Der Rittmeister Militaria, LLC. Imperial German Merchandise, Page 0: Just in From Germany, the newest items fresh from the Fatherland!  Updated on 21 March 2017.  
Contact us @:kgreenfield@derrittmeister.com

Click here for Links to our Merchandise & Content Pages. This is just a sample of  the wide variety of high quality items that we offer in our ever changing inventory!

 

 

ATTENTION!

If you want to be on our mailing list,  please send us an e-mail and ask to be placed on it. We notify our mail list members when we update our online "Just In From Germany" Merchandise Page. In addition, you will receive early notification when we add new items to any clearance pages (currently under revision). More importantly, we notify our list members when we have a sale. These sales are NEVER announced on our web site. They are for our list members ONLY. Be assured that we never sell or share your e-mail address with anyone. The list is only for our purposes as stated above.

Our e-mail address follows: kgreenfield@derrittmeister.com

 

Next Update:  12 April 2017

Our business phone number in the USA: 001 (727) 233-6173

Jim Turinetti just completed a Photo Calendar for 2017 - Mar 2018, with numerous photos of headgear and soldiers wearing these various items. [See the ad below].
The calendar is
$15.00.  Postage in the USA is $2.50, for a grand total of $17.50.    [Customers outside the USA: please write to Jim for postage costs].
Jim accepts PAYPAL (JTurinetti@woh.rr.com) or a check on a US bank
      (mail to: Jim Turinetti, 1835 Langview Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324).
The calendar makes a great gift.

 

 

04-731 PRUSSIA - PICKELHAUBE - OFFICER’S - GARDE-INFANTERIE. The Kingdom of Prussia had a wide variety of Garde-Regiments. This included Infanterie, Kavallerie, Artillerie, etc. Each was considered elite (as a Garde-Regiment), standing above most of the other similar Prussian Army regiments. Today we are offering a fine Prussian Officer’s Pickelhaube that was correct for use in a total of EIGHT Prussian Garde-Infanterie-Regiments. The regiments are spread out between three Garde-Regiments zu Fuß and five Garde -Grenadier-Regiments. Four of the five Garde-Grenadier-Regiments were among the most elite of all eight Garde-Infanterie-Regiments, which are listed below.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Our spiked helmet features a very fine leather body. The leather has been well preserved over the last one-hundred-years. It is quite supple and clean, with only one small blemish on its rear left quarter that prevents it from displaying absolute perfection. That said, I seldom see a helmet with leather as fine as this nowadays. All of the helmet’s furniture, including the wappen, chin scales, cruciform, spike, and trim, is gold-toned. The only contrast is the Garde Star’s silver sunburst. The Garde Star’s center is sheer perfection. It consists of heavenly gold, black, and white enamel, with the gold enamel Garde-Regiment motto "Suum Cuique" (To each according to his own merits) encircling the white enamel’s outer edge. A very handsome and elegant black Hohenzollern Eagle appears against a gold background in its center. The helmet’s exterior is completed by an excellent pair of officers’ State’s and Reich’s kokarden.
The helmet’s interior features a well-preserved dark-brown leather sweatband. (I find this interesting, as more often than not the leather liners were a MUCH lighter shade of brown). The rust-colored silk liner is in excellent condition. It is complete with no tears or runs. ALL of the original hardware is in place under the liner. What is most important, NO double holes are present. This is a 100% correct and original (i.e., untouched) spiked helmet in TOP condition. It would make a wonderful addition to any collection
$4,995.00   

 

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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04-701 BAVARIA - PICKELHAUBE - OFFICER’S - INFANTERIE-LEIB- REGIMENT. This is a very high-quality officer’s pickelhaube for the Infanterie-Leib-Regiment. This regiment was the most elite, although not the oldest of the Kingdom of Bavaria’s Infanterie Regiments. The regiment was founded in 1814 and garrisoned in Munich where it was attached to the I. Bavarian Armeekorps. Each of Imperial Germany’s four kingdoms had an elite Infanterie Regiment that was considered the "King’s Own." Each one was located in their ruler’s capital city. Typically, all of them attended most state and ceremonial occasions. The similar regiments for the other three kingdoms were Prussia’s 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß (garrisoned in Potsdam), Saxony’s Königl. Sächs. 1. (Leib) Grenadier-Regiment. Nr 100 (garrisoned in Dresden), and Württemberg’s Grenadier-Regiment Königin Olga (1. Württembergisches) Nr 119 (garrisoned in Stuttgart). The Grand Duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Hesse-Darmstadt, and Baden also had their own elite Infanterie Regiments.
The helmet’s leather body is in very fine condition. The leather is clean, with few imperfections. Some minor spidering is apparent, and is quite common in leather helmets more than one-hundred years-old. All of its furniture is silver-toned, including the wappen, chin scales, cruciform, officers’ stars, and its very tall fluted spike. [The spike is so tall that it seems to go on forever! Nobody had tall spikes like the Bavarians and the Saxons]. The Infanterie-Leib-Regiment’s silver-toned furniture is what immediately differentiates it from the other Bavarian Line-Infanterie Regiments, which all sported gilt-toned furniture.
The correct officer’s Bavarian and Reich’s kokarden are present. [Please note the Bavarian State kokarde. I can honestly say that I have never seen one quite like it. It does not quite follow the Prussian pattern that normally was adopted by Bavarian pickelhauben (with Bavaria’s state colors, of course. [It is yet another of the helmet’s enhancements that reveals this officer’s personal sense of style. He was not afraid to be different from his fellow officers]. The helmet’s quality and its unusual kokarde lead me to believe that he was a high-ranking officer within the regiment, NOT a young Leutnant. [Mind you, this is just a hunch]. The helmet’s exterior is nothing short of stunning.
The interior reveals a light-brown fine-leather sweatband that shows moderate use and some perspiration stains. Its light-beige silk liner is not quite at the condition level to match the rest of this beautiful pickelhaube due to extensive staining and shredding (like runs in silk stockings). A redeeming factor is the owner’s name, "Schultz," which is written on it. Peeking under the silk liner, first and most important, we find NO double holes. Furthermore, all of the original hardware is in place.
This is a 100% original helmet that is 100% correct and untouched. We are very pleased to share it with you today. Even more important, we purchased it at a most reasonable price and are happy to share the savings with you!
$5,495.00  

 

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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04-702 BAVARIA - PICKELHAUBE - ENLISTED MAN’S - INFANTERIE-LEIB-REGIMENT. This is a most interesting Bavarian Infanterie-Leib-Regiment enlisted man’s pickelhaube. It was the most elite of all the Kingdom of Bavaria’s Infanterie Regiments. Founded in 1814, the regiment was garrisoned in Munich, where it was attached to the I. Bavarian Armeekorps. Each of Imperial Germany’s four kingdoms had an elite Infanterie Regiment that was considered the "King’s Own." Each was located in their ruler’s capital city. Typically, all of them attended most state and ceremonial occasions. The similar regiments for the other three kingdoms were Prussia’s 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß (garrisoned in Potsdam), Saxony’s Königl. Sächs. 1. (Leib) Grenadier-Regiment. Nr 100 (garrisoned in Dresden), and Württemberg’s Grenadier-Regiment Königin Olga (1. Württembergisches) Nr 119 (garrisoned in Stuttgart). The Grand Duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Hesse-Darmstadt, and Baden also had their own elite Infanterie Regiments.
The helmet’s leather body is in very good condition, especially for an enlisted man. It is quite clean and problem-free. No depot marks are evident, so it may be a privately-purchased example. All of the furniture is silver-toned, which is correct for the regiment. The spike is NOT detachable. The correct State’s and Reich’s kokarden are present. It sports a leather chin strap rather than metal chin scales. The latter were fairly common: metal chin scales were used when the regiment was in the garrison, while the leather strap was employed in the field.
The interior reveals a typical enlisted man’s setup. All of its leather tongues are present, although the thong that normally is attached to each tongue is NOT.
While I do not see the traditional depot marks, "XXX 1905" is stamped onto the helmet’s leather interior. Overall, its condition is quite pleasing.
$1,995.00      

 

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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04-732 BAVARIA - PICKELHAUBE - OFFICER’S - LEATHER HELMET SHELL. I recently acquired a Bavarian Infanterie Officer’s pickelhaube. Upon inspection, I decided it did NOT exhibit the superior quality that Der Rittmeister strives to offer our collecting community. I made the decision that rather than offer a helmet that failed to meet our standards, we would part it out instead. The primary issue with the helmet’s leather body was extensive damage to its rear section. The leather exhibited extensive buckling and decay from directly behind the spike to the very bottom of the rear visor. Some portions almost looked like they had been chewed up! In actuality, it resulted from poor care over a number of years. Perhaps it was exposed to a great deal of heat in an attic or basement.
 

 

 

 

That said, hope exists for this leather shell, for the right collector. A collector who has the time and willingness to restore it can bring it back to life. As I mentioned previously, it is a Bavarian helmet. While it was an Infanterie helmet, it could also be used for a Kavallerie Regiment. As it sports a front square visor, one might also use it as the basis for a Württemberg helmet. Other possibilities also exist, but Bavaria and Württemberg are the best prospects.
At any rate, this is a starter shell. I hope somebody will step forward to bring it back to life. Unfortunately, no one here at Der Rittmeister has the time or talent to undertake the restoration.
$250.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33-335 BRAUNSCHWEIG - WAPPEN - BUSBY (PELZMÜTZE) - ENLISTED MAN/NCO’S - HUSAREN-REGIMENT NR 17. Prussia and Braunschweig fielded the only four regiments to sport the Totenkopf on their headdresses. The 1. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 1 and Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 2 were Prussia’s two Hussar Regiments, while Husaren-Regiment Nr 17 and Infanterie-Regiment Nr 92 hailed from Braunschweig. Different styles of Totenköpfe were used on the busbies (pelzmützen), pickelhauben, schirmützen, and mützen, making it easy to distinguish Prussia’s headdresses from those belonging to Braunschweig.
Today we are offering an enlisted man/NCO’s Husaren-Regiment Nr 17 busby wappen from the Duchy of Braunschweig. The silver-toned wappen measures 2 ½" x 2 ." Its skull sports three cutout areas for its eyes and nose. The wappen is a stamped (cliche) example. Its reverse reveals that all three of its attachment prongs are in place. From the look of them, this wappen was never actually mounted onto a busby. The wappen is in mint condition and would make a fine addition to any collection or mounted on a busby.
$395.00  raMarch17 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33-336 XMV PRUSSIA - SCHIRMÜTZE - OFFICER’S - FELDGRAU - GARDE-KÜRAßIER-REGIMENT. This is a consignment item. Today we are offering you a high-quality feldgrau Garde-Küraßier-Regiment Officer’s Schirmütze. [We actually sold this visor cap to a longtime headdress collector several years back. He now has entrusted us to pass it onto another collector’s home]. The Garde-Küraßier-Regiment was founded in 1815 and garrisoned in Berlin. Its Regimental Chef (Chief) was Kaiser Wilhelm II. Just like the Regiment des Gardes du Corps, the Garde-Küraßier-Regiment also wore Hohenzollern Eagle-topped metal helmets for full dress occasions. This meant a Garde-Regiment was kept in Potsdam (Garde du Corps), as well as in Berlin (Garde-Küraßier-Regiment). Both regiments were a part of the Garde-Korps. Küraßier-Regiments were considered heavy cavalry and wore metal breastplates in combat during the 18th and early 19th Centuries. After the Napoleonic Wars, breastplates were used more for ceremonial occasions instead of combat. A küraß could deflect a sword slash, but not a gunshot. The advent of modern firearms rendered these regiments troopers and their officers easy targets, and their küraßes offered little protection.
The cap’s body is made of high-quality feldgrau wool. A wide blue trim band that measures 1 ¾" in width encircles the cap, which is accented above and below it by two white bands of piping. Another white band of piping encircles the Schirmütze’s top. The cap sports a black brim as well as an officer’s Prussian and Reich’s kokarden.
The interior reveals a fine white leather sweatband. A white visor is also present, as is a white silk liner. This all indicates its owner was of either noble or royal birth. No royal cypher is present, but you can be assured that no commoner would have owned this cap.
The cap is quite rare. It is in very fine condition and would make a great addition to any collection.
$1,295.00  cbMarch17

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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09-1021 XMB IRON CROSS 2nd CLASS AND MINIATURE - 1914 - ORIGINAL PRESENTATION CASE - AUSTRIA. This is a consignment item. Generally when we offer a decoration in a presentation case, we describe the decoration and then the case. Today we will describe the case first. It is particularly interesting because the case and crosses come from a jeweler in Vienna, Austria. The case has a red leatherette exterior and measures ¾" x 2 ½" x 4 ½." It has a rounded end, which indicates its Austrian origins. The case’s interior features a white silk liner. Embossed in gold on the silk beneath a two-headed Imperial Austrian Eagle is the information listed below.

 

 

 

"V. Mayer’s Söhne," (V. Mayer’s Sons)
"K. u. K. Hof U." (Official Crown Purveyor)
"Kammer Juweliere" (House Jeweler)
"Ordenfabrikanten" (Decorations Manufacturer)
"Wein" (Vienna)

 

Also, the word "Galizien" (Galicia) is written in ink above the embossed information, while the inked-in dates "1914/1915" appear beneath it. Galicia refers to the northernmost section of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which saw heavy fighting between the Central Powers and Russia during 1914/15. I would presume it is when and where the decoration’s owner served and won the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class while serving in the Austrian Army.
Interesting areas in the case’s white velvet-covered lower half have been fitted to accommodate both the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class and the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class miniature. The full-sized Iron Cross has excellent detail. Its paint is nearly 100%. A short piece of ribbon, about 5", is attached to the Iron Cross. The storage area is elevated to better display the Iron Cross. The miniature is far more interesting. It is very clever how the fitted storage place was provided to handsomely display the miniature, which measures ¾" x ¾." It is highly-detailed and in mint condition. An attached ribbon is fanned-out to highlight its EK.
This is a lovely presentation and quite different from any cased 1914 Iron Crosses 2nd Class I have seen. That it comes from an Austrian rather than a German jeweler is a real plus. The inclusion of a miniature that is ORIGINAL to the presentation ups the ante, confirming its superior quality. It is an extra-special mini group.
$795.00    raMarch17

 

 

 

 

 

 

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09-1022 IRON CROSS - 1914 - 2ND CLASS. This is a top-quality 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class. 1914 marks the third time that the Iron Cross was issued during wartime. The first time was in 1813, when Prussia fought against Napoleon and the French. The second time (again against the French) was during the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War. After its use during 1813, 1870, and 1914, the Iron Cross made its final appearance in 1939 during WW II.
Our Iron Cross 2nd Class today is in excellent condition. The paint on its obverse rates at 100%. The same is true of the reverse’s paint. The frame is most attractive, sporting a fine patina. NO jump ring or ribbon is included with it. [Jump rings are fairly easy to locate].
This represents a well-priced opportunity to obtain a 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class in beautiful condition.
$65.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10-873 XRV GENTLEMEN’S WALKING STICK - GREAT BRITAIN - 17th LANCERS. This is a consignment item. [I am sure you are wondering why in the world we are offering an item attributed to a British cavalry regiment, but read on]! The regiment is best-known as one of the regiments attached to a cavalry brigade during the Crimean War. [Are you starting to tingle yet]? Yes, it was one of the regiments that formed the Light Brigade involved in the famous incident recounted in Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s 1854 narrative poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade." It took place during the Crimean War (1853-1856), which pitted England, France, Sardinia, and Turkey against Russia. This costly war saw the loss of at least 750,000 lives.
The Light Brigade’s charge took place on 25 October 1854. The Brigade consisted of 670 officers and men from the 4th and 13th Light Dragoons, the 8th and 11th Hussars, and the 17th Lancers, five very small and under-strength regiments. Through miscommunication, they were ordered to attack Russian positions consisting of some twenty infantry battalions and a large number of cannons. The charge took the Light Brigade through a valley wherein they were surrounded by Russian troops on three sides. The result of the charge was disastrous. Out of the 670 men, 110 were killed and 161 were wounded. The horses fared even worse, with some 350 killed during, or destroyed after, the battle.
This was the 17th Lancers’ greatest claim to fame. The regiment was originally founded in 1759, and was known as the Duke of Cambridge’s Own or the 18th Regiment of Dragoons. The regiment was renamed countless times over the years. In 1766 they became the 3rd Regiment of Dragoons. 1769 saw them christened the 17th Dragoons. Ultimately, they were designated the 17th Lancers. The regiment saw service in Germany, France, Jamaica, the United States (from 1775 to 1781 during the American Revolution, participating in numerous battles), South America, a brief appearance in 1879 South Africa, and extensive experience in India from as early as 1817, then the 1850's and up into the 1880's. It was amalgamated with the 21st Lancers to form the 17th/21st Lancers in 1922.
When the regiment was formed by its initial commander, Col. John Hale, he created a cap badge that was worn by the regiment until its amalgamation in 1922. It was a Death’s Head with the legend "Or Glory" (as in "Death or Glory") in honor of the great General James Wolfe. The Death’s Head used by the regiment was more like the Braunschweig Totenkopf used by Infanterie-Regiment Nr 92 and Husaren-Regiment Nr 17 than the Prussian-style Totenkopf employed by Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr’s 1 and 2.
So our offering today is a gentleman’s walking stick that belonged to a member of the 17th Lancers. The walking stick dates from the period of 1880 to 1890. British officers of the time frequently used walking sticks, both in and out of uniform. They (as well as swagger sticks) were an important part of a British officer’s uniform. What makes this walking stick so unusual is that it incorporates a skull or "Death’s Head" into the stick’s handle. Naturally, one was never expected to use it the way a disabled person would use a cane (i.e., putting one’s full weight on it). It was intended as a walking "accessory," which also explains why its shaft is quite short. It just was too short to use as a conventional cane.
The shaft appears to be made from bamboo that has been stained dark-brown. The stick measures 34" from the base to the skull’s top and is 3" in circumference. A modern-day rubber tip has been added to protect the cane. The skull, is 2 ¼" tall and measures 5 ¾" in circumference at its top. It is made from a very high grade of ivory. If you look at the detailed photos, you will see both decorative lines and some cracks. Some of the cracks are natural, while others are skillful repairs where the skull was slightly damaged. [Had I not mentioned it, you would not have guessed it had been cracked in the past]. Whoever did the repair was very skilled and patient. A gorgeous silver bandeau that proclaims "Or Glory" adorns the skull’s front.
This is an amazing piece of history. Although it is not German, we find it fascinating from a historical standpoint. Its materials and craftsmanship are simply breathtaking.
$2,295.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11-537 XMB FLIGHT BADGE - PRESENTATION CASE - C.E. JUNCKER - REPRODUCTION. This is a consignment item. We want to stress that this is a REPRODUCTION presentation case. We seldom offer reproduction items, but due to its quality (and an original presentation case’s rarity), we have made an exception. The black case measures ¾" x 2 ½" x 3 ¾." It sports a textured finish that exhibits an interesting design. The case’s interior reveals a purple silk lining on its upper half. "C.E. Juncker" is embossed on the silk, with a Coat-of-Arms directly beneath it. The following address appears underneath the Coat-of-Arms.

 

 

 

 

Alte Jacobstr.13
Berlin S.W.

 

The case’s bottom half is covered with purple velvet fitted to accommodate the flight badge’s pin. The case is at least twenty years-old. Its quality is far beyond some of the cheaply-made presentation cases that we see today.
The case provides a means to display the high-quality flight badge you may already have in your collection. When you put your badge into this case, you will have a sense of how a badge and case looked one-hundred-years ago. Its condition is excellent.
$275.00    mbMar17

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13-1030 CAP TALLY AND POSTCARD - ENLISTED MAN’S - S.M.S. NASSAU. The S.M.S. Nassau was a Schlachtschiff (Battleship) of her self-named class. She was commissioned in 1909 and assigned to Battleship Squadron Nr I, along with her three sister ships. She served at the Battle of Jutland, wherein she was hit three times by British gunfire. The black silk cap tally measures 46" in length. The vessel’s name is embossed on it in silver. Three pinpoint holes in its silk indicate it may have been attached to a flat surface for display. Other than that, the tally is in fine condition.
We are pairing a color postcard of the S.M.S. Nassau with its cap tally. The postcard depicts the ship steaming at sea. The vessel’s name appears in its upper left corner. The ship’s technical specifications appear on the reverse. The postcard is in mint condition and has never been mailed.
$150.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13-1031 TROUSERS AND PILLOWCASE - ENLISTED MAN’S - KAISERLICHE MARINE. When looking for uniform items, it is generally more difficult to find trousers than tunics. My theory is that after the war many soldiers retained their uniform trousers (especially enlisted men and NCO’s), wearing them until they fell apart. [Remember, Germany suffered SIGNIFICANT economic distress for years after WW I’s end]. On the other hand, soldiers’ tunics were of little use in civilian life. These tunics often were sold to both American and German costume houses. In the USA, authentic German uniforms appeared in hit movies such as "All Quiet on the Western Front" and "Sergeant York." Movie studios did not need to design costumes when an abundance of them was readily available! I have acquired and sold a number of tunics over the years that still boast US and German costume house stamps in their interiors, thus offering us a different historical perspective.
So, I am delighted when I can offer trousers either with or without a tunic. In this case, I am especially pleased to present a pair of Imperial German Navy trousers. These white, cotton-twill trousers display a Kaiserliche Marine depot stamp in their button-front flap's upper left interior (from the wearer's perspective), indicating they were issued on 8 October 1913,  ten months before WW I exploded.

 

 

 

B. A. W.
8.10.13
5

 

The trousers' in-seam measures 23," while the waist measures 30." [Trousers did NOT sport zippers during the Imperial era. Instead, they displayed a three-button fly in the front and two buttons at the back. My father told me that when he served in WW II’s U.S. Coast Guard (then part of the U.S. Navy) HIS trousers had button fronts. The latter displayed thirteen buttons (for the USA’s original thirteen states) that Dad had to unbutton to do his business]. We also want to point out that the buttons on the trousers' exterior may very well be replacements, since they appear to be made of plastic and are stamped "For Gentlemen" in English.  The buttons found on the interior of each pants leg are white, with an appearance that looks more true to the Imperial period. Perhaps the buttons were replaced while their owner's ship was at port in Great Britain or the USA, or were replaced later by a collector.  The pants came to us in a white cotton pillowcase that measures 11" x 18."  We are including it for your use and enjoyment.  It would all make a lovely addition to a display tunic. $195.00    jjMar17

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15-690 BELT - OFFICER’S - 1918. This is a high-quality brown-leather officer’s belt that was worn at the Front. It does not display an officer’s belt buckle. [The latter were more commonly worn when NOT serving at the Front]. The belt measures 1 " in width. It displays a double row of holes into which the buckle’s prongs were slipped to secure the belt for wear. The metal buckle is painted black.
The belt’s reverse has the word "Eigentum" (property) and the date, "1918" stenciled on its rough leather surface. The belt will accommodate a waist from 34" to 45." Its overall condition is excellent and is amazing for a nearly one-hundred-year-old leather belt. It would make a great addition to a tunic, a general collection, or for everyday use.
$225.00    afMarch17 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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18-439 SOUP SPOON - NAVAL OFFICER’S MESS - WW I. Today we are offering a high-quality naval officers’ mess soup spoon. The spoon features a marvelous patina that is especially striking in its "bowl." Two distinct patina areas are visible within it. The spoon’s handle displays a decorative design at its midpoint. The handle’s tip reveals a rendition of a 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class that is framed within another decorative display. The handle’s underside features a manufacturer’s hallmark, along with a small anchor. $175.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19-282 POSTCARD - AUTOGRAPHED - GENERALFELDMARSCHALL - PAUL von HINDENBURG. This postcard features Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934) and Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941). It was produced for the German Red Cross’s benefit. Wilhelm II’s wife, Auguste Viktoria, was the Red Cross’s patron, as is noted on its reverse, which refers to her as "Kaiserin" and "Königin." The card is dated July 1915. At this time, von Hindenburg was the commanding general of all the Eastern Front’s Central Powers’ forces. It was not until August 1916 that he became the Great German General Staff’s Chief.
An official message is displayed at the postcard’s bottom (as part of the original postcard), with von Hindenburg’s bold, black ink signature and a dedication above it. The postcard and the signature are in mint condition.
$195.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today we are offering a special group of Generals’ Shoulder Boards from Prussia and Bavaria. They also represent line-officers, retired officers, and royalty who were considered à la Suite officers, since they did NOT have a line-General’s tactical responsibilities. Their positions were more ceremonial. They are interesting and historically significant. All of them are of a different type than those we have offered in the past. 

 

 

23-469 BAVARIA - SINGLE SHOULDER BOARD - GENERALFELDMARSCHALL. This is a single Generalfeldmarschall’s shoulder board from the Kingdom of Bavaria. The massive shoulder board measures 2 ½ x 5 ½." It features two Russian-style gold bullion ropes, with a single band of silver bullion in between them. The silver bullion features the blue chevrons that identify the boards as Bavarian. A pair of highly-detailed crossed batons, each measuring 2 ¼" long, appears in the shoulder board’s center. The latter are beautifully frosted and look quite striking against the actual shoulder board. The shoulder board’s reverse features a strap that allows it to slip onto the tunic. Its red felt underlay displays a single small moth nip. Seldom do Generalfeldmarschall’s shoulder boards become available, especially NOT from Bavaria or the other two non Prussian Kingdoms (Württemberg and Saxony). That said, even Prussia possessed only a few Generalmarschalls. $1,795.00    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23-470 BAVARIA - SINGLE SHOULDER BOARD - GENERALOBERST IN THE RANK OF GENERALFELDMARSCHALL - INFANTERIE-REGIMENT NR 8 - ONCE OWNED BY GROßHERZOG FRIEDRICH II. This is a single shoulder board that was once the property of Baden’s Großherzog Friedrich II (1857-1928). He was Baden’s final ruler who, like all of the Imperial German heads of state, was swept from his throne with WW I’s end. Along with Hesse-Darmstadt, Baden had the largest military after the four Imperial German Kingdoms (Prussia, Bavaria, Württemberg, and Saxony). Friedrich II was the Regimental Chef (Patron) of more than one regiment, as he was of Bavaria’s 8. Infanterie-Regiment Großherzog Friedrich II. von Baden in this instance. The regiment was founded in 1753 and garrisoned at Metz, where it was attached to the Bavarian II. Armeekorps. Although he was the regiment’s royal patron, his royal cypher did NOT appear on its shoulder boards (the regimental number did so, instead).
The shoulder board measures 1 " x 4 ¼." It features two Russian-style gold bullion ropes, with a single band of silver bullion in between them. The silver bullion features the blue chevrons that identify the boards as Bavarian. An "8" appears in the shoulder board’s center. Two silver-toned pips appear above and below the numeral, for a total of four. [Silver-toned pips indicated an à la Suite officer, confirming the unique rank that was strictly reserved for members of royalty. Gold pips were used for field officers]. The board’s reverse reveals a strap that allowed it to be slipped onto a tunic. Some mothing appears on the strap’s side. Its underlay is made of red felt.
This is a very rare and desirable shoulder board for a well-known member of German royalty.
$1,395.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23-471 PRUSSIA - SINGLE SHOULDER BOARD - GENERAL DER INFANTERIE - GARDE ZU FUß-REGIMENT NR 2 - FÜRST WILHELM OF HOHENZOLLERN. Germany’s royal houses often sported more than one "line" of succession. This was true for the House of Hohenzollern, which was split into two lines. The greater line contained Prussia’s ruling family, including Prussia’s Kings and, later, Imperial Germany’s Kaisers. The lesser line ruled the principality of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. Fürst Wilhelm (1864-1927) was Fürst Leopold’s elder son, who assumed the title and served as head of that Hohenzollern family branch upon Leopold’s 1905 death. Fürst Wilhelm did not hold any military command, but DID serve as a General der Infanterie à la Suite of Prussia’s 2. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß. The regiment was founded in 1813 and headquartered in Berlin. Like all Garde-Regiments it was attached to the Gardekorps.
This single shoulder board once belonged to Fürst Wilhelm of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. It measures 2 ¼" x 4 ." It features two Russian-style gold bullion ropes, with a single band of silver bullion in between them. The silver bullion features the black chevrons that identify the boards as Prussian. The shoulder board’s center features two silver-toned pips, which indicate a General der Infanterie à la Suite. [Gold pips would have indicated a true command General at the Armeekorps level]. The board’s reverse displays a double underlay, a small red trim band and a larger white band. [The latter band ties the shoulder board to the 2. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß]. The white underlay is also interesting in that it is not made of the more commonly-seen felt. It is made of cotton twill. A white strap also is attached that permitted the shoulder board to be slipped onto a tunic.
It is a truly fine example of a shoulder board belonging to a member of German royalty.
$1,195.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23-472 PRUSSIA - SHOULDER BOARDS (2) - GENERALMAJOR ZU DISPOSITION - ONE PRE WAR & ONE M-1915 SUBDUED FELDGRAU. These two shoulder boards came to us together. I believe they came from the same officer and represent what was worn on a pre war tunic and on an M-1910 or M-1915 tunic. They are also quite unique as they are for a Generalmajor zu Disposition. [We have never before offered any Generalmajor zu Disposition’s shoulder boards. They provide a fine contrast to an active-duty General’s boards. It typically was the Imperial German Army’s practice to advance an officer one grade when he entered retirement, both in recognition of his long service and to increase his retirement pay. So, it is most likely that this particular officer entered retirement as an Oberst, either as a regimental commander or serving as a Brigade, Division, or Armeekorps staff member].
We will be selling the boards as a pair because they will be more interesting to display together, AND that is how they came to us.

 

 

 

 

1). Pre War Example Probably for a Dunkel-Blau Tunic. This shoulder board measures 1 ½" x 4." It features two Russian-style gold bullion ropes, with a single band of silver bullion in between them. The silver bullion features a white chevron with thin black trim that identifies the boards as Prussian for an officer who was zu Disposition. The underlay is made of red felt that extends past the board’s end. NO strap is available to slip it on (nor does it appear that one was ever present). It may well have been sewn onto the tunic, which is a bit unusual. Some light mothing appears on the red surface. They appear more like blooms rather than full nips.

2). M-1915 Example for an M-1910 or M-1915 Feldgrau Tunic. This also measures 1 ½" x 4." As it was intended for use on a feldgrau tunic, the roping is subdued rather than the pre war gold/silver. Again, its white chevron with thin black trim really stands out against the subdued roping. The same red underlay as the pre war example is present, also extending past the board’s end. Also, NO strap is available to slip it on (nor does it appear one was ever present), just like the pre war example. It also exhibits some light mothing on its red surface, although a bit less than what appears on the other shoulder board.

 

If you have an interest in shoulder boards (especially those belonging to Generals), these two would make an excellent addition to your collection. $895.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23-473 PRUSSIA - SHOULDER BOARDS M-1915 - MAJOR - GARDE-REGIMENT ZU FUß. This is a pair of Major’s 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß shoulder boards. The 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß was the Imperial German Army’s most important Infanterie Regiment. It was to Infanterie Regiments what the Regiment des Garde du Corps (GdC) was to the Kavallerie. Like the GdC, the regiment was headquartered in Potsdam. It was founded in 1688, making it among Prussia’s oldest Infanterie Regiments. It was attached to the Gardekorps along with other Garde-Regiments and Bataillone.
The 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß was also where all Prussian princes were attached as Leutnants when they reached the age of ten. Every one of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s sons served in the regiment. [In fact, Prinz Eitel Friedrich (1883-1942), the second oldest son after Kronprinz Wilhelm, served as its regimental commander at the beginning of WW I]. From throughout the empire, more royals enlisted in the 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß than any other Imperial German regiment. [I once went through a Rangliste and found more than 25 royals enlisted as officers in it]! Princes, Grand Dukes, Dukes were in the regiment as à la Suite officers. The ranks of these royals were determined in part by their age and their status as royals. The regiment’s highest-ranking royal was Kaiser Wilhelm II’s younger brother, Prinz Heinrich. He held the rank of Generaloberst in the rank of Generalfeldmarschall. Of course, Kaiser Wilhelm II served as its Regimental Chef (Honorary Commander), as he did for the GdC, with the rank of Generalfeldmarschall.
In the 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß, an officer who held a Major’s rank would have commanded one of its four Bataillone. Most Infanterie Regiments boasted only three Bataillone, but the 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß contained a fourth, known as the Lehr-Bataillon (Teaching/ Learning Battalion). In addition to potentially heading one of these Bataillone, a Major might have been attached to the regimental staff as its deputy commander or its chief of staff.
The shoulder boards measure 1 ¼" x 4 ¼." As they are of the M-1915 variety, they were intended to be worn on a feldgrau tunic. They are subdued in nature, meaning the pre war gold and silver bullion ropes are replaced by feldgrau ones that sport Prussia’s black and white chevrons. The boards’ reverses display white cotton twill underlays thinly-trimmed with silver bullion, which are placed over a second gold-toned underlay. A feldgrau wool strap attached to each shoulder board permitted the boards to be slipped onto a tunic.
These VERY rare shoulder boards are in excellent condition.
$550.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23-474 PRUSSIA - SHOULDER BOARDS M-1915 - LEUTNANT - GARDE-ULANEN-REGIMENT. This is a pair of Leutnant’s M-1915 shoulder boards from Prussia’s 2. Garde-Ulanen-Regiment. The regiment was founded in 1819 and garrisoned in Berlin, where it was attached to the Gardekorps. These boards would have been worn on a waffenrock rather than an ulanka.
The boards measure 2 " x 4 ½." They sport a brilliant silver bullion surface marked with the black chevrons that identify them as Prussian. They are of the sewn-in variety commonly used for junior officers, with a red felt underlay on each board’s reverse. They are in mint, unissued condition, appearing much as they did when freshly purchased at the military effects shop.
$250.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23-475 PRUSSIA - SHOULDER BOARDS M-1915 - LEUTNANT - KRAFTFAHR-BATAILLON - PRUSSIA. This is a pair of Leutnant’s M-1915 Kraftfahr-Bataillon shoulder boards. The Imperial German motorized transport units that served in support of front-line operations, known as the Kraftfahr-Bataillon, came into existence in 1911. Its units served with Eisenbahn-Regiments and Train-Battalions, and performed very useful functions when WW I began. Considered a Garde unit, it was based in Berlin. Saxon and Württemberg Companies existed in addition to the Prussian Battalion.
The shoulder boards measure 1 ¾" x 4 ." As they are of the M-1915 variety, they were intended to be worn on a feldgrau tunic. Instead of gold or silver bullion, their background is a subdued gray. Their white chevrons sport a thin black trim. Each board’s center displays a subdued, stylized "K." Each board’s reverse features a feldgrau cotton twill strap that enabled it to be slipped onto a tunic. It is a bit unusual to see slip-on shoulder boards for a junior officer. Such details were a matter of individual taste, however, not something dictated by regulations.
These quite scarce shoulder boards are in excellent condition.
$375.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23-476 PRUSSIA - SINGLE SHOULDER BOARD - LEUTNANT - DRAGONER-REGIMENT. This is a single shoulder board for a Leutnant who served in a Prussian Dragoner-Regiment. It has a yellow underlay made of cotton twill. It is of the sewn-in variety. $95.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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28-157 STICKPIN - THREE-PLACE. This is a fine three-place stickpin. From left to right, it features the medals listed below.

 

* 1914 Iron Cross in enamel.
* Hindenburg Cross with Swords for Combatants.
* Silver Army Wound Badge.

 

The pin is knurled toward the bottom. The stickpin is quite handsome. It is in very fine condition. $40.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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32-174 PATRIOTIC PIN - PHOTO OF SOLDIER. Both before and during WW I, the German people showed great patriotism and support for their soldiers and sailors. One means of showing that support was for the women to wear a pin containing a soldier’s or sailor’s photograph. It could be considered a sweetheart pin. Our example features a simple gold-toned frame that measures 1" in diameter. A young enlisted soldier appears within the frame, dressed in feldgrau and wearing his mütze. The pin on its reverse allowed it to be attached to a dress or blouse. It is very reasonably-priced. $50.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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32-175 PATRIOTIC PIN - PHOTO OF SOLDIER. Both before and during WW I, the German people showed great patriotism and support for their soldiers and sailors. One means of showing that support was for the women to wear a pin containing a soldier’s or sailor’s photograph. It could be considered a sweetheart pin. Our example features a simple gold-toned frame that measures 1" in diameter. It features a young NCO dressed in feldgrau and wearing his schirmütze. The pin on its reverse allowed it to be attached to a dress or blouse. It is very reasonably-priced. $50.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33-337 BAVARIA - KOKARDE - SCHIRMÜTZE - OFFICER. This is a kokarde suitable for an officer’s visor cap (schirmütze). The exterior is silver-toned, while its center sports either blue paint or (possibly) enamel. It is in very fine condition. It displays the double attachment prongs on its reverse that allowed the kokarde to be affixed to a cap. $50.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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38-2822 POSTCARD - KAISER WILHELM II IN REGIMENT DES GARDE DU CORPS UNIFORM AND HELMET. Postcards of Kaiser Wilhelm II are always popular. Arguably, one of his most popular poses depicted him in the Regiment des Garde du Corps (GdC) dress uniform. This postcard displays the Kaiser in a general’s full dress uniform, complete with the regiment’s küraß (breastplate). He is bedecked with medals and breast stars. In addition, he is wearing the GdC’s magnificent parade helmet topped with its impressive Hohenzollern Eagle. The gleaming frosted silver Eagle really stands out, even though the postcard is in black and white. The postcard’s bottom displays some pencil writing. The postcard was mailed and features a canceled postage stamp. $20.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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38-2823 POSTCARD - KAISER WILHELM II IN REGIMENT DES GARDE DU CORPS UNIFORM. This is a most interesting postcard of Kaiser Wilhelm II. He is standing on the city of Aachen’s Rathaus (City Hall) balcony with two town officials. Aachen is a beautiful city near Germany’s borders with Belgium and the Netherlands. [We have visited it in the past. Its people are amazingly friendly]. Historically, the city is quite important. The Emperor Charlemagne spent a great deal of time in Aachen. Later, from 936 to 1531, it was the place where thirty-one Holy Roman Emperors were crowned Kings of the Germans.
The postcard features the Kaiser wearing the Regiment des Garde du Corps’ uniform. Interestingly, he is wearing the regiment’s black küraß, which was only used once per year during its Spring Parade. [The black küraß was originally presented to the GdC in 1814 by Tsar Alexander of Russia as a token of gratitude to his Prussian allies in the Napoleonic Wars. The postcard has not been mailed.
$20.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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38-2824 POSTCARD - KAISER WILHELM IN 1. LEIB-HUSAREN REGIMENT NR 1 UNIFORM REVIEWING NAVAL TROOPS. This postcard shows Kaiser Wilhelm II from the back and side. He is mounted on his horse reviewing naval troops on parade. Naval officers march with the sailors, and the Kaiser is flanked by several naval officers. The postcard has not been mailed. $20.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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38-2825 POSTCARD - KAISER WILHELM II IN ADMIRAL’S UNIFORM. Kaiser Wilhelm II took great pride in his Navy. The Imperial German Navy was known as the Kaiserliche Marine, while the actual fleet was called the Hochseeflotte (High Seas Fleet). As a part of Imperial Germany’s expansion following his ascension to throne, Wilhelm II decided to increase Germany’s overseas territorial holdings. Supporting such an overseas empire required a strong Navy. This course of action was against his Chancellor, von Bismarck’s express advice and eventually led to the "The Iron Chancellor’s" forced retirement. With the assistance of Alfred von Tirpitz, the Imperial Navy was strengthened. Great Britain had no intention of giving up its naval supremacy, however, and quickly engaged the German Empire in an arms race.
This postcard features Wilhelm II wearing a Großadmiral’s frock coat. He is standing in a photographic studio on a simulated ship’s bridge against a backdrop of a warship steaming his way. He is wearing a naval officer’s Summer schirmütze. The postcard was never mailed.
$20.00  srfeb17 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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38-2826 POSTCARD - KAISER WILHELM II WITH SON KRONPRINZ WILHELM AND DAUGHTER-IN-LAW KRONPRINZESSIN CECILIE ABOARD HIS ROYAL YACHT S.M.Y. HOHENZOLLERN. Kaiser Wilhelm II had a lifelong love of the sea. This was expressed in the expansion of his Navy, the Kaiserliche Marine, and his extended stays aboard his royal yacht, the S.M.Y. Hohenzollern. This postcard features him aboard the S.M.Y. Hohenzollern. He is standing on the deck with his son, Kronprinz Wilhelm, and his daughter-in-law, Kronprinzessin Cecilie. To the Kaiser’s left is his wife, Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria, conversing with Generalleutnant Graf Dohna. The postcard was mailed in 1911 from Hamburg. $20.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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42-188 XBB SANKE CARD - RITTMEISTER MANFRED VON RICHTHOFEN - NR 503. This is a consignment item. It is Sanke Card Nr 503, arguably the most famous and most popular of the "Red Baron’s" Sanke Cards. Manfred von Richthofen was WW I’s most talked-about pilot. Even though some German pilots exceeded his score of eighty victories during WW II, those names pale when speaking of von Richthofen. This pose shows him from the chest up. He is wearing a coat with an upturned collar that perfectly frames the Pour le Mérite at his throat. He also wears a visor cap. His deep, penetrating eyes gaze out at you. It makes for a chilling effect, as one can almost imagine him looking out over his twin machine guns at YOU.  The card is in mint condition and was never mailed. $130.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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42-189 XBB SANKE CARD - RITTMEISTER MANFRED VON RICHTHOFEN - NR 450. This is a consignment item. It is Sanke Card Nr 450, perhaps the second-most-popular of the "Red Baron’s" Sanke Cards. Manfred von Richthofen was WW I’s most talked-about pilot. Even though some German pilots exceeded his score of eighty victories during WW II, those names pale when speaking of von Richthofen.
The pose shows him from the waist up in his dress uniform. His elite cavalry regiment Ulanen-Regiment Kaiser Alexander III von Rußland (Westpreußisches) Nr 1's epaulette is clearly visible. On his chest we see a four-place medal bar, his Prussian Army Pilot Badge, and his 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class. The Orden Pour le Mérite is around his throat.
Some evidence of silver oxidation appears on the card’s edges. The card’s reverse sports a message dated from 29 April 1917, about fifty-one weeks prior to his death in combat. The card was mailed in Bavaria to an address in Munich and bears a 7 ½ pfennig stamp of King Ludwig III of Bavaria.
$130.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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42-186 XBB KRIEGS KARTE - RITTMEISTER MANFRED VON RICHTHOFEN. This is a consignment item. It is a Kriegs Karte of Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen. The Kriegs Karte was a different aviation/other military postcard brand from the more familiar Sanke Cards. Its content is identical to Manfred von Richthofen’s Sanke Card Nr 534. It shows von Richthofen in a seated photographic studio pose. He is wearing the Prussian Army Pilot Badge and the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class on his ulanka. His PLM appears at his throat. The Kriegs Karte is slightly larger than a Sanke Card and the image is not quite as crisp. It has no number identifying this particular pose. The card was never mailed. On the reverse it is identified as a "Kriegs Karte." It has a 1914 Iron Cross between the two words. $65.00   srfeb17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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42-187 XBB POSTCARD - INVALIDENDANK WOHLFAHRTSKARTE FOR PLM-WINNER LEUTNANT ALBERT DOSSENBACH. This is a consignment item. Albert Dossenbach was a PLM-winner who achieved fifteen confirmed victories. Prior to his death in July 1917, he was awarded the Pour le Mérite in November 1916 after having shot down eight enemy airplanes. [In 1916, eight victories were required to receive Germany’s highest decoration. By January 1917, the quota had risen to sixteen when Manfred von Richthofen received his award. Later, the requirement grew to twenty confirmed victories. Near WW I’s end, it took thirty confirmed victories to qualify]. Dossenbach served in Jasta 2 (later known as Jasta Boelcke to honor Germany’s first great ace following his death in October 1916.) Later, Dossenbach commanded Jastas 36 and 10. It was while commanding Jasta 10 that he was shot down and killed.
This postcard was a part of the Invalidendank, a charity operated by Kronprinz Wilhelm for the benefit of war veterans. The card was not mailed. A collector has mistakenly penciled on the card’s reverse that it was the Kronprinz who is standing in front of the airplane. The card features Albert Dossenbach standing in front of an airplane. On his left breast we see the Prussian Army Pilot Badge, 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class, and the 1914 Military Service Cross 1st Class from Mecklenburg-Schwerin. He also is wearing a ribbon bar and a ribbon for the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class and the Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order in his tunic’s second buttonhole. Finally, Dossenbach proudly wears the Orden Pour le Mérite around his neck.
$40.00    jbMarch17

 

 

 

 

 

 

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43-365 POSTCARD - REGIMENT DES GARDE DU CORPS. This is a rather interesting postcard of the Regiment des Garde du Corps (GdC). This regiment was the most elite and fabled of Imperial Germany’s many regiments. The postcard includes several interesting points. First, the entire regiment appears in the photo, which was taken at the Lustgarten in Potsdam. Potsdam was the home of the regiment and contained the royal family’s Summer residence. Second, the postcard was for the Spring Parade (Früjahrsparade), the most important parade of the year in which the GdC participated. The parade’s importance was partially due to a special black küraß (breastplate) worn by all the regiment’s members. The küraß was a key component of all German heavy cavalry uniforms, although that worn by the GdC differed from those worn by any others. The black küraß was only used once a year at the Spring Parade. For all other occasions they reverted to a gold-toned küraß, which, like the black küraß, had the special GdC plate attached to its front. The black küraß originally was gifted to the GdC in 1814 by Russia’s Tsar Alexander to thank his Prussian allies for their assistance during the Napoleonic Wars. They continued to honor this gift by restricting its use to the Spring Parade.
The photograph for this postcard was taken at the 1914 Früjahrsparade at the Lustgarten, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of Tsar Alexander’s gift. It was also the GdC’s final celebration of the event, as WW I broke out a few months later. The information for the parade is noted at the postcard’s bottom. The postcard was never mailed. The card is quite rare for the reasons described above.
$20.00   

 

 

 

 

 

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43-366 POSTCARD - GENERALFELDMARSCHALL PAUL VON HINDENBURG. Paul von Hindenburg emerged during WW I as Germany’s most popular general. At the beginning of the war, he was brought back from retirement and given command of an army on the Eastern Front. Under his command, this army dealt the Russians a major defeat at the Battle of Tannenberg. Ultimately von Hindenburg was given command of all armies on the Eastern Front. He then was given command of the General Staff in Berlin and held that post until WW I’s end. He retired again, but was lured back to become the President of Germany, with Adolf Hitler serving as his Chancellor.
This is a framed postcard of the general. The frame is modern and made of plastic. It measures 4" x 6." The postcard is in full color. It shows von Hindenburg with an overcoat over his tunic. The lapels are turned back revealing a general officer’s red collar. This view also shows his Pour le Mérite at his throat. A reproduction of von Hindenburg’s signature appears at the image’s bottom.
$15.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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43-367 POSTCARD - GENERALFELDMARSCHALL PAUL VON HINDENBURG. Paul von Hindenburg emerged during WW I as Germany’s most popular general. At the beginning of the war, he was brought back from retirement and given command of an army on the Eastern Front. Under his command, this army dealt the Russians a major defeat at the Battle of Tannenberg. Ultimately von Hindenburg was given command of all armies on the Eastern Front. He then was given command of the General Staff in Berlin and held that post until WW I’s end. He retired again, but was lured back to become the President of Germany, with Adolf Hitler serving as his Chancellor.
This is a framed postcard of the general. The frame is modern and made of plastic. It measures 4" x 6." The postcard is a pen and ink drawing, with color highlights to his schirmütze. If you look carefully at his shoulder board, you will note a Generalfeldmarschall’s crossed batons. A reproduction of von Hindenburg’s signature appears at the image’s bottom.
$15.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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45-264 POSTCARD - PRINZESSIN VIKTORIA LUISE IN 2. LEIB-HUSAREN-REGIMENT’S UNIFORM - PRUSSIA AND BRAUNSCHWEIG. This is a postcard of Prinzessin Viktoria Luise (1892-1980) of Prussia. She was Kaiser Wilhelm II’s only daughter. She is seen here in Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 2's uniform, standing beside a horse. She is also wearing that regiment’s busby. She was adored by the German people, who referred to her as "Vikki Lu." She married Herzog (Duke) Ernst August (1892-1953) of Braunschweig and became its Duchess. The postcard is in mint condition and has never been mailed. $20.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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45-265 POSTCARD - PRINZESSIN VIKTORIA LUISE IN 2. LEIB-HUSAREN-REGIMENT’S UNIFORM - PRUSSIA AND BRAUNSCHWEIG. This is a postcard of Prinzessin Viktoria Luise (1892-1980) of Prussia. She was Kaiser Wilhelm II’s only daughter. She is seen here in Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 2's uniform, seated on a horse. She is also wearing that regiment’s busby. She was adored by the German people, who referred to her as "Vikki Lu." She married Herzog (Duke) Ernst August (1892-1953) of Braunschweig and became its Duchess. The postcard is in very fine condition. It was mailed in 1914. $20.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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45-266 POSTCARD - PRINZESSIN VIKTORIA LUISE IN 2. LEIB-HUSAREN-REGIMENT’S UNIFORM - PRUSSIA AND BRAUNSCHWEIG. This is a postcard of Prinzessin Viktoria Luise (1892-1980) of Prussia. She was Kaiser Wilhelm II’s only daughter. Here she is wearing Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 2's uniform and busby, and is mounted side-saddle on a horse. Behind her, two of Kronprinz Wilhelm’s sons (her eldest brother) are seated in a carriage. Viktoria Luise was adored by the German people, who referred to her as "Vikki Lu." She married Herzog (Duke) Ernst August (1892-1953) of Braunschweig and became its Duchess. The postcard is in very fine condition and was never mailed, although an address has been penciled-in. $20.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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45-267 POSTCARD - PRINZESSIN AUGUST WILHELM - PRUSSIA. Prinzessin Alexandra Viktoria (1887-1957) was from Schleswig-Holstein. Her aunt was the Kaiserin. She married one of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s sons, Prinz August Wilhelm (1887-1949), in 1912. They later divorced in 1920.  She is seen here mounted side-saddle on a horse. She is in uniform and is wearing a pickelhaube complete with its parade bush. The postcard is in mint condition and was never mailed.
$20.00
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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45-268 POSTCARD - KRONPRINZ WILHELM AND KRONPRINZESSIN CECILIE IN UNIFORM ALONG WITH DRAGONER-REGIMENT NR 8 OFFICERS - PRUSSIA. This postcard shows the royal couple in uniform, along with several officers from Dragoner-Regiment Nr 8. Her husband, the Kronprinz, is wearing Küraßier-Regiment Nr 2's uniform. His mother, the Kaiserin, was that regiment’s Regimental Chef (Honorary Commander). Cecilie is wearing an overcoat and a pickelhaube from this Dragoner-Regiment, along with parade bush. $20.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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45-269 POSTCARD - GROßHERZOG FRIEDRICH FRANZ IV - MECKLENBURG-SCHWERIN. This is a postcard that features Großherzog Friedrich Franz IV (1882-1945) of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. He is seen in full dress uniform, wearing a general’s pickelhaube complete with parade feathers. The postcard is mint and has never been mailed. $20.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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45-270 POSTCARD - PRINZ LEOPOLD - BAVARIA. Prinz Leopold of Bavaria (1846-1930) was a Generalfeldmarschall who commanded troops on the Eastern Front. He became the supreme commander of all Central Powers on the Eastern Front when von Hindenburg was promoted to head the General Staff. Although he was 68-years-old at WW I’s outbreak, Prinz Leopold was considered an excellent military commander. He is seen wearing an überrock (frock coat). He also is wearing a Bavarian Max Joseph neck order and an Iron Cross 1st Class. [He won both 1870 Iron Crosses 1st and 2nd Class, and later received the 1914 Grand Cross of the Iron Cross. If the photograph was taken prior to WW I and his return to the army, it probably is the 1870 EK1 on his tunic]. Even though he was a Bavarian, he is holding a Prussian General’s pickelhaube in one hand, and a Generalfeldmarschall’s interim staff in the other. The postcard is in excellent condition. $20.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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45-271 POSTCARD - PRINZ LEOPOLD - BAVARIA. Prinz Leopold of Bavaria (1846-1930) was a Generalfeldmarschall who commanded troops on the Eastern Front. He became the supreme commander of all Central Powers on the Eastern Front when von Hindenburg was promoted to head the General Staff. Although he was 68-years-old at WW I’s outbreak, Prinz Leopold was considered an excellent military commander. Here he is mounted on a horse, followed closely by three other senior officers as they troop an honor company through Warsaw. All men are wearing feldgrau uniforms and pickelhauben. Leopold is wearing a wide variety of orders and decorations on his tunic. The postcard is in excellent condition and was never mailed. $20.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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45-272 POSTCARD - PRINZ ALFONS - BAVARIA. Prinz Alfons of Bavaria has long been one of our personal favorites. We have had the privilege of owning many of his personal favorites. [We currently are offering a notepad from his personal desk, as well as a city’s urkunde honoring him]. While Alfons had received military training and ultimately rose to the rank of General der Kavallerie, he did NOT command troops during WW I. He was a scholarly gentleman who studied the arts and science. Here he is wearing a general’s full dress uniform bedecked with a wide variety of orders and decorations, including three breast stars. He also holds a Bavarian general’s pickelhaube. [Many years ago we sold a general’s pickelhaube and its parade feathers that had belonged to Alfons. Perhaps it is the one seen here – who knows]? This postcard has never been mailed and is in excellent condition. $20.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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45-273 POSTCARD - PRINZ ALFONS - BAVARIA. Prinz Alfons of Bavaria has long been one of our personal favorites, We have had the privilege of owning many of his personal favorites [We currently are offering a notepad from his personal desk, as well as a city’s urkunde honoring him]. While Alfons had received military training and ultimately rose to the rank of General der Kavallerie, he did NOT command troops during WW I. He was a scholarly gentleman who studied the arts and science. Here he wears a general’s full dress uniform that features a wide variety of orders and decorations, including four breast stars. He is accompanied by his wife, who was a member of Spanish royalty. The postcard was mailed through WW I’s Feldpost system, but remains in very fine condition. $20.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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05-1700 XML JEWELER’S/WEARER’S COPY - ORDEN POUR le MÉRITE - PRUSSIA. This is a consignment item. We all know that the Orden Pour le Mérite (PLM) was the highest decoration that Prussia and Germany could offer to its officers. Enlisted Men and NCO’s were not eligible for the award. Instead, they had their own decoration that recognized extreme bravery in combat, often referred to as the "Enlisted Man’s Blue Max." [The PLM, or "Blue Max," is supposedly nicknamed that for Max Immelmann, the first WW I aviator to receive it. I have been asked over the years, why was Prussia and Germany’s top decoration given a French name? When it was created in 1740, during Friedrich der Große’s reign, the official court language was French. Friedrich considered the German language uncouth, and French to be more refined and cultured. He even modeled his primary Potsdam castle, Sanssouci, after the French Palace at Versailles].
Approximately seven hundred examples of the Orden Pour le Mérite were awarded during WW I from 1914 through 1918. No more examples were awarded after the war’s end. You will note that we have used the terms "Jeweler’s or Wearer’s Copy" for this PLM. I wish I knew of a better term for these decorations. In other words, this is a period PLM that lacks the provenance to offer it as a presentation piece. Traditionally, the provenance that allows a PLM (or any other high decoration) to be considered an "awarded" decoration comes in the form of an Urkunde (the official award document signed by the Kaiser or, in some cases, the Ordenskanzler), or some other documentation from the family of the man awarded the PLM.
For example, Godet & Sohn was one of Kaiser Wilhelm’s house jewelers who provided presentation PLM’s for nominated officers. Suppose that Godet had ten PLM’s in stock. They get the call from the Kaiser’s Ordenskanzler that five PLM’s are required for presentation by the Kaiser. Five are pulled from the stock and sent to the Ordenskanzler, who then arranged for five Urkunden to be signed by the Kaiser for presentation with the PLM’s. After receiving his award, one of the officers might decide he did not want to risk harming something that had been personally presented to him by his Kaiser, instead preferring to store it in a safe place. At the same time, however, the Orden Pour le Mérite statutes mandated that the recipient wear one on his uniform whenever he was out in public. The solution to this dilemma was for the officer to visit Godet & Sohn in order to purchase ANOTHER PLM for daily wear (he might even purchase two, just in case). [The same solution applied if the officer lost or damaged his PLM and required a replacement]. So Godet would pull another PLM from its inventory that was IDENTICAL to his awarded piece in every way. In this instance, no actual difference existed between the "Jeweler’s/Wearer’s Copy" and the actual awarded piece because they were constructed by the SAME company in the SAME manner.
So I use the term "Jeweler’s or Wearer’s Copy" only because I cannot present any supporting documentation to you. I have offered PLM’s in this manner for twenty years, with the exception of the very rare instance when I DID have provenance that I felt was sufficient to classify it as an "awarded" PLM. In point of fact, if a PLM is a period piece (NOT post war), NO actual difference exists between them.
This is what we are offering to you today, a "Jeweler’s or Wearer’s Copy." The decoration measures 2 ¼" x 2 ¼." It displays a handsome blue enamel surface on both the obverse and reverse. The obverse features the "Pour le Mérite" and Friedrich der Große’s crowned royal cypher in gold lettering (chased gold lettering, to be specific). A gold Hohenzollern Eagle nestles between each blue enamel arm. A pie-shaped suspension device is attached to a paperclip-like holder through which the decoration’s neck-ribbon was inserted. This pie-shaped device was used on early-to-mid World War I PLM’s. The VERY early-war examples actually were made of gold. As WW I progressed, gold soon was in short supply, so awards were made of silver that was covered with a gold wash, as was this example. A close examination of the pie-shaped device’s edge reveals a mark that reads "JguS .938." The latter attests that the decoration INDEED came from J. Godet und Sohn’s workshops and that the decoration is made of .938 silver beneath its gold wash. The obverse’s enamel finish is quite pleasing, with one very small dimple near the "P" that keeps it from being perfect. I actually like the idea that it shows some wear to it, which I classify as "honest age." The reverse is flawless.
A 100% correct ribbon accompanies the decoration. It measures 18 ¾" in length and is 2" wide. The ties at the end that allowed the decoration to be worn around the neck are NOT present. The ribbon is made of black silk, with two narrow silver bullion stripes, each of which measures ¼" in width.
The final detail is that its current owner has added a REPRODUCTION presentation case in which the PLM may be displayed or stored. The case measures 1" x 3 ¼" x 6 ½." A gold-embossed PLM decorates on its outer lid. The upper half of the case’s interior is lined with sumptuous purple silk. The bottom half is also purple. It is fitted to comfortably and safely accommodate the PLM. A small recessed area is present into which the ribbon is neatly folded to complete the display.
It has been quite some time since we have been able to offer a PLM of this quality and condition.
$8,495.00
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13-1000 XRL IMPERIAL GERMAN NAVY STOPWATCH. This is a very rare stopwatch that was issued to certain ships in the High Seas Fleet. The primary reason that comes to my mind would be to time torpedoes launched from U-Boots, Torpedoboots, or any vessel whose primary weapon against enemy ships was the torpedo. It is important to remember that like aviation, the art of launching torpedoes at enemy ships was still in its infancy. Once calculations were made, such as how far to lead the ship and the depth that the torpedo was to reach, the sailors could estimate the time necessary for the torpedo to hit its target.
The stopwatch measures 1 " in diameter. Its case is silver. It has a loop at the top where the watch could be attached to a chain. A button at the top was clicked once to start it, then clicked again to stop it. A third click would clear the watch and the stopwatch function could begin again. Each second is broken down to 10's. The watch had a full sweep of thirty seconds, at which time a new half second would begin. A smaller window near the top has provisions for a full fifteen minutes.
The watch face has some minor damage to it. This damage is cosmetic, however, and does not in any way effect the watch’s functioning. A small thin crack extends from the bottom of the sweep hand to the nineteen-second mark. Another crack is at the level of the sweep hand’s bottom and between the seven and eight points. The final point of damage is a crack right at the nine-second mark on the watch’s outer edge.
The watch’s back displays the engraving attributing it to the Kaiserliche Marine. The first is a Hohenzollern Crown, which was then the symbol of the Navy. The second is an "M." This is for Marine from the Kaiserliche Marine (Navy). The last is "XVIII Nr 6."  The watchcase's back opens to reveal some intriguing figures that have been crudely scratched into its surface.   We have interpreted these figures (the thumbnail image inserted below reveals a magnified view) as follows:

 

F 25 .1 .62 / 9.
"   9 11 . 63 / u 
 " 11  2 64 / K H

We have absolutely NO idea what they indicate.  If the character at the beginning of the second and third lines is a "ditto" mark, then the "F" is meant to be repeated before those two sets of numbers/letters.  [If any of our intrepid viewers have a plausible explanation, we would welcome it]!

It is an amazing artifact and an important naval item. $325.00 3rd PRICE REDUCTION!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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04-680 SAXONY - PICKELHAUBE - INFANTERIE - RESERVE SENIOR NCO. This is a marvelous Saxon line-infantry regiment Senior NCO’s pickelhaube. Its fine leather body is of the highest-quality and condition. All of its furniture is brass, with the exception of the wappen’s center. The latter features a brass sunburst inset with a reserve cross on a silver-toned Saxon Coat-of-Arms. We can tell that this is not an officer’s wappen because the crown is closed, not open. The brass chin scales’ superior quality and condition are extremely impressive, as is the non removable spike (shorter than the ordinarily tall Saxon spikes). The rear brass fitting is not flush against the leather body, which causes it to stand out just a bit.
The exterior’s final features are lovely Officers’ Saxon-pattern Reich’s and State’s kokarden. Five Imperial German states (Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Württemberg, and Saxony) employed this particular kokarde pattern instead of the usual Prussian pattern.
The helmet’s interior displays a moderately-used dark-brown leather sweatband, and a rust-colored silk liner. The liner has seen more use and wear than the sweatband, exhibiting evidence of perspiration. The barest signs of shredding/running are also visible. Under the silk liner we see NO evidence of double holes. Nearly all of the original hardware is present, although one of the four clips at the top is missing. The latter does NOT affect the helmet’s integrity (that is why four of the clips are in place). This is a rock-solid, high-quality pickelhaube in first-rate condition. The fact that it is a reserve Senior NCO example makes it all the more attractive. It is a true value based on what you are receiving!
$3,495.00  

 

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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04-705 SAXONY - PICKELHAUBE - INFANTERIE - FÄHNRICH. The Imperial German Army had a rank for which the USA does NOT have an equivalent known as a "Fähnrich." The best way to describe the rank is that it indicated an officer’s candidate or cadet. It ranked above a Senior NCO (Feldwebel), but below the rank of Leutnant (equivalent to the U.S. Army’s 2nd Lieutenant). In Napoleonic times, the same position was referred to as an "Ensign" by the British, even though it had nothing to do with the navy!
This brief explanation allows to begin our description of a Saxon line-infantry regiment Fähnrich’s spiked helmet. [One notable difference exists between this helmet and that belonging to an officer ranking as a Leutnant (or above), which we will address later in this description].
Our helmet possesses a particularly delightful leather body that is smooth, clean, and supple, just like a baby’s bottom! The helmet has had the best of care from every family member or collector who has owned it before it came to us. [To maintain your helmet in the best possible condition, apply a high-quality leather conditioner at least twice a year. Doing so more often is perfectly fine, as it helps keep its leather body moist. A lack of moisture causes the leather to dry out and crack. Using a leather conditioner on ALL of your leather goods will contribute to a longer life of your collectible].
All of its furniture is brass, with the exception of the wappen’s center. The wappen consists of a brass sunburst with Saxony’s silver-toned Coat-of-Arms in its center. We can tell that this is an officer’s wappen because the crown is open (voided). Non officer’s wappens sport closed crowns (this is true for every Imperial German state). Examine those crowns, boys and girls, and you will quickly see that you have an officer, a Fähnrich, or a One-Year-Volunteer’s (OYV’s) helmet.
All of these brass fittings simply glow. Its removable spike is the ultra-tall Saxon officer’s spike. The helmet also sports a pearl ring just below the spike. Its only NON-officer detail is the lack of officers’ stars. Instead, the helmet displays NCO-style studs. Its officers’ theme even extends to the Officers’ Saxon-pattern Reich’s and State’s kokarden. Five Imperial German states (Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Württemberg, and Saxony) employed this particular kokarde pattern instead of the usual Prussian one.
The helmet’s interior features a moderately-used, dark-brown, leather sweatband and a rust-colored silk liner. The liner has seen more use and wear than the sweatband, exhibiting evidence of perspiration. The barest signs of shredding/running are also visible. Under the silk liner we see NO evidence of double holes, and all of its original hardware is present. Its front visor boasts a small label with a number on it. [The latter leads me to surmise that the helmet once belonged to a larger collection and this was its identification number within the collection].
This is an elegant pickelhaube that has been well cared for during the last one-hundred-plus years. [I personally find this spiked helmet more intriguing than an officer’s helmet. The number of Fähnrichs within the Imperial German Army was limited compared to officers and NCO’s]. You will be hard-pressed to find many pickelhauben in such excellent condition, regardless of the rank or regiment represented!
$4,495.00  

 

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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04-560 STORAGE/TRANSPORT CASE - PICKELHAUBE/KUGELHELM - W/SPECIAL PARADE EPAULETTES SECTION. This is perhaps the most interesting storage/transport case that we have ever offered. It is far different from the standard pyramid-shaped (i.e., wider at the bottom and narrower at the top) pickelhaube case. THIS case is cylindrical, standing 15" tall and measuring 12" in diameter. All of its leather exterior straps are present. As a matter of fact, the straps are what make the case so unusual. TWO different straps secure its two halves together. The first is a conventional strap that is cinched up by a buckle at its end. The other strap has a metal end that is locked into second metal attachment. Unfortunately, the small key that would lock it has been lost to history. A tag is present at the top that I believe lists its original owner’s name. [That said, I am unable to decipher the information].
The case’s interior presents something that is very curious. At first blush, it appears to be a pedestal upon which the pickelhaube or kugelhelm would rest. Upon closer examination, however, we discover that the "pedestal" has a removable lid that reveals an interior that is handsomely-lined with red cotton material! It immediately becomes obvious that a pair of epaulettes was once housed in it. A ribbon is present to tie the epaulettes in place during transportation (similar ties appear in epaulette storage boxes for the same purpose).
This is a rather unique storage/transport box that offers the additional function of storing epaulettes. I have never seen another box like this, especially in such excellent condition. All the leather straps and buckles are in place. It offers amazing way to store/display your pickelhaube/kugelhelm along with a pair of epaulettes.
$850.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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04-451 STORAGE/TRANSPORT CASE - LARGE PICKELHAUBE. One of the most important accessories in an officer’s inventory was a storage/ transport case for his dress headdress, in this case a pickelhaube. Whether the owner carried his helmet with him, or had it transported via the Train-Bataillon assigned to his regiment, the storage case served to protect the dress helmet from any rough treatment. [PLEASE NOTE: many officers owned more than one helmet, i.e., one for daily use and a more elaborate helmet for dress functions or regimental parades. Also, most officers rated orderlies (Batmen for the Brits) who supervised their wardrobes, and kept all their uniforms, boots, and headdresses in order].
This particular pickelhaube storage case is the largest size available, which could easily accommodate a Garde du Corps helmet mounted with its parade eagle. [In all actuality, parade eagles generally merited their OWN transport/storage cases. I am merely employing a Garde du Corps helmet as an example for judging its capacity]. The case stands 15" tall, with a diameter at the base of 13," and a diameter at the top of 5."
The case’s exterior is missing the leather straps that secure its cover to the case itself. The case also boasts four balled "feet" at its base. The case’s two interior sections are lined with burlap, rather than the far-more-common cotton liners. The strap that secures the helmet in its case IS present.
This is a very useful accessory to display with a pickelhaube, or for storing your helmet as its original owner would have more than one-hundred-years ago.
$175.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today we are offering a very rare See-Bataillon or Marine-Infanterie Officer’s Schirmütze from shortly prior to (and during) WW I. In addition to this example, we are offering an even rarer officer’s See-Bataillon Schirmütze in astounding condition that probably belonged to a nobleman on our Headdress Nr 2 Merchandise Page. While both are quite rare in
their own right, we also are offering an AMAZING opportunity to add
BOTH to your collection at  a substantial discount (just ask)!

 

 

33-332 PRUSSIAN - SEEBATAILLON - FELDGRAU OFFICER’S SCHIRMÜTZE. Today, we are offering a very rare schirmütze, an officer’s feldgrau visor cap for the Seebataillon or Marine-Infanterie. Not only is it rare, it is in TOP condition. [The latter is especially notable since WW I feldgrau that was subjected to the elements did NOT tend to survive(!)].
The Seebataillon was a relatively small, elite force. It was formed in 1852 to fill the same role as the British Royal Marines and the United States Marine Corps (i.e., acting as a shipboard security force). Historically, (such as during the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar) British Marines were tasked with positioning themselves in the ship’s rigging and raining fire down on opposing vessels’ sailors. [As a matter of fact, Admiral Nelson was killed by rifle fire rather than cannon fire]. If the action involved ship-to-ship fighting, Marines were the first wave, leading their fellow sailors. [Naval warfare eventually evolved into ships facing off from great distances and simply lobbing shells at one another]. Marines also enforced security onboard ship, such as standing guard at the ship captain’s door. In addition, the U.S. Marines and the Seebataillon provided security forces for overseas embassies and legations.
[The latter became especially important for Imperial Germany when Kaiser Wilhelm II decided to expand the Empire’s overseas holdings shortly after assuming its throne. His grandfather, Kaiser Wilhelm I, following his Chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s advice, had rejected colonial enlargement (and the added expense of developing a Navy large enough to do so). Two years prior to Wilhelm I’s death, the entire Seebataillon comprised a mere two half-Bataillone divided between Germany’s two naval bases at Wilhelmshaven and Kiel. Soon after Wilhelm II’s 1888 ascension, each half-Bataillone was elevated to full Bataillon status. Seebataillon Nr I was established in Kiel, while Seebataillon Nr II was garrisoned at Wilhelmshaven. With German expansion well underway in 1897, Seebataillon Nr III was posted to China, with contingents based at Tsingtao and Kiautschou to protect German interests. [Men from Seebataillon Nr III were fully involved in the 1900-1901 Boxer Rebellion].
By the time WW I began, additional Seebataillone (at least three) were established for use in Belgium, particularly in Flanders. In time, these men and their supporting artillery became known as Marine-Infanterie. Marine-Infanterie eventually expanded to include multiple Marine-Divisions. These troops (who never saw a ship) fought in Flanders as sailors in the trenches along with their army brothers.
Today’s offering is a feldgrau officer’s schirmütze, the first of its kind that we have offered. The visor cap’s primary color is feldgrau (field gray). It sports a wide white trim band measuring approximately 1 ½" in height. A single narrow band of white piping encircles the cap’s crown. The schirmütze sports a single Reich’s kokarde in the wide white trim band’s center. [The Seebataillon, like the Kaiserliche Marine itself, was a national unit. It was NOT composed of contingents from the various German states, so its caps lacked states’ kokarden ]. A fine black leather visor completes the cap’s exterior.
Its interior features a high-quality leather sweatband that exhibits light wear, and a silk liner. The schirmütze’s liner displays its manufacturer’s name, Adolf Block - Hüte & Uniformen seit 1870 - Cöln. I am familiar with this tailoring firm, who were known for their high-quality work.
This fine schirmütze’s condition is excellent, exhibiting only light wear and some soiling to the white pipe band encircling the cap’s crown. The wool is of a rough weave, which makes it likely that it is a mid-to-late war example.

[Again, I draw your attention to our pre war officer’s schirmütze found on our Headdress Nr 2 Merchandise Page (click here to see). It is even rarer than the feldgrau example, since the Seebataillon was an even smaller unit PRIOR to WW I, at which time it was greatly expanded to become the Marine-Infanterie. Although we do not wish to minimize the feldgrau visor cap’s rarity, please remember that compared to the German Army’s Infanterie units, the Marine-Infanterie was tiny. If you are interested in adding BOTH schirmützen to your collection, please contact us for a VERY special price]. $1,495.00   cbJan17lywy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33-334 XRP PRUSSIAN - BUSBY - OFFICER - HUSAREN-REGIMENT NR 12 - FULL PARADE CONFIGURATION INCLUDING PARADE FEATHERS. This is a consignment item. It is a Thüringisches Husaren-Regiment Nr 12 officer’s busby (pelzmütze) in full-parade-configuration with its very rare parade feathers. The regiment was founded in 1781, and garrisoned in Torgau from 1901 until WWI’s end. It was attached to the IV. Armeekorps. It was an old-line Prussian regiment that participated in conflicts spanning from the Napoleonic Wars to the German unification wars of the 1860's through the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War up to WW I, when it fought as dismounted cavalry in the trenches on both the Western and Eastern Fronts. It had been among the leading German units in WW I ‘s early days, when it still functioned as mounted cavalry. It was directly involved in the invasion of Belgium.
Officers’ busbies are among the most elegant and beautiful Imperial German headdresses. The busby’s exterior is lined with very soft, plush otter fur. Near the top, facing the observer, is the very handsome silver-frosted wappen in the form of a bandeau that proclaims "Mitt Gott Für König und Vaterland" (With God for King and Fatherland). The pelzmütze had evolved from Hungarian cavalry regiments, as had the attila, the unique tunic worn by Husaren-Regiment troops. Slipped in behind the wappen is the officer’s feldzeichen (field badge), constructed of silver bullion with a black velvet center that denoted the Kingdom of Prussia. The convex gold chin scales are mounted in the "up" position behind the feldzeichen. A single officer’s Reich’s kokarde appears on the busby’s right side. A white kolpak covers the busby’s top (it is removable) and hangs down over its left side. The kolpak’s color and the silver-toned wappen enable us to identify it as an officer’s busby from Thüringisches Husaren-Regiment Nr 12. The busby’s cap lines (essentially a rope-like silver bullion arrangement) hang down from the back. They were primarily for decoration, although the cap lines could be loosened and attached to the wearer’s attila to prevent the busby from flying off his head while his horse was at a gallop.
The exterior’s final detail is its very rare parade feathers. The combination of black and white heron feathers is attached to the busby by a metal clip inserted behind the feldzeichen.

 

 

The busby’s interior is every bit as impressive as its exterior. It boasts a very handsome brown leather sweatband that shows little evidence of wear or staining. The liner is typical for that found in officer-style busbies. It actually consists of two pieces of light-beige silk fabric. The first section lines the roof of the interior, while a lower section of gathered fabric extends up several inches from behind the sweatband to a cutout center that allows the wearer’s head to poke through.
I am very impressed with this busby’s originality and condition. In all honesty, it is as fine an example as I have ever seen. The officer who originally purchased this knew (and demanded) superior quality. He also had the means to afford it. No detail or cost was spared in the busby’s construction. This is a complete busby in full-parade-configuration, including the marvelous cap lines and very rare officer’s parade plume. It dates from 1900 to 1910, meaning it is over one-hundred years-old. Whoever purchases it will be getting the best of the best. It will never need to be upgraded.
$11,995.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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01-876 XRV PRUSSIAN - DRAGONER-REGIMENT NR 6 - VETERAN’S MEDAL COMMEMORATING FIFTY YEARS. This is a consignment item. It is a veteran’s medal that commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of Dragoner-Regiment Nr 6's establishment. The Prussian regiment was founded in 1860, and the medal was produced in 1910.
The medal is set up as a one-place medal bar. The medal is gilt-toned and measures 1 ½" in diameter. Its obverse features its regimental chef and patron’s crowned royal cypher contained within a wreath of laurel leaves. It also features the dates 1860-1910 and a "6." The medal’s reverse displays an eagle with outspread wings, along with information about the regiment and regimental number.
The medal sports a small jump ring at its top that hooks onto a blue and black ribbon that is set up as a medal bar. A pin on the reverse allowed the medal to be attached to a uniform, or a civilian’s suit if the man no longer belonged to the regiment. It is a fine veteran’s piece that exhibits just a touch of wear to its ribbon.
$75.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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01-877 PRUSSIAN - VETERANS’ GROUP - TWENTY-FIVE YEAR BADGE. This is a fascinating badge for a man who was a member of a Prussian veterans’ group for twenty-five years. Its construction is quite impressive. A separate silver-toned attachment that displays a shield containing a "25" is surrounded on its bottom two sides by a laurel leaf wreath and features a red and silver crown at its top. Its reverse displays a pin that could attach the entire badge to a garment. The basic badge that was worn by those veterans’ group members who had NOT yet achieved twenty-five years of membership is connected to the base of the silver attachment. This badge features a large shield with a gold Prussian Eagle in its center. The left half of the shield’s background is painted black, while the right half is painted white (Prussia’s national colors). They are divided diagonally.
Twin black and white silk ribbons are attached to the shield’s back. The white portion of each ribbon displays shredding along its entire length. Curiously, the shredding only occurs on the white portion of the ribbon, not the black.
The white side of one of the ribbons is printed with the group’s location, while the other white ribbon features the Prussian legend "Mit Gott für König und Vaterland." The bottom of each ribbon features silver-toned metallic tassels. The large shield’s reverse features a silver-toned oval attachment that displays its Berlin manufacturer’s name. It is in good condition, overall.
$60.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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05-1693 XRV PRUSSIAN - ORDER OF THE RED EAGLE - 4th CLASS WITH SWORDS. This is a consignment item. It is an Order of the Red Eagle 4th Class with Swords from the Kingdom of Prussia. It features smooth, rather than pebbled, silver-toned arms. The Red Eagle in its enamel center regrettably has suffered a chip, which does affect its value. The decoration’s crossed, gold-toned swords extend through its center. The crossed swords generally indicate that it was awarded to an officer during wartime. No manufacturer’s hallmark is visible. It is accompanied by a correct war ribbon. Taking into account the damage to the enamel center, the piece is bargain-priced. $495.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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05-1694 XRV PRUSSIAN - COMBATANT’S MEDAL - FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR - ONE SPANGE. This is a consignment item. It is an 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War Combatant’s Medal. The decoration is a second-generation piece that a veteran could purchase if he had lost his issued decoration or wanted one for another purpose, including putting it on a medal bar. The original presentation decoration was cast from captured French cannons that had been melted down for this express purpose. The latter practice began with medals awarded during the Napoleonic Wars. The first-generation medals from both wars were made of bronze and displayed etching on their edges that identified their origins as captured cannons.
The second-generation medal was NOT made of bronze and did NOT have the etching on the side. This example of a second-generation medal has a correct ribbon, which is mounted with a spange (campaign bar) for Gravelotte-St. Privat. This battle was the largest of the war. It took place on 18 August 1870 and saw some 300,000 German and French troops pitted against one another. While the Germans suffered more casualties, the battle placed them in a better position to bring the war to a conclusion. The French sued for peace with German troops on Paris’ doorstep.
It is an interesting combination.
$50.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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05-1695 XRV PRUSSIAN - COMBATANT’S MEDAL - BOXER REBELLION. This is a consignment item. It is a decoration that was authorized for both combatants and non combatants for their service during China’s Boxer Rebellion of 1899-1901. The example is gold-toned, which means it was issued to combatants. It is mounted on a replacement ribbon. $150.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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05-1696 XRV PRUSSIAN - COMBATANT’S MEDAL - 1864 PRUSSIAN-DANISH WAR. This is a consignment item. It is the combatant’s medal from the 1864 Prussian-Danish War. The 1864 conflict represented the second Schleswig War, the first having occurred from 1848 to 1851. Austria acted as Prussia’s ally against Denmark during the 1864 conflict. When the war ended in favor of Prussia and Austria, the former territories of Schleswig, Holstein, and Saxe-Lauenburg were ceded to Prussia, with some compensation given to Denmark and Sweden. The latter were determined by the 1864 Treaty of Vienna.
This decoration was awarded to noncombatants who served Prussia. As this was a smaller war than usual, fewer Prussian troops were involved. The end result was that fewer of these decorations were awarded than in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War or the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War. The decoration, called the Düppeler Stürmkreuz für Kämpfer in German, was a silver-toned medal featuring the profile of King Wilhelm I of Prussia on one side and the Prussian Eagle on the other. The cross measures 1 ¼" x 1 ¼," and has an original ribbon attached. It is in very fine condition.
$125.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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05-1699 XRV PRUSSIAN - COMBATANT’S MEDAL - 1864 PRUSSIAN-DANISH WAR. This is a consignment item. The 1864 conflict represented the second Schleswig War, the first having occurred from 1848 to 1851. Austria acted as Prussia’s ally against Denmark during the 1864 conflict. When the war ended in favor of Prussia and Austria, the former territories of Schleswig, Holstein, and Saxe-Lauenburg were ceded to Prussia, with some compensation given to Denmark and Sweden. The latter were the determined by the 1864 Treaty of Vienna.
This decoration was awarded to combatants who fought for Prussia. As this was a smaller war than usual, fewer Prussian troops were involved. The end result was that fewer of these decorations were awarded than in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War or the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War.
This decoration is a companion piece to the Düppeler Stürmkreuz für Kämpfer, and is known as the Kriegsdenkmünze 1864 für Kämpfer. It is a gilt toned decoration which measures 1" in diameter. Its obverse displays Prussian König Wilhelm I’s and Austrian Kaiser Franz Ferdinand’s crowned cyphers. The reverse features the legend "Unseren Tapfern Kriegern 1864" (Our Valiant Warriors 1864) within a laurel leaf wreath. The medal and ribbon are both in excellent condition.
$125.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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05-1697 XRV PRUSSIAN - KAISER WILHELM I CENTENNIAL MEDAL. This is a consignment item, the Kaiser Wilhelm I Centennial Medal. It commemorates the 100th anniversary (1797-1897) of Kaiser Wilhelm I’s birth. It was issued during his grandson, Kaiser Wilhelm II’s reign. The medal is gold-toned and measures 1 ½" in diameter. Its obverse exhibits a high-relief profile image of Wilhelm I (wearing a pickelhaube). The reverse also lists the first Imperial German Kaiser’s birth information. The decoration is attached to an original yellow ribbon. $50.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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05-1698 XRV PRUSSIAN - HINDENBURG CROSS FOR COMBATANTS. This is a consignment item, the Hindenburg Cross for Combatants. The Hindenburg Cross was awarded in three classes after the death of Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934), who also served as Germany’s President until his death. Awards were made to combatants, noncombatants, and to the combatants’ next-of-kin. This medal displays KM&F’s hallmark on the medal’s reverse. The decoration possesses a jump ring for attaching a ribbon, but does NOT have the ribbon itself. $25.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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08-569 XRV OLDENBURG - BREAST STAR OF THE GRAND COMMANDER CROSS - HERZOG PETER FRIEDRICH LUDWIG HOUSE AND SERVICE ORDER. This is a consignment item, the Brustern zum Großkomturkreuz Haus und Verdienstorden von Herzog Peter Friedrich Ludwig (the Breast Star of the Grand Commander’s House and Merit Order Cross from the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg’s Herzog (Grand Duke) Peter Friedrich Ludwig Order, which was Oldenburg’s top family of orders. The highest award within the decoration family is the Kette (Neck Chain). It was followed by two ranges of Breast Stars; the Grand Cross, Commander’s Cross, Officer’s Cross, and Knight’s Crosses 1st and 2nd Class, as well as the Honor Crosses 1st and 2nd Class. [It was a VERY extensive decoration family]! Some of the decorations feature hand painted reverses that chronicle important dates in Oldenburg’s history.
This Breast Star’s workmanship is breathtaking. It measures 3 ¼" x 3 ¼." The silver star is highlighted with gold accents. Its central display measures 1 ½" in diameter, featuring red, gold, and blue enamel within it. Its absolutely gorgeous blue center is inlaid with Herzog Peter Friedrich Ludwig’s royal cypher. Its reverse features a large, swollen (coke-bottle) pin, with a sturdy clasp to hold the pin in place. Underneath the pin we find the hallmark for Oldenburg’s House Jeweler, Knauer, another of Imperial Germany’s premiere jewelers. This very scarce Breast Star was awarded only SIX-HUNDRED-TEN times from 1838 through 1918.
$2,495.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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09-1015 PRUSSIA - IRON CROSS - 1st CLASS - 1914 - KO HALLMARK - ENGRAVED. This is an issued 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class that was engraved by or for its recipient. The bulk of 1914 Iron Crosses 1st Class was issued by KO, a Stuttgart firm. It is a flat (non vaulted) Iron Cross. The paint on its obverse rates at 95%. The paint is complete, but displays a flaw on the cross’s right arm. The cross is magnetic. Its frame has a fine patina, and its beading is even and consistent.
After it was awarded, the Iron Cross was taken to a jeweler, who engraved the information listed below.

 

 

 

22.9 - 3. 11
1915
Karl Schamp Kassel
Am Fasahenhof 20

 

Every engraved Iron Cross is different. This one’s dates of 22 September through 3 November 1915 are rather curious. Perhaps it was a battle in which its recipient participated that led to the Iron Cross’s award? Perhaps it was a period during which two men served together, and one offered the engraving as a gift? Why was the German city of Kassel mentioned? Did Herr Schamp reside in Kassel or was that where the two men knew one another? The line below Herr Schamp’s name is an address in Kassel (confirmed by a quick Google search). [I do not know what kind of building displays that address, but it remains viable more than one-hundred-years later]. Regardless, it is all a bit unusual and provides an interesting mystery. It is a handsome engraved Iron Cross. $750.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10-874 TRENCH ART - PAIR OF ASHTRAYS. Trench art is a fascinating facet of collecting WW I militaria. Whether they had been captured, were confined in trenches at the front, or were recuperating from war injuries in field hospitals, men from all the nations involved in WW I faced great stretches of monotony in their daily lives. This has been true for soldiers throughout history, and they usually found something to do during the down times. The production of what became known as "Trench Art" emerged from this situation during WW I. Personally, I have always been intrigued by the ingenuity with which soldiers transformed cast-off battlefield ephemera into interesting, attractive and useful objects.
Today we are offering a pair of fascinating "floor" ashtrays that a person might have set next to a chair or sofa. I have never seen anything quite like them. Although I am familiar with modern-era floor ashtrays, and I have seen small WW I-era ashtrays that one could place on a desk or table, I have never run across something quite like this pair. Each one sports a brass base that measures 4" in diameter. A curved brass rod extends upward from the base and is attached to a small brass artillery shell’s end section. The latter measures 21" tall and 3" in diameter. Two metal pieces have been welded to shell’s edges to provide a resting place for cigarettes. Both sides of the shell exhibit patches of discoloration that probably resulted from heat produced during the welding process.
They are quite unusual, both in their appearance and their construction. They would make excellent additions to your collecting room or elsewhere in your home.
$150.00 each or $275.00 for both   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13-1027 NAVY - DESK PIECE - GERMAN TORPEDO. Desk pieces played an important part of Imperial German gentlemen’s (and military officers’) lives, highlighting the man’s interests and personality. The desk piece that we are offering today may have graced a naval officer’s or an industrialist’s desk. The torpedo, which appears to be made of brass, measures an impressive 8" in length. It sports twin propellers at the stern, and measures ¾" in diameter. The torpedo is attached to a brass ball that flares out and attaches to a fine wooden base. The base itself measures ¾" x 2 ½" x 9." $225.00 edFeb17

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13-1028 NAVY - UNIFORM SCARF - SAILOR. Today we are offering an enlisted sailor’s neck scarf. Imperial German enlisted sailors wore neck scarves that attached to their jumpers, (the latter term being used for the shirts worn the sailors). This scarf hung down from the man’s shoulders in the back as a rectangular shape, then came forward in a v-shape onto the man’s chest. A small, lightweight, white fabric neckpiece was attached to the scarf’s ends and tucked down the inside the jumper’s front to hold it in place with two white ribbons. The scarf is dark-blue highlighted by three white stripes that run back from where the scarf is attached to the jumper’s v-neck at the front to decorate the rectangle’s outside edges in the back.
The white fabric neckpiece displays printed information that indicates the scarf was drawn from the naval depot that issued the uniforms, mützen, and other assorted gear that a sailor required to be properly and uniformly dressed. This information is stamped on two lines within a boxed outline. The first line reads "B.A.W." The second line indicates it was issued on "5 August 1916."
This makes a very handsome addition to a naval uniform.
$195.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13-1029 NAVY - IDENTIFIED UNIFORM SCARF - SAILOR. Today we are offering an enlisted sailor’s neck scarf. Imperial German enlisted sailors wore neck scarves that attached to their jumpers, (the latter term being used for the shirts worn the sailors). This scarf hung down from the man’s shoulders in the back as a rectangular shape, then came forward in a v-shape onto the man’s chest. A small, lightweight, white fabric neckpiece was attached to the scarf’s ends and tucked down the inside the jumper’s front to hold it in place with two white ribbons. The scarf is dark-blue highlighted by three white stripes that run back from where the scarf is attached to the jumper’s v-neck at the front to decorate the rectangle’s outside edges in the back.
The white fabric neckpiece displays printed information that indicates the scarf was drawn from the naval depot that issued the uniforms, mützen, and other assorted gear that a sailor required to be properly and uniformly dressed. Unlike the scarf listed above, the information is presented in a more unusual manner. It first displays the normal ink stamp that indicates it was issued 12 March 1913. Additional information has been embroidered in red thread, indicating that the sailor was in the "II Matrosen Division." Furthermore his name, "Mayer," appears on the tag, however, "Mayer" has been scratched out and replaced by "Gerold." "Gerold" appears in black ink once again on the other side.
This very handsome uniform addition is identified to two different sailors who both wore it, then were required to return all their depot-issued items so that they could be used again.
$225.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16-458 AIR SERVICE - BOOK - BOELCKE DER MENSCH, DER FLIEGER, DER FÜHRER DER DEUTSCHEN JAGDFLIEGEREI - BY PROFESSOR JOHANNES WERNER. This is a German-language biography of Hauptmann Oswald Boelcke. While many German aces surpassed his final score of forty confirmed victories, he was still considered one of the best Imperial German Air Service pilots. He, along with Max Immelmann, was the first German aviator to be awarded the coveted Orden Pour le Mérite (PLM). [The PLM also was known as the "Blue Max" which was nicknamed for Max Immelmann]. At the time that they received their PLM’s in January 1916, each had eight kills. [A year later when Manfred von Richthofen was awarded his, sixteen confirmed kills were required. Later in the war, twenty were needed. Near WW I’s end, it took thirty]. In the nine months between his PLM and his death in October 1916, Boelcke amassed a mind-boggling forty victories. He was so far ahead of his nearest competitor that it took Manfred von Richthofen until April 1917 (Bloody April) to pass Boelcke. Had Boelcke not been killed in a midair collision in October 1916, I often wonder what score he might have reached, especially flying better airplanes such as the Albatros D. V, the Fokker Dr 1 and the Fokker D. VII.
The book which was published in 1932, a year before the Nazis came to power. It was also four years or so before Hermann Göring founded the Luftwaffe, at which time a proliferation of books about WW I aviation was published under Göring’s auspices. So, this book is free of the propaganda that ran rampant in those books. It is a more even-keeled account of one of Germany’s best aviators. It is also important to remember that Boelcke helped found the creation of the "Jastas," the hunting squadrons of single-seater aircraft.
The book is in very fine condition. It has two hundred twenty-five pages and is complete with its dust jacket. It is also liberally illustrated with photographs and maps.
$45.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16-459 AIR SERVICE - BOOK - IMMELMANN, DER ADLER OF LILLE. This is a German-language biography of Max Immelmann. Immelmann, along with Oswald Boelcke, was the first German pilot to receive the Orden Pour le Mérite in January 1916 upon his eighth victory. Immelmann only lived until June 1916, when he died in combat with fifteen confirmed victories. His challenger, Boelcke, only outlived him by four months, but died with forty victories. Immelmann was credited with inventing the "Immelmann Turn," a maneuver that is used to this day. He was known as the "Eagle of Lille," the same as the title of THIS book. This volume remains one of the best biographies of Max Immelmann.
The book is in excellent condition and comes with its original dust jacket. It has around one hundred eighty-eight pages, and contains many photos and a map showing the area covered by Immelmann (including Lille), hence the title and nickname "The Eagle of Lille."
$45.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16-460 AIR SERVICE - BOOK - DIE ABENTEUER DES FLIEGERS VON TSINGTAU - BY KAPITÄNLEUTNANT GUNTHER PLÜSCHOW. This is a soft cover German-language book. Gunther Plüschow (1886-1931) was a well-known pilot and an early WW I favorite. Plüschow was stationed at Imperial Germany’s Chinese colony based in Tsingtau. His exploits in China (before it was captured in late 1914) are recounted in this book, which was published in 1916. His was an amazing story as he moved across China, then sailed from China to San Francisco. He traveled across the U.S. and sailed on to Europe. His ship made port at Gibraltar, where he was arrested by the British who discovered that he was traveling under false documents. He was sent to a POW camp in England, from which he escaped and returned to Germany. Plüschow was the only German to escape during the war.
He was a pilot, explorer, and author. He was killed in 1931 while exploring Patagonia by air. Before fleeing China, he shot down a Japanese plane with a pistol! A Sanke Card was produced during WW I immortalizing him with other famous German aviators. The book contains a total of two hundred forty-seven pages and is in very good condition for being one-hundred years-old.
$55.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16-461 AIR SERVICE - BOOK - IMMELMANN MEINE KAMPFFLÜGE. This is a soft cover German language book that deals with one of Germany’s two best aces, Max Immelmann. Immelmann, along with Oswald Boelcke, received the Orden Pour le Mérite in January 1916. Both were dead before the year’s end. This book was actually published in 1916, after his death in June. It features numerous photos of Immelmann, including one with a guard standing in front of his grave wearing a stahlhelm. The book has one hundred thirty-two pages and is in surprisingly good condition for being one-hundred years-old.
$50.00
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16-462 AIR SERVICE - BOOK - ALS KAMPFFLIEGER AM SUEZ-KANAL - BY LEUTNANT HANS HENKELBURG. This is a hardback German-language book. It deals with aviation in the Middle East, which saw cooperation between Germany and Turkey against the British. The book was published during the war in 1917 and features photos and maps. It is an interesting book that deals with a little discussed topic. Some of Germany’s earliest aces spent some time in the area. The book is in excellent condition. It contains one-hundred-fifteen pages and displays a striking Turkish Pilot Badge on its front cover. $75.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16-463 AIR SERVICE - BOOK - FLIEGER AM FEIND. This is a hardcover German-language book. It was published in 1934 and comes complete with a dust jacket. It even has a book marker attached to the book, which is a very fine touch. The expected photos of von Richthofen, Göring, and the other stars are present, as well as photos of lesser known fliers.
The German population remained greatly interested in both Army and naval aviation after WW I. The book deals with the Imperial German Air and Naval Services' zeppelins, as well as fixed-wing aviation. The pilots and observers are the stars here. It begins with a young star of the early war in the German colony of Tsingtau (which fell to the Japanese very early in the war). The book has three hundred pages and is liberally illustrated. The book will keep you entertained for hours.
$40.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16-464 AIR SERVICE - BOOK - JÜDISCHE FLIEGER IM WELTKRIEG. This is a German-language book that deals with Jewish flyers in WW I. It is a hardback book, complete with its dust jacket, that was published in Berlin in 1924. It deals with Jewish aviators who flew for Imperial Germany during WW I. Interestingly, the dust jacket features a pilot in a single-seater airplane with an inverted swastika. It contains photographs and interesting stories about Jewish men who served their country.
A dedication appears on the flyleaf. The book has a total of one-hundred-twenty-four pages. Some of the early pages have come loose from the binding, and care should be taken while handling/examining the book.
$75.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16-465  AIR SERVICE - BOOK - LUFTFAHRTEN IM FRIEDENEN UND KRIEGE - BY GERD FRITZ LEBERECHT. This is a hard cover German-language book that was published in 1913. It has a total of two hundred forty-seven pages. The condition of the book is astonishing. I had to look at the copyright date twice to believe that the book was more than one-hundred years-old.
The book deals with zeppelins prior to the beginning of WW I. While the German military did have some zeppelins, for the most part the zeppelin was a civil form of air transport. Many photos were taken from the air by zeppelins. Both prior to and during WW I, zeppelins had a great fascination for the German public. Pleas for funding were filled by Germans and they flocked to actually ride aboard a zeppelin and to have mail flown on board one. This same interest continued after the war with the launching of the zeppelins Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg, until May 1937 with the explosion of Hindenburg and the Graf Zeppelin’s grounding.

$95.00
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today we are sharing a very rare group of autographed Sanke Cards and original photographs with you. They come from the collection of a longtime collector who is shifting his collecting interests. This presents a unique opportunity for you  to acquire many autographed Sankes
and original photos of some of Germany’s most fabled aviators. Some are more famous
than others, including the von Richthofen brothers (Manfred and Lothar), Oswald
Boelcke, Max Immelmann, and Ernst Udet. All share one single trait. Each one was
awarded  the legendary Orden Pour le Mérite (PLM),  the highest honor that Germany
could offer an officer of the Army or Kaiserliche Marine. You also will find pilots,
observers, a commander of a bombing Geschwader, and a man who
served in observation balloons, all very brave men who
received the Fatherland’s highest honor.
  

 

 

19-267 XRP SANKE CARD - RITTMEISTER MANFRED VON RICHTHOFEN - AUTOGRAPHED - NR 533. This is a consignment item. If one WW I autograph is prized above all other signatures, regardless of rank or branch of service, it belongs to Rittmeister Freiherr Manfred von Richthofen (1892-1918). The legend of the "Red Baron" is attached to anything and everything that deals with him. He was born to a minor noble family that had a tradition of serving in the Prussian Army. His father was a major who had served in the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War. Young Manfred grew up as an avid hunter and horseman. He attended military schools and ultimately was assigned to an Ulanen-Regiment before WW I began. He found himself assigned to the Eastern Front, and quickly recognized that he would be serving as dismounted cavalry slogging beside other units in the trenches.
He wrote a pointed letter to the authorities, stating that his prospects did not appeal to him, then asked for reassignment to the Imperial German Air Service. His request was granted, but his initial flying skills were poor at best. He actually crashed a plane during pilot training! After graduation, he was assigned to an observation squadron. Later he was recruited by Oswald Boelcke in 1916 for inclusion in Jasta Nr 2, his new "hunting squadron." For the first time, single-seater aircraft had their own units rather than being a part of observation squadrons.
Von Richthofen showed great promise early on. By January 1917 he was awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite and given his own squadron, Jasta Nr 11. He proved himself to be an equally effective squadron commander as he was a pilot, and soon led the underachieving unit to a higher performance level. Some of Germany’s finest aces served under his command in both Jasta Nr 11 and later Jagdgeschwader Nr 1 - JG 1 (renamed Jagdgeschwader 1 Freiherr von Richthofen after his death, it consisted of Jastas Nr 4, Nr 6, Nr 10, and Nr 11). These aces included his brother Lothar von Richthofen, Werner Voß, Kurt Wolff, Karl-Emil Schäfer, Erich Löwenhardt, Karl Allmenröder, Arthur Laumann, Hans Kirschstein, and Oskar Freiherr von Boenigk, all of whom were PLM-winners.
JG Nr 1,
known as the "Flying Circus," was shuttled to various parts of the Western Front to face the Allied squadrons’ stiffest competition. JG Nr 1 was the first of the fighter wings established by the Imperial German Air Service and the Kaiserliche Marine for their jastas on the Western Front. Unifying the command under a strong leader, who was also a highly-decorated pilot, proved most helpful. The young pilots in the Geschwader could look up to and copy what had made their commander so successful.
After taking command of the newly-formed JG Nr 1, von Richthofen led it to success. In July 1917 he was shot down and suffered a severe head wound. He was never the same, suffering headaches and nausea while flying. He also was changed mentally, coming to realize that his days were numbered and that he would not survive the war. The end came for him on 21 April 1918. It is still debated whether he was shot down on his final flight by Canadian pilot Captain Roy Brown, or by Australian machine gunners on the ground. More of the evidence and analysis point to the view that it was ground fire that brought down the famed "Red Baron."
Our offering here is von Richthofen’s Sanke Card Nr 533. The card is titled "Rittmeister Manfred Frhr. Von Richthofen." He is seen in his ulanka (the tunic worn by the Ulanen (cavalry) Regiments). He wears his PLM at his throat, and the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class’s ribbon in his top buttonhole. His 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class appears on his left breast, with his Prussian Army Pilot Badge directly below it. His left hand rests on his hip, a pose commonly struck by his mentor, Hauptmann Oswald Boelcke. He is wearing his schirmütze and glances to his left in a three-quarter pose. His black ink signature extends nearly 3" across his ulanka bottom, from his right arm to his left hand. The width of the postcard is about 3 ⅜," which gives you a sense his signature’s extent. The signature is clearer if one looks at it from an angle rather than from directly overhead. The postcard was never mailed.
This is a unique opportunity to acquire the autograph of Germany’s most famous fighter pilot of WW I or WW II.
$4,295.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19-268 XRP SANKE CARD - LOTHAR VON RICHTHOFEN - AUTOGRAPHED - NR 656. This is a consignment item. Lothar von Richthofen (1894-1922) was Manfred von Richthofen’s younger brother. Lothar joined a Dragoner-Regiment, while Manfred first served in an Ulanen-Regiment when WW I began. Lothar then followed Manfred to the Imperial German Air Service. He spent some time in two-seat observation planes, then managed to be posted to Jasta Nr 11 under his brother’s command in March 1917. During "Bloody April" (April 1917) Lothar managed to shoot down fifteen enemy planes. By 14 May 1917, Lothar had shot down the requisite number of enemy planes to be awarded Germany’s highest honor, the Orden Pour le Mérite.
Lothar was a very accomplished flyer. Many held (and hold) the view that he was an even better pilot than his elder brother. During his time at the Front, Lothar achieved forty confirmed victories. He was shot down on more than one occasion and suffered several severe injuries that finally took him out of action by August 1918. That he achieved forty kills in a limited number of days at the Front is amazing. He also commanded Jasta Nr 11 at several points in time, both before and after his brother’s death. Lothar survived the war and tried several different careers before returning to being a pilot. He was killed in Hamburg during 1922 in a flying accident.
Today we are offering his Sanke Card Nr 656. Its pose shows him looking to his right. He wears his PLM at his throat and his 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class is pinned above his Prussian Army Pilot Badge on his left breast. The card is identified as "Lothar Freiherr von Richthofen." The signature is clear and distinct in black ink. The signature, which is on a diagonal, reads "Freiherr von Richthofen."
The reverse shows a date of 10 October 1918. It is addressed to a German collector of that time who sought autographs from famous aviators. Above it is the word "Feldpost." No evidence shows, however, that it actually went through the Feldpost system. The card is mint.
This is a VERY rare autograph. While Lothar von Richthofen achieved forty confirmed victories, his career (which spanned a little more than eighteen months) was cut short due to recovery time from several serious injuries. His autograph is actually rarer than that of his more famous brother, Manfred. It has been years since I have been able to offer his autograph.
$3,495.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19-270 XRP SANKE CARD - HAUPTMANN OSWALD BOELCKE - AUTOGRAPHED - NR 363. This is a consignment item. Oswald Boelcke was arguably one of the finest pilots and aces that the Imperial German Air Service produced in WW I. When the war began, Boelcke was assigned to a Telegraph-Battalion. Like so many other young men, he yearned for duty in the fledgling Air Service. Flying in the skies seemed like a much better situation than being buried in the trenches and the mud at the Front. So, Boelcke transferred and became a pilot in an observation squadron.
In the summer of 1915 the Fokker Eindecker, Germany’s first single-seater pursuit fighter plane, arrived at the Front. It was armed with a machine gun that fired through its propeller, a major advance. [Prior to that, some had tried placing armor on the propeller blades, but the propeller still was shot off. Also, bullets ricocheted off the blades, threatening to hit the pilot]. The squadron to which both Boelcke and Max Immelmann were assigned received Eindeckers. Soon the two were shooting down enemy airplanes. They quickly became Germany’s first aces and were awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite in January 1916. Boelcke’s organizational and leadership skills soon became just as evident as his piloting prowess, and he was assigned one of Germany’s first all-fighter-aircraft squadrons: Jasta Nr 2. Once the unit was formed, he was tasked with recruiting pilots for his jasta. Boelcke had an amazing eye for talent and tapped a young Leutnant who displayed merely-average flying ability, Manfred von Richthofen. Boelcke sensed that the young Baron possessed the hunting talent and aggressiveness vital to a fighter pilot.
After Boelcke’s closest rival, Immelmann, was killed in June 1916 (with a total of sixteen victories), Boelcke continued to raise his tally. By late October 1916, Boelcke had amassed an unbelievable FORTY confirmed victories. At this point, unfortunately, he was involved in a midair collision with one of his own pilots, Erwin Böhme, and suffered a fatal crash. Böhme himself eventually received a PLM, then commanded Jasta Nr 2, which had been renamed Jasta Boelcke. Erwin Böhme never forgave himself for the collision, and carried that guilt until he was shot down and killed.
This is Sanke Card Nr 363. It is Boelcke’s classic pose with his hand on his hip. He can be seen in full uniform from the knees up. His PLM is at his throat. In his buttonhole we see the ribbon for the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class and another ribbon, most likely for the Bavarian Military Merit Order 4th Class with Swords. On his left breast is his 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class and Prussian Army Pilot Badge. He is also wearing his officer’s schirmütze. "Hauptmann Boelcke" appears in the card’s upper left corner. Boelcke was promoted to Hauptmann on 22 May 1916, and held this rank until his death on 28 October 1916. As no cross shows to his name’s right, this card was produced during that time period and, obviously, was signed prior to his death. His signature shows quite clearly in black ink at his tunic’s hip. The card was never mailed and is in excellent condition,
$1,495.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16-450 ORIGINAL JACK HUNTER PAINTING: HAUPTMANN EDUARD RITTER von SCHLEICH. This is an original painting by the late Jack D. Hunter. Mr. Hunter authored the novel The Blue Max, which was made into a 1960's hit movie starring George Peppard, Ursula Andress, and James Mason. In addition to a successful career producing war and adventure novels (including two sequels to The Blue Max), Mr. Hunter was an accomplished painter. He also was a dear friend and mentor. [As regards his painting, Jack once told me that The Blue Max only had a first edition run of 5,000 books, and, since he was a first-time author, their budget was not sufficient for a color dust jacket. Jack responded by offering to do the artwork himself. This enabled his first 5,000 books to boast a full-color dust jacket rather than plain black and white].
As Jack continued to write his novels, he also produced some excellent WW I aviation paintings that became well known on their own merits. I commissioned several paintings from him over the years, and am now thinning my personal collection. [We already feature a number of Jack’s paintings on our website that are VERY reasonably priced, since they did not receive the high-end custom framing used on those from my personal collection].
Today’s painting features Hauptmann Eduard Ritter von Schleich (1888-1947) as its central theme. Schleich was born in Munich. After his military training, he was appointed a Leutnant in Bavarian Infanterie-Regiment Nr 11. He had health problems prior to WW I and was mustered out of the army. When WW I began, he reapplied and was accepted. He was wounded early in 1914. After recovering, he applied to the Imperial German Air Service. He first was trained as an observer, then later requested pilot training. When the latter was granted, he further requested reassignment from the Observation Squadron to a single-seater Jasta. He flew both an Albatros D. V and a D. Va that were noted for featuring blue and white Bavarian checkerboard designs on their fuselages embellished with the rampant Bavarian Lion. The same design was emblazoned on all the planes he flew during the war.
A 1917 event, however, changed Schleich’s life, his plane’s appearance and the way he became remembered by History. His closest friend, pilot Erich Limpert, was killed in action that year. Schleich painted his airplane all black to memorialize his friend, while retaining his distinctive Bavarian themes. He soon became known as the "Black Knight of Germany." His plane was equally as striking as Manfred von Richthofen’s red paint schemes. Schleich finished the war with thirty-five confirmed victories, while flying a Fokker D. VII. [It was considered the best airplane produced by Imperial Germany – to the extent that its possession was forbidden to Germany by the Treaty of Versailles. All remaining examples were turned over to the victorious Allies].
Schleich was awarded the coveted Orden Pour le Mérite (PLM) in December 1917, after he had achieved twenty-five victories. In June 1918, he was awarded Bavaria’s highest decoration, the Knight’s Cross of the Military Max Joseph Order. The decoration included a knighthood, meaning he was known as Eduard Ritter von Schleich from that point onward. [For political reasons and Prussia’s hard feelings toward the often independent-minded Bavarians, von Schleich was never awarded the Prussian Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order, which usually was awarded BEFORE a PLM was bestowed. He was also removed from commanding a Prussian Jasta and reassigned to a Bavarian Jasta].
Like many of his fellow pilots, after the war von Schleich bounced around from one job to another. He joined the Nazi Party in 1931, although he was not particularly political. The Luftwaffe was established in 1935 under Hermann Göring’s command. Like von Schleich, Göring was a Bavarian PLM winner. He had commanded Manfred von Richthofen’s JG 1 until WW I’s end. Göring came to his old friend’s aid, assigning von Schleich to command some of the early fighter wings. When WW II began, however, older officers like von Schleich were removed from front-line service. [Von Schleich had been rather old for a WW I pilot. While most pilots had been in their early-to-mid 20's, von Schleich was already twenty-nine in 1917. So by WW II’s early years, von Schleich was in his early 50's. He was promoted to Generalmajor and commanded forces in Denmark first, then later in Norway. Poor health plagued him once more, so he retired from active service in 1944 as a Generalleutnant. He was in British hands at the war’s end. Although some attempts were made to charge him as a war criminal, nothing came of it. However, von Schleich died in 1947 still a captive of the British.
Jack’s painting depicts von Schleich in his black Fokker D. VII, shooting down his thirty-fifth and final victim, a Frenchman. The details of von Schleich’s airplane are simply amazing. In addition to being an author and painter, Jack Hunter was a historian of WW I aviation and possessed an extensive research library that enabled him to produce a historically-correct painting. Meticulous in his preparation, Jack typically executed many work sketches prior to commencing his final painting. Jack had a knack for catching the true beauty of airplanes in flight. To Jack, it ALL was about the airplane. He had no interest in painting people, just the action in the air.
The painting measures 19" x 23" within a high-end, custom-made, triple-matted frame. Although it is modern-day, the gilt-toned inner wooden molding has an Imperial German Period "look." The framed painting’s overall dimensions are 32" x 33 ½."  A cutout section within the frame features an original von Schleich Sanke Card (number 596) wherein he stands proudly in a studio wearing his PLM. Another cutout features a 2 ½" x 5" black plaque (with gold letters) that proclaims the information listed below.

Eduard Ritter von Schleich
1888-1947
The Black Knight’s Last Victory
by Jack D. Hunter

We are very pleased to offer this original painting from my personal collection that depicts one of the Great War’s most colorful Imperial German pilots.
$2,495.00

 

 

 

 

 

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19-252 SIGNED EDUARD RITTER von SCHLEICH DOCUMENT DISCUSSING FUTURE KNIGHT’S CROSS OF THE MILITARY MAX JOSEPH ORDER (BAVARIA) WINNER HANS RITTER von ADAM’S FLYING SKILLS. This is a signed document by PLM-winner Eduard Ritter von Schleich about pilot Hans Ritter von Adam, who had twenty-one confirmed victories. Eduard Ritter von Schleich (1888-1947) was a well-known WW I German Ace. He had rejoined the infantry in August 1914 at WW I’s outbreak. He was wounded and requested a transfer to the Imperial German Air Service. He began his service flying two-seat observation planes. He was a tenacious and dutiful soldier. He was wounded on one mission, but rather than return to base, he had his observer tend to his wound, and then returned. Following the wounding, he was placed in command of Fliegerschule Nr 1 during September 1916, which he commanded until his return to flying service a year later. Between September and December 1917, von Schleich racked up an impressive score. By December 1917, he was awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite.
While he commanded Jasta 21, von Schleich’s good friend was killed in a dogfight. To honor him, von Schleich ordered his Albatros D. V painted all black, with an emblem of the rampant Bavarian Lion against a blue and white checkerboard field. This caused a real stir. He soon became known as "The Black Knight of Germany." Later, von Schleich replaced his Albatros with a Fokker D. VII, painted in similar livery. He finished the war with a total of thirty-five confirmed victories and JG 4's command.
Eduard Ritter von Schleich survived the war to go through many aviation and non-aviation-related jobs. In the mid 1930's, he joined the newly-established Luftwaffe. He was an early commander of highly-famed JG 26 and was elevated to General, where his career ended effectively in November 1944 due to his poor health. At the war’s end, he was questioned by American authorities for commanding units in both Norway and Denmark as a Generalleutnant. No charges were ever brought, as von Schleich had operated only as a correct and honorable military officer. He died in 1947 at the age of fifty-nine.
Today we are offering a very important document from the time that he commanded Fliegerschule Nr 1 while recovering from his wounds. This is an official evaluation of one of the school’s students, Hans Adam. Adam was von Schleich’s observer in May 1916, and the man who tended to von Schleich’s wound while flying on a mission. When von Schleich was posted to Fliegerschule Nr 1 as commander to recover from his wounds, Adam followed him. It was here that von Schleich wrote the report on Adam. After graduating from the school, Adam was posted to Jasta 34b. Following that, he transferred to Jasta 6 and became its commander when Eduard Ritter von Dostler, a PLM-winner, was killed. Having been awarded the Knights Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order from Prussia, he was in line to be awarded the PLM. Even though he had the necessary twenty victories in November 1917, the call from Berlin did not come nor did he receive that award. He was, however, awarded Bavaria’s Knight’s Cross of the Military Max Joseph Order, which included a knighthood. This was done after his death, and he was then known as Hans Ritter von Adam.
The document, which is one page, measures 13" x 8 1/4." It is dated 14 December 1916. It also notes that the document was from Fliegerschule Nr 1, located in Schleissheim. The document consists of three paragraphs and is handwritten in blue ink. It is signed by Oberleutnant Schleich (von Schleich was not knighted at this point). Mention is made of the school and his position. Two holes are punched on its left side, showing that the document was in a binder. The document is informative. It would make an important addition to an aviation collection, as it is signed by a PLM-winner and gives an insight into a future twenty-one victory ace, who was knighted by his native Bavaria.
$2,395.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19-272 XRP SANKE CARD - LEUTNANT ERWIN BÖHME - AUTOGRAPHED - NR 502. This is a consignment item. Erwin Böhme (1879-1917) was one of the oldest pilots to serve in the Imperial German Air Service. He served in the Garde-Jäger-Regiment beginning in 1899. After his two years service, he led an interesting and varied life that included time in German East Africa. He returned to Germany and to his old regiment just prior to WW I’s start. He applied for a transfer to the Air Service and by December 1914, he had completed his pilot training. He served in an observation squadron with Oswald Boelcke’s brother, Wilhelm. He was serving in Kampfstaffel (Kasta) Nr 10 under Wilhelm Boelcke when he achieved his first victory in August 1916. He soon was introduced to Boelcke’s more famous brother, and invited to serve in the newly formed Jasta Nr 2, along with Manfred von Richthofen. By September 1916 he had shot down his first plane as part of Jasta Nr 2, and had achieved five confirmed wins and one probable by 22 October.
In late October 1916, however, the wheels of Böhme’s plane touched the top wing of Boelcke’s plane, ripping the fabric and causing it to crash. The great Oswald Boelcke was dead, with forty confirmed victories to his credit. Böhme (who had become quite close to Oswald) was heartbroken. This tragic error followed him for the remainder of his life. In fact, he had been found in his quarters with a pistol in his hand after the accident, and had to be convinced not to kill himself.
Böhme continued to fly and eventually was given command of Jagdstaffel 29. He was transferred back to the now-renamed Jasta Boelcke on 18 August 1917 as its Jastaführer. He continued to increase his impressive score and was awarded the PLM on 24 November 1917. He shot down his twenty-fourth plane on 29 November 1917. Tragically, he was shot down and killed on that same day at the age of thirty-eight. [Few pilots lived beyond twenty-five and many were barely in their early twenties]. In another of the war’s many grim ironies, he never received his PLM. It arrived AFTER he was shot down.
Sanke Card Nr 502
depicts Böhme sitting down. Of course, he is NOT wearing his PLM. [Interestingly, some Sanke Cards created from photographs of PLM-winners taken prior to their receipt of the award had the PLM airbrushed onto them]. Böhme is looking to his left. He wears a ribbon bar that includes his Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order, the highest decoration that he actually received while alive. He sports his 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class and his Prussian Army Pilot Badge on his left breast. His bold black ink signature, indicating his name and rank, is scrawled across his lap. The card is in mint condition and was never mailed.
$895.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19-274 XRP SANKE CARD - OBERLEUTNANT BRUNO LOERZER - AUTOGRAPHED - NR 651 - WITH MAILING ENVELOPE. This is a consignment item. Bruno Loerzer (1891-1960) was an early WW I pilot. In October 1914, he became the pilot of an aircraft that featured Hermann Göring as its observer. The two men flew together until June 1915. Loerzer then transferred to single-seater fighter aircraft. By October 1917, he had twenty confirmed victories. He was awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite in February 1918. At that time he was also appointed commander of JG Nr III, WW I’s third fighter wing. Manfred von Richthofen had first commanded such a group, JG Nr 1, in the Summer of 1917. Loerzer finished the war with forty-four confirmed victories.
With the formation of the Luftwaffe in 1935, men such as Loerzer, Eduard Ritter von Schleich, etc. were recruited into the new German Air Service. Loerzer had a successful career commanding units on the Western and Eastern Fronts, and in Italy. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross in 1940. He achieved his final rank of Generaloberst in 1943, then retired in April 1945.
This Sanke Card, Nr 651, is unusual since it comes with the original envelope in which it was mailed to a collector. The envelope was sent through the Feldpost system on 15 June 1918. It also has a unit stamp for JG Nr 3. The Sanke’s reverse is similarly stamped for JG Nr III and dated 18 September 1918. [PLEASE NOTE: unit stamping of the Sanke Card and its envelope is something of a rarity. JG Nr III was a small administrative office, with few personnel actually assigned to it. The bulk of the personnel instead was assigned to the jastas, so this unit stamp was primarily used on official documents submitted to the office of General der Kavallerie (General of Cavalry) Ernst von Hoeppner (1860-1922) who was the Luftstreitkräfte’s (Imperial German Air Service) commander.  Perhaps it is a coincidence, but the date is the same day that Loerzer shot down his forty-fourth plane].
The Sanke Card’s obverse features Loerzer in a standing pose with his PLM at his throat. On his left beast he is also wearing his 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class and Prussian Army Pilot Badge. Bruno Loerzer’s black ink signature appears in at the card’s bottom. The signed card, along with the envelope sporting the JG Nr III unit and Feldpost stamps, makes a prized pair.
$950.00mbMarch17

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19-275 XRP SANKE CARD - LEUTNANT KARL BOLLE- AUTOGRAPHED - NR 685. This is a consignment item. Karl Bolle (1893-1955) came from a solid middle-class family. He was educated at Oxford and spoke excellent English, which proved helpful during the war. In 1913 he entered the army as a Küraßier-Regiment’s One-Year-Volunteer. His regiment served on both the Western and Eastern Fronts. In 1915 he applied for and was accepted into the Imperial German Air Service. While serving in Kampfstaffel Nr 23, he acted as Lothar von Richthofen’s observer/gunner. In April 1917, he was transferred to Jasta Nr 28 where he learned his craft from the likes of Karl-Emil Schäfer (Manfred von Richthofen’s student in Jasta Nr 11) and Max Ritter von Muller. In February 1918, he was transferred to Jasta Boelcke (formerly Jasta Nr 2 under early-ace Oswald Boelcke). [Jasta Boelcke was a part of JG Nr III, which was commanded by Bruno Loerzer]. In August 1918, Bolle received the coveted Orden Pour le Mérite. He finished the war as a Rittmeister (having originally belonged to a cavalry regiment) with forty-four confirmed victories. He later served as a special advisor to Hermann Göring when the Luftwaffe was created, although he never actually served in it.
Bolle appears in Sanke Card Nr 685 wearing an overcoat over his uniform. The latter’s top buttons are open to display his PLM. His signature and a dedication appear at the card’s bottom. This is a fine opportunity to acquire a signature of a top-known ace that does not surface very often.
$950.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19-276 XRP SANKE CARD - LEUTNANT RIEPER - AUTOGRAPHED - NR 659. This is a consignment item. My research found little on Leutnant der Reserve Peter Rieper. He served in a Balloon unit (apparently Ballonzug19). He served as a Balloon Unit observer from October 1915 until he was severely wounded on 3 July 1918. He received the PLM on 7 October 1918. I can find no additional information. Rieper was the only officer from an Army balloon detachment to be awarded the PLM.
He is seen herein Sanke Card Nr 659. He is wearing a litewka (a type of tunic) that features a double row of buttons. His PLM is at his throat. In the litewka’s second buttonhole is his ribbon for the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class and another decoration. He wears a wound badge and the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class on his left beast. He is also wearing his schirmütze. The card has not been mailed and reveals a short notation on its reverse.
$795.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19-277 XRP PHOTOGRAPH - JÜRGEN VON GRONE - AUTOGRAPHED ORIGINAL. This is a consignment item. Jürgen von Grone (1887-1978) came from a prominent Prussian military family. His father had served in the Army, so it was no surprise that Jürgen followed him into the military. He was initially a cadet (Fähnrich) in a Prussian Artillerie Regiment. He served in this regiment at the war’s beginning and participated in the assault of Belgium. He was severely wounded. Like so many others who had been wounded, von Grone applied to serve in the Imperial German Air Service.
[I have always found this curious that men like von Grone who had been wounded transferred into the Air Service. The attitude almost seemed to be that although they were no longer fit to serve on the ground at the Front, flying in airplanes was no sweat! Men who wore glasses also could transfer into the Air Service. Today pilots undergo the STRICTEST physical examinations to qualify for flight training. WW I certainly was a different time with different standards].
Von Grone began his training in December 1915. He passed his training and was assigned to an observation squadron where he served as both a pilot and an observer. He became one of the most successful observers, and eventually was assigned to the 7. Armee. He made many dangerous flights and perfected new techniques that made observation aircraft more effective. He was ultimately awarded the PLM in October 1918. [Only one other observation squadron officer may also have received the PLM].
This is an original photograph of von Grone. He is standing in a three-quarter pose, and wears his visor cap, PLM, Prussian Army Observer Badge, and the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class. In his tunic’s buttonhole he is wearing the ribbon for the Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order. His signature and a dedication in blue ink appear toward the photograph’s bottom, which measures 3 ½" x 5."
$650.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19-278 XRP PHOTOGRAPH - ERNST BRANDENBURG - AUTOGRAPHED ORIGINAL. This is a consignment item. Ernst Brandenburg (1883-1952) was the only bomber pilot and squadron commander who received the PLM during WW I. When WW I began, Brandenburg was Prussian Infanterie-Regiment Nr 149's regimental adjutant. In December 1914, he was transferred to the Imperial German Air Service. He received his pilot training and was assigned to a bomber squadron. He was severely wounded, then he was awarded the Knights Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order on 5 March 1917. He then became the commander of Bombengeschwader der Obersten Heeresleitung Nr 3 (Bogohl 3). On 13 June 1917 he led his Geschwader consisting of seventeen Gotha G IV Bombers on a raid over London. The Gotha was the largest German bomber and fielded a crew of three. The G IV boasted the most Gotha-variant planes built within any Bomber Geschwader. The raid was devastating in terms of loss of life, killing more than one hundred civilians. The raid was considered to be very successful by the German High Command, as well as the Kaiser. Brandenburg was awarded a PLM the following day. After the bestowal ceremony at the hands of Kaiser Wilhelm II, he crashed in an airplane and lost a leg. He finished the war as a Major. He was also the only bomber pilot/squadron commander to receive the PLM.
This original photograph, which measures 3 ½" x 5," shows Brandenburg from the chest up. His PLM is clearly seen. His signature and the year "1917" appear at the card’s bottom. Clearly, this photograph was taken after his 1917 PLM award. The photograph is in mint condition.
$695.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19-279 XRP PHOTOGRAPH - PAUL BÄUMER - AUTOGRAPHED ORIGINAL. This is a consignment item. Paul Bäumer was one of WW I’s leading aces. He was a dental assistant by trade and received his transfer to the Imperial German Air Service in THAT role rather than as a pilot! His first service in a jasta was with Jasta Nr 5. He later transferred to the famous Jasta Boelcke. He flew with them until the war’s end and finished with forty-three confirmed victories. He was awarded the PLM in October 1918. Bäumer became a dentist after the war, then was killed in a 1927 air crash. Legend says that his name was used for the primary character in the hit novel All Quiet on the Western Front, which depicted life in WW I’s Imperial German trenches. The book’s author, Erich Maria Remarque, was one of Bäumer’s patients.
This is an original photograph of Bäumer that measures 3 ½" x 5 ¼." The pose shows him from the waist up. He is wearing the PLM at his throat. A ribbon bar, the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class, the Prussian Army Pilot Badge (and what appears to be a Silver Army Wound Badge) all are pinned on his left breast. His bold black ink signature is applied diagonally from his shoulder to his waist.
$1,150.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19-280 XRP PHOTOGRAPH - ROBERT RITTER VON GREIM - AUTOGRAPHED ORIGINAL. This is a consignment item. Robert Ritter von Greim (1892-1945) was a leading Bavarian WW I ace. He first entered the Bavarian Army in 1912, and was assigned to an Artillerie Regiment. He began the war with that regiment, then, like so many other young men, joined the Imperial German Air Service. By April 1918 he was assigned to Jasta Nr 34b, a Bavarian unit. In June of 1918 he had risen to command the same Jasta. He received the Orden Pour le Mérite on 8 October 1918. He also was awarded the Bavarian Knight’s Cross of the Military Max Joseph Order (MMJO), the highest military decoration awarded by the Kingdom of Bavaria. This decoration was accompanied by an elevation to knighthood. From that point on he was referred to as Robert Ritter von Greim. Unlike Prussia’s elevation to knighthood, which was a hereditary award, Bavaria’s knighthood did NOT have that restriction. Von Greim’s final confirmed victory count was twenty-eight.
In 1923, he was a participant in Munich’s 1923 Putsch, which was led by Adolf Hitler, former General Eric Ludendorff (Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg’s deputy), and Hermann Göring. For his participation, he was later awarded Hitler’s Blood Order. As an early Nazi Party member and Göring confidant, von Greim was an early Luftwaffe member. He held numerous high Luftwaffe posts during WW II on both the Western and Eastern Fronts. He became a Generaloberst later in the war. When Göring surrendered to the Americans in April 1945, Hitler declared Göring to be a traitor and replaced him with von Greim, who became the Third Reich’s last Generalfeldmarschall. After Hitler’s death, von Greim surrendered in Salzburg, Austria during May 1945, and  committed suicide there later that month.
This is an original photo of von Greim that measures 3½" x 5 ½." It shows him from the waist up. He is wearing his PLM, the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class, and his Bavarian Army Pilot Badge. He also is wearing a medal bar that features the MMJO. As both the PLM and the MMJO were awarded in October 1918, it is most likely that the photograph was actually taken after WW I’s end. His black ink signature is scrawled diagonally across his left arm.
$1,150.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19-281 XRP PHOTOGRAPH - WALTER BLUME - AUTOGRAPHED ORIGINAL. This is a consignment item. Walter Blume (1896-1964) began WW I in Jäger-Battalion Nr 5. After he completed pilot training, he was assigned to Jasta Nr 26. He later joined Jasta Nr 9 and served as its Jastaführer. He received the Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order on 18 July 1918. He was one of the last pilots to receive the PLM on 2 October 1918. The war ended a mere five weeks after his award. Blume’s final score was twenty-eight confirmed victories.
After the war’s end, Blume became an aviation engineer and assisted in the design of some of the Third Reich’s jet aircraft, including the design of a four-engine bomber. He was captured by the Russians and forced to assist them in the design of jet aircraft.
This original photograph measures 3½" x 5 ½." He is shown from the waist up. He is wearing his PLM, the Prussian Army Pilot Badge, and the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class. He has signed diagonally in black ink across his right arm at the card’s bottom. In addition to his autograph, he has included the fact that he was a "Leutnant der Reserve und Führer des Jagdstaffel 9." The photograph is in fine condition.
$1,150.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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20-149 PHOTOGRAPH AND GLASS NEGATIVE - KAISER WILHELM II. This is an interesting original photograph and glass negative of Kaiser Wilhelm II. While I am not a photographic historian, I believe it was taken sometime around the turn of the 20th Century, when glass negatives gave way to film negatives. [Now that we have digital cameras, negatives themselves are becoming rarer]! The photograph shows the Kaiser in a German Army Generalfeldmarschall’s uniform. He is standing on an estate’s lawn with two older women, as well as a younger woman accompanied by two very young girls dressed in their Sunday finest. I believe one of the older women is the Empress. While I cannot be certain, I have a hunch from the Kaiser’s age that this photograph may have been taken at Haus Doorn, his exiled estate in the Netherlands. It is also possible that the photo was taken in Germany during WW I’s last year.
The photo and the glass negative both measure 4 ¼" x 6 ½." The negative has been cracked into two separate sections. It needs to be handled with great care.
$175.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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20-297 FULL-COLOR GLASS PATRIOTIC PIECE - KAISER WILHELM I. I have examined this item for several minutes trying to categorize it for you. The best that I can determine is that it is a patriotic display item commemorating Germany’s first Kaiser, Wilhelm I (1797-1888). In addition to being Kaiser, he was also Prussia’s King from 1861 until his death in 1888. He assumed Prussia’s throne in 1861 when his older brother, König Friedrich Wilhelm IV (1795-1861), died. Friedrich Wilhelm IV was paralyzed and mentally incapacitated by a stroke in 1857. In 1858, Wilhelm I assumed the position of Regent for his older brother and remained in this position until the King’s death in 1861.
Wilhelm I continued his brother’s policy of German unification, which was largely completed with the conclusion of the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. Through all this, and for the balance of his rule until his 1888 death, his closest advisor and political ally was none other than "Iron Chancellor" Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898). While Wilhelm I remained King of Prussia, the other German states deferred to Prussian rule. After the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War’s end, he was formally recognized as Emperor of Germany, as well as King of Prussia. Wilhelm I remained the political and moral head of Germany, and was much beloved by his people.
Upon his death in March 1888, he was succeeded for ninety-nine days by his son, Germany’s second Kaiser, Friedrich III. Friedrich III was in ill health and died of cancer in June 1888. Germany’s third (and final) Kaiser was Wilhelm II, Friedrich III’s son and Wilhelm I’s grandson. He ruled Germany from June 1888 until November 1918. As part of the German surrender following WW I’s end, Wilhelm II agreed to be exiled to the Netherlands. The House of Hohenzollern, which extended back to Frederick the Great’s time, no longer ruled Germany.
Returning to our offering, this is a circular piece that measures 1 ½" in diameter. Its gold-toned frame might be brass, or some other non magnetic material. What I believe is a glass panel sits inside the frame. A full-color likeness of Kaiser Wilhelm I is painted on the panel. He is wearing a full-dress uniform complete with a Generalfeldmarschall’s epaulettes. His uniform’s chest sports a large medal bar with numerous decorations. He is wearing the Golden Kette of the Order of the Black Eagle around his neck, along with the Orden Pour le Mérite. [The Kette was a large, elaborate, gold collar/neck device. It was the highest chivalric order bestowed by the Kingdom of Prussia, dating back to 1701. It could be considered the ultimate expression of being a House of Hohenzollern Prinz. Princes were invested with it, and it could only be worn by a born-of-the-blood Prince on state occasions. Certain other decorations from the "Black Eagle" decoration family were awarded to very favored individuals at the pleasure of the House of Hohenzollern’s head member. The Black Eagle was prominently displayed on General Officers’ headdresses and served as a central theme on the headdresses of other officers, NCO’s, and enlisted men from the various Garde-Regiments, the General Staff, and so on].
This patriotic item is two-sided, so that the image may be viewed from both sides. The image is somewhat faded, and certainly a bit less splendid than when it was created more than one-hundred-years ago. Scratches and discolorations of the glass itself are evident. Its overall impression is one of showing honest age. I have never seen anything quite like it. I do not know how to classify it as anything other than a patriotic piece. One might possibly consider it to be a table medal, but even that misses the mark.
$95.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21-331 ZEPPELIN - BOOK - ZEPPELINE ÜBER YORK - BY FELIX LÜTZKENDORF. This is a hardback German-language book that comes complete with a dust jacket. It deals with zeppelin activity over England. Its index lists all the naval zeppelins along with some basic information about them. It contains sixty-three pages, and was published in 1935. $75.00 edFeb17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21-332 ZEPPELIN - BOOK - Z-181 GEGEN BUKAREST. This is a soft-cover German-language book that recounts the story of Zeppelin Z-181. My understanding is that it is a fictional work that contains an historical account of the bombing of Bucharest. The book contains one-hundred-seven pages and was published in 1916. It also features a dedication from one person to another that dates from 1918. $40.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21-333 ZEPPELIN - BOOK - 40,000 KM ZEPPELIN-KRIEGSFAHRTEN LETTOW-VORBECK ENTEGEN - BY INGENIEUR GOEBEL-FORESTER. This is a hardback German-language book. I have not taken the time to study the book in any great detail. It deals with plans to resupply the German colony of East Africa during WW I. Over WW I’s four-year span, Generalmajor Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck commanded a small group of German Army and Navy troops (the latter group’s ships had been sunk), as well native African soldiers known as Askaris, against the British. His vastly outnumbered contingent dashed about East Africa picking and choosing pitched battles against vastly superior numbers of British troops.
At the conflict’s height, Great Britain had more than 100,000 troops hunting for the Generalmajor’s plucky assemblage. Von Lettow-Vorbeck continued their efforts until after the war’s end, and only then did he lay down his arms. He became a national hero in Germany. The Kaiser promoted him from a Colonel to a General AND awarded him the Orden Pour le Mérite before it was all over.
This book deals with plans to resupply his group with much-needed munitions by air. You will find it a lively read! It contains one-hundred-twenty pages that are liberally illustrated with photographs and a map.
The book was published in 1933. $50.00 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21-334 ZEPPELIN - BOOK - ACHTUNG! BOMBEN FALLEN! - BY OBERMASCHINISTENMAAT PITT KLEIN. This is a hardback German-language book published in 1934. It deals with the bombing of England by zeppelins during WW I. It contains numerous photographs and recounts the zeppelin campaigns from the German perspective. The book has its dust jacket and is one-hundred-fifty-seven pages long. $40.00 edFeb17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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32-173 AUSTRIA - PATRIOTIC PIN - RED CROSS WORKER. We rarely have the opportunity to offer patriotic jewelry from Austria. This is a Red Cross Worker’s oval-shaped, patriotic pin that measures 1" x 1 ¼." It features a black two-headed Austrian Eagle sporting the Hapsburg Crown painted against a silver background. The center of the Eagle’s chest displays a red enamel cross within a white square. It is quite attractive and boasts a horizontal pin. It is in very fine condition. $65.00wobMarch17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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