainly enhances its value! $550.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23-505 SHOULDER STRAP - PRUSSIA - WAFFENMEISTER - ARTILLERIE-REGIMENT - WAR MINISTRY PROTOTYPE TAG. This is a very important and historically significant shoulder strap. First, it is for a very senior Artillerie Regiment NCO in the rank of Waffenmeister (Master Gunner). The rank itself is uncommon, but what makes this so important is that it has an Imperial German War Ministry prototype tag attached to it. The War Ministry was responsible for a wide range of projects that both organized and kept the German Army running smoothly. One of the Ministry’s functions was to come up with improvements to all types of uniforms, headdress, gear, and so on. Working with various suppliers in Germany, the Ministry decided what new types of items were to be used in the future. They created a prototype that eventually became a standardized Army item.
This particular shoulder strap was the first of its kind. Such examples were stored at the War Ministry in an archive for reference once the item was changed or new one was approved. I have secured several items with the War Ministry tags attached over the years. [Believe me, these items are very special and SCARCE, so I leap at the opportunity to secure them when offered]!
The shoulder strap measures 2 ½" x 5 ½." It features various shades of gold, blue, black, and green bullion tape along three of its four edges. The strap’s center is made of red felt, as are thin lines of trim on its extreme edges. The red center displays a pair of crossed, gold-toned cannons, each of which measures 2" in length. A special metal insignia appears below the crossed cannons, shaped into a shield that measures ¾" x 1 ¼." It features of a gold-toned Hohenzollern Eagle against a dark background and beneath a Hohenzollern Crown. The royal cypher "FW" appears on the Eagle’s chest. It is similar to that found on pickelhauben wappens. The strap’s reverse displays a blue backing. The obverse’s condition is perfect, while its reverse is marked by one moth nip.
The faded white War Ministry tag is attached to a string that is looped through the buttonhole where the strap would be attached to a tunic. It measures 2 ¾" x 5." One side has the red wax seal of the Kriegsministerium (War Ministry). The string’s other end has a wax seal over it to keep it with the strap. It features some period writing on it that describes the item and its location within the archive. Below that (in English) in a fountain pen’s black ink is the notation "Shoulder strap from the uniform of a German Master Gunner." Since the notation was made with a fountain pen, it tells us it was written more than seventy-years ago when such pens were commonly used.
The opposite side features the words below in bold lettering (rendered in old German Fraktur).

 

Probe (Sample)
Schulterslappen für Waffenmeister (Shoulder Strap for a Weapons Master)

 

Below these two lines is some of the boilerplate for the listing of War Ministry items, as well as dates in April 1907 (some one-hundred-ten years-ago). This may well have been the last update for the pre war shoulder straps. After that, the Imperial German Army began to phase in feldgrau uniforms and updated shoulder boards/straps.
This very special shoulder board was used in the just-released book Under Arms for the Kaiser: Shoulder Insignia of the German Army’s Regiments 1871-1918 by Michael Kelso on pages 381-382. It is one of the rarest shoulder straps that we have ever offered.
$350.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33-343 BRAUNSCHWEIG - TOTENKOPF CAP DEVICE - NCO/ENLISTED MAN - HUSAREN-REGIMENT NR 17 OR INFANTERIE-REGIMENT NR 92. A total of four Imperial German Army regiments used the Totenkopf. They included Prussia’s 1. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 1 and 2. Leib–Husaren-Regiment Nr 2, along with the Duchy of Braunschweig’s Husaren-Regiment Nr 17 and Infanterie-Regiment Nr 92. [It is interesting to note that the Totenköpfe used by Prussia and Braunschweig were completely different from one another. Those used by Prussia evolved to be used during the Third Reich Period by a combination of SS and Panzer troops. Finding items using the Braunschweig Totenkopf pattern helps us to be sure that they came from the Imperial Period and not the Third Reich].
Today we are offering a Totenkopf device for an enlisted man/NCO’s mütze or schirmmütze from one of the two Braunschweig Regiments. The device measures 1" x 1." It has a first-rate patina. None of the mounting attachments are present on the reverse. It would make a fine addition to any display.
$175.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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34-91 DOILY/PLACE MAT CELEBRATING WW I ALLIED VICTORY. During WW I and shortly thereafter, patriotic objects were numerous and varied. As with so many wars, the initial enthusiasm and excitement soon devolved into grimness as the war years dragged on and on. By the war’s end, few families in Europe had not been affected by family members’ or friends’ deaths and the sheer horror of all-out war. While Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey had little to celebrate, the Allies found validation in victory. The item we are offering today details the winning camp’s attitude.
This 11" x 14" doily/place mat revels in the Allied victory. It features an exquisitely delicate lace background that contains an 8" x 10" pink satin frame several inches inside it. A smaller, 3" x 4" panel within the pink frame displays the date "1919." Each of the date’s numbers has been stitched from the various, victorious Allies’ national flags. For example, Great Britain’s Union Jack appears on the initial "1," along with Japan’s flag. France and Australia appear on the "9." The second "1" features the USA’s flag by itself. [This is only a partial list. Most of the major nations that participated in the war, including Belgium, appear on the various numbers. Below the numbers is a legend that proclaims "Souvenir de France."
This lovely piece is in excellent condition.
$50.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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40-679 CABINET PHOTOGRAPH - KAISER WILHELM II - WEARING 1. LEIB-HUSAREN-REGIMENT NR 1's UNIFORM - MOUNTED ON HIS HORSE. Imperial German era photographs and postcards of Kaiser Wilhelm II generally feature him in the uniforms of either the Regiment der Garde du Corps or the 1. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 1. Members of these two regiments sported very unusual headdresses that were quite different from those worn by any other Imperial German Army Regiments. This particular cabinet photograph (an oversized CdV), which shows the Kaiser mounted on his horse, is no exception. The photo measures 3 ¼" x 6 ." The Kaiser is wearing a foul weather canvas cover over his busby, so its wappen and kolpak cannot be seen. [It is the first photo I have ever seen that features the Kaiser wearing a foul weather cover over his busby, although I have seen photos of him sporting a covered pickelhaube].  Its feldzeichen is stuck in place (as is correct), and he has the busby’s chin scales pulled down under his chin. His attila is a parade rather than a dienst (daily-wear) version. His cross belt, decorations, and shoulder boards are those of a Generalfeldmarschall.

 

 

 

The cabinet photograph’s bottom indicates that it was produced by the noted photographic house of Georg Scheppmeyer, one of Germany’s premiere studios and a purveyor to the royal household. $95.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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04-746 BAVARIA - JEWELRY BOX - MINIATURE PICKELHAUBE. This is a most interesting, pickelhaube-shaped jewelry box that measures 2 ½" x 2 ½." Its exterior is covered in black velvet. It sports a fine brass Bavarian wappen and spike, as well as brass chin scales, kokarden, and rear trim. The box’s top swings open to reveal an upper white silk liner. The bottom is covered in beige velvet. A small hook appears toward the base’s top, to which one could attach an item, most probably a pendant. We are showing one in the attached photographs for reference purposes ONLY. [The pendant is NOT included with the jewelry box].
Its overall condition is excellent. This is a perfect way to present a gift to that favorite person in your life, and let them share your passion for
Imperial German history! $275.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33-339 TSCHAKO - OFFICER’S - DEUTSCHES REICH SEE-BATAILLONE. [PLEASE NOTE: For those of our customers who are not as familiar with the German language, the addition of an "e" renders the German word for "battalion" plural]. The See-Bataillone were one of the most illustrious formations within Imperial Germany’s military. The See-Bataillone served a purpose similar to that of the United States Marines Corps (USMC), in that they acted as the security forces onboard larger warships. They performed the same function at Germany’s overseas embassies, although their scope of service extended well beyond these two roles. The original two Bataillone were garrisoned at Wilhelmshaven (See-Bataillon Nr II) and Kiel (See-Bataillon Nr I) in their capacity as ships’ security forces. [Just like the USMC, who operated under the U. S. Navy’s command, the See-Bataillone served under the Kaiserliche Marine]. See-Bataillon Nr III was formed in 1898 and garrisoned at Kiautschou as part of German colonial China’s military presence, along with other German infantry, cavalry, and artillery regiments. WW I’s advent in 1914 saw See-Bataillon Nr III forced to surrender, and the formation of additional See-Bataillone back home. Ultimately, a total of three Marine-Korps Divisions numbering approximately 70,000 men participated (primarily in France and Belgium) in some of the Great War’s bloodiest battles under the command of naval admirals.
This leads us to today’s offering, a See-Bataillone officer’s tschako (shako). It is a pre World War I quality piece; thus, it probably belonged to an officer from one of the three original See-Bataillone. The tschako’s body is black velvet, except for the top, the front/rear visors, and a trim section above the latter that leads to the black velvet, all of which are black leather.
The tschako’s most striking feature (and what sets it above tschako’s used by other military units) is its magnificently fire-gilded wappen. It clearly is a See-Bataillone wappen, as it features an eagle with outspread wings ( measuring 5 ½" from tip to tip). A very impressive
Hohenzollern Crown with a flowing stole appears above the eagle, whose talons grasp a naval anchor. The tschako’s chin scales are gold-toned, with their leather portions still intact behind them. The exterior’s final feature is a handsome Reich Offizier’s Feldzeichen (Field Badge). The Feldzeichen is composed of four silver bullion ropes followed by a single row of black bullion, and ending with one final silver bullion row. A red felt insert appears in the Feldzeichen’s center, which identifies its Feldzeichen as being for the Reich rather than another state. All naval headdresses came from the Reich, so red was an important feature for the various kokarden, Feldzeichen centers, etc.
The
tschako’s interior features a well used, but complete, brown leather sweatband. This band displays two distinct sets of marks, which I believe either were made by a museum or indicate it came from a large, personal collection. The tschako’s beige silk liner is well used and shows significant perspiration staining. The silk liner reveals another set of marks stenciled on it in red, further identifying this as a former museum piece or coming from an extensive personal collection. All of the original and correct hardware is present.

 

This is a complete, original, and untouched example of a very fine See-Bataillone officer’s tschako. The interior is not in quite as fine a condition as the exterior, but as you will probably display it with its exterior on view, you should not find this detractive. $5,995.00

 

 

 

 

 

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02-444 MEDAL BAR -TWO-PLACE - GEBRÜDER GODET WORKSHOPS - BERLIN. This a lovely two-place medal bar. It was produced In the 1930's from the workshops of Gebrüder Godet (previously Godet und Söhne), which had been one of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s principal House Jewelers. They had produced some of the Imperial German Period’s finest orders and decorations, including Prussia’s Orden Pour le Mérite, the Order of the Black Eagle, the Red Eagle Order, Hohenzollern House Orders, Iron Crosses, as well as many top level orders and decorations from Germany’s other royal houses.
The two-place medal bar displays the medals listed below from left to right.

 

 

 

* 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class.

* Hindenburg Cross with Swords for Combatants.

 

Both the decorations are in MINT condition. Its reverse features a sturdy, wide pin for mounting it on a tunic or other garment. It has a gray felt backing, and a black label on which is beautifully stitched: Gebr. Godet & Co. [The Godet is much larger than anything else on the label]. $225.00 

 

 

 

 

 

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05-1704 HINDENBURG CROSS - NEXT OF KIN. The Hindenburg Cross was instituted after the death of Generalfeldmarschall and Weimar Republic Präsident Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934). Hindenburg was a hero in Germany for his wartime service and command of the General Staff in the war’s second half. [He had been retired when the war broke out. He was recalled and given command of an Armee, then defeated the Russians at Tannenberg in August 1914]. He retired at WW I’s end. Due to Germany’s postwar turmoil, he was lured back to serve his country again from 1925 to 1934 as its President. After his death, the Hindenburg Cross was instituted in three classes. The most common was the Hindenburg Cross with Swords for Combatants, a bronze-toned decoration. Next was a similar award without swords for Non Combatants. Finally, an award was given to the families of soldiers who fell in the Fatherland’s service, a blackened cross without swords.
Today we are offering an example of the third variation, the
black Hindenburg Cross for the Next-of-Kin. This decoration measures 1 ½ " x 1 ½." It has its jump ring, but NO ribbon. $30.00 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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06-243 HESSE-DARMSTADT - AWARD DOCUMENT AND DECORATION - TAPFERKEITS=MEDAILLE - ORIGINAL PRESENTATION PACKET. Today we are offering you the opportunity to acquire the award document (Urkunde) and the decoration for the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt’s Tapferkeits=Medaille (Bravery Medal), along with its original presentation packet. It was the equivalent to the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class. While the Iron Cross was a Prussian medal, it was also awarded as a Reich’s medal. [Most of the Imperial German states also awarded its equivalents in the first and second classes]. The silver-toned decoration measures 1 ½" in diameter. Its obverse features a profile view of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig (1868-1937), Hesse-Darmstadt’s last ruler. [Ernst Ludwig was the son of Grand Duke Louis IV (1837-1892) and Princess Alice (1843-1878) of Great Britain. Princess Alice was Queen Victoria (1819-1901) of England and Prince Albert (1819-1861) of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha’s third child. Queen Victoria and her children formed a virtual "Who’s Who" of Imperial European royalty. These arranged marriages intertwined Europe’s royal houses and, in time, contributed to some of the conflicts leading to WW I]. The medal’s reverse displays a laurel leaf wreath with "Für Tapferkeit" in its center.
The medal itself is not the most common of its type, however, what really makes this an exciting addition to a collection is its original paper packet. I cannot begin to tell you how difficult it is to find the award packets for the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class or its many equivalents. So often the recipient tossed the packet away after receiving the award. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of packets that I have unearthed. Simply stated, the packet is far rarer than the medal itself. It is made of heavy blue paper and bears the medal’s name on the front. It measures 1 ¾" x 2 ¼."
The award document is quite handsome. It measures 9" x 11." At its top is the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt’s Ducal Crown. "Ernst Ludwig" appears in large letters below the crown. The document was issued to an Unteroffizier Marr, who was assigned to Infanterie-Regiment Prinz Carl (4.Großherzogl. Hessisches) Nr 118. The regiment was garrisoned at Worms and, like all Hesse-Darmstadt regiments, was assigned to the XVIII. Armeekorps. So, Marr was a native son of Hesse-Darmstadt.

 

The document was issued on 15 May 1917. Ernst Ludwig’s original signature appears at the document’s bottom right side. The document has a couple of small holes. Its bottom portion has three small tears and has been folded under in its lower left corner. The fold measures about 2." We have folded it back in place.
The decoration and urkunde make for a fine presentation. Both are scarce on their own and become even MORE desirable together.
$295.00  

 

 

 

 

 

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08-571 OLDENBURG - EHRENKREUZ 1st KLASSE MIT DER GOLDENEN KRONE. This is the small Grand Duchy of Oldenburg’s Honor Cross 1st Class with the Golden Crown. It was awarded from 1856 through 1918, and issued without AND with Swords. The gold-toned cross measures 2 ½ " x 2 ½." A very handsome articulated golden crown appears at its top. The decoration’s obverse features Herzog Peter Friedrich Ludwig’s royal cypher (the entire family of decorations was named for him). Its reverse displays Oldenburg’s Coat-of-Arms. The decoration is mounted on a short piece of original blue and red ribbon. This is a seldom-seen decoration that we have not offered in the past. $550.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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09-1024 IRON CROSS - 1914 - 2nd CLASS. This is a good example of a 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class that is in above-average condition. It does not have a ribbon or a jump ring, and is priced accordingly. $65.00 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10-880 PATRIOTIC MORTAR AND PESTLE FROM WW I. Every time I think I have encountered all things that patriotic Germans used during WW I, I receive a surprise. Such is the case with our offering today. It is a mortar and pestle from 1914 to 1916. A mortar and pestle are not some things that we often see today. They were a fixture in pharmacies one-hundred-years-ago. The pharmacist had to blend different medications together, since they did not come pre made from the firms that produced them. Of course, back then the number of medications available was far less than today. Antibiotics had yet to be invented. It took knowledge and precise measurements to ensure that the proper blend was prepared. 
The mortar measures 4 ½" tall, 5" in diameter at the mouth, and 3" in diameter at the base. It is made of a very heavy, solid metal. It could well be brass or possibly gold-toned steel. Two "horns" appear on its sides where it could have been attached to a cradle that would swing down to empty its blended contents. The dates 1914-1916 appear on one side of the mortar, while its other side depicts a large caliber siege gun! It was a fine way for a doctor or a pharmacist to show his patriotism.
The pestle is made of the same material as the mortar. It measures 7 ½" in length and 3" in circumference. It will make a nice conversation piece. If you are a pharmacist or doctor, it would provide a perfect way to combine your training with history. It also would look quite nifty on your desk or a bookcase! Even if you are not a medical professional, it is still a fine display piece.
The pair is quite hefty, weighing a combined 4" lbs., 13 ounces. [Additional shipping will be required].
$250.00 

 

 

 

 

 

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10-881 STAMPS - TWENTY COLORED ARMEEKORPS DOCUMENT STAMPS. A great deal of paperwork was generated within the Imperial German military establishment, from regiments up through brigades, the Armeekorps and Berlin’s General Staff. Each and every unit had its own individual rubber stamp. The latter generally were accompanied by its initiating officer’s signature. Prior to WW I, the highest level within the Imperial German Army was the Armeekorps. These were regionally located in district offices. Each regiment within the district was assigned to that particular Armeekorps. Each Armeekorps contained its various Infanterie, Artillerie, Kavallerie, (etc). Regiments within it. For example, if the Grand Duchy of Baden was assigned to the XIV. Armeekorps, then ALL of Baden’s regiments were assigned to the XIV. Armeekorps. Due to the Prussian Army’s greater size and scope, ITS regiments were scattered among several Armeekorps. The other three Imperial German Kingdoms, Bavaria, Württemberg and Saxony, had three, one, and two Armeekorps, respectively. [To better enable your understanding of how the various Armeekorps were scattered through Germany, we have attached a photograph of Germany showing their locations].
In addition to their rubber stamps, the Armeekorps also employed various paper stamps/labels containing their information. Today we are offering an interesting collection of these paper stamps. They are quite colorful. They vary in size to a small degree. The largest measures 1 ½" in diameter, while the smallest is 1 ¼" in diameter. Most of them are for the Prussian Armeekorps, with one for the General Staff in Berlin, another for the Engineering Corps, and two very rare stamps for Berlin’s Garde-Korps, for a total of TWENTY paper stamps. Their identities are listed below. [Please note: the spelling for "Armeekorps" and "Kommando" varies from stamp to stamp. We are presenting them AS they appear on each stamp.

 

1). Generalstab des Feldheeres - Berlin (Nachr.-Offz.)
2). General Commando 1tes Armee-Corps
3). General-Commando 2ten Armeecorps
4). General-Commando 3tes Armeecorps
5). Königl. Preuss. General-Kommando 4. Armee-Corps
6). Kgl. Preuss. General-Commando Des VI. Armee-Corps
7). Königlich Preussisches General-Kommando Des IX. Armee-Korps (Dark-Blue)
8). Kgl. Preuss. General Kommando IX. Armee-Korps (Light-Blue)
9). Königl. Preuss. General-Kommando Des 10. Armee Korps (Red)
10). Königl. Preuss. General Kommando Des 10. Armee Korps (Orange)
11). General-Kommando 14. Armee-Korps
12). Kön. Preuss. Intendantur D. XVten Armee-Corps
13). Königlich Preussisches General-Commando Des XVI. Armee-Corps
14). Königl. Pr. Intendantur Des 17ten Armee-Korps.
15). Königl. Intendantur XVII. Armee Corps
16). Kgl. Pr. Militair-Intendantur Des XVIII. ArmeeKorps
17). Königlich Preussisches GeneralKommando XX. Armee-Korps
18). Königl. Preussische Intendantur des GardeKorps
19). Kgl. Preuss. Stellvertr. General-Oomando (sic) Des Garde-Corps
20). Koen. Preuss. General Inspection D. Ingenieur Corps U. D. Festungen

 

This is a very fine assortment of stamps that would look amazing if well-framed, perhaps with a postcard or two, or something else to add interest to the presentation. $225.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10-875 XRV IRON CROSS - CUFF LINKS. This is a consignment item, a simply wonderful pair of cuff links that features the Iron Cross. [Back in the day, a gentleman sought out unique cuff links to secure the French cuffs of his dress shirt]. These cuff links show a certain sense of style. Each link’s base is circular and made of mother-of-pearl. Each one measures ½" in diameter. Mounted to each center is a miniature black enamel Iron Cross. Each link’s shank is made of brass.
If you are a gentleman or gentle lady who wants to highlight your French-cuffed dress shirts with ultra high-quality cuff links AND advertise your appreciation of your collecting hobby, then these were made for YOU!
$250.00 

 

 

 

 

 

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12-812 GENERALFELDMARSCHALL PAUL VON HINDENBURG - FRAMED METAL PLAQUE. This is a very high-quality, stamped metal (most likely steel) plaque featuring Generalfeldmarschall and later Weimar Republic Präsident Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934). Hindenburg was a successful officer in the Imperial German Army who served with distinction in the Prussian Army during the 1866 Austro-Prussian War and the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War. [He was decorated in the latter. In fact, he was at Versailles when King Wilhelm I of Prussia became Germany’s first Kaiser]. Following the Franco-Prussian War, he ascended within the German Army. He had retired when WW I began in 1914. He was brought back from retirement as a Generaloberst to command the German 8. Armee with his brilliant Chief of Staff, Erich Ludendorff. They served together through the end of WW I. The 8. Armee roundly defeated the Russians at the Battle of Tannenberg late in August 1914, then at the Battle of Masurian Lakes in mid September of the same year. Hindenburg received the Orden Pour le Mérite in August 1914, one of WW I’s first major awards. The towering Hindenburg (who stood a larger-than-life six feet five inches tall) was promoted from Generaloberst to Generalfeldmarschall in November 1914. He commanded all the Central Powers’ forces in the East until August 1916, when he was transferred to Berlin as Chief of the Great General Staff, a post he retained until WW I ended.
Hindenburg retired from the Army at war’s end, and then returned to serve as Germany’s Präsident in 1925. [Adolf Hitler assumed the position of Germany’s Chancellor in 1933. He retained that official title after Hindenburg’s 1934 death in addition to becoming Führer]. Hindenburg was a national hero in Germany from his 1914 return to Army service until his death in 1934.
This large, heavy-framed metal presentation is made of stamped steel. The period wooden frame measures 21" x 24."  It weighs a whopping 6 pounds. The bronze-toned plaque bears von Hindenburg’s name and rank. The detail to his image is quite impressive. He is wearing his PLM around his neck. His Generalfeldmarschall’s crossed batons are quite plainly visible on his shoulder board. The plaque is secured within the frame by four screws. A study wire hanger appears on the plaque’s reverse.
[Extra shipping will be required due to the weight and size of this most impressive presentation]. $250.00 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13-1033 KRIEGSTAGBUCH (WAR DIARY) - U-25 (UC-15). All Imperial German Navy ships’ commanders were required to submit a Kriegstagbuch (War Diary) detailing their vessels’ voyages. These were submitted up through the chain of command until they ultimately reached the offices of the Hochseeflotte (High Seas Fleet). Today we are offering just such a document for the U-25 (also known as the UC-15). The log covers the period of 21 through 26 March 1916, and was kept by Oberleutnant zur See Albrecht von Dewitz, the U-25's Commander. Von Dewitz entered the Navy as a cadet in 1908. He commanded the UC-15 from her June 1915 commissioning. [It is interesting to note that he refers to the U-Boot as U-25 (UC-15) on the Kriegstagbuch’s title page. I do not quite understand this. In checking records, he was NOT the U-25's commander, but IS listed as the UC-15's commander. Also, PLEASE NOTE: while under von Dewitz’s command, the UC-15 was pitted against the Russians in the Baltic and the Black Sea, both areas under Prinz Heinrich of Prussia’s command].
From 28 June 1915 through 20 June 1916, von Dewitz and the UC-15 sank three Russian ships, one of which was a Destroyer. After von Dewitz’s departure in June 1916, the UC-15 was commanded by Bruno Heller. The UC-15 was lost with all hands on 30 November 1916.
The Kriegstagbuch measures 13 ½ " x 8 ¼." The U-Boot’s name is typed on the title page (along with the confusing U-25/UC15 designation), as well as the patrol dates, and the commanding officer’s name and rank. Inside the Kriegstagbuch we find six neatly-typed pages that describe
the UC-15's daily activities. Included are that day’s entry times, the UC-15's course, etc. Each entry indicates that they were operating in the Black Sea. The Russian port of Sevastopol is mentioned, as well as a fellow U-Boots UB-8 and UB-7.
As it is neatly typed, you will find the document easy to follow. You can enjoy hours of digging into the specifics. As much attention as U-Boots received during WW II, WW I’s U-Boot service honed the skills of many officers who later played similar roles in WW II. These included Wilhelm Canaris (1887-1945), the naval security arm chief, Karl Dönitz (1891-1980), WW II’s first commander of the submarine arm and later commander of the entire Kriegsmarine. Following Adolf Hitler’s death, Dönitz was Germany Führer during WW II’s final days and the official who surrendered to the Allies in May 1945.
$795.00 

 

 

 

 

 

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13-1034 WW I U-BOOT INFORMATION FILE - U-BOOT BLUEPRINTS INCLUDED. U-Boot collectors will find this file on WW I German U-Boots VERY interesting. The first portion of the file contains an original listing of the Great War’s U-Boots. The article, first published in 1919, was titled "Schiffbau" (Ship Building). The latter lists many of the Kaiserliche Marine’s U-Boots during the war. Those listed include many of their technical details, such as dimensions, etc., as well as whether or not they survived the war. The article goes on to describe the U-Boots’ electric motors and electrical systems. It contains lots of sketches and drawings that describe the U-Boots’ propulsion systems when submerged.
In addition to the "Schiffbau" article, the file features many photostats made from original sources (these are NOT modern day copies,
but from that period or perhaps a bit later). [The first photostat machines were introduced in the USA during the early 20th Century, so it is VERY possible these photostats here come from 1919 to 1930. They are quite different, to say the least]. Some are reverse images.
The source information is very detailed and technical in nature. If you have ever wanted to "dig under the skin" of the Great War’s U-Boots, this fascinating file is perfect. I estimate that the file contains between 60 to 75 pages of information. The last few pages that I glanced through even contained a little information about the U.S. Navy!
$150.00 

 

 

 

 

 

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16-468 BRITISH POSTER - REPRINT - WARNS THE PUBLIC ABOUT GERMAN ZEPPELIN AND AIRCRAFT DANGERS. During WW I, the Imperial German Army and Navy launched bombing missions against London and other English cities. In order to inform and protect its citizens, His Majesty’s Printing Office produced a poster that compared German aircraft (including zeppelins) with England’s. The posters were posted in public areas. They were also available to purchase for the sum of two pence in 1915. These posters showed the various German fixed-wing aircraft and zeppelins that could appear in England’s skies. They also depicted comparable British aircraft to reduce the panic that resulted whenever airplanes or zeppelins were spotted overhead. As it was still early in the war, none of the more highly-advanced German airplanes were yet depicted. The Albatros and Fokker firms’ more famous aircraft and Gotha’s massive bombers were still in the future.
PLEASE NOTE: this is a reprint, and NOT an original. It was produced by the Imperial War Museum from an original in their collection. The poster measures 19 ½ " x 29 ¾." It is mounted on poster board, so we will have to mail it to you flat (resulting in a bit more postage). It is in very good condition, overall. The poster board sports two or three dings, along with corresponding tears/foxing to the poster.
$95.00 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19-284 AUTOGRAPHED LETTER - GENERAL DER INFANTERIE DIETRICH GRAF VON HÜLSEN-HAESLER. This is an autographed letter signed by General der Infanterie Dietrich Graf von Hülsen-Haesler. He joined the Kaiser Alexander Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr 1 in 1870 as a young Leutnant. [I am not sure if he saw service in the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War]. It was the Prussian Army’s second-most-elite Infanterie Regiment after the 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß. Von Hülsen-Haesler rose through the ranks to become Kaiser Wilhelm II’s Adjutant in 1889. Following that, he commanded a Garde-Regiment. He was promoted to Generalmajor in 1899, and served as the Garde-Korps Chief of Staff. From 1901 until his 1908 death, he was a General der Infanterie and the Chef of the Militärkabinits. This department oversaw all matters concerning the Imperial German Army’s officers and worked directly with Kaiser Wilhelm II. [SIDE NOTE: von Hülsen-Haesler was a homosexual and died of a heart attack while wearing ballerina garb at one of the Kaiser’s hunting estates. The entire matter was obviously hushed up due to his close, almost twenty-year working relationship with the Kaiser].
 

 

Today we are offering you a handwritten letter from von Hülsen-Haesler that is dated 28 April 1894. The letter is written on a piece of paper measuring 8 ¾" x 11." It has been folded in half so that the letter appears on four pages. Below von Hülsen-Haesler’s signature we see a pencil notation identifying the letter’s author. The overall condition of the letter is very fine. Although I do not have a translation of the letter’s subject matter, it could make an interesting research project. $150.00 

 

 

 

 

 

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20-344 PRUSSIA - SERVING SPOON - SILVER-PLATED - HONORING KING FREDERICK THE GREAT. This is a very early patriotic item that honors Prussia’s first great King, Frederick the Great (1712-1786). Frederick elevated Prussia from a very small, obscure nation to major player status in European politics and warfare. Under his leadership Prussia built a strong army that soon made its presence well known. In addition to his reorganization of Prussia and its military, accompanied by his success during the Seven Years War, Frederick was very much a patron of the arts and an important castle-builder. His principal castle in Potsdam, Sanssouci, was patterned after the French castle at Versailles. Frederick was very much a Francophile who considered the German language to be too harsh and guttural. He far preferred French, and made it Prussia’s official court language. Prussia’s highest decoration had a French name, Orden Pour le Mérite.
This very detailed serving spoon measures 11" in length and 3 ½ " wide. The handle features a full-figure display of Frederick the Great that measures 4 ¾" from the top of his hat to the toes of his boots. The figure is quite detailed. He sports a Breast Star on his left breast, a walking stick in his right hand, and a sword at his left hip. He stands on a base that is inscribed "Fridericus Borussorum Rex 1740-1786," the years during which he sat upon Prussia’s throne. Below the inscription is a crowned Hohenzollern Eagle with outspread wings (the symbol of the House of which Frederick was the head). The spoon’s bowl is quite large and would enable one to spoon up a goodly amount of food onto one’s plate. The bowl’s reverse features a manufacturer’s hallmark. The spoon dates from prior to 1870.
$225.00 

 

 

 

 

 

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20-345 DESK PLAQUE - METAL - KAISER WILHELM II. This is a very sturdy and handsome metal desk plaque features a high-relief profile of Kaiser Wilhelm II. It measures 5 ½ " x 7 ½." The Kaiser’s image was stamped onto a metal (probably steel) blank. The plaque’s reverse reveals his stamped out image, as well as a manufacturer’s hallmark. The reverse also features an easel for displaying it on a desk or other flat surface. It is very well made, and would look most impressive on your desk, bookcase, or side table. $195.00 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23-500 SHOULDER BOARD - M-1915 - GENERALMAJOR a.D. - SCHUTZTRUPPEN. Today we are offering a shoulder board that is very rare on several levels. First, it is an M-1915 shoulder board intended for a feldgrau tunic. Second, it is for a Generalmajor a.D., which signified he was a General Officer in retirement. [The Imperial German Army commonly promoted an officer up one grade upon his retirement, which allowed him to receive a greater pension AND the prestige of a higher rank]. Third, and perhaps most important, it is for a General in the Schutztruppen. The Schutztruppen were primarily found in Imperial Germany’s colonial holdings, German East and Southwest Africa, and China, as well as the SeeBataillon. So for all of these reasons, this piece is a very rare bird.
The oversized shoulder board measures 2 ½" x 4 ¾." The shoulder board features the typical Russian rope bullion: two ropes of gold bullion separated by one subdued silver bullion rope. The silver bullion rope features large black chevrons that confirm its status as a Prussian shoulder board. Some smaller chevrons appear on the gold bullion.
The shoulder board’s reverse has a red felt underlay, as well as a tab that allows the shoulder board to slip onto a tunic. This is a very exciting and rare shoulder board, the first we have ever seen.
$895.00  

 

 

 

 

 

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23-501 SHOULDER BOARD - GENERALMAJOR - SCHUTZTRUPPEN. Today we are sharing with you a very rare shoulder board for a Generalmajor who served in the Schutztruppen. The Schutztruppen were primarily found in Imperial Germany’s colonial holdings, German East and Southwest Africa, and China, as well as the SeeBataillon.
The shoulder board measures 2 ¼" x 4 ½." It features the typical Russian rope bullion: two ropes of gold bullion separated by one rope of silver bullion that sports a thin blue trim of blue on its edges. Large black chevrons appear on the silver bullion, confirming its status as a Prussian shoulder board. The shoulder board’s center displays a gold-toned shield featuring a crowned Hohenzollern Eagle in its center that measures " x 1."
The shoulder board’s reverse has a red felt underlay, as well as a tab that allows the shoulder board to slip onto a tunic. This is a very exciting and rare shoulder board that is in mint condition. It is the first of its type that we have seen.
$895.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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40-652 PHOTO ALBUM - WORLD WAR I/EARLY THIRD REICH - KAVALLERIE-REGIMENT 14. This is an interesting photographic combination of Imperial German military history with that of the Third Reich era and a Kavallerie Regiment’s transformation. The album, which measures ½" x 9" x 12," has a pebbled leatherette exterior. At its top we see an Army Swastika, along with the legend Kavallerie-Regiment 14 (both embossed on it in silver). During the Third Reich’s pre WW II era, Kavallerie Regiment 14 was what had once been Imperial Germany’s Husaren-Regiment Nr 16. The first part of the album (which concerns the Imperial German Army and Navy, with special emphasis on the German Army’s Kavallerie before and during the Great War) was preprinted information from the national veterans’ group to which the owner belonged.
The album was the property of Wachtmeister (a Senior NCO, primarily in the Kavallerie) Andreas Waldemar Fiebig. He served in Husaren-Regiment Nr 16 from 1908 through 1920. [At the end of 1920, Husaren-Regiment Nr 16 was dissolved, then reformed as Reiter (Kavallerie) Regiment Nr 14]. Two documents are included, the first is entitled "Honor Document of My Time of Service," and is not dated. The second is an Urkunde dated 1 January 1939. [They are both from the national veterans’ group. Fiebig belonged to the chapter located in Schleswig]. Following that are 8 typed pages from Fiebig concerning his service from his prewar days through WW I and beyond. He evidently was involved with some Artillerie Brigades toward the latter part of WW I, based on the typed account and some of the included photographs. He included a short paragraph about his postwar service, concluding with a salutation to Der Fuhrer and his signature, dated 1 August 1936.
A total of forty original photographs that cover prewar and wartime depictions of his fellow troopers and regiment’s officers follow Fiebig’s account. They are absolutely fascinating and are neatly identified in white ink beneath each photo. Some show mounted troopers, while others include shots of various types of artillery equipment. Some appear to include family members. A couple of interesting photos depict uniformed men sitting around a table relaxing. Veterans’ pipes and steins appear in front of them on the table. Along with the original photographs is a total of five postcards depicting some points of interest where the regiment spent time. A shot or two of the barracks where the regiment was garrisoned are included.
Interestingly, the artillery photographs show that the unit used a 42cm cannon. This cannon was also known as "Dicke Berta" (Big Bertha). [A misconception about Big Bertha is that it was the same as the Paris Railway Gun. In fact, the Paris Rail Gun fired considerably smaller shells than Bertha. The Paris Rail Gun fired 211/238mm projectiles a maximum distance of eighty-one miles (130 kilometers). Big Bertha was a more mobile weapon. It was transported by rail car and set up to fire off of it. Big Bertha was a 42cm (420mm) howitzer. It weighed forty-seven tons and lobbed an eighteen hundred pound shell 7.8 miles. Twelve different examples of Big Bertha were constructed by Krupp, the arms company that built most of WW I Germany’s cannons. They were used during the early part of WW I to destroy French and Belgian forts, including Liege, Namur, and Antwerp. The Paris Rail Guns were employed during the period of March through August 1918]. The photos show Big Bertha with and without gun crews. The soldiers are wearing stahlhelme, so the photos are post 1916 (when stahlhelme replaced the kugelhelme and pickelhauben). In addition to the photos and information on Big Bertha, one very rare photograph shows an actual Paris Rail Gun with the crew that served it. It appears to be semi-hidden by trees and under brush.
You will find this a most interesting bridge from Imperial Germany through the Great War, and some of the postwar changes undergone by a very proud cavalry section of the German Army.
$550.00  rpOctober17 

 

 

 

 

 

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05-1701 XMB AUSTRIA - SERVICE MEDAL - ORIGINAL PRESENTATION CASE. This is a consignment item. It is a simply gorgeous example of Austria’s Bronzene Militär Verdienst Medaille mit Schwerten (Bronze Military Service Medal with Swords). The order was first introduced in 1890 by Austrian Kaiser Franz Josef. It was originally intended for officers. In 1916, also under the Austrian Kaiser’s direction, swords were added to the decoration for wartime service. The medal measures 1 ¼" in diameter. Its obverse features a high-relief likeness of Franz Josef in profile. Information about the Kaiser circles the decoration’s outer edge. Its reverse proclaims "Signum Laudis" (Seal/Battle Standard of Glory/Merit/Approval). An orange and white tri-fold Austrian ribbon bearing a pair of gold-toned, crossed swords is attached to an articulated crown. In turn, the crown is connected to the medal.
The decoration’s red presentation case has its name embossed on its outer lid. The case measures ¾" x 2 ½" x 4 ½," and features the rounded lower edge indicative of Austrian cases. The case’s interior reveals a white silk upper lid with its manufacturer’s name embossed on it in gold as listed below.

 

 

Zimbler, Wein VII
K.u.K Hof-
lieferant
Burggasse 33

 

Zimbler was one of the Austrian Kaiser’s House Jewelers (Rothe Neffe was another leading purveyor). Zimbler's work was among the Austrian Empire’s finest. The case’s bottom half is covered in black velvet that has been elevated and fitted to properly display the decoration.
This is a mint presentation of a rare decoration.
$450.00   
PRICE REDUCED $325.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

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06-242 XMB HAMBURG FIELD CROSS - DOCUMENT AND DECORATION - ORIGINAL PRESENTATION CASE. This is a consignment item. It is a high-quality Hamburg Field Cross (Deutsches Feld-Ehrenzeichen), a post WW I decoration that was initially presented to the Free State of Hamburg’s native sons. Later, the decoration was awarded to other German soldiers who had served during the Great War. The decoration is quite striking and poignant. It measures 2" x 2 ½." It features a silver-toned sunburst with a white enamel Maltese Cross in its center. Within the cross’s silver-toned is a German soldier dejectedly slouching home at the war’s end. He carries all of his gear (except for his Mauser rifle) and looks defeated. Its reverse is engraved with the decoration’s official name "Deutsches Feld-Ehrenzeichen" (German Field Honor Badge). Below that is the manufacturer’s hallmark and "Hamburg 3." A sturdy split pin completes the reverse.
What really makes our piece exciting is the inclusion of its VERY rare presentation case. Typically, if we are lucky, a simple cardboard presentation carton (also quite scarce) comes with it. More often than not, only the decoration has survived. This is the FIRST time I have ever seen its true presentation case! The black case measures ¾" x 2 ½" x 3," and features the decoration’s silver-embossed outline on its outer lid. A push button releases the case’s top half from its bottom. The interior’s purple silk upper half features the information listed below printed on it in silver.

 

Deutsches Feld
Ehren-Zeichen e.V.
Hamburg 11

 

The case’s bottom half is covered with purple velvet fitted to snugly accommodate the decoration’s pin. Some minor wear shows on the case’s exterior edges from handling over the years.
This mini group’s final feature is the original award document. It too is quite scarce. I have seen only a handful of them in all my years of collecting. The document measures 3 ½" x 5 ½" when unopened. When fully opened, it measures 5 ½" x 7 ½." The outer page displays a depiction of the decoration. Below that is "Besitzzeugnis" (Certificate of Ownership) and the number 124105 (indicating 124,105 decorations had been awarded up that date.
Inside the document the information listed below appears on three lines.

 

 

 

 

 

Friedrich Rullmann
Musketier
Holzhausen

 

[Holzhausen is a small town in upper Bavaria on the Ammersee]. Below these lines is information explaining that the decoration was for service on the front from 1914-1918 in the Great War. The award date was 18 December 1933. Two original signatures, one for a Generalmajor a.D. (in retirement) and another for an Unteroffizier, appear at the document’s bottom.

 

This is a simply marvelous complete set containing the decoration, presentation case, and an award document named to a veteran of WW I. You will never find a more complete or handsome Hamburg Field Cross group! $525.00    PRICE REDUCED $400.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

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08-572 HANSEATIC CROSS - HAMBURG. During WW I, most Imperial German states had equivalents to Prussia’s Iron Crosses 1st and 2nd Class. Today we are sharing with you the Free State of Hamburg’s 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class equivalent. Northern Germany had three "Free States," from what had comprised the Hanseatic League in earlier centuries. These included Hamburg, the largest of the three, Bremen, and Lübeck.
Hamburg’s Hanseatic Cross measures 1 ½" x 1 ½." The arms are made of red enamel. The decoration’s center features Hamburg’s Rathaus (city hall). [The building is a well-known Hamburg landmark. It was bombed out during WW II, then rebuilt afterwards using its original blueprints. Hamburg is a beautiful city filled with friendly and industrious people. Most of Germany’s major cities suffered extensive damage from American and British bombers during WW II. When the hostilities ceased, recovery began. By the 1960's most of the major damage in West Germany had been addressed. The German people’s hard work, combined with assistance under the "Marshall Plan," created a 20th Century renaissance]].
The decoration’s reverse is silver-toned and features the motto "Für Verdienst im Kriege 1914" (For Service in War 1914). A correct red and white ribbon is attached. This is a fine example in top condition.
$150.00 jbOctober17

 

 

 

 

 

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09-1020 XMB IRON CROSS - 2nd CLASS - 1914 - PRIVATELY-PURCHASED - ORIGINAL PRESENTATION CASE. This is a consignment item. It is a striking 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class in the original presentation case. The red leatherette case measures 1" x 2 ½" x 3 ¾." Some scuffing on its surface indicates honest age. The interior’s upper half is covered with white silk. Stretched across that white silk is a white and blue ribbon that is embossed with an Iron Cross’s outline. The dates 1914 and 1918 flank the Iron Cross on either side. This band’s white and blue colors lead me to believe it was manufactured in Bavaria. The silk band permits the EK’s ribbon to be stored behind it. The case’s bottom half is lined in with burgundy velvet that was NOT fitted to hold the EK’s pin.
The Iron Cross itself is a very high-quality example. The paint on its obverse is quite pleasing and rates at 98%. The cross’s frame features an excellent patina. A hallmark appears on the jump ring, but I cannot decipher it. The ribbon attached to the cross is well used, with significant shredding/running in its silk. This handsome 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class and presentation case’s quality indicates that it is a privately-purchased, post WW I example.
$450.00 PRICE REDUCED $350.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19-283 XKG CUSTOM-FRAMED NAVAL ADMIRAL PATENT & PHOTOGRAPH SIGNED BY PRESIDENT THEODORE ROOSEVELT. Theodore Roosevelt is among the most revered United States Presidents. He served in many governmental roles, such as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1897. When war broke out with Spain in 1898, he resigned and formed the Rough Riders in concert with Col. Leonard Wood. [Wood had won the USA’s Medal of Honor for action against the Apaches, and later served as the U.S. Army’s Chief of Staff]. The Rough Riders were (also known as the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry or 1.U.S.V.). During the campaign Wood, its founding regimental commander, assumed the Brigade’s command after its assigned commander fell ill. Roosevelt then was promoted to colonel, took command of the regiment, then led it on the famous charge up San Juan Hill.

 

 

[PLEASE NOTE the following side notes: the 10th U.S. Cavalry regiment was a flanking regiment consisting of African-American troopers under white officers. Also known as "Buffalo Soldiers," they had fought Indians in the American West, with John J. ("Black Jack") Pershing as one of their officers. Pershing later commanded U.S. Army troops in France during WW I. Theodore Roosevelt finally received the Medal of Honor in 2001 from President Bill Clinton for his actions during the Spanish-American War. Roosevelt had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906. Both his Medal of Honor and Nobel Peace Prize are enshrined in the White House’s "Roosevelt Room." Finally, Roosevelt’s son, Brigadier General Theodore (Ted) Roosevelt, Jr. (1887-1944) received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the 6 June 1944 Invasion of Normandy. He went ashore with the first wave of American troops onto Utah Beach. Just thirty-six days later he died of a heart attack].
Following the Spanish-American War’s end, Roosevelt returned to New York and became its Governor. He was elected Vice President to William McKinley when the latter ran for his second term. McKinley won the election but was assassinated in 1901, resulting in Roosevelt becoming the 26th U.S. President. He filled out the balance of McKinley’s second term, then won a full term of his own in 1904. Roosevelt was a reformer who pushed for change and became well known for his battles with monopolies formed by the U.S. banking, steel, and oil companies. He gained the nickname of "Monopoly Buster" for these hard-fought bitter battles.
Roosevelt was also a proponent of making the U.S. a world power. At the time, the U.S. and Japan were both emerging powers of increasing influence when compared to Europe’s powerhouses Great Britain, and Germany, followed by France and Russia. Following the 1898 defeat of Spain, the U.S. had acquired foreign possessions in Asia. Roosevelt now implemented his "Big Stick" diplomacy in order to project the USA’s naval and political power. To that end, Roosevelt sent the U.S. Navy’s strongest ships (the "Big Stick") on an extended worldwide cruise. The fleet (essentially the Atlantic Squadron), went on what turned into a fourteen-month, 43,000 nautical mile voyage, with some 14,000 American sailors aboard sixteen battleships. This became known as the Great White Fleet (since the ships had been painted in their normal white Summer livery with gilt, red, white, and blue accents at their bows). They were a pre-dreadnaught variety, but a powerful fleet nonetheless.
The fleet was assembled in December 1907 at Hampton Roads, Virginia, then proceeded to the West Coast for refitting before launching the Asian portion of the journey. The original commander of the fleet was Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans. Due to ill health, he was replaced on the West Coast by Rear Admiral Charles S. Perry. The fleet was broken down into four Divisions of four ships each. The commander of the 3rd Division, Captain Nathan E. (Kossuth) Niles (1849-1913), sailed aboard the U.S.S. Louisiana (BB 19). [The U.S.S. Louisiana was one of the fleet’s more modern ships and part of the Connecticut Battleship Class (the U.S.S. Connecticut was the Great White Fleet’s flagship). The U.S.S. Louisiana was commissioned in 1906 and stayed active until 1920, when she was struck from the list of Navy ships. The Louisiana was scrapped in 1923].

 

Since the U.S.S. Louisiana was one of the fleet’s modern ships, she was commanded by one of the Navy’s more experienced captains, the acting Commodore of the 3rd Division. Niles first joined the Union Army (yes, Army) during the Civil War in 1864 as a member of the 142nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The following year he was posted to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland as a cadet. His naval career extended from 1865 until 1911, when he reached the mandatory age of retirement. He was buried at Arlington National cemetery following a fatal heart attack at a New York book store in 1913.
The Great White Fleet’s cruise consisted of four legs. Earlier legs had included stops in the Caribbean, South America, Australia, and Japan. The cruise was intended to particularly impress Japan that the U.S. was a major world player with an impressive naval force that should be treated respectfully in the Pacific. The fleet made port at Yokohama where it was received hospitably. The fourth and final leg began at in Manila at the USA’s Subic Bay naval base. The fleet arrived on 7 November 1908, then departed on 1 December 1908. It made port in Ceylon, Egypt (exiting through the Suez Canal), then Gibraltar, before returning to Hampton Roads. During the stop in Manila, Niles received word that President Roosevelt had promoted him to Rear Admiral.
It is THIS very promotion document (termed a "patent" in Imperial Germany) we are offering today. Such documents were extremely ornate during that period. The document was prepared on 12 November 1908. Niles’ actual promotion from Captain to Rear Admiral, however, occurred on 27 November 1908, just days before the fleet began its homeward leg. Thus, before the fleet’s departure on 1 December, Niles was confirmed to Flag rank. The actual document was waiting for him upon his return to Hampton Roads.

 

The patent measures 15" x 17." It was folded at some point, and the fold remains visible. That said, the document is in excellent condition with no foxing, tears, rips, or etc. It is as handsome as it was more than one-hundred-years ago when it was issued and signed by Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s name appears atop the preprinted document in large letters. The document states that Niles was promoted to Rear Admiral effective 12 November 1908. Theodore Roosevelt’s very bold signature appears at the document’s bottom. The document is countersigned by the Secretary of the Navy, Victor H. Metcalf (1853-1936). He served in that capacity from 1906 through most of 1908. Metcalf officially retired effective 1 December 1908, so this was one of his final acts as Secretary of the Navy. The document is also countersigned by the Registrar of the United States. A blue foil seal bearing the U.S. Navy’s Coat-of-Arms appears on the document’s lower left side above the latter two signatures.
Flanking the document is one of Theodore Roosevelt’s most famous photographs. He stands with his hand on a massive world globe exuding a world leader’s stern confidence. His policies placed the USA firmly on the path to political and military dominance. With the election of Theodore’s cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1932, the U.S. continued its rise to the pinnacle of world leadership by the conclusion of WW II.
[This document was framed for my personal enjoyment, so we spared no expense on the project. Due to the frame’s size and the level of materials that I requested, it cost me nearly $1,000 to complete. I wanted to pay homage to the man I consider one of the greatest American Presidents. I felt that such an incredible piece of American history deserved nothing but the BEST. We accomplished the feat at a premiere framer in our area after spending more than hour selecting every detail of what you see presented in the accompanying photographs].

 

The overall frame measures a whopping 28" x 35." It requires a good-sized wall to properly display it! The frame’s molding is made of richly sumptuous burlwood instead of the gilt that often appears on high-end framing jobs. We wanted to evoke the ambiance one might have expected to find in the Captain’s cabin aboard the U.S.S. Louisiana. When properly polished, the burlwood simply glows the way a fine cigar does when lit and enjoyed.
The promotion document and Teddy Roosevelt’s photograph are double-matted inside two separate windows within the frame. The double-matte’s top layer is made of pale beige suede material imprinted with a slightly darker brown pattern that mimics that on the burlwood frame. As previously noted, the promotion patent measures an impressive 15" x 17." Roosevelt’s photograph measures 7" x 10." Each item is once more outlined with more burlwood trimmed on all sides with thin strips of elegant, black wood. Often matting is just colored cardboard, but that simply would NOT do for this presentation. When he finished the project, the framer begged me to allow him to display it in his store!
I have enjoyed this piece for many years. I was especially proud in 2008 when the 100th anniversary of the document’s signing came to pass. I am including some copies of photographs that will enhance the document’s history, which I have described below.

 

1. A group photograph of Captain Niles and other senior officers from the cruise of the Great White Fleet in their full-dress uniforms, complete with their fore-and-aft caps (Zweispitzen).

2. Another photograph of several Great White Fleet officers. They are posed in regular-duty uniforms and headdresses. It provides a closer look Captain Niles.

3. A photograph of a large group of officers at a garden tea party, including Captain Niles, held in Tokyo in 1908. A Japanese officer is in the front row.

4. A photograph of the U.S.S. Louisiana (BB19) as she appeared on the Great White Fleet’s cruise.

5. A photograph of Secretary of the Navy Victor Metcalf, whose signature appears on the document along with those from Teddy Roosevelt and the U.S. Registrar.

 

This magnificent presentation is ready for a new owner to enjoy. [Due to its size and weight, we will have it professionally packed in a custom carton to ensure its safe arrival to its new owner. Shipping costs will be quoted when you are ready to order]. $4,995.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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