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GERMANY – TABLE MEDAL – OTTO VON BISMARCK

GERMANY – TABLE MEDAL – OTTO VON BISMARCK

This table medal honors Fürst Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898).  The table medal is bronze-toned and measures 1 ½” in diameter.  The table medal is in excellent condition for being more than one-hundred-twenty-five years-old……

POSTCARD OF OTTO von BISMARCK – FATHER – SON

Otto von Bismarck (1813-1898) is one of German history’s leading political figures. He became Germany’s first Chancellor in 1871, after Prussia’s King Wilhelm I was crowned Germany’s first Kaiser. Bismarck was greatly involved in Germany’s unification, as She worked her way through the unification wars of 1864 and 1866, and the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War, which was the final step. He was a master of foreign policy. He was also at the forefront of social welfare changes made in Germany. He was retired from his post in 1890 by Kaiser Wilhelm II. This followed Wilhelm’s 1888 assumption of the throne, after the deaths of his grandfather, Wilhelm I, and his father, Friedrich III. Wilhelm II and von Bismarck had monumental differences regarding the future role of Germany’s foreign policy. A key difference was Wilhelm II’s desire to expand Germany’s overseas colonies. Bismarck felt strongly that this would bring Germany into conflict with other European powers, especially Great Britain. The last five years of von Bismarck’s life were relatively quiet. This pose shows von Bismarck with his father, Karl von Bismarck, and his son, Herbert von Bismarck, flanking him. A message is on the reverse. This postcard was mailed during the time of Kaiser Franz Josef.

COLOR POSTCARD – OTTO von BISMARCK

COLOR POSTCARD – OTTO von BISMARCK

In this fine color postcard we see an image of Otto von Bismarck, along with his family’s coat-of-arms. We also gaze down Bismarck Strasse in Saxony’s grand city, Leipzig. A message is written on the obverse, which is dated 20 February 1903. On the reverse is an address and a postage stamp showing postmarks from both Leipzig and Chemnitz.

POSTCARD – OTTO von BISMARCK

POSTCARD – OTTO von BISMARCK

Otto von Bismarck (1813-1898) is one of German history’s leading political figures. He became Germany’s first Chancellor in 1871, after Prussia’s King Wilhelm I was crowned Germany’s first Kaiser. Bismarck was greatly involved in Germany’s unification, as She worked her way through the unification wars of 1864 and 1866, and the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War, which was the final step. He was a master of foreign policy. He was also at the forefront of social welfare changes made in Germany. He was retired from his post in 1890 by Kaiser Wilhelm II. This followed Wilhelm’s 1888 assumption of the throne, after the deaths of his grandfather, Wilhelm I, and his father, Friedrich III. Wilhelm II and von Bismarck had monumental differences regarding the future role of Germany’s foreign policy. A key difference was Wilhelm II’s desire to expand Germany’s overseas colonies. Bismarck felt strongly that this would bring Germany into conflict with other European powers, especially Great Britain. The last five years of von Bismarck’s life were relatively quiet. This pose shows him in retirement at some point after 1890.

POSTCARD – OTTO von BISMARCK

POSTCARD – OTTO von BISMARCK

This is a postcard that shows Prince Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) and his family home at Friedrichsruh. Bismarck served as Chancellor to three German Kaisers. He was known as “The Iron Chancellor.” Von Bismarck led Prussia, then the German Empire to a position as a European and world power before he was dismissed in the 1880’s by Kaiser Wilhelm II (their personalities clashed). The postcard was never mailed.

POSTCARD – OTTO von BISMARCK

POSTCARD – OTTO von BISMARCK

This is a postcard of the “Iron Chancellor” Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898). Bismarck was the Chancellor under three Kaisers. Politically, he was a key ingredient in the growth (and power) of first Prussia as a kingdom, then Germany as a nation. In this photograph he is seen in monument form in Berlin after his death. On this type of postcard the message was intended to be written on the obverse, while the reverse was reserved for the address. It was mailed in 1901.

POSTCARD – OTTO von BISMARCK

POSTCARD – OTTO von BISMARCK

This is a postcard of the “Iron Chancellor” Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898). Bismarck was the Chancellor under three Kaisers. Politically, he was a key ingredient in the growth (and power) of first Prussia as a kingdom, then Germany as a nation. In this photograph he appears in a Küraßier’s uniform and schirmütze. While not formally a military man, he did have involvement. He was a general in the Prussian Army and was considered an à la suite officer. The pose is dated about 1890. The postcard was mailed in 1915. The postcard was produced during WW I to benefit the German Red Cross. Even fifteen plus years after his death von Bismarck remained a German hero. This still proved true during WW II, when the battleship “Bismarck” was named after him.

POSTCARD – OTTO von BISMARCK

POSTCARD – OTTO von BISMARCK

This is a postcard of the “Iron Chancellor” Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898). Bismarck was the Chancellor under three Kaisers. Politically, he was a key ingredient in the growth (and power) of first Prussia as a kingdom, then Germany as a nation. In this photograph, he appears to be wearing a civilian overcoat. On his head he wears a Küraßier’s helmet. While not formally a military man, he did have involvement. He was a general in the Prussian Army and was considered an à la suite officer.

POSTCARD – OTTO von BISMARCK

POSTCARD – OTTO von BISMARCK

Otto von Bismarck played one of the greatest roles in Germany’s history. He served as Chancellor to all the Kaisers. His nickname was the “Iron Chancellor.” He was a master politician and played a key role in both Prussia and Germany’s growth. In the photograph he is in a Küraßier’s uniform, including the spiked helmet. A reproduction autograph appears at the postcard’s bottom.

VIVAT RIBBON – OTTO von BISMARCK

VIVAT RIBBON – OTTO von BISMARCK

This is a Vivat Ribbon commemorating Germany’s “Iron Chancellor,” Otto von Bismarck. At the Vivat’s top is von Bismarck in his famous Küraßier helmet. It mentions the 100th anniversary of his birth (1815-1915). Below that is a knight with a banner who resembles von Moltke. At the bottom is von Bismarck’s famous quote: “We German’s fear only God and no one else in the world.” The golden Vivat measures 15 3/4″ x 2 1/2.”

GERMANY – CALLING CARD – GRAF BISMARCK-SCHÖNHAUSEN – STAATSMINISTER

GERMANY – CALLING CARD – GRAF BISMARCK-SCHÖNHAUSEN – STAATSMINISTER

This is a calling card for Gottfreid Graf Bismarck-Schönhausen (1901-1949, who was the Staatsminister. He was Otto von Bismarck’s grandson, and a member of the Nazi Party. He was appointed to the Reichstag. He was also a friend of Heinrich Himmler, and eventually was appointed an SS Brigadeführer. Late in WW II, he became opposed to the war’s continuation. He participated in the plot against Hitler. His position and family connections spared him the other plotters’ grisly fate. He was banned from all further public participation in politics. Bismarck-Schönhausen was killed in 1949 in a road accident. The calling card measures 2 1/4″ x 4.”

GERMANY – CALLING CARD – GRAF BISMARCK-SCHÖNHAUSEN – STAATSSECRETÄR des AUSWÄRTIGEN AMTES

GERMANY – CALLING CARD – GRAF BISMARCK-SCHÖNHAUSEN – STAATSSECRETÄR des AUSWÄRTIGEN AMTES

This is a calling card for Gottfreid Graf Bismarck-Schönhausen (1901-1949, who was the Staatssecretär des Auswärtigen Amtes (State Secretary for Foreign Affairs). He was Otto von Bismarck’s grandson, and a member of the Nazi Party. He was appointed to the Reichstag. He was also a friend of Heinrich Himmler, and eventually was appointed an SS Brigadeführer. Late in WW II, he became opposed to the war’s continuation. He participated in the plot against Hitler. His position and family connections spared him the other plotters’ grisly fate. He was banned from all further public participation in politics. Bismarck-Schönhausen was killed in 1949 in a road accident. The calling card measures 2 1/2″ x 4 1/8.”

PRUSSIA – CALLING CARD – OTTO von BISMARCK

PRUSSIA – CALLING CARD – OTTO von BISMARCK

This is a very rare calling card from Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor to all three German Kaisers, Wilhelm I, Friedrich III, and Wilhelm II (if only briefly with the last). Initially he was Prussia’s Chancellor. Bismarck’s early career coincided with Germany’s growth and consolidation. Once Germany was unified under Prussia’s Wilhelm I as Germany’s first Emperor in 1871 (following the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War), Bismarck continued as the Imperial Chancellor. He remained in that position during Friedrich III’s brief reign. When Wilhelm II became Kaiser, however, the two men had major disagreements about Germany’s future direction. It was clear that they could not work together and von Bismarck was “retired.” The calling card is white and measures 2 1/8″ x 3 1/2.” The card is engraved in black ink and states very simply:

“Fürst von Bismarck
Reichskanzler”

When I hold this card, I just tingle at the thought that von Bismarck may have presented it to someone himself.

PRUSSIA – WALL PLAQUE – OTTO von BISMARCK – METAL

PRUSSIA – WALL PLAQUE – OTTO von BISMARCK – METAL

This is a wall plaque showing the profile of the “Iron Chancellor,” Otto von Bismarck. It is painted black, and weighs a hefty 4 pounds and 15 ounces. It measures 12 1/4″ x 10 1/4.” A ring on the reverse can be used to hang the plaque from the wall. It is something really different for your wall!

PRUSSIA – SWORD – MINIATURE – OTTO von BISMARCK

PRUSSIA – SWORD – MINIATURE – OTTO von BISMARCK

This is a miniature of the sword carried by the “Iron Chancellor,” Otto von Bismarck. If you look closely, you will see his family’s coat-of-arms. The blade is plain. Overall, this sword, which measures 7 1/2″ in length, is in fine condition. This would make a super desk piece. Or as the original owner may have done, you can open letters with it.

BERLIN – DESK PIECE – BISMARCK MONUMENT

BERLIN – DESK PIECE – BISMARCK MONUMENT

This is a small decorative tray that depicts the Bismarck monument in Berlin. The small tray was used for display or to hold small objects. The tray measures 9 1/2″ x 3 1/2.” The monument is in high relief across the tray’s base. “Bismarck Monument Berlin” is imprinted on the obverse, as well. The reverse reveals the four small feet on which the tray rests, as well as some manufacturer’s hallmarking.

GERMANY – COMMEMORATIVE DESK PIECE – OTTO von BISMARCK

GERMANY – COMMEMORATIVE DESK PIECE – OTTO von BISMARCK

This is an interesting desk piece that commemorates Imperial Germany’s greatest politician, the “Iron Chancellor,” Otto von Bismarck. Bismarck served as Chancellor (Reichschancellor) to the three Kaisers. His political influence and policy guided Germany on a path of growth and consolidation. The desk piece displays von Bismarck’s high-relief profile in the upper left corner. In the lower right corner is a tree with von Bismarck’s birth and death dates (1815-1898). To the right of von Bismarck is his famous quote, which was a rallying call for all Germans; “Wir Deutschen fürchten Gott, aber sonst nichts in der Welt!” (We Germans fear God and nobody else in the world). At its bottom is von Bismarck’s distinctive signature. The piece is rectangular and measures 3 1/4″ x 5″ x 1/2.” It is hollow.

METAL ASHTRAY FEATURING OTTO von BISMARCK’S LIKENESS

METAL ASHTRAY FEATURING OTTO von BISMARCK’S LIKENESS

Otto von Bismarck was one of the greatest Germans in his country’s history. In concert with König Wilhelm I and Generalfeldmarschall Helmuth von Moltke, he molded Germany into a European powerhouse that boasted its biggest and best army. Only England was Germany’s equal, primarily because of its mighty Navy. Bismarck was a consummate politician, forging alliances and constantly ensuring that the political scales never weighed against Prussia and Germany.
This bronze ashtray measures 5 ¼” in diameter and features a high-relief profile portrait of the “Iron Chancellor, backed by oak and laurel leaf branches and a shield featuring his Coat-of-Arms. The ashtray is supported by three small legs measuring about .” The deep imprint of Bismarck’s high-relief image is readily apparent on the ashtray’s reverse. It is a ruggedly-handsome depiction of Germany’s greatest political strategist.

PRUSSIA – SHOOTING AWARD – OFFICER – 1. GARDE-REGIMENT ZU FUß – ORIGINAL PRESENTATION BOX

PRUSSIA – SHOOTING AWARD – OFFICER – 1. GARDE-REGIMENT ZU FUß – ORIGINAL PRESENTATION BOX

PRUSSIA – SHOOTING AWARD – OFFICER – 1. GARDE-REGIMENT ZU FUß – ORIGINAL PRESENTATION BOX

Extremely special shooting award for the regimental commander of the 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß. This regiment was the most elite of all German infantry regiments. 1. Garde Regiment zu Fuß had more noblemen and members of royalty who served in the regiment or were a la Suite officers than ANY other regiment.

Founded in 1688, making it amongst the oldest Prussian infantry regiments, 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß, had a long and proud history. The regiment was garrisoned in Potsdam where the most prestigious of the Garde-Regiments were based. This included the Regiment des Garde du Corps. Pretty rich company!

This shooting award, first authorized in January 190, was worn until 1914. Below is a list of the regimental commanders of 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß. It should be noted that each man went on to become a general officer before he retired:

• Karl von Plattenberg
• Gustav von Berg
• Karl Wilhelm von Willisen
• Friedrich von Kleist
• Friedrich von Friedeburg
• Prinz Eitel Friedrich (The second son of Kaiser Wilhelm II.)
• Friedrich von Bismarck

This list consists of seven men who served as regimental commander from1901-1914. This is a very elite group and as we continue our description you will find out how very special this item is. We cannot say with certainty which of the seven this shooting award belonged to, it does narrow down the owner.
The shooting award or shooting badge or more formally “Schützenschnur” (Besondere Kaiser Schnur as it was bestowed by the Kaiser).

The badge consists of a massive rope of silver bullion that extends 49”. At the bottom are two large silver bullion and silk formed acorn shapes. At the top is a loop where it would be attached to the tunic in a similar fashion to an aiguillette.

This lovely Schützenschnur comes wrapped in the original tissue paper and is housed in a circular black leatherette storage carton which measures 8” in diameter.

Further information on this impressive item can be found in “Uniformengeschicte des Prussichen Heers 1808-1914 Volume 1 Page 253.”

This item is in MINT condition. Remember that it was awarded from the hands of Kaiser Wilhelm II to one of the seven men above.

This would display well on its own or on a tunic from 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß.

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FLAG – NAVY – GROßADMIRAL’S SHIP’S  – WITH STORAGE BAG

FLAG – NAVY – GROßADMIRAL’S SHIP’S – WITH STORAGE BAG

GROßADMIRAL’S SHIP’S FLAG WITH STORAGE BAG.

This is a consignment item. The Kaiserliche Marine (and its improvement) was a project close to the hearts of Kaiser Wilhelm II and the Imperial German Navy’s Secretary of State, Alfred von Tirpitz. As Queen Victoria of England’s eldest grandson (Wilhelm’s mother was Victoria’s eldest daughter), Wilhelm spent a good part of his childhood visiting England and hobnobbing with his many royal British relations. His regard for his grandmother’s naval forces eventually became a passion for Germany to equal and SURPASS his British cousin’s Royal Navy. Under Wilhelm II and von Tirpitz a massive build-up took place that saw the Kaiserliche Marine’s scope greatly advance. No matter how many ships Germany built, however, England continually raised the ante by producing more ships with much-improved designs. Germany had spent much of the 18th and 19th Centuries struggling to unite its many small states and kingdoms, and fending off incursions from the likes of Napoleon, which left it little time to pursue foreign colonial expansion. By the time Germany finally consolidated into an empire, only a few small areas were available for colonization. Also, Chancellor von Bismarck had disdained colonial expansion, and had seen little need for a larger navy, which was one of the many reasons that von Bismarck found himself retired shortly after Wilhelm II ascended the Imperial throne!

Once he came into power, Wilhelm II wasted no time in expanding his beloved navy. Until 1901, the Kaiserliche Marine’s highest rank had been that of an Admiral, which was equivalent to a General der Infanterie. [The German Navy’s only three “Flag Ranks” were Konteradmiral, Vizeadmiral, and Admiral]. This meant the Navy had no rank equivalent to the Army’s Generaloberst or Generalfeldmarschall. Wilhelm changed the situation in 1901 by establishing the rank of Großadmiral and, unsurprisingly, naming himself the rank’s first recipient. From that time until the German Empire’s demise, a total of six men achieved the rank, (listed below).

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 w/o Patent, and thus not authorized to wear a Großadmiral’s crossed batons.
Instead, his shoulder boards and/or epaulettes displayed four pips].
31 May 1918 – Henning von Holtzendorff (1853–1919)

Our offering today is an ultra rare Großadmiral’s flag. [PLEASE NOTE: in the Kaiserliche Marine, an Admiral of any rank was considered a “Flag” officer. Thus he was permitted to fly “his” flag from any ship that he was stationed aboard or visiting. This was especially true when a Großadmiral visited a ship]. The flag is amazingly beautiful to look at. My imagination immediately whisks me to when it flew from a battleship hosting one of the Großadmirale (a rather infrequent occasion). The massive flag measures 87″ x 89″ (220cm x 225cm) and is made with two different types and weights of cotton. The flag’s bulk consists of very gauzy, lightweight cotton, which was necessary for such a large flag. When held up to the light, it appears almost opaque. The areas featuring the German cross sport a far heavier cotton to protect the overall design and promote an inherent sense of strength.
The flag’s center features the pair of crossed batons emblematic of a Großadmiral’s office and rank. [To view similar crossed batons, you can look at those on Kaiser Wilhelm II’s single shoulder board (click here to see) or those on Großadmiral Hans von Koester epaulettes (click here to see) Both are currently for sale]. A Großadmiral’s batons, whether on his shoulder boards/epaulettes or on the actual baton he carried, were totally different from those for a Generalfeldmarschall (and far more beautiful, in my opinion). At any rate, the flag’s batons are very large and beautifully detailed. They give the flag some vivid pops of color, including metallic gold, blue, and red. The metallic paint was applied by hand. The flag’s artwork is amazing. The time and effort that went into creating this breathtaking flag had to have been considerable.

Many different sections of the flag do display stains. I do not know what caused them, but they appear across the flag. The flag shows MINIMAL mothing. NO markings whatsoever are present on the flag’s bunting. Two attachments for the lanyards necessary for when the flag was flown are present. Its storage bag is made from lightweight canvas and measures 11 ½” x 42.” The bag is dingy with age and has several holes and rust stains at its base. The base is held together by a metal clip in its center.

The flag is in surprisingly good condition, considering its age, size and the materials from which it was constructed. The consignor tells us that the auction house from which he purchased the flag stated that it had belonged to Großadmiral von Holtzendorff. No provenance other than this information is available, however. It remains an amazing historical artifact.

GERMANY – BOOK – THE GERMAN EMPEROR AS SHOWN IN HIS PUBLIC UTTERANCES BY CHRISTIAN GAUSS

GERMANY – BOOK – THE GERMAN EMPEROR AS SHOWN IN HIS PUBLIC UTTERANCES BY CHRISTIAN GAUSS

BOOK – THE GERMAN EMPEROR AS SHOWN IN HIS PUBLIC UTTERANCES BY CHRISTIAN GAUSS.

This is a consignment item. The hardbacked book was published in 1915 by a Princeton University professor. It was published very early in WW I as an attempt to educate and/or create propaganda. [You, the reader, will need to decide which is which]! The book covers Kaiser Wilhelm II’s speeches from 1889 into early 1914. The last speech, in June 1914, was at Hamburg and echoes the famous quote made by the Iron Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, at the Reichstag on 6 February 1888: “We Germans fear God, but nothing else in the world.” [At that time Wilhelm II was still a Prinz (not yet the Kronprinz), as Wilhelm I did not die until March 1888. Wilhelm’s father, Friedrich III then ruled Germany for a mere ninety nine days. Then, in June 1888, Wilhelm II took to Germany’s throne, the last of his line to do so]. Von Bismarck’s quote echoed forward through time until the German Empire fell in 1918.
The book contains more than 300 pages. Two images of Kaiser Wilhelm II, which measure 4 ½” x 7 ½,” appear at the book’s end. The book’s binding is in poor condition, so care should be taken when handling and/or reading it. It contains some great material and insight into Wilhelm II’s character.

FRAMED PHOTO – NAVAL TRAINING SHIP – LIFE PRESERVER SHAPED

FRAMED PHOTO – NAVAL TRAINING SHIP – LIFE PRESERVER SHAPED

FRAMED PHOTO – NAVAL TRAINING SHIP – LIFE PRESERVER SHAPED. A note that refers to this ship as “Rover” appears on this framed presentation’s reverse. Further information on the tag states “Schiffsjungen-schuerschiff 1863-1890 Kgl. Preuß. Marine,” indicating that the vessel, a two-masted sailing ship, was used by the Prussian (later the Imperial German) Navy from 1863 to 1890 as a training ship for young naval candidates.
[The Navy was a very low priority during Prussian King Wilhelm I’s (later Germany’s first Kaiser) reign. As far as Wilhelm I, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, and General Staff Chief and architect of Germany’s modern Army Helmuth von Moltke (the Elder), the Army was of SUPREME importance. Since the German Navy operated primarily in the North Sea and the Baltic, with few forays into other oceans, they felt that coastal defense ships were more than adequate. This all changed, however, when Wilhelm II assumed the throne in 1888. In his desire for Germany to become a world player with both an Army AND a Navy to back it up, he soon set the stage for WW I].

 

Today’s offering is a photograph of the Rover that is framed within a life preserver replica. These frames were quite popular among sailors and their families. The frame measures 4 ½” in diameter and the photo within measures 3″ in diameter. The wooden frame is white, with “328” painted in black at its top (this may refer to its training class). “Kgl.” appears at the nine o’clock position we see, at the three o’clock position we see “Marine,” and a fouled anchor is at the six o’clock position. A glass cover protects the photograph. Four thin fabric bands appear around the frame. A metal eyelet has been screwed into the top to serve as a hanger. This is the oldest item that we have ever offered from the German Navy.

PRUSSIA – NCO TUNIC – GARDE-JÄGER-Bataillon

PRUSSIA – NCO TUNIC – GARDE-JÄGER-Bataillon

This is a first-rate NCO tunic from the Garde-Jäger-Bataillon. The unit was formed in 1744 during the reign of Frederick the Great. This Bataillon along with Jäger-Bataillon Graf Yorck von Wartenburg Nr 1 and Jäger-Bataillon Fürst Bismarck (Pommersches) Nr 2, was one of the oldest Jäger-Bataillons in the German Army, all having been founded in 1744. Each of these Bataillons had a proud history and tradition in first the Prussian and later the German Army. Men assigned to Jäger Bataillons were expected to be crack shots. In the early days during and before the Napoleonic Wars, they were at the head of other German troops, serving as skirmishers. They were to disrupt enemy troops advancing on the German main body.

The tunic is green in color, as is typical of Jäger tunics. It was to offer better camouflage for them when in the field. As with most tunics, this one sports eight gilt buttons down the center. Red piping also runs down the center. The cuffs each sport two more gilt buttons. As the tunic is for an NCO, we see gold bullion braid and two yellow bullion trim pieces where the buttons are attached. Moving to the collar we see the same gold and yellow bullion attached, as well as two Prussian NCO collar buttons in gold. Moving to the shoulder straps, we see plain red examples, which is correct for this Bataillon. Smaller gold buttons displaying the number “2” attach the straps and identify him to Kompagnie Nr 2. On the tunic’s reverse we see red piping in the vent and another six (three on each side) gold buttons.

A tunic for the Garde-Jäger-Bataillon is rare enough, BUT this one is very special in another way. The German Army featured an annual competition to see who had the best marksmanship by regiment type. This was done for the Infanterie, the Artillerie, and etc., as well as for the Jäger Bataillons. So, this competition would have been for “the best of the best,” as Jägers were supposed to excel in marksmanship.

If you examine the tunic’s right sleeve, you will see a special gold device sewn to it. It is the Jäger emblem, a stag’s skull and antlers with a cross attached to the skull between the antlers. Attached to the antlers is a Hohenzollern Crown. The skull’s forehead displays the date “1907.” Our man received the award for 1907. Then, BELOW this are tied oak leaves sporting the date “1908” above them. Our Jäger was a two-time winner of the contest, which is VERY rare. Were the badge available just on its own, it would be worth nearly $1,000. Its attachment to a tunic makes that tunic especially desirable and valuable.

I spoke with a well known German uniform collector and sent him a photo of the badge. He told me the story behind the badge and said in all of his years of collecting, he had seen it only once. He also was fortunate enough to have that one example in HIS extensive collection. The tunic’s interior is in very fine condition with an officer’s quality silk liner. The tunic’s exterior is in near-mint condition. If you were to have only one Jäger tunic in your collection, THIS would be it. If you already have an extensive collection, this example could be its major star.

PROMOTION PATENT – OFFICER’S NAVAL  – SIGNED BY KAISER WILHELM I

PROMOTION PATENT – OFFICER’S NAVAL – SIGNED BY KAISER WILHELM I

During Kaiser Wilhelm I’s reign, the German Navy was essentially an afterthought. Much of this mind-set came from the “Iron Chancellor,” Otto von Bismarck. It was only when Kaiser Wilhelm II came to power that the Kaiserliche Marine emerged as an important arm of Germany’s military. Wilhelm II’s further interest in overseas colonies engendered a truly international German Navy rather than one limited to the North and the Baltic Seas.
Today we are offering a first for Der Rittmeister Militaria: a naval officer’s promotion patent signed by Kaiser Wilhelm I. The man being promoted was Christian Gustav Adolf Schwarzlose. The document’s format is identical to what then was used for Army officers, and that used later by Kaiser Friedrich III and Kaiser Wilhelm II. The document measures 15″ x 9″ before the document is unfolded to its full size of 15″ x 18.” It allows the document to have four equal sections for writing information, which was common with all written documents and letters. Three of the document’s four pages are used. The patent’s final page bears Wilhelm I’s signature. Beside it is the House of Hohenzollern’s large, embossed seal. Wilhelm I’s signature is quite large and impressive. On this page’s lower left, we see that the young officer has been promoted to Korvettenkapitän.
The document was signed in Berlin. Knowing that the document is more than one-hundred-thirty-years-old, it has a few issues. The document was folded into quarters. Foxing marks the document’s edges. A 3/4″ tear appears on the side in the document’s middle, where it has been folded several times. Otherwise, its overall condition is quite good. This is a very rare document from a time when Germany was still a naval neophyte.

S. M. TORPEDOSCHULSCHIFF BLÜCHER

This is a postcard of the S. M. Torpedoschulschiff Blücher. She was commissioned in 1878 as a part of the Bismarck Class. She was originally intended to be a Corvette or Frigate. While she was steam-powered, she was also a three-masted sailing ship. Once completed, her use was changed to that of a school for sailors who would be serving aboard Torpedoboots. The postcard shows this handsome ship in profile sailing and under steam. As was the custom with early postcards, a message was written on its obverse. The reverse has the recipient’s address and a stamp. The postcard was written in 1901 Kiel, then sent to Berlin. It probably is the earliest German Navy postcard that we have ever offered.

S.M.S. ILTIS COLORIZED POSTCARD

The S.M.S. Iltis was one of the Kaiserliche Marine’s most famous ships. She was also one of the smallest – but she and her crew had big hearts, especially on 17 June 1900, as you will see. The Iltis was a kanonenboot that was designed to patrol Germany’s and her Colonial empire’s waters and inland possessions. She was commissioned in 1898 and sent to China. She arrived during the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901). [It was a revolt against the foreign powers who by then were China’s de facto rulers. Most of the European powers were present, as well as Japan. The Boxers revolted against the unjust rule, accompanied by forces backed (on an informal basis) by the Chinese Empress. On 17 June 1900, a battle took place at the Taku Forts between Allied naval units and Chinese forces. The S.M.S. Iltis suffered substantial damage during the battle, although the Allies were victorious. Several of her crew were killed, while others were wounded, including her commander Korvettenkapitän Wilhelm Lans.
Kaiser Wilhelm was ecstatic, not only with his colonial forces (which he had pushed for over von Bismarck’s objections), but with his beloved Navy. Therefore, on 24 June 1900 he awarded the PLM to Lans. Even more unprecedented, he awarded a PLM to the S.M.S. Iltis! From that point forward, the ship proudly wore an oversized PLM on the jack stand at the ship’s bow. The Iltis then continued to patrol the waters of China until 1914, when WW I led Germany’s East Asian Squadron (Ostasien Geschwader) to return home.
Our colorized postcard shows the S.M.S. Iltis at the height of the Battle of the Taku Forts. The Iltis is in the foreground, her twin battle ensigns flying proudly in the breeze. Smoke from her cannons partially covers the ship. The forts can be seen behind her, as well as another Allied ship. Several splashes are visible in the water around her. Below the ship is the legend “S.M.S. Iltis vor Taku am 17 Juni 1900.” The scene comes from a painting by a noted German naval artist (I believe it is Claus Bergen). The postcard was not mailed, but does bear a rubber stamp from a Berlin postcard shop.

PRUSSIA – SHOULDER BOARD WITH POSTCARD AND HANDWRITTEN LETTER- GROßADMIRAL  – ALFRED von TIRPITZ

PRUSSIA – SHOULDER BOARD WITH POSTCARD AND HANDWRITTEN LETTER- GROßADMIRAL – ALFRED von TIRPITZ

Alfred von Tirpitz (1849-1930) was one of the Kaiserliche Marine’s best known admiräle (admirals).  The shoulder board measures 1 7/8″ x 4 3/16.” It displays four gilt-toned pips on its obverse. Its reverse reveals that it is of the slip-on variety, which is correct. Its backing material boasts a rich, 100% correct, navy-blue color that is proper for a naval officer’s shoulder boards. We can also see where each pip has been attached.

In addition we are offering a postcard and handwritten letter…..