Der Rittmeister Militaria, LLC. Imperial German Merchandise, Page 0: Just in From Germany, the newest items fresh from the Fatherland!  Updated on 23 May 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:  31 May 2017

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

 

 

33-338 PRUSSIA - KUGELHELM - OFFICER’S - FELDARTILLERIE - WITH SPECIAL WAPPEN. Prussian Feldartillerie kugelhelme sported three very different wappen-types that represented three vastly different regiments. The most common of the three wappens was intended for Line-Artillerie Regiments. [It was also shared with Line-Infanterie Regiments]. Its bandeau proclaimed "Mitt Gott Fur Koenig und Vaterland," with the initials "FR" directly underneath. The second wappen-type was used by Garde-Regiments and featured an impressive Garde Star that was displayed on ALL headdresses used by the various Garde-Regiments. The third wappen-type was used by only FOUR old-line, very elite regiments that were only slightly less prestigious than the Garde-Feldartillerie-Regiments: Feldartillerie-Regiment Prinz August von Preußen Nr 1 (founded in 1772), 1. Pommerisches Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr 2 (founded in 1808), Feldartillerie-Regiment General Feldzügmeister (1. Brandenburgisches) Nr 3 (founded in 1816), and Feldartillerie-Regiment von Peucker (1. Schlesisches) Nr 6 (founded in 1808). This wappen displayed an oval shield/device that featured the King’s cypher under the bandeau rather than the "FR." Their low regimental numbers were an indication of their importance, as well as how early they were founded.
The helmet’s leather body is in excellent condition. It received superb treatment from its original and successive owners for more than one-hundred years. Its leather is clean, clear, and supple. The beautifully-frosted gilt wappen is a delight to view. Its fire-gilding is excellent. All of the other furniture, including its chin scales, trim, base, officer’s stars, and kugel, is also gilt. The final exterior details are the correct Reich and State officer’s kokarden.
The helmet’s interior features a brown leather sweatband in magnificent condition. The rust-colored silk liner is complete and in excellent condition. The original hardware and fittings can be seen under the silk liner. NO double holes are present, a vital testament to the originality of any headdress.
The helmet comes to us from the collection of a very serious and knowledgeable longtime collector who has a sharp eye for quality, condition, and (of course) authenticity. I can say with complete honesty that its condition is EXCELLENT. I have not seen a kugelhelm in better condition than this example for a long time. You would be hard pressed to find a better helmet. It is fairly-priced and represents a solid value.
$4,295.00   

 

At Der Rittmeister Militaria, we strive to bring you the best in the various helmets and headdresses that we offer, whether they are pickelhauben, or the Artillerie Regiments’ kugelhelme, specialized helmets that sported round metal balls instead of metal spikes. As with pickelhauben, 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 kugelhelme whose condition is at least well above average, if not excellent. I examine hundreds of kugelhelme to find the very few that fulfill all four criteria mentioned above. Upon receiving their new treasure, collectors who have purchased one of our kugelhelme 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 kugelhelm was first introduced by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1843, following the introduction of the pickelhaube. [Both were designed by Prussia’s König Frederick William IV, who 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 kugelhelm’s use spread state by state and Kingdom by Kingdom after that date. The final Kingdom to implement the kugelhelm was Bavaria in 1913. [As usual, the Bavarians always seemed to go their own way]!
We also remind all kugelhelme enthusiasts about our good friend Jim Turinetti’s excellent reference books on headdresses (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 and other forms of Imperial German Headdress. 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].
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20-234 SILVER/GOLD OVAL PRESENTATION MEDALLION/PENDANT COMMEMORATING PRINZREGENT LUITPOLD von BAYERN’S LIFE. Prinzregent Luitpold of Bavaria served as Bavaria’s defacto King from 1886, when Ludwig II was deposed (Ludwig mysteriously died the following day in a lake accident), until his death in 1912. He proved to be an able ruler. The Bavarian people were very fond of him. Today we are offering an interesting medallion/pendant that was given as a gift to court favorites. It is an oval-shaped, silver and gold example. It measures 2” x 1,” using the crown as its top point. The Prinzregent is seen in profile view. The medallion is enclosed within a wreath of leaves, with the Wittelsbach Crown at its top. Both the wreath and crown are GOLD. Four small rubies appear at the 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock positions. In addition, the crown circlet features two small emeralds and a pearl. This, in fact, forms a complete frame, which we will see as we examine the reverse. Another elongated pearl hangs down at the frame’s bottom on the obverse. Looking at the back of the crown, we see that it serves as a holder to mount the medallion on a chain or any other item of the wearer’s choice. The medallion’s reverse is encased in the GOLD frame. Inscribed on the reverse in Latin is information about Prinzregent Luitpold. It lists his birth information (12 March 1821) and his death date (12 December 1912). These medallions were issued to favored people after his death by members of the Wittelsbach family, including König Ludwig III, who succeeded Luitpold in 1913. It is obviously a much higher level of gift. It would have been given to a lady of much greater importance than one who received the silver example. These medallions were created by Professor W. von Hildebrand (1847-1921), who crafted many items of this nature for the Wittelsbachs. It is a beautiful memento of Prinzregent Luitpold, who was held in the deepest esteem by his subjects. $2,495.00 Reduced to $1,995.00 !!!

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20-235 SILVER OVAL PRESENTATION MEDALLION/PENDANT COMMEMORATING PRINZREGENT LUITPOLD von BAYERN’S LIFE. Prinzregent Luitpold of Bavaria served as Bavaria’s defacto King from 1886, when Ludwig II was deposed (Ludwig mysteriously died the following day in a lake accident), until his death in 1912. He proved to be an able ruler. The Bavarian people were very fond of him. Today we are offering an interesting medallion/pendant that was given as a gift to court favorites. Our offering today is an oval-shaped silver example. The Prinzregent is seen in profile view. The medallion is enclosed within a wreath of leaves, with the Wittelsbach Crown at its top. Inscribed on the reverse in Latin is information about Prinzregent Luitpold. It lists his birth information (12 March 1821) and his death date (12 December 1912). These medallions were issued to favored people after his death by members of the Wittelsbach family, including König Ludwig III, who succeeded Luitpold in 1913. These medallions were created by Professor W. von Hildebrand (1847-1921), who crafted many items of this nature for the Wittelsbachs. It is a beautiful memento of Prinzregent Luitpold, who was held in the deepest esteem by his subjects. It measures 1 1/2" X 1". $1,395.00 Reduced to $1,095.00!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12-808 XKG HAND CARVED OFFICERS’ CASINO WOODEN PLAQUE - 1. CUIRASSIER-REGIMENT PRINZ CARL VON BAYERN - BAVARIA. This is an amazing item that has been in my collection for many years. Nearly twenty years ago, my dear wife and partner Melissa and I were visiting a collector in Germany. We had concluded our dealings on several lovely medals when I noticed this stunning plaque on his wall. Melissa and I were immediately taken with it. When I asked him how much it was, he smiled and said "I can’t sell it, my wife would kill me!" Every year when I returned I would ask and it still was not for sale. By the fifth year (and another refusal to sell it), I said, "Why not quote me a crazy price that you think I wouldn’t pay?" He laughed, named it, and I shot back "Here’s your money, it is going back to America with me!" He was stunned but finally agreed. Even after that every time I saw him he said "My wife is still mad at me, and YOU!"
So for the last fifteen years this plaque has hung over the door to our workroom. Each time I go into the room, I smile at the journey and the time (not to mention the money) that it took to bring home. Now, however, it is time to find a new home for it. We hope its new owner will treasure it as much as we have.
This magnificent hand carved wooden plaque once hung over Bavaria’s 1. Cuirassier-Regiment Prinz Carl von Bayern Officers’ Casino (Club). The regiment was founded in 1814 during the Napoleonic Wars and initially served as Bavaria’s Garde du Corps. The regiment was renamed 1. Cuirassier-Regiment Prinz Carl von Bayern in 1825, then was once more renamed the 1. Schwere-Reiter-Regiment (Heavy Rider) in 1878. The regiment served briefly in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, joining Austria, Saxony, Württemberg, Hesse, Baden, and Hanover against Prussia. It also served in the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War, participating in one of history’s last real cavalry charges (this time alongside the Prussian cavalry). During WW I, it served in the trenches as dismounted cavalry, before finally getting disbanded in 1919. Bavarian traditionalists, however, always regarded it as the 1. Cuirassier-Regiment Prinz Carl von Bayern, and the old-school regimental designation was chosen for the officers’ casino sign.
European officers’ clubs (including Germany’s version, the Casino), differed greatly from those in the USA. A Casino was quite an upscale affair, particularly for elite regiments like this one. Its officers were expected to set a fine table, complete with the finest tableware available. It boasted high-quality cuisine (bordering on the gourmet) prepared by accomplished chefs and served by attentive waiters. The Casino was also expected to stock a topnotch wine cellar for the regiment’s use, as well as that of their fellow officers. Naturally, the proper conduct of an officer and gentleman was expected at ALL times.
The 1. Cuirassier-Regiment Prinz Carl von Bayern was garrisoned in Bavaria’s capital city, Munich, where our plaque would have been proudly displayed on the building in which the Casino was quartered. It is quite likely that Bavaria’s Prinz Regent and/or König would have visited the Casino to dine with its officers. It was quite an honor for a non member of the regiment to be invited to the Casino. Again, a strict code of conduct was expected to be upheld. Upon entering the Casino, an officer was expected to bow in acknowledgment of the regiment and all other officers in attendance. The Officer’s Casino played an important role an Imperial German Army officer’s life after duty hours.
Now that we have explained the background and function of the Officer’s Casino it is time to begin our description. As previously mentioned the plaque is hand carved. The tradition of wood carving is and was very important in Germany. Much of it takes place in the Black Forest (home-place of fantastic cuckoo clocks) and in Southern Bavaria. The latter’s tradition of masterful hand carving is a centuries-old craft that remains very much alive. Any of our visits to Germany remain incomplete without a detour through some of the small Bavarian towns where this practice remains viable. We marvel at the beautiful details incorporated by these artisans into their handicrafts. [Naturally, these items are often quite expensive due to the many hours required to carve and shape each exquisitely-detailed object].
The plaque is quite large, measuring 1 ¾" x 15 ½" x 22 ½." It weighs 6" lbs. and 13 ounces. It is shaped like a wide shield, with intricate, scroll work edges. It features an inner shield of handsome Prussian Blue adorned with gold-toned, old German Fraktur script lettering that features the title listed below.

 

"Königliche Bayerisch(es)
1. Cuirassier Regiment
Prinz Carl v. Bayern"

 

A thin red trim line accents its inner contours, ending in an intricate, high-relief carving of a Bavarian Military Service Order 3rd Class with Swords’ blue and white award ribbon flanking the actual bronze medal at the plaque’s base. [The decoration was first authorized by King Ludwig II (Mad Ludwig) in 1866 during the 1866 Austro-Prussian War]. Its ribbons extend some 6" out in either direction and really grab ones attention!
The shield’s outer perimeter is adorned with a high-relief, stylized and curlicued border that culminates in the magnificent Bavarian royal family’s red and gold highlighted Wittelsbach Crown at the shield-top’s center. The years that have passed since the plaque was first made have resulted in some fading and toning of its gold paint, resulting in a pleasing, mellowed patina. Its reverse has been sealed with a layer of still-bright yellow paint, and features a sturdy wire by which it can be mounted on a wall. A very old piece of string is knotted onto the wire, which we have left attached because it feels as though it belongs with it (!). The reverse also displays what looks like a period repair to its upper right quadrant. [The repair has not affected the obverse in any manner].
Even though we have attached top-quality photographs and done our best to adequately describe this beautiful piece, these efforts feel inadequate. In more than five decades of collecting (including two decades operating Der Rittmeister Militaria), I can count on ONE hand’s fingers the period wood carvings I have found that are NOT religious in nature. [Even today, Bavaria remains heavily Roman Catholic. Religious carvings remain popular among Bavarians and the many tourists who visit the region each year]. In all honesty, this is the finest secular carving I have ever encountered. It will make a superb centerpiece in your display room or hanging over its entrance, just as it has above the doors to our inventory workroom.
[Extra shipping will be required due to the piece’s size and weight]. $2,495.00    bhApril17

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

01-878 XBB ARMY WOUND BADGE - BLACK. This is a consignment item. The Army Wound Badge was first authorized in March 1918. It was created in three grades or classes. The 3rd Class/Black Army Wound Badge was for one-to-two wounds. The 2nd Class/Silver Army Wound Badge was for three-to-four wounds. The 1st Class/Gold Army Wound Badge was intended for five-or-more wounds, the loss of a limb or maybe an eye.  This is an issued piece. It is stamped. Some scuffing shows on the stahlhelm, the badge’s highest point. Overall, it is in very good condition. $40.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

01-879 XBB ARMY WOUND BADGE - BLACK - CUTOUT. This is a consignment item. The Army Wound Badge was first authorized in March 1918. It was created in three grades or classes. The 3rd Class/Black Army Wound Badge was for one-to-two wounds. The 2nd Class/Silver Army Wound Badge was for three-to-four wounds. The 1st Class/Gold Army Wound Badge was intended for five-or-more wounds, the loss of a limb, or maybe an eye.  As issued, the Army Wound Badge was a "closed" design. Later, as was often the case with 1914 Iron Crosses 1st Class, a man could purchase a custom piece with some differences, such as a screwback, being made of .800 silver, or in this case, the highly-desired cutout (open) Wound Badge. This is a black cutout example that boasts a magnificent finish. It would make an excellent addition to any badge collection. $195.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

02-440 XLO MEDAL BAR - FIVE-PLACE. This is a consignment item. It is a five-place medal bar. Its medals are listed from left to right below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1). Military Merit Cross 3rd Class - Bavaria.
2). Hindenburg Cross with Swords for Combatants.
3). Land Tirol Veterans Medal for Service 1914-1918.
4). War Service Medal for Service during WW I - Austria.
5). War Service Medal for Service during WW I - Hungary.

 

The medals are all in fine condition. The ribbon shows considerable soiling. $250.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

03-117 XJB JEWELRY BOX - WITH HIGHLY-DETAILED WÜRTTEMBERG PICKELHAUBE. This is a consignment item. Jewelry, cigarette, and trinket boxes were a true art form in Imperial Germany. An officer was expected to have a number of accessories present on his desk. Items such as a pen/ink desk set (complete with an inkwell for filling his fountain pen), a letter opener, and, especially, a box to hold cigarettes or prized possessions. I have kept such a box on my desk for years, even though I do not smoke. It (along with other items of its ilk) helps personalize a desk. They create a pleasant working atmosphere and, in my case, provide a distraction from daily life’s stress. It is also possible that its owner kept this box in his bedroom or sleeping quarters while on duty. Its possible uses were varied. Only the owner’s imagination limited how the box was actually used. One thing of which I CAN be certain is that it is highly unlikely it was used as a cigarette box. Typically, cigarette boxes were lined with cedar. This box is not, as we will explain shortly.

 

 

Today’s offering is an ultra-high-quality box that probably was used for storing jewelry or other prized personal items. The silver-plated box is 8 ½" long, 5 ¼" wide, and 3" tall. [This height measurement does NOT include the pickelhaube. When the pickelhaube’s height is included, the box stands an impressive 5 ¾" tall. The box lid top features a very elaborate, ornate surface. Each corner displays an intertwined design highlighted in gilt. The box’s trim is also gilt and has been employed as a framing accent, with an abstract gilt design decorating the four corners of the box’s top. The box’s centerpiece is its superbly-detailed Württemberg pickelhaube. [Superb is not nearly descriptive enough when considering the quality of its details]. The pickelhaube itself measures 2" x 2 ¼" x 3." Its wappen is simply AMAZING in its detail. Examine the wappen closely and you will see the Württemberg Lion and Stag faithfully reproduced in exquisite delineation. In addition to its magnificent wappen, it exhibits a gorgeous set of kokarden and a moveable metal chin strap! The pickelhaube sits atop a wonderfully-rendered feather whose quill point is laced with a ribbon that dangles a small, high-relief, 1914 Iron Cross to the pickelhaube’s left. The feather’s top is fanned out to the pickelhaube’s right, again in fabulous detail. [It is also possible that this is an olive branch rather than a feather, although no olives are depicted]. The feather/branch is resting upon a richly-illustrated oak and laurel leaf wreath.

 

 

A sturdy lock appears on the box’s front, which once could have secured its contents. Regrettably, the key is no longer present, having disappeared over the hundred years since the box was produced. The box’s interior is completely lined, both top and bottom, with sumptuous silvery gray-toned silk fabric. The fabric lining the inner lid is further adorned with silver braiding around its perimeter. It looks almost as pristine as the day it left the workshop of the craftsman who produced it.
Speaking of the workshop that produced this magnificent box, it is hallmarked "WMF" which stands for Württembergisches Metallfabrik. This noted firm produced superior-quality Imperial German housewares. A piece like this was a natural and patriotic extension of their production line. The box’s bottom features the beehive and ostrich that constituted Württembergisches Metallfabrik’s post 1910 hallmark. [Naturally, the 1914 Iron Cross indicates that the box was made between 1914 and 1918]. The hallmark is flanked on one side by "I/O," which indicates it is silver-plate, and by "OX" on the other. The latter confirms that black oxidation accents were produced at the site of manufacture.

 

Despite signs that it has been polished over the years, this is a drop dead gorgeous piece. What better place for storing your jewelry (or your special loved one’s) than in this box? The box comes to us from the same impressive collection as the magnificent PLM-winners box we are offering. This collector has the best of taste, and certainly knows his boxes! $1,095.00   rpApril17 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

04-733 XLO PRUSSIA - WAPPEN - PICKELHAUBE - ENLISTED MAN/NCO. This is a consignment item. It is a pre war brass wappen for a Prussian pickelhaube. It is in very fine condition, with the original clips in place on the reverse. While it is primarily used on a pickelhaube, it could be used on other forms of Prussian Headdress such as a kugelhelm or a shako. $150.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

09-1023 IRON CROSS - 1870 - 2nd CLASS - 1914 SPANGE. The 1870 Iron Cross received two additions (rendered in two stages) after the initial awards of approximately 50,000 examples. A "Jubilee" was proclaimed by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1895, wherein its awardees were authorized to add oak leaves with a "25" to their Iron Crosses. This was known as the Jubiläumsspange. This was either added as a device to the jump ring area, or attached directly to the top of the ribbon.
A further honor was granted to the original 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class winners when WW I began. [Remember that 1914 was nearly forty-five years after the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War. Most of the surviving awardees had reached their sixties, so a certain number of the original 50,000 had died]. Another spange was created that was slipped onto the EK 2's ribbon. It featured a 1914 Iron Cross against a pebbled background. The bulk of the awarded pieces came from the workshops of Wagner & Söhne, one of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s leading Court Jewelers.
Our offering today is a Jeweler’s/Wearer’s copy from another of the Kaiser’s House Jewelers, C.E. Juncker. It measures ¼" x 1 ¼." The spange’s reverse reveals a depression where it was pushed in to secure it to the ribbon. The reverse also features their hallmark as listed below.

 

C.E. Juncker
Berlin S.W.

 

This spange is in very fine condition and can be added to an existing 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class with the "25-Year" Oak Leaves. $495.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

09-1019 XBB IRON CROSS - 1914 - 1st CLASS - THREE-PIECE SCREWBACK - THIRD REICH ERA PRODUCTION - SLIGHTLY VAULTED - GODET "L/12" HALLMARK. This is a consignment item. Today we are offering a most interesting 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class. The cross is very slightly vaulted, just a bit higher than a flat issued Iron Cross 1st Class. The paint on its obverse is in excellent condition, rating 100%. The frame has a fine patina and its beading is even and well formed. The reverse also reveals that it is a true, custom, three-piece screwback (consisting of the EK itself, an arched backing plate, and the nut that screws the backing plate down. The Iron Cross is also magnetic. The bottom of the six o’clock arm features an "L/12." During the Third Reich era, numbers were assigned to decoration and badge manufacturers. These were unique to each manufacturer and replaced the hallmarking system used during the Imperial period. In this case, "L/12" was the code used by Berlin’s Godet, one of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s and the Prussian royal family’s House Jewelers during the Imperial German Period.
While this was a privately-purchased Iron Cross, it probably was purchased by an officer. Perhaps he had a need for an extra Iron Cross, lost or damaged his original Iron Cross, or did not want to keep moving his Iron Cross from one tunic to another. Whatever the reason, it made sense to purchase an additional Iron Cross.
This is a high-quality Iron Cross. It deserves a place in a collection to illustrate the differences between WW I Iron Crosses and those from the Third Reich.

$450.00
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

09-1016 XBB IRON CROSS - 1914 - 1st CLASS - "KO" HALLMARK. This is a consignment item. It is a flat, issued 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class that sports a "KO" hallmark under its catch on the reverse. "KO," a firm located in Stuttgart, was the principal provider of issued 1914 Iron Crosses 1st Class. The paint on its obverse rates at 100%. The reverse boasts a fine sturdy pin in addition to the aforementioned "KO" hallmark. It is a wonderful EK in excellent condition. $250.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

09-1017 XBB IRON CROSS - 1914 - 2nd CLASS - WITHOUT RIBBON. This is a consignment item. It is a 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class. It is magnetic, with excellent paint on both its obverse and reverse. No manufacturer’s hallmark is evident. It comes complete with a jump ring, but no ribbon. $60.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11-525 XBB PILOT BADGE - FRENCH. This is a consignment item. France traditionally issued its pilots their flight badges when they successfully completed pilot training, but in a different manner than the Germans. In France, each flight badge was assigned its own, unique, identification number. I do not know if one can discover which pilot was awarded this particular badge, although perhaps its new owner can try.
The badge measures 1 ½" x 2." It consists of a gilt-toned eagle in flight superimposed upon a silver-toned wreath topped by a gilt star. A silver bow decorates the wreath’s bottom center point.
The reverse of the badge has an unusual pin system that looks like an old-fashioned, gold-toned barbell (a bar with two round balls at either end). One end unscrews to allow the bar to be pulled out from the double catches. The badge could then be attached to the tunic either through sewn-in loops or possibly by piercing the tunic’s fabric.
The badge’s reverse features its serial number, "14295," at its base. A script "B" enclosed within a circle precedes the serial number. My WW I Pilot Badge expert (my "go-to guy" for British, German and French badges) informed me that French Pilot Badges were essentially the same from WW I through the 1930's. That said, he dubbed the serial number "consistent with badges that were produced and issued during WW I." We are all aware that the mortality rate for WW I pilots was quite high. I have no idea what constituted France’s total number of pilots during the Great War, but to think that it comprised more than 14,000 is mind boggling!
The badge is in very fine condition.
$725.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11-527 XBB STICKPIN - ARMY PILOT BADGE - PRUSSIAN. This is a consignment item. It is a Prussian Army Pilot Badge stickpin. It would have been used as an accent piece on a tie or possibly a lapel. It is quite detailed, with an excellent rendition of the Prussian Army Pilot Badge. The badge measures ¼" x ¾." The stickpin measures 2" in length from the badge’s top down to the pin’s point. The pin features a knurled effect. It is in tiptop condition. $125.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11-528 XBB STICKPIN - ARMY PILOT BADGE - PRUSSIAN. This is a consignment item. It is a Prussian Army Pilot Badge stickpin. It would have been used as an accent piece on a tie or possibly a lapel. It is quite detailed, with an excellent rendition of the Prussian Army Pilot Badge. The badge measures ¼" x ¾." The stickpin measures 2 ¼" in length from the badge’s top down to the pin’s point. The pin features a knurled effect. It is in great condition. $125.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11-529 XBB STICKPIN - ARMY PILOT BADGE - PRUSSIAN. This is a consignment item. It is a Prussian Army Pilot Badge stickpin. It would have been used as an accent piece on a tie or possibly a lapel. It is quite detailed, with an excellent rendition of the Prussian Army Pilot Badge. The badge measures ¼" x ¾." The stickpin measures 2 ¼" in length from the badge’s top down to the pin’s point. The pin features a knurled effect. It is in lovely condition. $125.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11-533 XBB ARMY PILOT BADGE - COMMEMORATIVE - CARL POELLATH HALLMARK - SILBER - BAVARIA. This is a consignment item. It is a high-quality Bavarian Commemorative Pilot Badge of the two-piece hollow variety. Carl Poellath produced the finest Bavarian flight badges. The latter means its two pieces were soldered together, as evidenced by the weep hole under the reverse’s catch. The badge is in excellent condition. $1,295.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11-535 XBB PILOT BADGE - ROYAL FLYING CORPS - BULLION. This is a consignment item. It is a WW I Royal Flying Corps (RFC) Pilot Badge, a high-quality bullion badge made of superior-quality silk. It is a thirteen-feather variety that measures 1 ½" x 5." [This has been authenticated for me by an expert on British flying badges. He has shared with me that all British wings were privately purchased from military effects stores or from tailors who prepared the soldiers’ uniforms. The badges were not issued by the military]. It is in excellent condition. $695.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11-539 XBB PILOT BADGE - LAPEL PIN - U.S. ARMY AIR SERVICE - SCREWBACK. This is a consignment item. It is a miniature of the U.S. Army Air Service Pilot Badge that was used as a lapel pin. It measures ¼" x ¾." Interestingly, it is a two-piece screwback example that would have been inserted into a suit coat’s lapel buttonhole. It is in excellent condition. $395.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14-445 XBB PATRIOTIC RING - PRUSSIAN - ARMY PILOT BADGE. This is a consignment item. It is a ring that features a Prussian Army Pilot Badge as its central theme. These rings were often worn by pilots, or by their sweethearts or wives back home. The badge is highly-detailed. The condition is better than many that we see. Often these rings’ high points exhibit excessive wear, rendering their details unclear. This example, however, sports crisp, clean features.
Leaves flank the Pilot Badge on its band. The band’s interior is hallmarked for .835 silver. A size-reduction device is installed within the ring that reduces it to a size "5." It is approximately a size "8 ½" without the sizer. I cannot say if it was a period adjustment, or if a collector added the sizer after the fact. So, it was clearly added for a woman. If this device were to be removed, it could be worn by a man. I cannot say, however, what size it would be in its natural state.
$450.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14-446 XBB - PATRIOTIC PIN - AUSTRIAN - MONOPLANE WITH IRON CROSS. This is a consignment item. It is a patriotic pin that features a pilot flying an Austrian monoplane superimposed over a laurel leaf wreath as its central motif. The plane’s wings extend outside the wreath. The pin measures 1 ¾" tall and 1" wide from wingtip to wingtip. An enamel Austro-Hungarian Empire flag decorates the pin’s top center point, while an enamel Iron Cross appears at the bottom. It is a handsome, well-made pin. $395.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16-466 BOOK - AVIATION - AVIATION AWARDS OF IMPERIAL GERMANY - NEAL O’ CONNOR - COMPLETE SEVEN-BOOK SERIES. This is one of the most amazing series of books ever published to chronicle the Imperial German Air Service and its members. Each volume features a treasure trove of information about the pilots, observers and other personnel as well as plentiful photos of the men and their machines. Every book also includes substantial information about their medals and badges. A number of books on the market document pilots and airplanes OR their awards and decorations, but not BOTH, which is the true beauty of this classic SEVEN-BOOK series.

 

 

 

 

The late Neal O’ O Connor was a leading member of the League of World War I Aviation Historians (an organization to which I have belonged and highly recommend to all WW I aviation collectors). Neal was a true gentleman whom I was privileged to know. I even sold him some additions to his collection for time to time. His collection was huge. It included many personal items that once belonged to Germany’s aces, some of which were given to him by pilots whom he met after WW II ended. A large portion of Neal’s vast collection was donated to a German aviation museum following his death. In fact, his burgeoning collection is what prompted Neal to begin what would become the most important Imperial German aviation series ever offered to the public. It all started with a modest volume describing the Kingdom of Bavaria’s airmen and their decorations. The latter volume’s first (and ONLY) run numbered only five hundred copies. When the series became quite successful in later years, Neal resisted requests for a second edition.
The series’ second volume provided the same information about the Kingdom of Prussia. Since many of Germany’s leading pilots were Prussian, it proved to be quite popular. Even though the second volume’s run may have included a few more copies, both the Prussian and Bavarian editions sold out quickly and remain highly prized.

 

A complete set of Neal O’Connor’s series is nearly impossible to find these days. Today we are providing you the opportunity to purchase all seven volumes at once. [Back in the day, I located the Prussian volume first, then added the third volume about Saxony before I finally found the Bavarian edition (which cost me dearly)]! Our set includes the seven volumes listed below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. The Aviation Awards of the Kingdom of Bavaria.
2. The Aviation Awards of the Kingdom of Prussia.
3. The Aviation Awards of the Kingdom of Saxony.
4. The Aviation Awards of the Kingdom of Württemberg.
5. The Aviation Awards of the Eight Thuringian States and the Duchy of Anhalt.
6. The Aviation Awards of the Grand Duchies of Baden and Oldenburg.
7. The Aviation Awards of Eight German States and Three Free Cities.

 

Volumes one through six are high-quality, soft cover copies, while volume seven is a large hard cover book. Once you open one of these magnificent books, you will immediately become entranced by its beautiful photographs and wealth of information. We are VERY pleased to offer you this sumptuous set in the hope that it will bring you as much pleasure and enjoyment as it has given us. $795.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17-674 XLO PATRIOTIC BRACELET - "THE TIME OF IRON" - WW I. This is a consignment item. During WW I, patriotic jewelry was very popular among the German people, who were especially passionate in their support of the war effort during its early-to-mid years. German women had a wide variety of patriotic jewelry available to them, ranging from bracelets to rings, pins to brooches, and necklaces to pendants.
Our offering is a patriotic bracelet that proclaimed the war’s "Time of Iron" to be an important part of supporting the Fatherland. The linked bracelet measures 11 ½" in length. It is made of a base metal, possibly steel, to represent the "iron." The bracelet’s center medallion features a Hohenzollern Eagle on the obverse. The reverse states "Im Eiserner Zeit 1916" (The Iron Time 1916). Flanking the central device are two smaller medallions that state "Eisern zur Ehr" (Iron for Honor) and "Gold zur Wehr" (Gold for the Military) on the obverse and reverse. The bracelet’s clasp bears a "K & O" hallmark. The bracelet was issued as part of the "Gold for Iron" program wherein Germans donated gold for the war effort and received iron mementoes in return. It is an absolutely lovely piece.
$125.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18-440 XLO VETERAN’S STEIN - BAVARIA - ULANEN-REGIMENT NR 1. This is a consignment item. It is a very fine 1. Ulanen-Regiment Kaiser Wilhelm II, König von Preußen veteran’s stein. The Bavarian regiment was founded in 1863 and was garrisoned at Bamberg. It was attached to the Bavarian II. Armeekorps, and was Bavaria’s only Ulanen-Regiment.
The stein stands 10 ½" tall. Its pewter lid features a dismounted trooper and his horse. The trooper’s last name was Arnold. The stein’s center displays a single mounted trooper carrying his lance. The blue and white shield over his head has a Bavarian Crown. Yet another crown and other patriotic motifs appear beneath the rider, along with an 18 and a 96 on either side of the banner listing the regiment’s name, probably his year of service, 1896.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The central motif is flanked by names of other troopers from his eskadron. Two more panels feature a cavalry troop at full gallop, and a mounted trooper bidding good-bye to his sweetheart in town, with another trooper sounding his trumpet in the background. The stein’s interior features a traditional lithopane at its bottom of a Bavarian man at home with his sweetheart. It is a lovely stein in good condition. $795.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23-477 SHOULDER STRAP - PRUSSIAN - ENLISTED MAN/NCO - PIONIER-BATTALION NR 23. This is a single Prussian enlisted man/NCO’s Pionier-Battalion Nr 23 shoulder strap. Pioniere were the Imperial German Army’s engineers responsible for the building of roads, trenches, bridges, and etc. The 2. Westpreußisches Pionier-Battalion Nr 23 was founded in 1907. It was garrisoned at Graudenz and attached to Prussia’s XX. Armeekorps. As the regiment was founded in 1907, its brief history only extending into 1918. This particular shoulder strap was only in use for a few years, as feldgrau uniforms and shoulder straps were already being incorporated within the German Army shortly after the regiment was founded. I doubt if this shoulder strap style was used more than three years.
The shoulder strap is red in color. The regimental designation, "23," is embroidered in yellow stitching on the red material. The strap’s backing is black. The strap is in very good condition, generally, but shows some minor soiling due to its more than hundred years of age. You can also see where the button that was once present has left an impression.
$95.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32-176 PATRIOTIC PIN - AUSTRIA - KAISER FRANZ JOSEF. We rarely acquire Austrian patriotic jewelry. This finely made pin represents Austria’s Kaiser Franz Josef I (1830-1916). He ascended the throne in 1848 and remained Kaiser until his 1916 death, when he was succeeded by Kaiser Karl, Austria’s final Kaiser. The gold-toned pin measures ½" x 1 ¼." It displays an impressive Hapsburg Crown at its top (it varies greatly from any of Germany’s crowns). The crown is attached to a laurel and oak leaf-bedecked wreath. A gold-bordered red enamel oval is centered within the wreath that displays Kaiser Franz Josef golden royal cypher. A fine pin is present on its reverse. The pin is in excellent condition, overall. $125.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32-177 PATRIOTIC PIN - SOLDIER PHOTO. We have a special interest in patriotic pins that display soldiers’ and sailors’ photographs. They reveal soldiers’ faces both before and during WW I. Such pins were very popular on Germany’s home front. They were worn by wives, sweethearts, mothers, and female relatives of the soldiers who were serving Germany. Today we are offering one of the most interesting pins that we have acquired in recent years. What makes it so different is its size. It is, by far, one of the largest that we have ever encountered. It measures a whopping 1 ½" x 1 ½." The frame is a subdued silver with eight gold highlights surrounding the photo.
The photo shows an enlisted soldier wearing his mütze. The band of the mütze appears to be black. If so, he was from an artillery regiment. He is also wearing a feldgrau tunic. The photograph itself measures 1" in diameter! Its reverse reveals a fine sturdy pin, and no sign of a manufacturer’s hallmark. It is a delightful example.
$125.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

42-190 POSTCARD - AVIATION - NPG NR 6005 - MOURNING HAUPTMANN OSWALD BOELCKE’S DEATH. Oswald Boelcke was the first true Imperial German flying ace. Besides being an accomplished early single-seater Fokker Eindecker fighter-pilot (later graduating to biplanes), Boelcke was the founder of the earliest Jasta. He previously had been attached to an observation squadron that used the Eindeckers as its support. Boelcke, however, had the idea of creating Jastas of dedicated, single-seater hunting squadrons. He helped change the tactical use of the airplane. In addition he perfected tactics for fighter pilots that are used to this day. Something as simple as using the sun to your advantage, getting close to your enemy before opening fire, etc., seem so obvious today. One-hundred-years ago, however, these ideas were groundbreaking.
Boelcke was also a master at recruiting young and aggressive pilots, then molding them into an effective fighting unit. He had no better student than a young Prussian nobleman named Manfred von Richthofen. Boelcke was killed on 28 October 1916 in a midair collision with a future PLM-winner. He was mourned by all of Germany. At the time of his death he had forty confirmed victories, more than double that of his closest rival. It took his young pupil, Manfred von Richthofen, well into April (Bloody April) 1917 to surpass Boelcke. His score of forty ranked him with the highest-scoring WW I German pilots, which he achieved by October 1916, while flying inferior and antiquated equipment.
The NPG postcard firm created a unique mourning card for the great Boelcke. The pose depicts him in profile, his face turned squarely toward the camera, wearing his 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class and the prized Orden Pour le Mérite. The card has a black border and the caption "Fliegerhauptmann Boelcke verunglückt (casualty) am 28. 10. 1916."
While photos used on Sanke Cards were shared with other forms of aviation postcards, this particular photograph, card number 6001, was unique to NPG. The card was never mailed and is in excellent condition.
$55.00   jbApril17

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20-315 KAISER WILHELM II’S SINGLE GROßADMIRAL’S SHOULDER BOARD. This is a single Großadmiral’s shoulder board that once adorned Kaiser Wilhelm II’s uniform. Only six men achieved this exalted rank in the Imperial German Navy’s history. These men included:

 

 

 

 

1901 - Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859 – 1941)
1901 - King Oskar II of Sweden (1829 – 1907)
28 June 1905 - Hans von Koester (1844 – 1928)
4 September 1909 - HRH Prinz Heinrich of Prussia (1862 – 1929)
27 January 1911 - Alfred von Tirpitz (1849 – 1930)*
*[Promoted on an Honorary Basis without Patent, and thus NOT
authorized to wear his shoulder boards with the crossed batons
(the other five recipients could do so).]
31 May 1918 - Henning von Holtzendorff (1853–1919)

 

A Großadmiral’s rank in the Kaiserliche Marine was equivalent to that of a Generalfeldmarschall in the German Army, hence the use of crossed batons. The shoulder board is massive, measuring 2 ¼" x 5 ." It sports two gold bullion braids sandwiching a center silver bullion braid as the primary background. The silver bullion braid sports black chevrons that identify it as a naval shoulder board, since the Navy was part of the Reich (Empire) [not even such a mighty Kingdom as Prussia had possessed a Navy]. A magnificent set of crossed 2 ¼" Großadmiral’s batons is installed on the gold/silver bullion ropes. [Full-sized batons were issued to any man who achieved this rank, with the owner’s name noted on each one. Also please note: although the Großadmiral’s shoulder board batons have the same measurements as those on a Generalfeldmarschall’s shoulder board, the similarity ends there]. The Großadmiral batons’ attention to detail is amazing. If you look closely, you can see Prussian Crowns AND fouled Navy anchors! Instead of being silver, they are painted in THREE colors. Their primary background color is dark copper enamel, although much of it has worn off to reveal the gold beneath. The Hohenzollern Eagles and anchors are painted/enameled gold. Each baton tip is also gold with a small band of white enamel just below it.
The sumptuous detailing just keeps on coming! Kaiser Wilhelm II’s royal cypher is laid over the batons, with a beautiful Prussian Crown directly above it. Both are rendered in subdued brass that blends attractively with the batons. The obverse’s final item is a gilt-toned naval button displaying a crowned, fouled anchor. The reverse features a fine, dark-blue felt underlay, which ALWAYS appears on any Navy officer’s shoulder board. Some very light mothing shows on the fabric. An unusual circular brass backing plate holds the naval button in place.
Although we have offered Kaiser Wilhelm II’s shoulder boards in the past, this may be our rarest example yet!
11,495.00 REDUCED TO $9,995.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20-317 J. GODET & SÖHNE "BON BON" JAR GIVEN BY KAISER WILHELM II AS ROYAL GIFT. Here is a simply stunning royal “Bon Bon” jar from Berlin’s fabled court jeweler J. Godet & Söhne’s workshops, which Kaiser Wilhelm II gifted to some fortunate recipient. Royal gifts from Kaiser Wilhelm II came in a wide variety of types. Any gift given by the Kaiser was significant. Highly-prized when initially given, they are even more avidly sought out by today’s collectors. The gifts range from jewelry (stickpins, cigarette cases, watches, brooches, etc.) to various other personal items. Today we are offering an unusual glass “Bon Bon” jar. In its time, the squat glass jar would have been a table or desk accessory. The jar measures 5 5/8” at its greatest width, 3 7/8” in diameter at the top, and 3 5/8” in diameter at the base. Its base displays a fine rayed design. Etched into the jar’s side we see “Wilhelm II Deutscher Kaiser und König von Preussen.” Fitted to the jar’s top is a fine-silver and leather-covered lid. Affixed to the center of the lid’s leather background is an ultra-high-quality silver Hohenzollern Eagle that measures 1 ½" x 2." Its side is hallmarked “J. Godet - .950.” [Berlin’s J. Godet & Söhne was one of the Kaiser and the royal family’s better-known court jewelers, among the likes of Gebrüder Friedlander, Wagner & Söhne, etc. These firms specialized in orders and decorations, as well as assorted silver and gold gifts]. The jar’s workmanship and overall condition is first-rate. Filled with any number of items, or displayed as is, it will make a striking addition to any collection. $2,995.00 REDUCED TO $2,550.00

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20-336 WINE CARAFE FROM KAISER WILHELM II’s ROYAL YACHT S. M. Y. (SEINER MAJESTÄT YACHT) HOHENZOLLERN. Today, we are offering you one of the most interesting items ever owned by Kaiser Wilhelm II and offered to you here on Der Rittmeister Militaria. It is no secret that two of our favorite merchandise categories are items once owned by royals and those related to the Navy. Our offering today combines both types with an item attributed to Kaiser Wilhelm II and his royal yacht, the S. M. Y. Hohenzollern. This truly magnificent wine carafe was used daily aboard the S. M. Y. Hohenzollern to set a fine table for the Kaiser and his guests.
Kaiser
Wilhelm II had strong feelings about the sea and its possibilities for Germany. He firmly supported expanding the Kaiserliche Marine under Secretary of the Imperial Navy Alfred von Tirpitz. As one of Queen Victoria of England’s grandsons, Wilhelm was exceedingly jealous of his British cousins. He was determined that Germany should have a Navy equal to Great Britain’s, as well as overseas colonies to produce wealth for Germany’s Empire as they did for Britain’s.
Kaiser
Wilhelm II also greatly enjoyed his luxurious royal lifestyle on land AND sea. His royal yacht and aviso (royal dispatch boat) was the S. M. Y. Hohenzollern. While onboard, he enjoyed every amenity that was available at his numerous German castles. He had special dishes and glassware created solely for use onboard the Hohenzollern that were just as fine as that at any of his castles. [Recently we offered and quickly sold one of the Hohenzollern’s salad cruets].
The best-known S. M. Y. Hohenzollern was the second to bear that name. It was placed in service in 1893, then used extensively until mid-1914. A third S. M. Y. Hohenzollern was under construction when war broke out in July 1914. WW I not only halted progress on the third yacht, but also ended Wilhelm’s use of the second. [In the nineteen years the second Hohenzollern was in service, Wilhelm spent the equivalent of FOUR full years on board]!
The Hohenzollern’s carafe is a glass flagon that is rounded at the bottom. It holds a total of 28 U.S. ounces (.83 liters). Its diameter at the top is 2 ½" and 3" in diameter at the base. The flagon’s bottom features a sunburst design. The title S. M. Y. Hohenzollern is etched into its glass side toward the base. The presentation’s true stars are featured at the carafe’s top and its handle, which are both rendered in .800 silver! The graceful handle flows down smoothly to the flagon’s mid line. It attaches to the top, where a close look reveals Kaiser Wilhelm II’s crowned royal cypher attached to the flip-up. A wreath encircles the cypher, then is joined at the top with the Hohenzollern Crown. The distinctively elegant presentation simply reeks of Imperial German noblesse oblige. The lid’s underside reveals the hallmarks "37230," a mark I cannot identify, and the royal silver fineness hallmarks: a half moon, a crown, and .800.
We are proud to offer such an exquisite carafe with its echoes of an epoch of Imperial grace and refinement.
$3,495.00 REDUCED TO $2,995.00

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

Signatures of King George III and King George IV of England
in their additional roles as Kings of Hannover.

 

[Those of you who are not well versed in English/German History at the turn of the 19th Century will find the following information very interesting. Most Westerners are aware that King George III of England (1738-1820) was in power when the American Revolution began in 1776. His reign also encompassed the French Revolution, Napoleon’s subsequent emergence as France’s Emperor, and the Napoleonic Wars that led to "Nappy’s" defeat. Some may not be aware, however, that in addition to being Great Britain’s King, George III was also the King of Hannover! [His grandfather, George I, was the Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg (essentially, Hannover), and assumed England’s throne in 1714 when Queen Anne died without any heirs]. When he ascended to the English throne in 1761, he also became the Prince Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg. He held this title until 1814, when he was formally acknowledged as Hannover’s King. Unlike George I and George II, George III was born in England and never even Hannover!
George III’s tumultuous rule lasted until his death in 1820 and was marked by bouts of mental illness. His son, the Prince of Wales, was made his Regent in 1810. The Prince of Wales, who took the title of King George IV, formally assumed England’s and Hannover’s thrones upon his father’s death in 1820. When George IV died, William IV (his brother) became King of both England and Hannover.
His death and his daughter Queen Victoria’s assumption of the English throne ended England’s direct rule of Hannover. (Hanoverian law prevented Victoria from assuming the Hanoverian throne). This explains how an English King came to sign a German Kingdom’s official documents. [Of course, Hannover was later annexed by Prussia after the latter’s victory in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War]. The three documents are for a young German officer who progressed through the Hanoverian Army’s ranks.

 

19-221 PROMOTION PATENT - HANOVERIAN OFFICER - SIGNED - KING GEORGE III. This is an interesting patent that was issued to "Otto Achatz Kirchoff." Kirchoff was a young officer from Hannover. The patent was signed by King George III of England and Hannover. Although George III was Hannover’s ruler, he never visited his domain on the continent. The document is in the typical German format and in the German language instead of English. From what I can make out, apparently Kirchoff was assigned to an English rather than a Hanoverian Cavalry Regiment. This was quite common. England had several regiments that were filled with Hanoverians in the officer’s, NCO’s, and enlisted men’s ranks. The document measures 8" x 12 ½." It is dated 1802 and was signed at St. James Palace. George III’s signature is bold and clear. A paper seal has been applied to its left. The document has been folded in half. The document’s back half, which has no writing and does not affect the front half’s written information, has a tear across it. It remains a very desirable document that was signed during the Napoleonic Wars. $750.00 REDUCED TO $650.00

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19-222 PROMOTION PATENT - HANOVERIAN OFFICER - SIGNED - KING GEORGE IV - ENGLAND. This is an interesting patent that was issued to "Otto Achatz Kirchoff." Kirchoff was a young officer from Hannover. The patent was signed by King George VI of England and Hannover. Although George VI was Hannover’s ruler, he never visited his domain on the continent. The document is in the typical German format and in the German language instead of English. From what I can make out, apparently Kirchoff was assigned to an English rather than a Hanoverian Cavalry Regiment. This was quite common. England had several regiments that were filled with Hanoverians in the officer’s, NCO’s, and enlisted men’s ranks. The document measures 9 ½" x 13 ½." It is dated 1823 and was signed at the Carleton House Inn. George IV’s signature is bold and clear. A paper seal has been applied to its left. The document has been folded three times. It is in excellent condition for being nearly two-hundred years-old. $650.00 REDUCED TO $550.00

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

05-1692 XKA WÜRTTEMBERG - OFFICER’S PINBACK (OFFIZIERS STECKKREUZ) TYPE 1 WILHELMSKREUZ MIT KRONE UND SCHWERTEN. Württemberg began awarding The Wilhelm’s Cross in 1915 in two classes, as a 2nd Class Cross on a ribbon, or as a 1st Class Pinback Decoration for officers. What we are offering today is an extremely rare (and I do mean RARE) example of Württemberg’s Offiziers Steckkreuz Wilhelmskreuz mit Krone und Schwerten (Officers’ Pinback Wilhelm’s Cross with Crown and Swords). The decoration is made of oxidized bronze and features a massive voided crown at its top. It measures 2 ¾" from the crown’s top to the decoration’s bottom, and 2" in width. Its center displays King Wilhelm II of Württemberg’s royal cypher enclosed within a laurel leaf wreath. A pair of crossed swords extends through the decoration’s body.
The decoration’s reverse exhibits a long, tapered pin that measures 1 ¾" in length. A closer inspection reveals that the pin is somewhat discolored. [This is a good sign, showing me that it was worn on a tunic at some point, rubbing against the uniform’s sewn-in decoration loops when it was pinned to and removed from the tunic. A small detail like this increases my comfort level, since it reveals "honest" age]. The reverse’s center also displays a hallmark that we cannot identify. The latter’s details appear in the photos accompanying our description.
Earlier, I mentioned that it is a very rare decoration. My research in Jörg Nimmergut’s excellent five volume series about German decorations reveals that it was awarded ONE HUNDRED and TWENTY-ONE times. Out of those 121 awards, ONE HUNDRED and EIGHT were awarded to Württemberg’s native sons, while the rest went to officers of other states within the German Empire. [This is quite rarefied company when one notes that the Orden Pour le Mérite was awarded more than seven hundred times]!
It gets even better! During the award’s brief existence, three different versions were awarded and classified as Types 1, 2, and 3. This example is a Type 1, the rarest of the three, and commands a higher value. [Nimmergut’s current price guide values a Type 1 at €5,500, which translates to $5,995 at the November 2016 rate of exchange]. Since we bought it at a very reasonable price, we are pleased to share the bargain with you.
[PLEASE NOTE: the photos accompanying this description show the decoration mounted onto two Württemberg tunics (#15-668 and #15-669, listed below) that we are offering. The officer to whom the tunics belonged worked at the German General Staff, and was a member of Infanterie-Regiment Alt-Württemberg (3. Württ.) Nr 121. A very good probability exists that he proudly wore one of these decorations on his tunic]!
$4,995.00  PRICE REDUCED TO $4,295.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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].
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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].
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

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    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Schirmmütze. The pin on its reverse allowed it to be attached to a dress or blouse. It is very reasonably-priced. $50.00   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

33-337 BAVARIA - KOKARDE - SCHIRMMÜTZE - OFFICER. This is a kokarde suitable for an officer’s visor cap (Schirmmütze). 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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Schirmmütze. 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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

NAME                                                       KILLS/REASON

  1. Manfred von Richthofen                                                  80

  2. Ernst Udet                                                                         62

  3. Rudolf Berthold                                                               44

  4. Bruno Loerzer                                                                  44

  5. Paul Baumer                                                                     43

  6. Oswald Boelcke                                                               40

  7. Franz Büchner                                                                 40

  8. Lothar von Richthofen                                                    40

  9. Carl Jacobs                                                                      38

10. Carl Bolle                                                                          36

11. Carl Degelow                                                                    36

12. Ritter von Müller                                                              36

13. Julius Buckler                                                                  35

14. Otto Könnecke                                                                 35

15. Eduard Ritter von Schleich                                            35

16. Josef Veltjens                                                                  35

17. Heinrich Bongartz                                                           33

18. Theodor Osterkamp                                                        31

19. Gotthard Sachsenberg                                                   31                       

20. Walter Blume                                                                   28

21. Robert Ritter von Greim                                                 28

22. Arthur Laumann                                                              28

23. Oskar von Boenigk                                                         27

24. Hermann Göring                                                              22

25. Hans Klein                                                                        22

 

                  26. Ernst Brandenburg led daylight Gotha bombing on London

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


                  35. Not Yet Identified

                  36. Not Yet Identified

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

33-322 XAS HUSAREN-REGIMENT Nr 7 OFFICER’S BUSBY IN FULL PARADE CONFIGURATION WITH TWO STORAGE CONTAINERS - PRUSSIA. This is a consignment item, a truly amazing Husaren-Regiment Nr 7 officer’s busby. What sets it apart from so many others is its condition. Often, an antique headdress has remained in such excellent shape due to the way it has been stored. This particular busby has TWO storage cases, one for the helmet itself and the other for its parade feathers. These have kept everything in as near-to-mint condition as possible. [I continue to preach the importance of condition because that, dear friends, is what distinguishes a first-rate collection from the merely run-of-the-mill. In my opinion, ONE excellent item easily trumps TEN average pieces. Junk never improves with age, while top-quality items provide great short-term enjoyment AND increase in value as the years go by]!
This very tasty officer’s busby comes from Husaren-Regiment König Wilhelm I. (1. Rheinisches) Nr 7. The regiment was created in 1815, close to the Napoleonic Wars’ end at the Battle of Waterloo. The regiment was garrisoned at Bonn (West Germany’s former capital prior to Germany’s reunification and Berlin’s restoration as the governmental seat). As a Prussian Regiment, it was attached to the Prussian VIII. Armeekorps.
The busby dates to around 1900, meaning it sports rich, chocolate otter fur rather than the later-mandated light-gray opossum fur. Both furs are very lovely and desirable. Quite frankly, when the fur is in such good condition, it is simply a matter of personal preference.
As I hold this gem in my hands, I am awed that something more than one-hundred-years-old age is so perfect. I can’t help but stroke that fur and feels its softness. [My beloved cats might get jealous, because as cuddly as they are, their fur cannot quite match the otter fur’s softness]! The busby shows absolutely NO loss of fur on its body (again, perfection). The gilt-toned wappen displays Prussian König (later Kaiser) Wilhelm I’s royal cypher. The legend "Mitt-Gott-Für-Koenig-Und- Vaterland" appears below the crowned cypher. The wappen’s frosting is absolutely gorgeous. Its rounded cavalry-style chin scales exhibit an age and patina that confirm they have not been cleaned in decades. The chin scales are pinned in the "UP" position on either side of the Feldzeichen (Field Badge). [Made of concentric silver bullion rings encircling a black velvet center, the Feldzeichen confirms that this busby is meant for a Prussian officer. Feldzeichen were color-coded to allow easy recognition of the state or kingdom from which they hailed]. Busbies’ wappens and Feldzeichen provided this quick identification, because they did NOT sport a state kokarde. Only the Reich’s kokarde was displayed on the busby’s right side, as it is on this example.
The busby’s top has a correct red kolpak. The kolpak is in excellent condition, with only minor soiling and NO mothing. [One small detail: the kolpak can be removed from the busby. Once pulled out, one sees it is fashioned from red silk underneath! Nobody would ever know this but the owner and his batman]. Cap lines are attached to the kolpak’s top and flow down its right side where the kolpak itself extends down and over to the left.
The busby’s final exterior detail is its parade feathers. [They really make this piece "sing"]! The very slender, black and white (Prussia’s state colors) feathers are, I believe, from a heron. They are attached to a metal clip that slips behind the Feldzeichen. When in place, they make for a showy presentation. The feathers inclusion means this is an absolutely complete busby with all of its accouterments.
The interior features a high leather sweatband with partial white stitching around it. The stitching is not complete and several of the holes display none of the stitches. This is the only flaw that I can find and in display you will never notice it. The very slight amount of sweat staining shows the busby was gently worn. A busby-style beige silk liner is attached to the sweatband, and is in MINT condition as well.
The busby’s containers have kept this magnificent example of Hussar headdress in pristine condition. Typically, Imperial German headdress containers/storage boxes were made of cardboard. They were high-quality cardboard, but cardboard nevertheless, whether for the busby or the parade feathers. I am told by this item’s consignor that the British preferred a METAL container for their busbies and some other headdress forms. Obviously, the latter afforded the items greater protection. It appears that our German officer felt the same way, because he chose metal containers for his busby and feathers to that same style.
The oval-shaped metal busby container measures 10" x 10." It is painted black and sports a flip-closure mechanism. The painted exterior has some scratches and dings to its surface, but the container did its job protecting the busby inside. The parade feathers’ container is a metal tube that measures 14 ½" in length and 1 ½" in circumference. Again it is painted black, with some scars on its painted exterior. The feathers inside, however, are little different than the day the officer picked up the entire set from his military effects shop.
If you have wanted to add a busby to your collection, you will NOT find a better example than this one. It is simply unupgradeable.
$9,995.00
REDUCED $8,995.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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].
    

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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].
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for more images)

 

 

Links to Our Pages

 

Der Rittmeister Merchandise Pages: (Click on Pictures or Words)

Badges: Wound/Veterans/Shooting Prizes, etc.


Boxes (Patriotic) & Cigarette Cases

Bronzes/Busts/Statuettes & Figurines

Colonial Memorabilia
   

Desk Pieces & Accessories

Documents Nr 1: Awards AND Decorations
Included

Documents Nr 2: Patents, etc. (Paper Only)

Fan Gear (Der Rittmeister Militaria Clothing, etc.)

Field Gear & Soldiers' Personal Effects
 
Flags/Banners & Accessories

Flight Qualification Badges (Imperial)

Imperial German Air Service Nr 1:Artifacts,  Personalities, Groups, Shoulder Boards

Imperial German Air Service Nr 2: Documents, Books, etc.

Imperial German Regiment der Gardes du Corps & More

Imperial German Headdress Nr 1: Pickelhauben
/Wappens/Accessories

Imperial German Headdress Nr 2: Busbies/Mützen/Tschapkas/Visor Caps, etc.

Imperial German Headdress Nr 3: Reference Materials/Guides/CD's & DvD's

Iron Crosses & Related Materials

Just In from Germany: Newest Items! ALL items start here!

Medal Bars & Ribbon Bars

Miniatures & Boutonnieres

Navy (Imperial German): Documents/Swords/Daggers/Badges/Cap Tallies/Books

Orders & Decorations Nr 1: 4 Major German Kingdoms & Central Powers, Post War

Orders & Decorations Nr 2:Grand Duchies/Duchies/Free States, etc.

Paper & Wood Artifacts: Books/Photos/Albums/Maps/Artworks (framed paintings)

Patriotic Domesticware Nr 1: Fine Tableware/Steins/Glassware/Porcelain

Patriotic Domesticware Nr 2: Wooden/Metal/Cloth/Embroidered  Household Items
 

Patriotic Jewelry Nr 1: Rings/Bracelets/Pendants, etc.

Patriotic Jewelry Nr 2: Pins

Postcards Nr 38: German Royalty-Kaiser Wilhelm I/Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria ONLY

Postcards Nr 40: Photo Albums/Original/Framed/Cabinet Photos/Cartes Des Visite (CdV's).

Postcards Nr 42:Imperial German Air Service & All Aviation-Related.

Postcards Nr 43:Imperial German Armed Service & All Army-Related.

Postcards Nr 44:Kaiserliche Marine & All Navy-Related.

Postcards Nr 45:Other Imperial German/Central  & Allied Powers Royalty and Nobility

Ranglistes: Imperial German Army/Navy & Imperial German References on CD

Royalty & Nobility (German): Personalities, Swords/Daggers/ Portraits, Memorabilia

Shoulder Boards

Signed Photos/Documents/Autographs from German Military/Nobility/Royalty

 

Stickpins

Swords/Daggers/Edged Weapons & Accessories

Table Medals

Uniforms & Related Accessories

Vivat Ribbons

Wooden Display Products (Helmet & Visor Stands)

Zeppelin & Balloon Memorabilia

Der Rittmeister Content Pages:


Return to our Home Page
             

How to Order from Der Rittmeister Militaria

A Brief Intro
to Der Rittmeister Militaria
 
Information about Late Great Author & Painter Jack D. Hunter